First I have to admit I have been reluctant to jump on the whole IR thing.
I’ve seen inspectors who mostly use it to show off to clients and didn’t really find anything that couldn’t be found without an IR camera/imager.
But I am intrigued by the FLIR ONE attachment for the Iphone.
I would be using this for residential inspections, no commercial, industrial work.
My thinking is I don’t need very high resolution to see if an electrical component is too hot or missing insulation in a wall or a leak.
So if anyone is using it would you share your thoughts, positive and negative?
Thanks Tim, I’d completely forgotten about that thread and of course the Nachi search feature is pretty useless so it didn’t come up.
Anyway, I’m not interested in doing full IR inspections of a home I’m inspecting at this point. I am interested in the FLIR 1 capabilities to show issues that I can’t see now in areas I already suspect might have an issue.
On the other thread you linked to there was a lot of talk about liability and I guess there always is with a lot of home inspection issues.
Lets say you’re hauled into court for an IR related issue.
The lawyer is going to subpeona your camera, your calibration records, ask you how you stored it etc…
They’re going to say, you only have a level one thermography cert., why don’t you have a level three? In other words you’re going to raked over the coals no matter what you do, unless you’re a level 3 with 20 years experience that has White House clearance!
Liability issues are real for us but sometimes its such a bogeyman that people gets themselves twisted in knots worrying about it IMHO.
Once the realtors and public discover that your infrared inspections are done with a mobil phone clip on, please be prepared for the blow back. Have you ever heard of the RESNET standard on resolution? Being laughed out of buinesss can happen far faster than being sued out of business.
You sound like the kind of guy (I hope I am wrong) that might go out and buy the cheapest IR mobil phone clip on he can find and then start selling yourself as a building thermographer with no training (other than the free stuff). If you are, good luck with that approach and I wish you all the best.
You can spray paint a car with a can of paint too. Who would know? The poor client gets the shaft in the end.
I can kind of understand your over the top response here since you seem to be a perceived authority on this?
You seem extremely defensive right off the bat when I’m just asking questions about a device.
Can only wonder where that is coming from?
Anyway, just trying to look into this and hopefully in a more civil tone.
Yes, I love my Samsung Galaxy and don’t want to switch to the Iphone, No offense to Iphone users. So I am waiting for this to hit the market for Android, I am sure by this year or next it will. Android seems to be a bigger market than apple, again no offense to apple users.
With the low temperature range and sensitivity I’m not really sure what it would be good at discovering. It might be useful for basic moisture intrusion or air infiltration. It does have the MSX feature which makes up a little bit for the low resolution.
I think if that was the level of equipment you were going to go with, it would be a helpful tool to have in your bag, but I would personally not use it to include photos in a report. I don’t really agree with John’s take on being laughed at. It was only a few years ago that similar resolution was common on many entry level cameras marketed to home inspectors.
I wouldn’t hesitate to use one simply to augment a visual home inspection. I certainly wouldn’t advertise that I do infrared scans or publish photos in reports on on the web, but to help find a hot breaker connection, find a suspect wet spot to probe with your moisture meter… sure.
I certainly wouldn’t be looking to use this to trace down water leaks in a roof or any serious HVAC diagnosis for instance.
Even in an electrical panel I already use a Fluke infrared thermometer gun to check the circuit breaker temps to see if they are all in the same range, not sure if a thermal imager would do much more.
It would be nice to know if a subfloor is wet around a toilet, can’t check that with a moisture meter if it’s a tile floor.
I don’t do energy audits so I wouldn’t be using it for that either.
Anyway I believe it would be worthwhile to add as a tool with knowledge of it’s limitations. However its capabilities may differ from a 4K model it’s way better tech than was available in the past that was once only available to the military.
They have a waiting list for it so it should be soon!
I agree, it’s not as good as basic thermal cameras today but 80x60 pixels used to be a several thousand dollar camera. It could be used as a BASIC tool just like many others inspectors have until they get proper training and a better camera. I wouldn’t be advertising you do thermal inspections with it but instead using it to just confirm things you already see.
Since your original post you have adjusted your position to the point you would be sure not let anyone see you using the clip on IR camera.
My response was based on your original post and I am just stating the plain truth for those who would indeed use a mobil phone IR camera for “residential inspections”. You would indeed run the real risk of blow back as people saw what you were doing. If you hid it, that kinda testifies to how much you trust it.
From my position, I see inspectors all the time who actually do get into thermal imaging with this kind of camera and no training, who are out there trying to compete with emerging thermography inspectors who are showing up every where. They come to me with their stories of how they got “stung” with unexpected results as they tried to market themselves as a professional thermographer and show up using something far less than what is needed to do a infrared building scan (I do not know of any manufacturer or IR school that has ever promoted 60x80 resolution for doing professional level building inspections… I would like to see that. Give FLIR a call and see if they will even say it on the phone).
How can you use a tool that is not dependable, to the point you need to hide it, to verify something… when verification is so important in this trade?
I know this is not a sweet feel good position I am expressing here. I know it would be much nicer if I just said it’s good idea and would help you get your feet wet in the world of IR. That sounds much nicer, no?
I used to train a lot of carpenters in years gone by. The hardest ones to teach were the ones who learned a lot of bad habits and methods before I had to undo all of that. Their poor work ethics grew as they continued to learn bad habits. It very hard to undo what was already wrong in their head. Many are out there teaching themselves how to do IR the wrong way and have no idea of what they doing to themselves by taking the path of what looks easiest and cheap. I understand there is a need to pay the bills and feed your family, but this inspection job you have is doing just that. Be careful.
I have been doing construction or inspecting construction for over 40 years and I sound like a SOB sometimes. I don’t like to show a fake smile for photos either, but I do it anyways because the family expects it… LOL.
John, I don’t know you and I understand you’re supporting an entrenched position as it affects your livelihood so naturally you’re a bit “testy” if anything threatens the way you see the world. You’re option of course.
Anyway, my responses below in bold.
**Yeah, yeah, I worked as a carpenter, fabricator, furniture maker and GC for many years too, but it didn’t turn me into a rude bozo.