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Dallas, TX, United States, 2006/07/20 - Left undetected, air conditioning system leaks can lead to serious damages resulting in expensive repairs and costly down time. Omega Environmental Technologies recommends using ultra fluorescent leak detectors (UV leak detectors) to find leaks..
Omega Environmental Technologies, a world-wide manufacturer and distributor of aftermarket mobile air conditioning parts, recommends using ultra fluorescent leak detectors (UV leak detectors) to find even the smallest leaks.
“There are several methods for refrigerant leak detection, but UV leak detectors are the most popular because they are inexpensive and more accurate,” said Gary Wrench, director of product development for Omega Environmental Technologies. “UV leak detectors can find leaks as small as 1/8 oz. of refrigerant per year.”
When using UV leak detectors, ultraviolet lamps are used to shed light on a special greenish-blue or greenish-yellow dye that has been inserted into the air conditioning system.
Wrench provides some tips to ensure that technicians can quickly find leaks without causing damage to the air conditioning system.
1. Before inserting new dye, examine the area surrounding both service fittings for traces of dye already present in the system. Many manufacturers now add leak detection dye at the factory, and some accumulators and receiver/driers contain a wafer with a tracer dye. Too much dye will gum up the system.
2. Allow fresh dye to circulate through the entire system before checking for leaks. Run the air conditioning system for several hours or drive the vehicle for several days before searching for the leak to ensure that dye has a chance to run through the entire system.
3. Bright ultraviolet lighting is the key to finding the location of the leak. Use a larger lamp to illuminate wider areas, smaller lamps to get into hard to reach areas. Ultraviolet lighting can be enhanced by wearing yellow-tinted goggles, partially lowering the hood, or turning out the overhead lights in the service bay.
4. Do a careful search of the compressor, shaft seal, condenser and all hose and pipe connections. Most of these parts are buried or difficult to reach, making it harder to find a leak.
5. Leaks in the evaporator will be hard to diagnose with ultra fluorescent leak detectors since it is buried within the HVAC unit. Check for traces of dye around the evaporator drain holes, keeping in mind that this will only indicate a leak large enough for condensation to carry dye to the drain hole.
6. When dye is detected, make sure it is not left over from previous repairs. Clean off the dye and see if it reappears in the same place to determine if this is the source of the leak.
7. Use good judgment to determine the significance of a leak and if it requires repair. Dye can pinpoint the location of a leak, but will not indicate the size or significance of the leak.
8. Once repairs have been completed, clean off the dye. This will make it easier to identify fresh leaks.
About Omega Environmental Technologies
Omega Environmental Technologies is a worldwide distributor and custom manufacturer of mobile A/C parts and systems. Omega was founded in 1989 in Dallas by Grace Davis, who was awarded female / minority entrepreneur of the year by Ernst Young LLP, USA Today and NASDAQ in 1996. Carrying a complete line of compressors, evaporators, condensers, reels of hose and hose assemblies, expansion valves and accumulators, as well as the components for rebuilding compressors, Omega is a one stop shop for all aftermarket automotive A/C products.