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TopTes PT520A Gooseneck Gas Leak Detector Review & Testing

Disclaimer: TopTes sent the PT520A Gas Detector to us for free for a review. That does not affect our opinion about the product. In this article, we list both what we like and dislike. Read more about this here.

TopTes PT520A Portable Gas Leak Detector Overview

A few months ago, we got the chance to test and review the TopTesPT199 portable combustible gas leak detector (click to go to review).

Since then, TopTes has released a few other types of gas sniffers that have more features for different applications.

In this review, I’ll be going over the main features of the larger TopTes gas detector, the PT520A.

This portable combustible gas detector has a big LED display and a 17 inch flexible gooseneck for testing hard to reach places.

It’s a great option for RV use and an excellent tool to have around the house.

See Also: Best Portable Propane Tabletop Grills & BBQs For Camping


TopTes PT520A Gas Detector

Natural Gas Detector, TopTes PT520A Gas Leak Detector with 17-Inch...

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  • 17 inch Flexible Neck
  • Audible Alarm
  • Large Backlit LCD Screen
  • Gas Level Bar Graphic
  • High, Medium, Low Sense Level Options
  • Auto Off – can be disengaged with APO button.
  • Low Battery Indicator
  • 30 Second Calibration
  • 0.5-3 Second Response Time
  • 50-10,000 ppm Detection Range
  • Mute Button
  • CE & FCC Certified
using gooseneck toptes gas detector combustible gas sniffer to test natural gas stove
Using the gooseneck TopTes portable gas detector to test a natural gas stove burner.

Detectable Gases

  • Propane
  • Natural Gas
  • Butane
  • Methane
  • LPG
  • Gasoline
  • Alcohol
  • Acetone
  • Acetylene
  • Ammonia
  • Ethanol
  • Ethylene Oxide
  • Hexane
  • Hydrogen
  • Naphtha
  • Paint Thinner
  • Organic Solvents
Gooseneck TopTes portable gas detector in storage case with instruction manual
The gooseneck TopTes gas detector comes with a manual, batteries, and a case for storage.

What’s In The Box?

  • TopTes PT520A Gas Detector
  • 3 AAA Batteries
  • Storage Case
  • Instruction Manual
gooseneck TopTes gas detector being used to find a butane leak in a camping stove.
TopTes gas detector detecting small amounts of butane during one of my tests.

Feature Highlights

All TopTes gas detectors can detect the most common combustible gases, like propane, natural gas, butane, and more.

The large goose neck version I’m writing about in this review has a large LCD screen that will help you find gas leaks easier.

See Also: TopTes TS-630 Moisture Meter Review & Firewood Test

There’s a large dial with green, yellow, and red bars that increase as more gas is detected.

The gas sniffer is at the end of a 17 inch long flexible neck. This allows you to test pipes and gas line fittings in hard to reach places.

Gooseneck TopTes portable combustible gas detector calibration mode.
Display for the 30 second calibration on the TopTes gas detector.


In order to test for gas, the TopTes portable gas sniffer goes through a 30 second calibration when it’s turned on.

For best results, turn on the gas detector in a well ventilated area you know is free of gas.

Once the calibration is complete, the LCD screen will show the primary display. You can now start testing for gas.

There’s an auto off feature that will turn off the gas detector after 10 minutes of inactivity.

If you need to use it again after it’s powered off, you will need to recalibrate it.

For testing over longer periods, the auto off can be disabled by pressing the APO button below the LCD screen.

See Also: Best Propane Camping Stoves – From Small To Large

using the low setting on the toptes portable gas detector to find the source of a gas leak
The low setting on the TopTes gas detector helps you find exactly where gas is leaking.

Sensor Levels

There are 3 sensor levels on the gooseneck TopTes gas detector that are used to find the source of the gas leak.

High detects gas from 50 to 399 ppm. Medium, 400 to 699 ppm, and low 700 to 10,000 ppm.

To use the different sensitivity levels, you first start on the high setting to detect gas in the general area.

If the high is detecting gas, switch to the medium level and slowly move the gas sniffer around until it detects gas again.

At this point, you should be fairly close to the source of the leak.

Once the alert bars are red on medium, switch to low to pinpoint the exact source of the leak.

The response time for the high and medium sensitivity levels is around 0.5 to 3 seconds.

Make sure you are moving the sensor around slowly so the TopTes gas detector has time to respond.

Once you use the low sensitivity level, the response time gets a little faster, 0.5 to 2 seconds.

See Also: TopTes TS-301 Anemometer Digital Wind Speed Meter Review

button on the gooseneck toptes combustible gas sniffer
The buttons on the large gooseneck TopTes gas sniffer are easy to see, understand, and use.


One thing I really like about TopTes is the simplicity of their products.

There are buttons for every feature, so you don’t have to scroll through a menu to change things.

There are separate buttons for the Lo, Mid, and Hi sensitivity levels, a power button, and APO button to disable the auto off feature, and a speaker button that mutes the audible alarm and button sounds.

It’s easy to understand and use.

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

using a gooseneck toptes gas detector to check for gas leaks inside a natural gas powered oven
The long gooseneck allows you to test for gas leaks in hard to reach places.

TopTes Combustible Gas Detector Testing

For my testing, I tried it out on butane, natural gas, propane, gasoline, and alcohol.

It worked perfectly for every test and I have no reason to believe it’s not capable of doing the things it’s advertised to do.

Compared to the smaller version I reviewed before, the larger LCD display and the extra sensitivity setting make it easier to find out where leaks are coming from.

If you have a little more space in your toolbox, this larger version is better.

But if you need something extra portable, the smaller one is still good for general testing.

TopTes portable gas leak detecor in the included storage case in a tool box
The included case make it easy to store the gooseneck TopTes gas detector anywhere.

TopTes PT520A Gas Leak Detector Review

So far, all the TopTes products I’ve been able to get my hands on have been well built and are still working great.

The gooseneck TopTes gas sniffer is no different.

Everything feels sturdy and well built. The gooseneck part is made of metal and it flexes easily but still holds its shape.

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

The included case is actually really nice and a great way to protect the gas leak detector and manual.

I like that there’s some special added features like the auto-off disable and mute button.

Overall, the TopTes PT520A Gas Detector (click to view on Amazon) is a fantastic product for RVers and homeowners who need to check for the occasional gas leak.

It works a lot better than the soapy water method and I think the long gooseneck makes it more versatile and easier to use.

What I Like

  • 3 Sensitivity Levels
  • Batteries Included
  • Well Written Manual
  • Tests for a wide range of gases and particles.
  • Flexible Gooseneck
  • Large backlit LCD Screen
  • Bar and color display for gas levels.
  • Separate buttons for each setting.
  • Storage Case Included

What I Don’t Like

  • Battery compartment requires a small Philip’s screwdriver to open.
  • Long initial calibration time.

Have questions about the TopTes PT520A Portable Gas Leak Detector? 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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