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Probing a refrigerant line with a refrigerant sniffer is a simple way to quickly locate leaks. While very useful in pinpointing the location of a leak, sniffer detectors are not as reliable in quantifying leaks. However, with a properly calibrated sniffer leak detector, a reasonable estimate of the size of the leak can be made.
Calibration of a refrigerant sniffer can be done using a refrigerant leak standard that supplies a known, stable leak rate to the sniffer, and comparing that value to the sniffer reading. The leak standard is typically calibrated at or near the leak reject limit of the part or system being tested, or at the low end of the sniffer’s sensitivity. A leak standard is also useful for regularly verifying that the sniffer detector is functioning properly.
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