Beta Test: Imperial iManifold

So, I’ve talked with Jim Bergman and got the all clear to post some info on the Imperial iManifold that I’ve had the pleasure of testing. Before I get to some of the info, let me say this – I work in the field EVERY day. I run multiple calls and work on many different types of equipment daily. I don’t baby my tools – This should’ve been apparent in my previous digital gauge reviews.

The iManifold left the case the first day and hasn’t returned to the case since.

I want to make sure that this product can withstand the rigors of daily use in the wild world of HVAC. My opinion cannot be bought or persuaded but let’s keep in mind this instrument is in the beta test stages. If I find a problem it would be unfair of me to blast imperial tools without giving them a chance to fix it before final product release. I’ve had the iManifold for week now so I got a pretty good handle on the instruments full operation. I use my iPhone most of the time for connecting because it stays on my hip 99% of the time.

I’m not going to get into detailed specifics like I have in some of my reviews because this is an unfinished product and things may change before final release. Instead, I’m going to give some good examples on how I have already found this product EXTREMELY useful and beneficial.

beta-test2Example 1: Start-Up. Delta T.
Example 1: Start-Up. Delta T.
Example 1: Start-Up. Delta T.
I started up a 20 ton split system. It was rather warm that day so I set my charge in cooling then proceeded inside to check delta T, and airflow. As I was checking temps – I monitored the refrigerant charge making sure the charge was balanced correctly.

Example 2: Which condenser?
I performed a service call at a new building with multiple units. I had no idea which thermostat controlled what unit (no labels). So, I hooked the iManifold to the condenser I was working on then walked through the building and operated each thermostat. Once I saw the pressure change on my phone – I knew I had the right one.

Example 3: Recovery.
I needed to recover the charge in a split system to replace a reversing valve. I also had some other repairs to perform on the air handler. So, I hooked the iManifold to the condenser and started the recovery machine. I went inside and worked on the air handler. I monitored the refrigerant pressure via the app so I knew when the recovery was complete and I was good to return to the condenser to complete the repair.

Example 4: Wine Cooler TXV adjustment.
I had to replace an adjustable TXV on a split wine cooler. Once I started the system, I was able to monitor superheat and pressures as I adjusted the TXV at the evaporator. This prevented so much back and forth walking and made this repair much faster/easier!

Example 5: Use the helper!
I needed to check the charge on a split system heat pump. The heat pump was on a roof which required a 40 ft extension ladder. So, I sent the helper up the ladder with the iManifold. He hooked up the gauges and I was able to monitor the operation standing on the ground. I was even able to guide him to problem at hand after a few minutes of troubleshooting.

Just wanted to give you guys a little insight on what’s going on. It’s an exciting development in technology and a huge leap for our industry. I also plan on using the iManifold in a plethora of other situations including geo-thermal, refrigeration, and medical process cooling along with standard residential/commercial applications. In the coming weeks, the wireless probes will also be tested – that’s when the real fun will begin!

Brent A. Ridley