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 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.
Since fire and carbon monoxide alarms don’t test for many 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 offers, talk about the best way to use it, and give our opinion based on testing in our RV and home.
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 back light 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.
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 gets 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.
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.
When testing for a gas leak, 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, 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.
Detectable Combustible Gases
- Natural Gas
- Sewer Fumes
- Carbon Monoxide (should not be used for room monitoring)
- Hydrogen Sulfide
- 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 tried 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 go off, but it never took longer than the advertised response time.
Even when we used it at our campsite to test the burner on a portable camp stove, it could detect propane, even when the burner was just barely turned on.
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 work.
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.
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.
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 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.
Last update on 2023-09-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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.