Contractor Turns Leaks Into Dollars

With Spectroline fluorescent leak detection, the injected dye causes air conditioning and refrigeration system leaks to glow brightly.
HOLTSVILLE, NY — Dennis Gorman, president of Action Air Refrigeration Service, Inc., based here, knows the importance of reliable leak-detection methods. He has been in business for 23 years and has seen what damage undetected leaks can do to air conditioning and refrigeration (acr) systems, from the loss of costly refrigerant to complete system failures.

“We have over 900 customers in the metropolitan New York area and service just about every type of equipment made, including compressors that are eligible for Social Security,” Gorman said.

Action Air’s method of locating leaks is the Spectroline® fluorescent leak detection system, from Spectronics Corp., Westbury, NY. With this technique, a small amount of fluorescent dye is added into an operating acr system, where it combines and circulates with the refrigerant and lubricant in the system.

Wherever refrigerant may escape a system, so does the dye, which remains at every leak site. When the equipment is scanned with a high-intensity inspection lamp, the dye glows a bright yellow-green color, making each of the detected leaks easy to see.

The Action Air roster of customers includes a number of Long Island companies. In addition to servicing some of the major commercial and industrial buildings, the contractor also maintains acr systems in hospitals, schools, malls, and hotels.

Gorman explained, “The key to servicing such a wide variety of systems is reliable leak detection. The faster we can find leaks, the faster we can repair them. The result is lower costs for our customers.

“We never allow any of our service trucks to leave on a service call without a [leak detection] lamp and several fluorescent dye capsules,” he said. “Many times, fluorescent leak detection will reveal leaks that we couldn’t find with other methods. It’s fast, easy, and accurate.”

He noted the benefits associated with the dye remaining in the system. “We keep a complete book of all air conditioning and refrigeration systems which we have serviced using fluorescent dyes. When business is slack, our technicians go back and scan those systems again. Invariably they find new leaks that have developed since the last inspection.

“It is so easy to show the leak sites, with their bright, fluorescent halos, to our customers that we usually end up with the repair job. It’s found business for us.”

Action Air uses Spectroline BIB-150P ultraviolet lamps because of their high UV intensity. This lamp has a Built-In-Ballast™ bulb, the manufacturer says, that does away with the need for a heavy, external transformer. It is also designed to be lightweight and ergonomic for easy handling.

In the hvacr business, it not only pays to keep accurate service records, it also pays to use an accurate leak-detection method. “With the Spectroline method we have found refrigerant leaks as small as a pinpoint,” remarked Gorman. Leak detection has helped turn his slow season into a “glow” season, for added profit.

Publication date: 01/14/2002

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

Recent Articles by Greg Mazurkiewicz

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

2015 ACCA Conference

Images from the 2015 ACCA Conference in Grapevine, Texas. Posted on April 8, 2015.


NEWSMakers: Mark Crockett
Mark Crockett vice president, Crockett Facilities Services, explains the importance of technician training, the value of being a top minority-owned company in the U.S., current projects the company is managing, and much more. Posted on April 24.
More Podcasts


NEWS 05-04-15 cover

2015 May 4

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Legislation and Regulation

What legislative/regulatory issue is most important to you as a HVAC business owner?
View Results Poll Archive


2015 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research


Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Magazine image
Register today for complete access to Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.


facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con