The Robinair LD5 Select Refrigerant Leak Detector is a product manufactured by one of the most established companies in the leak detection niche, Robinair. It belongs to the LD series of the brand, which includes other models such as the LD3, LD7, and LD9-TG. And in our own assessment, we believe that the LD5 is an upgrade of the LD3 since it comes with added features that its counterpart lacks.
But what makes us review this product today?
Whenever HVAC technicians and auto mechanics look for refrigerant leak detectors or HVAC tools, they will prefer the durable ones. The LD5 comes with a sensor that lasts up to 10 years, as the manufacturer claims. It also has a list of other features, which guarantees you’ll find even minor leaks.
The brand sent us this product for us to review it. And in this article, we will provide an in-depth analysis of this product from its features, benefits, and cons. So, let’s get right into it.
Before you hit the purchase button on any e-commerce platform, clients want to know a little bit about the brand. We actually recommend this habit because it helps you understand the company behind the product you are about to buy. That’s why we always do a brief overview of the company before we look at the product features.
So, who is Robinair?
I researched to know more about the brand, and I noticed that they have been in the market since 1954. That’s more than 65 years in the market.
The brand focuses on providing service equipment and gears for automotive and HVAC technicians. Some of the products they produce include A/C fittings and adapters, A/C recovery and recycling, charging scales, coolant services, electronic test instruments, thermometers, and –of course – leak detectors.
By the way, we have reviewed other refrigerant leak detectors from this brand, including the 22791 Infrared lead detector and the TIFZX Heated Pentode Halogen Leak Detector. The brand also has outstanding customer care, and they provide relevant online tutorials and user manuals for every product. We also noticed that they have different warranty periods for each product.
This refrigerant leak detector is a compact device that weighs 1.5 pounds. It comes with a Santoprene handle grip, which prevents slipping while working and enhances comfortability while holding it. The control panel features 3 buttons and an LCD graphic display. Controls on it include the on/off switch, LED button to turn on and off the inspector lights located on top of the unit, and the sensitivity button. There are three sensitivity levels – low, medium, and high.
The LD5 also comes with a flexible 17-inch probe. At its tip is a solid electrolyte semiconductor sensor, which can last up to 10 years. The unit also has high-intensity LED lights just above the probe to inspect the HVAC systems, especially in dark locations.
Operating the unit
You will need 4 AA batteries to turn on this unit. The manufacturer includes them in the package, and they provide up to 4 hours of continuous use. However, please note they are not rechargeable.
Once you turn on the device, you will have to wait for it to warm up for 20 seconds. The warm-up period also helps the unit calibrate to zero. Once it’s ready, you can start moving the probe closer to the areas with the refrigerant leak. The manufacturer recommends moving it at two seconds per inch.
If it detects any refrigerant, the device will alert you using a bar graph on the LCD screen or audible beeps. Move away from the area and wait for the unit to return to zero. Then confirm the leak source again by moving closer to it. The bar graph’s value should increase and change its color from green to orange as you get close to the leak source.
The video below explains how this unit works:
Based on the features mentioned above, what are some of the benefits you should expect from using the Robinair LD5 Select?
This unit is durable thanks to the long life the sensor offers. You don’t need to worry about having to replace it after a short period of use or receiving false alerts. Most of the sensors in the market are no longer functional after a few hours of usage. They then start giving false alarms, making it challenging to find leakages.
Additionally, this unit can detect almost all types of refrigerants. Even though the solid electrolyte semiconductor may not be my preferred leak detection method, it will detect CFCs, HCFC, HFC, HFOs, and other blends. So you can use it across many HVAC and automotive cooling systems.
The probe is also long and flexible enough to reach small and tight spaces. It’s actually longer than what most leak detectors on the market possess.
We also loved the user-friendly controls on this unit, especially the color graphic display/LCD screen. Most leak detectors don’t have such large and modern screens like this – especially at this price range. You can also rely on the screen to check the level of sensitivity, messages, error alerts, and the battery charge. Sensitivity is yet another quality that will fascinate you. We believe that the LD5 can detect up to 0.05 ounces per year. It provides three sensitivity levels, making it easy for you to find even the smallest leaks.
The manufacturer also provides a 2-year warranty, which includes the sensor. I believe this means that if the sensor fails to function within the warranty period, you can ask Robinair for a replacement. However, ensure you register the product once you buy it to activate the warranty.
Although the Robinair LD5 Select Refrigerant Leak Detector has many benefits, it has limitations. For instance, I researched a little on this type of sensor. While they are durable, certain conditions might affect their longevity. Hence, you need to check it regularly to ensure it gives you accurate leak detection results.
The other problem with this unit is that it’s not rechargeable. Although it doesn’t use a lot of battery energy, I find it quite expensive to replace the batteries every other week. If you depend on this unit every day, this might be a problem. Please note, however, that the unit shuts off automatically after every five minutes. So you save energy.
We have come to the end of the review, folks. In our opinion: Should you invest in the Robinair LD5 Select? We definitely recommend this product for all HVAC and automotive technicians because it’s durable. Most sensors for devices at this price range normally stop working after a few hours of use. For this product, it’s quite the opposite since it lasts for so many years.
The other reason we would recommend it is it can detect most of the refrigerants present in most modern units. Hence, you can use it to inspect different systems.
Head out to the Amazon Buy Page to see what other people think about it and what the best price is.