9 Factors to Consider in Helium Leak Detector Selection
We all want to make the right equipment purchase choice. Not only to get value for our money but to minimize the time dealing with service issues or replacement parts. With years in the high vacuum industry, here is what we tell customers to look for so they ask the right questions:
- What warranties are available with the unit- Manufacturers provide warranties to either meet market demand or if they are convinced the warranty will never be claimed. For example, helium leak detectors with filament warranties are there because the manufacturers know their failure rate is zero for the first few years. So a warranty can be an indicator of known quality and we all love a good warranty!
- Roughing pump size- This can be important if you need to evacuate a volume to begin the leak check. If, however, your system pumps handle the evacuation, you might want a smaller pump for portability and compactness. Provide the volume to your technical contact so the roughing capability can be evaluated.
- Popularity of the unit- There are not a lot of models on the market so choosing the most popular brand is a good idea….everyone can’t be wrong can they? Choose models with a long history of helium leak detectors of that model or lineage.
- Helium pumping speed – Especially important if used in production applications. More helium pump speed helps for faster helium cleanup which improves production.
- How compact is the unit- Do you want to have to lug around a cart, separate rough pump and leak detector? Enough said.
- Wireless Remote- Does the helium leak detector have one and is it any good? Hiring someone to stand by the leak detector and holler out a leak is so 1990’s.
- Age of the present design- Point 3 suggests buying a popular model because everyone can’t be wrong. But watch out for the model that is 5 years old because there is a good chance a replacement is on the fast track for development. Parts and service are only available for a period of years after the unit becomes obsolete. So buy the new model in a lineage of a great leak detector and you might have 12 years of factory parts and service. Buy the vintage model and in seven years you’re scouring EBay for that board you need.
- Support – Ask who to call if something goes wrong because it will at some point. Call your sales person on his cell at 6pm and see if he answers. Definitely evaluate the service network.
- Evaluate the components – If the company is known for making less than stellar vacuum equipment, don’t expect the same parts to work any better in your leak detector.
If you’re still looking for advice on how to select a helium leak detector, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-959-5517. Don’t forget, our online store is open 24/7!