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TopTes Portable Combustible Gas Leak Detector Test & Review

Disclaimer: We received the TopTes PT199 gas detector for free to review and test. The review below is our honest opinion and testing of the product.

TopTes PT199 Portable Gas Leak Detector Overview

TopTes is a new company that sells a few different portable testing tools that can be used at home, in your RV, or anywhere.

The PT199 combustible gas leak detector (click to view on Amazon) is the smallest version they offer. There is also a PT210 that I will compare the PT199 to later on in this review.

This small testing tool can be used to find gas leaks in gas lines, grills, stoves, furnaces, water heaters, and anything else that is connected to a combustible gas.

Combustible gases the TopTes can detect include propane, natural gas, methane, gasoline, sewer gas, diesel, and more.

See Also: Best Small Portable Propane Heaters For Indoor & RV Use

Since fire and carbon monoxide alarms don’t test for many of the other gases you might find at home or in your RV a combustible gas indicator like the TopTes is a great tool for anyone.

In this review, I’ll go over the features the TopTes PT199 has to offer, talk about the best way to use it, and give our opinion based on testing in our RV and home.

TopTes PT199 Gas Detector

Gas Leak Detector, TopTes PT199 Natural Gas Detector with Audible &...

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Main Features

The PT199 TopTes combustible gas leak detector is very simple and easy to use.

There’s a power button, a sensitivity button, and a backlit LED screen that will show you the levels of gas being detected.

The LED screen will change from a green backlight to red if high gas levels are detected.

There’s also an audible alarm that makes a ticking noise. The ticking gets faster as the levels of combustible gas increase.

See Also: Propane Tank Recertification: How & Where To Get Recertified

The power button turns the gas indicator on or off. If left on the TopTes will turn off automatically after 5 minutes.

There’s also a low battery indicator that will appear when it starts to get low on battery power (2 AAA batteries).

It’s made to be super portable. Basically a tool you can have in a drawer or toolbox.

It measures only 6.5 inches long and is about as round as a dry erase marker. There’s a belt clip on the end.

The life of the sensor is 3 years, which is standard for this type of detector.

It’s CE, UKCA, RoHS, and FCC certified. That means it can be used in the USA, Canada, UK, and EU.

toptes portable combustible gas leak detector testing a gas grill dutch oven for propane leaks
TOPTES combustible gas detector with the red LED backlight that means high levels of gas detected.

Sensitivity Settings

Even though this is a very basic combustible gas indicator or “gas sniffer” as some like to call them, there are still two levels of sensitivity to choose from.

The high setting detects 50-500 ppm and the low setting detects 500-1,000 ppm.

High sensitivity is used to detect any combustible gas in a general area. Low sensitivity is used to find the source of the leak.

See Also: 6 Best Diesel Heaters For Campers, RVs & Vans

When testing for a gas leak you should start by using the high setting to see if there are any levels of combustible gas in the air.

The high sensitivity is on when the “S” button is illuminated. It’s the default mode when you turn on the detector.

To switch to low sensitivity just press the “S” button once. The button will no longer be illuminated which means it’s in low mode.

Use low mode to figure out where the leak is coming from.

Because it only detects high levels of gas and the leak source will be where the highest levels will be found it will help you find the leak better than the high sensitivity mode will.

The sensitivity measurements are based on methane gas. When testing for other gases the ppm might vary.

Testing Response Time

When you turn on the gas leak detector it needs about 30 seconds to calibrate.

You should always turn it on in an area you know is free of any gases because it could mess with the calibration.

In high sensitivity mode gas will be detected in 0.5-2 seconds. In low sensitivity, it can take 0.5-3 seconds to respond.

Because the detection speed can vary, you should test for gas slowly so the detector has time to react.

The best distance for testing is 1 to 5 centimeters, around 2 inches. If the leak is big the indicator may go off further away from the leak.

testing a natural gas pipe connection on a water heater for leaks with a toptes combustible gas detector
TOPTES testing for natural gas leaks from a home water heater.

Detectable Combustible Gases

  • Methane
  • Propane
  • Gasoline
  • Natural Gas
  • Sewer Fumes
  • Diesel
  • Carbon Monoxide (should not be used for room monitoring)
  • Hydrogen
  • Ethylene
  • Ethane
  • Hexane
  • Iso-Butane
  • Benzene
  • Iso-Butane
  • Ethanol
  • Acetaldehyde
  • Toluene
  • P-Xylene
  • Ammonia
  • Hydrogen Sulfide

What’s Included

  • TopTes PT199 Combustible Gas Leak Detector
  • 2 AAA Batteries
  • Instruction Manual
  • Cloth Storage Bag

Our TopTes PT199 Home & RV Tests

There’s no question that the portability and features of the TopTes PT199 are fantastic, but does it actually work?

We tested it on every kind of combustible gas we could find in our RV and home.

We were able to try it out on propane, natural gas, carbon monoxide, gasoline, and diesel.

The TopTes was able to detect every kind of combustible gas we tested.

As far as we can tell, it detects gas quickly and does a good job testing the levels of gas.

The alarm became stronger the closer it got to the source of the gas.

Sometimes it took a couple of seconds for the alarm to start going off, but it never took longer than the advertised response time.

See Also: Is Your RV Fridge Not Cooling? Try This One Simple Trick

toptes portable combustible gas detector testing the connection between a mr heater buddy heater and a propane tank for leaks
Testing the connection between a propane tank and Mr. Heater Buddy heater.

TopTes Combustible Gas Leak Detector Review

The TopTes does exactly what it’s supposed to do, detect gas leaks.

We tested it in all sorts of situations where a portable option like the PT199 would come in handy, and it was able to find the leak every time.

One thing to note is it is a leak detector and not necessarily a monitor to test the air in a room. The sensor end needs to be fairly close to the source of the leak to start working.

That doesn’t mean it won’t detect combustible gas in a room if there are high levels. This could be a type of confined space gas detector as well.

See Also: How Do I Fix Leaking RV Propane Regulator Pigtails?

Overall we were very impressed with the TopTes gas sniffer and there are a lot of uses for it for both RVers and homeowners.

Many of us own a grill or outdoor gas stove. You can use the TopTes to quickly test the connections to make sure everything is tight and leak free.

For RVers, a combustible gas indicator like this is invaluable since many of the appliances are fueled by propane.

checking for propane leaks behind an rv propane fridge with a toptes portable combustible gas detector
Checking the propane lines on the RV water heater for gas leaks.

In our years of RV living, we’ve had to take apart a few gas lines when doing repairs, and now we don’t have to rely on the messy soapy water method to check for leaks.

I highly recommend getting a TopTes gas leak detector, it can easily fit in a toolbox, and it works.

It also makes an excellent gift if you’re looking for something cool to get for an RVer or anyone who loves gadgets and fixing things.

TopTes PT199 vs PT210

TopTes has two combustible gas leak detectors available. The PT199 (the version we’ve tested and reviewed) and the PT210.

Both will test for the same types of combustible gases, and they are very similar in size and operation method, but there are a few differences between the two.

Here’s a quick comparison to help you decide which version is right for you.

Gas Leak Detector, TopTes PT199 Natural Gas Detector with Audible &...
TopTes PT210 Gas Leak Detector, Natural Gas Detector with Audible &...
Size
6.5 inches
7 inches
Batteries
2 AAA
2 AAA
Buttons
2 (Power/Sensitivity)
3 (Hi/Lo/Power)
Sensitivity Modes
2 (High/Low)
2 (High/Low)
Response Time
0.5-3 seconds
0.5-3 seconds
PPM Range
50-1,000 ppm
50-1,000 ppm
Auto Off Time
5 minutes
10 minutes
LED Screen
Audible Alarm

Gas Leak Detector, TopTes PT199 Natural Gas Detector with Audible &...
Size
6.5 inches
Batteries
2 AAA
Buttons
2 (Power/Sensitivity)
Sensitivity Modes
2 (High/Low)
Response Time
0.5-3 seconds
PPM Range
50-1,000 ppm
Auto Off Time
5 minutes
LED Screen
Audible Alarm
TopTes PT210 Gas Leak Detector, Natural Gas Detector with Audible &...
Size
7 inches
Batteries
2 AAA
Buttons
3 (Hi/Lo/Power)
Sensitivity Modes
2 (High/Low)
Response Time
0.5-3 seconds
PPM Range
50-1,000 ppm
Auto Off Time
10 minutes
LED Screen
Audible Alarm

Last update on 2022-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

See Also: 7 Signs That Your RV Propane Regulator Has Gone Bad

The biggest differences between the two are that the PT210 has a larger LED screen with more indicator bars, its auto off time is longer (10 instead of 5 minutes), it’s 1/2 inch longer, and it has two buttons for sensitivity selection instead of just one.

Other than that the two are basically the same in function and response time.

Have any more questions about the TopTes? Leave a comment below.

by Jenni
Jenni grew up in a small town in Idaho. With a family that loves camping, she has been towing trailers since a very young age.

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