How Air Leak Detectors Can Save You Money
Typical industrial compressed air systems waste about 20-30% of compressed air on average because of leaks. Yes, all compressed air system may have leaks. They can be anywhere – leaks from pipe joints, leaks from valves, leaks from quick connect couplings, and leaks from the equipment, among others.
While that may not seem too much to you, you would probably change your mind when you realize that 70% of your air costs is actually electricity so a 20% leakage is definitely a LOT of waste! If your air compressor consumes $40,000 in a year in electricity, then that means you are wasting about $8,000 in leakage!
How do you find compressed air leaks using a compressed air leak detector?
When there is no production in your factory or it is shut down, perhaps in an evening or a weekend, you can spot big leaks by simply listening for them. This however, is just applicable for big leaks and it is definitely harder to find small leaks in this manner. You will also no t notice leaks in overhead piping systems.
Sounds that come from compressed air leaks are mostly ultrasonic. It is because of this extremely high frequency that can rarely hear them. That is where a leak detector comes in. This useful tool converts ultrasonic sounds to a much lower frequency that is audible enough for human hearing.
What types of leak detectors are there?
In general, there are two variations of ultrasonic leak detectors and these are the close-range and the long-range types.
The close-range variety is more suitable for searching for leaks both inside and around your equipment. It looks a lot like a “sniffer” on a tube.
The long-range type resembles a microphone and is mostly used to detect air leaks even in a long distance, like at the overhead piping system, for example.
Only 5% of leaks detected are found in the piping system. Most of the leakages occur at the working floor itself, both inside and close to the pneumatic equipment itself. For this reason, a close-range type is probably more highly-suggested.
Some air leak detectors make use of a headphone while others have indicators or an actual peeping sound to alarm someone that a leak is found. Most auditors prefer to use models with a headphone as they amplify and lower the frequency of the sound. With these units, you can actually hear the leak itself instead of an indicator beep that you might even miss.
If you are concerned about the waste caused by compressed air leaks, perhaps what you need is a compressed air leak detector to help you spot and fix those leaks!