Hello folks and welcome! Today on RefrigerantHQ we will be reviewing Robinair’s TIFXP-1A refrigerant leak detector. A leak detector is an instrument that every HVAC technican or auto mechanic should have in their toolbag. You never know when you are going to need it. The question is what kind of detector should you get? Is this Robinair TIFXP-1A the one for you, or should you look elsewhere?
Now before I get into the actual product review I always like to take a small look at the manufacturer of the product. Who are they? What is their reputation? Are they known for quality? The TIFXP-1A detector is made by Robinair. I’m sure most of you don’t need an introduction to Robinair as they have been a staple in the HVAC and the Automotive industry for over sixty years. They were founded in 1956 as a small company making specialized tools for repairing appliances. Ever since then their name has been synonymous with quality. Robinair is now a global company providing tools across the world. To top it all off they are headquartered out of Warren, Michigan which is my home state. Go Wolverines!
The Robinair TIF XP-1A detects all halogenated refrigerants. This includes all of your basic refrigerant classifications such as CFCs, HCFCs, and HFCs. That means all of your exceedingly popular refrigerants will be detected. Examples being R-12, R-22, R-502, R-134a, R-410A, R-404A. Along with all of that the unit is SAE J1627 certified. What does that mean? Here is an excerpt from SAE organization’s website: “This SAE Standard applies to electronic probe-type leak detectors used to service motor vehicle passenger compartment air-conditioning systems.” In other words it means that this is a leak detector that works.
This product comes with a fourteen stainless steel probe. This length is pretty much standard across the industry. You will find that some units have a fifteen inch length but these are usually a bit more expensive. You may also find some probe extensions on some of the more expensive detectors. The Robinair TIFXP-1A comes with seven adjustable sensitivity sensors allowing you to detect leaks as small as 0.10 ounces per year. That detection level is up there with the best. The downside here is that the sensors on this unit are only forecasted to last up to twenty hours of use. You get one additional sensor when you purchase but for any more you will have to buy a replacement kit.
This product takes two C cell batteries. While I prefer to pay a bit more and have the lithium Ion batteries for my unit the battery life on this Robinair TIFXP-1A isn’t that bad. Expect your batteries to last up to forty hours of regular use. So, you may have to replace the batteries once or twice a month. Not a big deal, but still a hassle.
Now let’s take a look at some of the Pros and Cons of this unit and see if it is actually for you.
I mentioned this before but I should bring it up again. This unit comes with seven different sensitivity sensors allowing you to hone in and identify those small leaks with accuracy. There is nothing more frustrating then having your alarm go off everywhere around a leak instead of at the source of the leak. This unit can detect leaks as small as 0.10 ounces per year. That is on par with some of the best units on the market today and for this price that is a darn good deal.
The sensory tips on this unit have been completely redesigned to provide a better, more reliable, and longer lasting tip. As I mentioned above though this longer lasting tip is expected to last for twenty hours of extended use. Yes, you get a backup in your box but after that you are on your own and will be responsible for purchasing more replacements. Honestly, I’m not quite sure what was redesigned here.
A shining bright light on this unit is the warranty policy. You get a three year warranty on this product ensuring that the unit is free of defects and manufacturing errors. While three years may not seem like a long warranty I can assure you that it is an extended warranty when comparing to other leak detectors on the market. I would definitely take advantage of this if you need to.
Besides those reasons there are a variety of other benefits but none of them I would describe as game changers. They are nice features but nothing that’s going to make you go out and buy today. There is a low battery indicator that will inform you when your batteries are beginning to die. As you can see in the product picture there is an ergonomic rubber grip for ease of use, and lastly there is a carrying case that is tough and durable. The case is a nice touch as you put your detector away and then throw it in the back of your van with no worries of it being damaged.
There honestly aren’t that many cons on this product that I could find or come across in from my research. Sure, you could say the price but I would say that it is right in the middle. Yes, there are some other detector models out there for under fifty dollars but they don’t have near the detection level or battery life that this unit does.
I’ve already mentioned the sensor life above but I’m just going to refresh your memory. There is a twenty hour use life on your sensors. When you purchase this product you will receive one extra sensor but honestly folks I’m just not that impressed with the length of life here. I don’t want to be buying new sensors day in and day out. In my opinion this would be the biggest pain point on owning this unit.
The last thing I’ll mention is the C cell batteries. Yes, the battery life is outstanding at forty hours but I have always been a fan of the Lithium Ion rechargeable batteries. I wouldn’t say that this is necessarily a fault of this product as it is meant to be a cheaper detector. I only bring this up as I want you, the reader, to be aware of the Lithium Ion option out there as well.
Overall folks the consensus on Robinair’s TIFXP-1A is a good buy. You get a high quality leak detector with the ability to find those small hard to find leaks all for just over one-hundred dollars. (Price subject to change.) Sure, there are other better detectors on the market today but you’re going to have to pay quite a bit more for those. I would say that if you are a do-it-yourselfer or a homeowner looking to get a refrigerant leak detector then this would be a solid buy. If you would like to purchase this unit then I would recommend you buy it on Amazon.com.
Lastly, folks I would be amiss if I didn’t mention this before. The above unit is a good unit but if you’re looking for something that will take you to the next level in quality and performance then I would be amiss if I didn’t mention the Robinair 22791 InfraRed Refrigerant Leak Detector. This thing is top notch and it’s sensors are said to last for ten years instead of just twenty hours.