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Robinair 16500 Leak Detector!

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    Robinair 16500 Leak Detector!

    I just bought this used at a very reasonable price.

    Taking a chance I guess but thought it might come in handy.

    Just wondering if anyone here has used Robinair leak detectors and their reputation for quality?

    Any help on this would be appreciated! Click image for larger version

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    Robinair has always been a good name in my book. That said, these were good in comparison to similar models, but, I'm not a fan of this type of leak detector. I believe this model uses corona discharge to detect leaks. They are very durable and I have yet to seen one fail. It's just the lack of sensitivity that I don't like.

    Since you bought this at a very reasonable price, then yes, it should serve the purpose. This model is very sensitive to R12 and it was approved for both r12 and r134a, so I believe this would pass muster for legal requirement if you were to use it in a shop setting - or - work for consideration, i.e; paid jobs.

    My favorite has always been the Yokogawa (now Bacharach) type of detector because I prefer the sensitivity of the heated diode. Of course there is big price difference too.

    I wrote a little snippet about my opinion of leak detectors here: https://aircondition.com/tech/questi...etector-to-buy

    Hope it works good for you!



      Thanks Chris!

      I'm just a DIY guy, but retired Marine Engineer.

      Now that I'm home on fixed income looking to take care of things myself!

      I think for auto AC detection the dye is the way to go, but seems the sniffers are good for evaporator sensing behind the dash?

      Thanks again for the info!


      • CJB
        CJB commented
        Editing a comment
        Now that many systems contain ultraviolet dye, I have begun to really appreciate it. In the early days, when it wasn't too prevalent, the thought of adding dye and running the system long enough to find a leak was sort of a silly notion to me. Especially when a good electronic leak detector could find it pretty fast. Now it seems I find more leaks because I see the dye.

        Sometimes, dye leaks from the evaporator can be seen as residue around the condensate drain. If accessible, you can probably swab the inside of the drain area with a white cloth and probably find it that way.

      Robinaire - Ditto - has been top shelf.
      Trick is learn how it behaves. Can practice with a Bic (any) lighter blow out flame.
      Evaps are a dead give-a-way: 1st check nothing is in interior - might not be all the time. Other is both sniff and check drain tubes or area. If oily that's trouble.

      Other: Do testing away from where surroundings have lots of cleaners and spray products. Don't clean or spray anything in the vehicle either when ready to check.

      Wind can mess them up just test what you have plus @ what sensitivity. My own can go off if a leak is out of state at highest level :-)
      MetroWest, Boston


        Thanks Tom!

        Good info on using a Bic to test the detector!

        I've slowly gathered my own personal AC Tools along the way...

        All bought used of course, but all Commercial grade.

        Before, I would just pay a tech as I was busy making a living, but now that has changed and hope to be set up to roll next time a problem arises.

        Thanks again!


          That small point just to get used to the thing. Butane is a hydrocarbon would set it off or should. One more is don't let the tip get all dirty. Good luck it's a fav tool of mine of assorted ways to find leaks,
          MetroWest, Boston