Hello ladies and gentlemen! Today on RefrgierantHQ we will be reviewing INFICON’s D-Tek 712-202-G1 refrigerant leak detector. I am very excited to write this review as this product is one of the best detectors on the market. Be warned though, buying the best is not cheap!
Before we get too far into the details on this product I always like to take a look at the company behind the product. INFICON is based out of Switzerland but has offices and plants all across the world. Their manufacturing locations include Germany, Liechtenstein, and the United States. Even though this is a foreign owned company I can assure you that the quality is outstanding and to be honest there are two types of foreign owned companies. There are the shoddy Chinese companies that pop up like weeds and then there are the reputable European companies who have decades, sometimes centuries, of experience.
There are a variety of features that come with this unit but I won’t go into each and every one. Instead I’ll provide a brief summary and then we’ll move onto the major Pros and Cons of this unit. If I miss something here I apologize up front.
As you know there are many different types of refrigerant leak detectors on the market today. INFICON’s D-Tek Select is an Infrared model. Personally, Infrareds are my favorite mainly because of how long they last. This sensor is rated to last at over one-thousand hours of use. If you compare that to some of the other detectors out there that last for barely over twenty hours that one-thousand hours is quite an accomplishment.
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. 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 INFICON 712-202-G1 will detect most common refrigerants on the market today including your standard classes such as CFCs, HCFCs, HFCs, and even HFOs. These cover the most popular refrigerants on the market today including R-12, R-22, R-502, R-134a, R-404A, R-410A, and even 1234YF. This tool is used for both commercial and residential refrigeration units as well as vehicle air conditioning maintenance as well.
The probe is a rubber coated flexible metal that extends to the length of fifteen inches. The standard length on refrigerant detectors is between fourteen and fifteen inches. Most of the lower end units are at fourteen whereas the premium detectors, like this INFICON, is at fifteen inches. There are some units that also offer a nine inch extension probe but unfortunately I could not find such attachment for this unit.
One of my favorite features about this product and other premium detectors on the market today are the rechargeable batteries. No more having to deal with D or C cell batteries and having to replace them every other week. This unit comes with a rechargeable battery that when fully charged will last just under seven hours, or just shy of a work day. With the purchase of this product you get a wall charger and a car charger. To charge your unit fully it takes about twelve hours so you can plug it into your garage or at the shop overnight and be ready to go in the morning.
The last thing I’ll mention on this unit before getting into the Pros is that it comes with a durable and tough plastic case. While a case may not sound like much of a feature it is actually a huge benefit for transporting your tool. This case protects your tool and allows you to toss it in the back of your van without any worries of damaging your expensive detector. Peace of mind so they say.
The big thing about Infrared detectors is how long their sensors last in the field. The INFICON D-Tek will last up to one-thousand hours in the field. That is a HUGE number and dwarves so many other detectors out there on the market. Now, I will say that that one-thousand hour number is INFICON’s number and not an independent third party’s. But, I have seen no negative feedback or claims disputing this one-thousand hour sensor life. You won’t have to worry about replacing that sensor for a long long time.
What good is a sensor if it won’t even sniff? I’ve seen detection levels on others detectors ranging from 0.50 all the way down to 0.10 ounces per year. The D-TEK falls right in line that 0.10 ounces per year level. With this sensitive of a sniffer you can bet that you will be able to narrow down and find even the smallest of leaks. Along with the sensor the infrared model will not be harmed or overwhelmed by large quantities of refrigerant in a small saturated area. So you are fine and dandy in a saturated area and in finding the tiniest of leaks.
I already mentioned the rechargeable battery but I feel that it is worth mentioning again. You get the extended sensor life and the rechargeable battery with car charger. This unit is a simple and easy tool to handle and to maintain over the years. I am all for using the easy button when we can.
The last big Pro on this unit, and one I’m sure many of you will be happy to see, is that this INIFCON unit is proudly American Made. Even though INFICON is a Swiss company this product was made right here in the United States. American made and proud!
Honestly folks, there isn’t too much negative to say about INFICON’s D-TEK detector and there is a reason for that. This is one of the best detectors on the market today. But, with the best there are always some downsides to consider. Let’s take a look:
- Price – Well folks, like I said before this is a premium product and with a premium product you are going to pay top dollars. I’ve done quite a few leak detector reviews over the past week and this is one of the most expensive models out there today at close to four-hundred dollars. (Prices are subject to change at any time on Amazon.com.) Don’t be sticker shocked though as you get so many benefits from this detector. Don’t just take my word for it check out INFICON’s official brochure on the unit as well.
- Warranty – This product comes with a two year replacement warranty on any defects of materials or workmanship. They do not offer warranty or replacement parts on the normal wear and tear use of your unit. This includes new sensors and filters. (Sorry, nice try!) While a two year warranty is generous when it comes to a refrigerant detector I still feel that if I am going to be paying this much of a premium price that I should get an extended warranty. I am a big warranty guy and when I spend a pretty penny on a product I expect a decent warranty. Two years is good for a detector but I want more and I’m sure you do as well.
- Research – I wanted to make you, the reader, aware that when I do a review I do my best to research everything and anything about the product. I can tell you today that I looked and looked and I just couldn’t find anything substantially negative about this product. The absolute worst I saw was that some detectors were defective out of the box but those can all be replaced through INFICON’s warranty process.
Overall, I am very impressed with this unit from INFICON. The D-Tek 712-202-G1 is one of the best refrigerant detectors on the market today. All that being said, keep in mind that this unit is for a tradesmen, a seasoned technician, or an automotive mechanic who just doesn’t want to mess around with those hit or miss sniffers. If you are interested in purchasing this unit then I would highly recommend you buy one at Amazon.com.
If you’re a homeowner or a do-it-yourselfer then I would advise you to not actually buy this unit as you will be spending more money then you should if you are only going to be using this detector once and a while. Instead, I would suggest you check out the Signstek Leak Detector. There is buying a great a product and then there is throwing your money away. If you’re not going to be using this INFICON on a daily basis then I would suggest you take a step down and buy something a little cheaper.
- Amazon Buy Page
- Replacement Filters on Amazon
- Replacement Infrared Cell on Amazon
- Replacement Battery Power Stick on Amazon
- INFICON Official Product Flyer
- INFICON Official YouTube Page
- INFICON Official Instruction Manual
What’s In The Box?
- The detector, obviously.
- Infrared cell
- NIMH battery
- Spare filters
- Wall charger
- Car charger
- Hard plastic carrying case