Seasoned engineers will know all too well how quickly the sector can change and will alter their approach as they see fit.
However, engineers taking the first footing in the industry may feel a little overwhelmed when it comes to the options available for leak detection.
There can be a lot of confusion as some may be looking for the best form of leak detection, but it’s essentially about being prepared.
The use of UV light detection has become a common practice in the HVAC industry, and for the most part the concept is relatively simple.
When using UV dye to identify a leak, there are several factors that need to be taken into consideration, such as how much should be used as well as the inspection range of the dye.
How Much is UV Leak Detection Used in The HVAC Industry?
More experienced engineers will know how popular UV has become in both leak detection and safeguarding applications.
However, those newer to the industry may only recognise UV detection lights as ones fitted within an HVAC unit to keep mould and mildew at bay.
The use of UV light in the HVAC industry has become commonplace when looking for small leaks, and the dye helps ensure that the defect is fully visible to the engineer.
Although the use of UV light detection isn’t suitable for all type of repairs, it is a method that is gaining popularity thanks to its ease-of-use and affordability.
As UV dye can often be injected into a system while its running, there is little need to shut the application down, meaning engineers can be more proactive with their appointments.
Is UV Light Detection a Worthy Investment?
The fact that you must inject UV dye into a system to use UV light detection means some may feel that there’s a more practical and cheaper alternative available.
In some instances, other forms of leak detection may be more appropriate, but it’s important not to undervalue the benefits that UV light detection can offer.
When locating a problematic leak, the time it can take can eat into an engineer’s productivity. In the short-term, catching up may not be an issue, but over time it could end up costing an engineer money, simply because of the time being taken to locate the defect.
As well as being used to locate leaks that are already present, UV dye can also help safeguard applications should a leak arise in the future, as the dye is compatible with other fluids held within the application.
The sooner a leak is detected, the sooner an engineer can be brought in to rectify the problem.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Leak Detection Lights for the First Time
When approaching UV leak detection for the first time, some may assume that as long as they purchase a UV dye, it will be up to the job of detecting leaks.
Although there are a series of different UV leak detection kits available at various price points, it’s important to invest in a product that’s reliable and reputable and sourced from a reputable supplier.
Not only does this ensure you’re primed for every form of repair, but you will also have more peace-of-mind in that many of the products you source will come with a guarantee.
Spending a few dollars on a cheap kit may seem cost-effective, but there can be several risks in doing this.
For example, the torches included with cheaper kits are often not up to the heavy workload of a professional engineer.
Cheap torches may suit a purpose for the average homeowner, but an engineer needs equipment they can rely on.
It’s also important that the cartridges and UV dye supplied for an application are measured correctly, otherwise there may not be enough dye to circulate throughout the air condition unit.
The EZ-Ject Dye Injection Kit is an easy way to inject fluorescent dye into an application. It is clearly stated that each cartridge treats the following:
- Two Gallons of Lubricant
- 25 lbs of Refrigerant
- 12 Tons of Cooling
This means that it can be used on small to medium-sized applications with little effort. However, those contending with larger applications would need to invest in something like the BigEZ Leak Detection Kit which is designed for medium to large applications.
The kit essentially gives an engineer everything the need when it comes to UV leak detection including a UV leak detection light, protective glasses and the BigEZ Multi-Dose injection System.
The kit is compatible with a series of CFCs, HFCs and HCFCs and can treat up to 400 lbs of refrigerant, 16 gallons of lubricant and 150 tons of cooling.
The dye cartridges themselves are clearly labelled so there’s no danger of using too little or too much.
Using the right tools will ensure the spillage is kept to minimum, but this doesn’t mean that spills don’t happen. Evidently, this can impair the location of the leak, so a clean-up is essential.
Fortunately, a product such as GLO-AWAY can ensure that any residue is cleaned away easily, ensuring the spilled dye doesn’t complicate the repair or obscure the engineer’s view.
Goggles Are a Must When Using Leak Detection Lights
There are UV dyes available that can be used without the use of safety goggles, but this doesn’t mean that every iteration of UV dye is the same.
Although viewing UV dyes is not the same as looking at sunlight and other powerful light sources, certain dyes can still be harmful in certain conditions.
The use of safety goggles not only ensures that you’re not subject to any adverse effects from the UV dye, but it also enhances the visibility of the leak.
If you’re using UV light detection lights for the first time and you want to garner a better idea of what products are available, then why not browse the extensive range of tools and products available here at HVACTOOLS.
As well as supplying professional tools and products for HVAC engineers, HVACTOOLS also offers 12 months warranty on many of its tools.