Hot Breaker & Moisture Seen With IR

Suprise… Hot breaker found at the bottom of panel (I turned it off after the picture and
told the the owner of the house). It did not feel that warm on the front so I am glad
the IR camera found it. It was a 15 amp breaker with correct wire size.

Did the breaker trip off? No.

So what provides better protection from being sued… the SoP or aggressive inspection
methods and tools?

Now you know why I use the IR camera on ALL inspections. No exceptions.

Looks like a fine fireplace with dry walls? Wrong.
Moisture found above the mantel with IR camera. Your blind without it.


Watch Thermal Imaging Video](******

John I also have had my training and I question what you are showing especially on the breaker. You are not giving any specifics such as emissivity settings, reflective, What angle you were standing to the wall with the glass pic. The breaker indicated 272 degrees but you stated it did not feel that hot. 272 degrees you could not touch and their would have been something melted. I can make the camera read that high on a breaker with the wrong emissivity setting. What did your infrared thermometer read on the breaker. What did your moisture meter detect on the wall in relation to what your camera was detecting. Don’t take me wrong I believe in these cameras also but I also believe in backing the camera with another test device as they taught in class.
Just as an after thought the fireplace you are indicating moisture within could also have been effected by a circulating ceiling fan or an A/C register pointed toward the wall.

We know that the SOP have withstood the legal litmus tests.
Is there a SOP for home inspections which set the standards for its use and limitations? If not the courts will most likely set one when a peeved client feels some home inspector with a IR camera was negligent in rendering an opinion or omitting a scan or other instance where they feel harmed or suffered a loss.

Is there an SOP for use of IR by the industry?


I always check areas with a moisture meter. And like Charlie said cool air blowing on the surface always appears darker or wet. Corners almost always are cooler and not moist.

IR_0035 (Small).jpg

PA180068 (Small).JPG

Breaker was so hot underneath that I could not touch it.
The front felt a little warm but the heat was coming off
the bottom. The plastic had deformed a little and I turned
if off before any real damage took place.

Wall had tons of moisture showing with moisture meter.

Emissivity settings, and reflective consideration did not matter
on this find, since it was verfied with double and triple methods.

When you say to use other methods to verify, you are preaching
to the choir. All I can say is Amen! :mrgreen:

I will let the inspectors who get sued for moisture, mold and decay tell you
how much the SoP protected them. I don’t want any of my clients to
have their house burn down… so I will try and find all I can.

Others can debate about the legal issues and I will avoid staying out
of court by finding as much as I can. I’m sure there are other inspectors
who are smarter than me, but this is my plan.

Ditto, but not this time.
It was good old water penetration.

Why debate the obvious? Your not building my confidence guys.
The breaker was HOT and the wall was WET. Trust me, I was there.

How did the moisture get behind the wall? Was it sweating?

Chimney flashing leak.
Happens all the time.

Not questioning your ability John but the way your post came across especially to someone not using the camera made it sound like some miracle tool. No by no means was I there but anytime is see glass as in your Pic makes me automatically cautious.

The dark areas around the mirror is the moisture problem.
I never intended to worry about the mirror.

Your E setting is not displayed in your pic as Linus is do you remember what the setting was. Just curious

The E setting will not affect the image on the display.
Once you find the anomaly in the image then you verify it with
a moisture meter. The E setting of no value in finding and then
verifying a moisture area.

After you try and set your E settings, I can be through the rest
of the house finding more problem areas.

Here are some papers on emissivity:

Like I said… while your trying to play your E settings, I have already
verified my moisture findings with a dual function moisture meter.

What’s the problem?

It appears you have never taken the building science course on IR.
There are books about IR and then you have the real world methods of
what works in order to find the problem.

John we must of had different instructors

Takes less than 5 seconds to change the E settings and yes it does make a diffrence. I have done a lot of exploring in every home I go into with this camera especially rooms with large windows or mirrors. I change my settings all of the time to get a feel for what the camera will do in different circumstances. Its been two months since my training and I still do not feel comforable with what I see with the camera. Have not had any leaking chimney flashing so far and have checked everyone with camera and visual from the attic. My best find so far was a washing machine stand pipe leak behind the sheetrock. I see lots of stud cavitys with no insulation and lots of air loss on A/C duct. Very little that would not have been found with a good visual inspection just can find it a lot quicker with the camera. No I do not regret buying the camera one bit its a great tool.

What class did you take?

The e-setting will change the temp read out, but not the image.
I only use the camera and play with the span up and down, if
I need to.

Once the image has been spotted, my other tools and methods
verify the problem. I was trained by a thermographer that
is the head of FLIR’s building science courses.

Home inspectors do not need the formulas, and all the various
settings as much as just spotting the problems by what
you see on the screen and then verify with other tools.

I find tons of moisture and other problems all the time.
Been doing it for about 6 months now.

Good luck. :wink:

I took the Building Science class taught by Scott Wood of the Building Science Institute.( We were instructed to set emissiivity on our cameras prior to doing scans. That’s why they have that setting on the cameras.:shock: You can use your equipment as you see fit. Why pay the money to learn how to use the camera properly???

I did not take the building science class took the Level one my thinking was to learn the camera’s functions. From what I have observed from reading various post from others that have taken the building science class there is a difference of opinions of what the camera can and can not do. I see everyone getting very defensive. The level one class foscused more on the camera and its various settings. I by no means claim no fame as to being an expert on its use. I would like to see a good honest discussion without anyone getting their hackles up. We could all learn more together.

I received a phone call from FLIR sales yesterday wanting to know if I wanted to take more classes. Crap I have not digested the Level one class yet. Must be a slow learner???:frowning: