Elitech ILD-200 Infrared Refrigerant Leak Detector
- This Detector Can Find Leaks As Low as 0.014 Ounces Per Year
- An Overall Great Leak Detector at a Reasonable Price Point
- Will Detect CFCs, HCFCs, HFCs, & HFO Refrigerants
- Able to Return the Product After Thirty Days From Purchase
- Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery That Can Last up to Six Hours
- Some Competing Models Have Greater Sensitivity, But Are More Expensive
- Does NOT Work With Hydrocarbon Refrigerants
- Does NOT Work With Natural Refrigerants
- Digital Screen Can Get Scratched Easily - Best to Leave Screen Protector On
- Some Reports of False Leak Detection Alarms Due to Moisture in Air
Hello folks and welcome to RefrigerantHQ. Today we will be doing another one of our product review articles. As many of you know having the proper tools with you at a job can make a huge difference. In my younger years I used to buy products that were at the cheaper end of the spectrum. This meant that I got to save some money right off the bat… but when I started to actually use the product in everyday situations I realized that what I had actually purchased was NOT getting the job done. Or, if it was… things would be much easier if I had purchased a higher quality product. The same logic can be used when selecting tools for HVAC work.
One of the key tools for any HVAC technician is the refrigerant leak detector. So many service calls revolve around a system that has a leak somewhere on the lines. This leak is most likely the cause of all of the problems and if found, identified, and corrected quickly then you not only save yourself time but also end the visit with a happy customer. Over the years I have written many reviews on various lead detectors. In today’s article we will be taking an in-depth look at Elitech’s ILD-200 Infrared Refrigerant Leak Detector.
Before we continue there are two points that I want to make sure that you are aware of. The first is that when I do a review on a tool like this I go as in-depth as I possibly can. What that means is that you will see a lot of words here on the product. If you are not a fan of reading long articles then you may want to skip around the heading sections until you find what you’re looking for. I believe in being thorough, but to some it may be a bit too much. The second point is that I want it to be known that Elitech sent me a free ILD-200 for me to review. The review itself is still an honest interpretation of what I have found, but I just want you to keep that in mind that I was sent a free product.
Before I purchase a new tool I always like to take some time and do some actual research on the company that stands behind the tool. A lot of times you’ll find that the highest ranked tool is made by a company that no one has ever heard of. Or, that when something goes wrong with the product that there is no reputable company to stand behind it. That is why it is worth doing a bit of research on the company itself as well as the product.
Elitech is a global company that is headquartered out of San Jose, California. They also have locations in China, United Kingdom, and Brazil as well as additional staff from around the world. They have over twenty years of experience working with and creating leak detection and measuring equipment. Along with that they also work hand in hand with other HVAC OEMs and distributors to brand their product. (In other words, you may find that other branded leak detectors actually came from Elitech but are under a different brand name.)
The company itself is not as established as some of the other names in the industry like Robinair… but they are making quality products and are quickly making a name for themselves within the industry. I would feel perfectly safe purchasing products from them. Their website also states that they offer 24/7 customer support so in case something does go wrong the company is able to be contacted.
The first point I want to make on this product is that it uses Infrared leak detection. Infrared detectors work by drawing the air sample across an optical sensor that then analyses how much infrared radiation there is in that given area. This air is drawn by an internal pump within the machine. The benefits of this technology is that the sensors last much longer, they are less prone to false alarms, they cannot be overloaded in an area saturated with refrigerant, and they are great at finding those very small leaks that other detectors just won’t sense. The Infrared detectors are the premium types of detectors on the market. The ILD-200 model from Elitech will have its sensor last for over ten years. That is a big deal and hard to find when comparing to other leak detectors on the marketplace.
One of the most common questions when it comes to refrigerant leak detectors is what kinds of refrigerant will the product detect? In the case of the ILD-200 it will sniff out most major refrigerants that fall into the following classifications: CFCs, HCFCs, HFCs, and even HFOs. Basically, any halogenated refrigerant will be detected. If the refrigerant contains chlorine, fluorine, or bromine then it will be found. Some of the most common refrigerants that this includes are R-22, R-410A, R-404A, R-134a, R-1234yf, etc.
The sniffer itself meets EN14624,SAE-162,SAE-2791 and SAE-2913 standards. It has a maximum sensitivity of 0.14 ounces per year. It comes with three different settings: low, medium, and high. The highest sensitivity will detect four grams per year, the medium seven grams per year, and the low will detect fourteen grams per year. The detector also comes with what’s known as a ‘peak’ function. When used it will record the absolutely highest leak point during your scan.
The probe itself is fourteen inches long and is easily flexible to allow you to get into hard to reach areas. There is also an LED light that comes with the detector that can be clipped onto the probe that will allow you to see in those hard to reach areas to ensure that you can find the true point of leak.
The ILD-200 will work in temperatures ranging from 14 degrees to 125.6 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 degrees to 52 degrees Celsius). It will also work in areas with humidity ranging from fifty percent to eighty-five percent. Upon turning the machine on you will need around thirty seconds for it to warm up before you can begin use. When a leak is found you will be alerted either by a sound or light alarm (Your choice). There is even a headphone connection in case you are at a noisy job site and cannot hear ht beeping.
This detector also comes with an all digital display that will showcase everything you need to know in one place. You’ll see the leakage levels, the sensitivity setting, change sensor indicators, and even the remaining battery charge. Speaking of batteries, this unit comes with a lithium ion battery with a full six hour battery life cycle (3.7 volts 3000mAH). If your battery does run out it will take approximately four hours to fully charge. The good news here is that if you do accidentally leave the machine on while working it will automatically shut off after ten minutes of no activity. This will help you preserve the battery so that it can last you all day without having to be recharged.
The ILD-200 comes with a heavy duty exterior case that will last for many years. The case will prevent damage from falls/drops or from being tossed around in the back of a work van. The entire product, case in all, only weights a few pounds. I picked the case up while writing this review with just my thumb and there was virtually no strain. You will not be lugging around some huge heavy detector with you. This thing is light. I checked the official description and it only weighs 2.8 pounds. Lastly, the detector/case can be stored in temperatures as low as negative four degrees to as high as one-hundred and forty degrees Fahrenheit. I know in some cases work vans get over one-hundred degrees in summer months.
Ok folks so now that we have gotten the product features out of the way let us take a look at some of the benefits this product has to offer. The first is the maximum sensitivity setting. As I mentioned earlier, it has a maximum of 0.14 ounces per year detection rate. That is VERY low. To illustrate this let’s compare this unit to the Fieldpiece SRL8. The SRL8 has a maximum setting of 0.10. So, it is pretty much right on par with the Elitech although the Elitech is cheaper by almost one-hundred dollars. I know I’d rather save the money and get the detector that has a nominal difference in sensitivity setting.
The other big pro on this product is the overall price point. If you compare the features on this to other detectors with the same features you will find that the Elitech model is significantly cheaper then its competitors. I’m always for saving money especially if you’re going to get the same features. Its a no brainier.
The last point here is the 24/7 technical support via e-mail or phone from Elitech. Their customer service phone number is 1-408-844-4070. They can also be reached via e-mail at: email@example.com . Lastly, if neither of those options work you can also reach out directly on their website by filling out a contact us form which can be found by clicking here. If you go through all of this support and you are still not satisfied with the detector they also offer a thirty day no questions asked return. They are confident enough to stand behind their product and back it up with this money back guarantee.
There weren’t any major cons on this product that I could find. The first one that I’ll list though is what we discussed earlier in the Pros section. There are leak detectors out there that are MORE sensitive then this one… but they are quite a bit more expensive so take that with a grain of salt. For example, the Bacharach H-10 Pro is a premium leak detector that can detect as low as 0.006 ounces per year. That is a huge difference in sensitivity setting… but the H-10 Pro is also hundreds of dollars more expensive then the Elitech. So, ultimately you have to make the choice if you want to spend the money on the best of the best H-10 Pro or get a good Elitech model.
The only major con I would mention here is that this tool will not detect hydrocarbon refrigerants such as R-600a Isobutane or R-290 Propane. It will also not detect other natural refrigerants such as Ammonia or Carbon Dioxide. It is worth mentioning that these natural refrigerants are becoming more popular in recent years due to the slow phase down of HFC refrigerants. So, you may come across these more often especially if you work with vending machines or individual cooling units found at gas stations or supermarkets.
The other two points worth mentioning are that there were some false leak detection reports due to moisture in the air. I didn’t experience this myself but when I was doing my research on the product I found a few users commenting on this. Just be mindful of this and ensure you are working in a dry area before you start detecting.
The last point is that there were reports of the LCD digital screen getting scratched rather easily. Again, I haven’t used the product long enough for this to occur but I can definitely see it happening. I would recommend keeping the screen protector on it or if you have already removed it then clear tape will work as well. Just put something on there to help protect the screen from damage.
What’s In The Box?
This is always an important question when purchasing a new tool. What exactly comes in the box that you are ordering? Is it just the bare bones product or do you get the extra necessities that you will need down the road? Let’s take a look at what comes with the Elitech ILD-200:
- The leak detector itself
- User manual
- Packet of filters
- USB cable
- LED Light
Well folks that about sums it up on the Elitech ILD-200 leak detector. I tried to be as comprehensive as I could with this review but if you see something that I missed please reach out to me and I will get it added. If you ask me then I would say that this product is a definite buy if you are looking for a good/better leak detector to be used during your day to day routines. Yes, there are other cheaper models out there and there are also more expensive models with additional features… but this Elitech ILD-200 gives you a good mix of both worlds by saving your wallet and giving you some of those much needed features as well.
If you are interested in purchasing this unit then please visit this link to be taken to the official Elitech product page on Amazon. Here you can review more information on the product as well as purchase the product straight from Elitech. The typical lead time once placing an order is between three to five business days for the product to arrive at your door. When I was sent ILD-200 I had it at my door in only a couple of days. If you are in an hurry you can also call their customer service and request for first or second day air shipping.