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  #1  
Old 08-28-2007, 05:39 PM
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I Just Got a Halogen Leak Detector!

Picked one up at Harbor Freight for $59. I can't imagine how many times I have needed/wanted one, when the UV dye trick didn't work so well. Of course, at this point in time, I don't actually NEED it. But I'm sure the time will come. In particular, I think this thing might be most useful when checking out used cars.

Anyone have any anecdotes to share from using one of these? Any tips?

I can't wait to get home. I'm gonna crack open my manifold gauges just a hair to see what it detects...

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Old 08-29-2007, 08:47 AM
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A friend bought one of those. Total junk. He swapped it for another one which was just as bad. Total junk.
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  #3  
Old 08-29-2007, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpetryk View Post
A friend bought one of those. Total junk. He swapped it for another one which was just as bad. Total junk.
Thanks for the input - I was a little leery due to the price. However, when I got home, I popped my manifold gauges apart (which still had traces of refrigerant in them) and sniffed them, and it appeard to work just fine.

Can you provide a basis for your "junk" assessment?
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  #4  
Old 08-29-2007, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmercoleza View Post
Picked one up at Harbor Freight for $59. I can't imagine how many times I have needed/wanted one, when the UV dye trick didn't work so well. Of course, at this point in time, I don't actually NEED it. But I'm sure the time will come. In particular, I think this thing might be most useful when checking out used cars.

Anyone have any anecdotes to share from using one of these? Any tips?

I can't wait to get home. I'm gonna crack open my manifold gauges just a hair to see what it detects...
Come on over and we will see how junky it is
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Old 08-29-2007, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmercoleza View Post
...Can you provide a basis for your "junk" assessment?
I'd also like to hear more of an explanation... I bought an electronic leak detector around 5 years ago. I've used it to find/fix leaks in A/C systems (mobile and stationary units) at least 10 times. The one I have is incredibly sensitive and, to date, it has never failed to find the leakage point in a system I've been troubleshooting. I consider it one of the most effective tools in my tool chest.
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Old 08-29-2007, 12:57 PM
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I also have 2 leak detectors. They work great. However that one from Harbor Freight is junk. I compared it side by side with quality instruments two times. The first instrument was so bad we thought it was defective. We exchanged it for another one. Same results. They are junk. Sure it will detect the large leaks like a manifold hose with freon in it. Good GOD it should. But where it really counts is when the leak is small. Like a fraction of a pound of freon per year size leak. Try that with the HF special. It won't see it. I was able to get the HF unit to register a leak by simply breathing on it. Now maybe that says something about my breath. But I think it says something more about the detector itself. Try the "breath test" and see if it responds.

Bottom line is if you are happy with it - thats cool.

Tinfreeh - I am not saying all electronic detectors are junk just the HF ones IMHO.

Just relating my experiences with it just like you asked.
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78 Corvette Stingray - 3k
82 242 Turbo Volvo - Manual - 270k
86 300e 5 speed manual - 210k
87 420sel - 240k
89 560sl - 78k
91 420sel - 205k
91 560sel - 85k
94 GMC Suburban - 90k
97 Harley Davidson Heritage Softail - 25k
00 GMC Silverado 1 ton 30k

Last edited by dpetryk; 08-29-2007 at 01:04 PM.
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  #7  
Old 08-29-2007, 02:15 PM
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You are right. I did the breath test first thing when I opened it (I don't know why). At the hightest and second-highest sensitivity settings, my breath would make it beep. I thought it was weird, but didn't think too much of it. What you are saying now makes sense.

It's going back tomorrow.

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Last edited by gmercoleza; 08-29-2007 at 04:42 PM.
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