infared themometer on indivual breakers

Originally Posted By: phinsperger
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Out of curiosity, is anyone using a infared thermometer on individual beakers and bus bars to find over heating bad connections?



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Originally Posted By: jwortham
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We used this method when I was doing industrial electronics to locate hot spots.


I plan on doing it when I finally start doing paid inspections also. Only takes a second and gives some good info.


Originally Posted By: Bob Badger
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What are the perimeters you would use?


What temperatures will be ignored, noted or action recommended for.

Having used inferred cameras I think you may be on the proverbial slippery slope.


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Bob (AKA iwire)
ECN Discussion Forums
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Originally Posted By: jwortham
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I wouldn’t make any recommendations as to temperatures in any reports .


They are just a quick reference for my own personal use. If I were to see 6 breaker connections at 78F and suddenly found 1 at 95F, that would be a clue to me that there may be a loose connection on that breaker.

It's not used as an engineering spec, or an absolute. Just another tool in the bag.


Originally Posted By: hgordon
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I do. Breakers should be within a few degrees of room temperature. Usually they are all within one degree or two of eachother!


I recently was checking a panel and noticed my infrared hit 132 on one of the CB's when all the rest were 81...hmmm, need I say more!

![](upload://A72FPXdmemSG6GftkasPjXQUEtP.jpeg)


Originally Posted By: roconnor
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You might use it to look for areas to more closely visually inspect for possible loose connections, and undersized or damaged wires … but I agree with Bob that you would be on a very slippery slope for anything beyond that.



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Originally Posted By: kmcmahon
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That’s what I use mine for many times…just a good to know thing…I don’t report the temp. I also use it on the panel before I touch it…ya just never know.



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Originally Posted By: Bob Badger
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hgordon wrote:
Breakers should be within a few degrees of room temperature. Usually they are all within one degree or two of eachother!

I recently was checking a panel and noticed my infrared hit 132 on one of the CB's when all the rest were 81...hmmm, need I say more!

![](upload://A72FPXdmemSG6GftkasPjXQUEtP.jpeg)


This points out what I was getting at, you can not make assumptions, breakers can run well over ambient temp, 40 C (about 100F) over ambient at the terminations, a breaker that is warm or even hot indicates little unless you know it's design specifications.

132F is not necessarily a concern.

Think of the name of the breakers Thermo-magnetic Trip a breaker opens for a slow overload due to heating of a bi metallic strip, a 20 amp breaker serving a 18 amp load will be, and should be warm.

We provide a thermo imaging service for our customers and the course our guys had to take was two weeks (80 hours) for experienced electricians.

To each their own.


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Bob (AKA iwire)
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Originally Posted By: Ryan Jackson
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Do you really feel that you are qaulified to use this? Also, how are you complying with the OSHA 1926 standard for safety when you are doing this?


I’m not trying to sound like a jerk, but, is this really within the scope of your duties, or better still, within the scope of your abilities?



Ryan Jackson, Salt Lake City

Originally Posted By: hgordon
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Ryan, what are you yaking about? And to who?


Originally Posted By: Ryan Jackson
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I’m yaking to anybody who really and truly beleives that they have the knowledge to operate and interpret the findings from such equipment. That would include you, if you are game.



Ryan Jackson, Salt Lake City

Originally Posted By: hgordon
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Do you mean the use of the Infrared Thermometer?


Originally Posted By: Ryan Jackson
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Yes. In your opinion, can you use this thermometer and accurately interpret what your findings mean?



Ryan Jackson, Salt Lake City

Originally Posted By: jwortham
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I guarantee you that I know the operation and meaning of the results from that thermometer.


15 yrs of using it professionally I believe qualifies me to say that.

It is called NON-CONTACT for a reason. Hence, no safety gear required.

If I follow your logic, I can't really use any tools/meters/devices because what REALLY qualifies me to say I know how to use it ot interpet the results from those devices?

Sorry, if you disagree, but using the tools/experience I have available to help me understand and better help my client is, i believe, my ethical obligation.


Originally Posted By: Bob Badger
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Ryan can speak for himself all I am asking is not your experience with using the tool itself but if you have design specifications for what you are taking readings on.


Without knowing the design temperature the most accurate readings will be meaningless.

Conductors have ratings of 60 and 75 C for reason, they may get that hot.

We have a Thermo-imaging camera and if I adjust the settings I can make anything look like it is on the verge of melting down.


--
Bob (AKA iwire)
ECN Discussion Forums
Mike Holt Code Forum

Originally Posted By: jwortham
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Yes they may. In an industrial environment.


That temperature rating is for the external insulation.

If I discover a residential circuit breaker to conductor temperature that is running 60C-75C, I will be reporting it for further evaluation.

Always.
Forever.

There is something wrong with it.

But, that's my opinion. Your mileage may vary! ![icon_cool.gif](upload://oPnLkqdJc33Dyf2uA3TQwRkfhwd.gif)


Originally Posted By: Mike Parks
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Do you also check the Guassmeter readings?


Ryan and Bob are correct.

IMHO this is way out of a visual inspection.

If your are qualified please continue to do these evaluations.

Mike P.


Originally Posted By: dfrend
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Personally, I am not sure which side of the fence I am on, but I would support that if you are trained to know what to look for, go for it. Another tool in the bag as was said.


Quote:
how are you complying with the OSHA 1926 standard for safety when you are doing this


We've argued over this before. OSHA standards don't apply to HI's in most cases.


--
Daniel R Frend
www.nachifoundation.org
The Home Inspector Store
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Originally Posted By: Ryan Jackson
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dfrend wrote:

Quote:
how are you complying with the OSHA 1926 standard for safety when you are doing this



I've just recently been made aware of this. Thank you. ![icon_smile.gif](upload://b6iczyK1ETUUqRUc4PAkX83GF2O.gif)


--
Ryan Jackson, Salt Lake City

Originally Posted By: dfrend
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No problem. Also, just because it may not be a requirement, it may still be a good guide.



Daniel R Frend


www.nachifoundation.org


The Home Inspector Store


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