I once worked in an equipment repair shop with a small and simple compressed air system…just a 5HP single acting piston compressor that sat atop a 50 gallon tank, in the corner by “The Big Truck”. The majority of our work was field service, and management was big on maintaining our service trucks, so we checked tire pressures every Monday morning as we rolled out, and kept a tire chuck handy to ensure proper inflation. It was also used to supply a couple of air guns that were used at our drill press and soldering/assembly station. One morning, I noticed the air compressor was running when I arrived…I thought it was odd, because I knew for a fact it hadn’t been used in at least 16 hours, but that compressed air went someplace, right? We had a leak. Well, at least one.
This was mid-December, and the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day was characteristically slow, and typically devoted to a thorough shop cleaning. We also took the opportunity to get some bottles of soapy water and check for leaks at the handful of pipe fittings that comprised the system…for the uninitiated, if you have a leaky fitting, the escaping air blows bubbles in the soapy water (a cheap, messy way in other words). We found some bubbling, undid those fittings, cleaned them, and applied fresh pipe thread sealant (I don’t want to start any arguments, but I was taught that tape is more of a thread protectant than an effective sealing agent) and, in addition to replacing a couple of well-worn hoses, we were up and running. And we never heard the compressor running first thing in the morning again.
Not all compressed air systems are as simple as that, though. Many go from a room with several large & sophisticated air compressors, to corners of every building on the grounds. Through valves & manifolds, to cylinders, machinery and blow offs, with more connections than you could soap-and-water check in a month.
In those cases, the EXAIR Model 9061 Ultrasonic Leak Detector makes short(er) work of finding the leaks. With both visual (LED’s on the face) and audible (headphones) indications, even very small leaks are easy to detect with the parabola installed. The precise location can then be found with the tubular extension.
You’ll still have to fix the leaks yourself, but finding them is oftentimes more than half the battle. And, once fixed, it can be worth a million (cubic feet of compressed air, that is.)
EXAIR’s Ultrasonic Leak Detectors are not only useful for finding compressed air leaks; they’re popular in a variety of other areas:
- Maintaining military aircraft fluid systems on a naval warship.
- Locating leaks in products identified by a pressure loss indicator.
- Making the change from messy liquid pressure testing to quick & clean air testing.
- Vacuum system leak detection.
- Fire prevention system testing and maintenance. More than once, in fact.
- Finding leaks in a bus roof.
- Checking paint guns for leaks.
- Installing the refrigerant system in an ice rink floor.
Additionally, they can be used to identify faulty bearings, brake systems, tire & tube leaks, engine seals, radiators, electrical relay arcing…anything that generates an ultrasonic sound wave. If you’d like to find out more, give me a call.