Today, we would like to review the Fieldpiece DR82 – Infrared Refrigerant Leak Detector, a product from, what I consider, one of the top brands in the HVAC tools niche, Fieldpiece.
In previous articles, I have told you that finding refrigerant leakages using infrared technology is actually my favorite and most efficient method. Why? You may ask. The first reason is that locating where the leak is coming from doesn’t take much time. Just hover around the suspected area for a few seconds, and voila, the unit alerts you using a loud beep. Additionally, infrared technology can find even the most minor leaks in any joint or coil.
What attracts me most to the DR82?
You are assured of getting all the benefits that a quality infrared leak detector would provide. I ordered one to help me locate a leak in my HVAC, and to be honest, I learned a lot while using this product. The features on it were quite impressive, it was durable, and I believe these are some of the reasons why many people prefer to invest in it despite being a bit costly.
So what should you expect once you buy this product?
We will provide an in-depth review of this infrared refrigerant leak detector in this article. Let’s get right into it.
I have actually reviewed several refrigerant leak detectors from Fieldpiece, including the SLR2 and the SLR8. So what exactly makes me a fan of this brand?
Fieldpiece has a rich history of manufacturing innovative and versatile products for HVAC technicians. They aspire to provide tools that make it easier for these professionals to work in various spaces.
I checked their history, and I find it inspiring. The company started as a garage workshop in the founder’s home in 1990. But now, the brand has grown to become an internationally renowned brand. What I love about the brand is that they encourage innovation among their staff by encouraging them to continue studying.
Apart from leak detectors, other products they produce include manometers, combustion detectors and checkers, electrical meters, scales, and digital manifolds, among other products. Fieldpiece also has a digital app (available for Android and iOS devices) that functions with all wireless tools. The app comes with premium functionalities, which you have to pay for; however, you can try the 60-day free trial to see how it works.
I love their client support because it’s impressive. The product you purchase comes with a user manual, which you can also find and download on their website. When you buy any of their products, you get a one-year warranty. You will need to register the product upon purchase to activate the warranty.
The Fieldpiece DR82 is a compact device with a rugged outer shell, which is yellow. At the front, you will find a large LCD screen with a backlight to help you see in dark locations. You can turn the blue backlight on and off by pressing the power button once. The screen displays the leak size indicator and an easy-to-read bar graph.
The control panel features three buttons, including the power, zero, and sensitivity buttons. You can use the zero button to manually or automatically return to zero calibration. The sensitivity button determines how easy you want the unit to detect small leakages.
At the top is a 17-inch flexible probe with a lighted LED tip, a replaceable filter, and a sensor that lasts up to 10 years. The leak detector uses a lithium-ion rechargeable battery. It can last for 10 to 18 hours at full charge. To recharge it, attach a USB-C cable (similar to the one you use to charge your phone) to the charging port located at the bottom of the device. By the way, the manufacturer provides a portable charger that you can use in your car and at home.
How to operate the unit
First, ensure that your unit has enough charge to operate. Turn on the unit in an environment where the refrigerant’s baseline is zero. You have to wait for it to calibrate itself back to zero or you can press the zero button to do so manually.
Hover around your HVAC system slowly over areas where you suspect the leak. If it’s small, increase the level of sensitivity – you can change it from low, medium, to high if you want it to detect the leaks from a distance.
Once it locates the leak, the device will indicate a high numerical value on the leak size indicator, increased number of bars, audible beep, and the tip will show a continuous LED light if it detects any refrigerant chemicals in that area. You can then confirm the leakage by first moving away from the suspected area. Wait for the leak detector to return to zero and move towards the leakage again.
Note that the unit can detect up to 0.03 ounces per year.
What are some of the things I love about the Fieldpiece DR82 Leak Detector?
Primarily, for me, it’s an infrared refrigerant leak detector. I love these types of detectors because they are durable. For instance, the sensor’s life on this product is 10 years. The manufacturer also provides replacement filters, which protect the sensor from dirt and moisture. Ensure that you examine it (the filter) before using it. If it’s dirty, throw it away and insert a new one. The device can also alert you if it’s too dirty by using a loud alarm immediately you power it on.
You can use this product in various environments since it comes with four ways to indicate leaks. This includes the leak size indicator, bar graph, lighted LED tip, and an audible beep. For instance, if you are in a noisy dark room, you can rely on the LED light tip. An increased number of bars, continuous beeps, and a high numerical value on the leak size indicator will tell the concentration of the refrigerant in a specific area.
The unit won’t have a problem detecting small leakages, even in tight spaces. You can bend the flexible probe numerous times to help you access the tightest joints and corners in your HVAC system.
We cannot fail to mention the durability of this device. Apart from the sensor, it also comes with a durable body that can withstand all weather and conditions. I also tried dropping it to see what would happen. To my surprise, nothing happened. Everything was still intact. You will also appreciate that you don’t need to change the battery every other time since it’s irreplaceable. It’s charge will last for days before you have to recharge it.
Like most products from this brand, the device will not give you false alarms. It can read all types of refrigerants (including blends) but will not indicate or make any sounds if the air has oil or moisture. Hence, you can rely on it even in contaminated environments.
Like any other product, the Fieldpiece DR82 Infrared Refrigerant Leak Detector has its fair share of weaknesses. But it’s nothing to make you not buy this product. While using this product, I noted that this leak detector took about 20 to 30 seconds to calibrate back to zero or warm-up. Note, however, that it’s a common problem with most infrared units.
The other issue I have with this product is the warranty. A one-year warranty is relatively short for its price (about $500). Sometimes, the product may develop a problem after the one year is over. This means you might have to invest in another product.
We believe that’s all you need to know about the Fieldpiece DR82 Refrigerant Leak Detector. It’s a durable piece of equipment that you can depend on for many years since it’s durable. Furthermore, The device is easy to use, and you can depend on it in various environments.
I’d recommend this product to any HVAC professionals who would like to detect small refrigerant leaks. Although it’s expensive, you are sure that you will be using this product for so many years without needing a replacement. Furthermore, the sensor’s life is long. You don’t need to replace it after a few hours of using the device like most of the leak detectors demand.
If you want to check the current price and more reviews, head over to the product’s Amazon buy page.