Hello ladies and gentlemen! Today on RefrigerantHQ we will be doing yet another product review on a detector. Today’s product is Robinair’s TIFZX Heated Pentode Refrigerant Leak Detector. How will this detector compare to the others out there? Will it be a buy or a shy? Let’s find out.
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 TIFZX 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!
As you know there are many types of refrigerant detectors on the market today. These could range from Corona Suppression, Heated Diodes, Infrared, or even Ultrasonic. Each of these detectors has their own Pros and Cons. The most popular on the market today are the heated diode with infrared quickly coming up behind. The Robinair TIFZX is a heated diode detector.
A heated diode detector heats up the environment around it and then breaks the molecules apart. When the molecules are broken and there is refrigerant in the area either a positively charged Chlorine or Fluorine ion will appear. The heated diode detector then senses these ions and reports back to you that there is a leak. So, in short this is a heated diode refrigerant leak detector like many others that are on the market today. One point of caution is to never use this detector in what could be deemed a combustible environment. Remember, this is a heated diode and it is using heat.
The TIFZX will detect all of your basic refrigerant classifications such as CFCs, HCFCs, and HFCs. These classifications include your most popular refrigerants including R-12, R-22, R-134a, R-404A, and R-410A. The sensitivity on this Robinair unit goes as low as 0.10 ounces per year. That is right on par with the middle-of-the-road and even some premium detectors on the market today. Chances are if you have a leak this detector will find it.
Upon turning on the TIFZX detector it will require anywhere from twenty to thirty seconds for it to warm up and calibrate itself to zero. There are two levels of sensitivity on this detector: High and low. The probe on this unit extends to sixteen inches. No jokes here but that is very impressive length! Most other units are at fourteen inches. Some of the higher dollar ones may go up to fifteen. Sixteen is usually unheard of unless you go after the premium detectors.
When a leak is indicated the detector will emit an audio and visual alert. On the visual alert there is a tri-color indication that will tell you how big of a leak you are looking at. When working in an area saturated with refrigerant the TIFZX will actually auto-calibrate itself to zero so that it can more easily find deeper concentrations of refrigerant. This feature allows you to find and identify the actual source of the leak instead of just getting near the leak. The sensor itself is rated to last between one-hundred and one-hundred and fifty hours. After that it is advised to change your sensor.
The last thing I’m going to mention on this is before getting into the Pros is that this Robinair refrigerant detector comes with a rechargeable battery. The battery comes with adapters and will last 6 hours before needing to be charged. The recharge time is only two hours so you can charge it overnight and be ready to go in the morning.
The first Pro, and the most important, that I am going to mention is the price. Sure, if you look at the price of this unit with no perspective you may be a bit sticker shocked at the price. But let me assure you that the price on this detector is a steal. If we compare all of the qualities and features on this unit it easily ranks up there with some of the premium detectors. These premium detectors range anywhere from three-hundred to five-hundred dollars. As I write this post today the Robinair TIFZX detector is just under two-hundred and sixty dollars on Amazon.com. (Prices are subject to change at any time.)
I already mentioned this above but I love rechargeable batteries. I can’t describe how much to you that I love these things. Nothing burns my ass more then going to turn something on only to find the damn thing has run out of batteries. Chances are I don’t have the batteries in house and I have go out and get them and it’s just a pain in the rear. With a rechargeable battery you get that reassurance that all you have to do is unplug it from the charger, pop it in, and turn her on. End of story.
This detector comes with a three year warranty. For those of you not in the know this is a big deal. Most detectors, even the expensive ones, only come with a one year warranty. Sure, there are a few out there that come with a two year but they are rare. Even rarer is finding one with a three year warranty especially at this price point.
Alright folks, I have to say that I tried here. I really did. I tried looking for cons on this unit and frankly there just isn’t that much to talk about. This is a great middle of the road detector. It’s between your budget detector and premium.
That being said the one big con that I found was the sensor life, but truth be told this short sensor life is common amongst all heated diode detectors. Even the H-10 Pro has a short sensor life. The Robinair’s TIFZX sensor is rated to last one-hundred hours of use. When your sensor dies you can always purchase more on Amazon.com. They are relatively cheap and will get the job done for another one-hundred hours. If it was me and I was purchasing this unit then I would buy myself three to four extra sensors just to have on hand.
I have to say folks that I am thoroughly impressed with the TIFZX detector from Robinair. This has the best of both worlds. It provides you with great sensitivity, extended probe length, amazing warranty, and all for an overall cheaper price for other competitors on the market today. I would say that this detector is a perfect buy for a new or seasoned technician who doesn’t want to spend four or five hundred dollars on a top of the line detector. Save yourself the money and get yourself a Robinair TIFZX! If you are interested in purchasing the Robinair TIFZX Refrigerant Leak Detector then I encourage you to visit Amazon.com to check the price.
However, if you are a guy interested in a premium detector then I suggest you visit our premium detector comparison table to see which one is right for you.
- Amazon Buy Page
- Replacement Sensors on Amazon.com
- Battery Pack on Amazon.com
- Replacement Filters on Amazon.com
- Robinair Official Product Page
- Robinair Official Instruction Manual
- Robinair Official Product Brochure
What’s In The Box?
- Refrigerant Detector
- Battery Pack
- Battery Charger
- Carrying Case
- Owner’s Instruction Manual