Infrared Electric Inspections

Here is an image taken during a recent home inspection. I include infrared survey of electrical panel and interior walls. It is only a qualitative survey but I think it is a very important tool and can’t tell you all the issues I’ve come up with that I would not have seen otherwise. I hope the image is visible, it shows an overheated electrical panel.


Nice but the same thing could have been verified with a $100 infrared laser spot thermometer.

Maybe in this case because the problem is so large but not usually when the problem may be very small and almost undetectable even with an infrared imager. Also the ifrared imager has many parameters that an experienced thermographer can set and help you look at it better. Also a picture is really crucial. This home was inspected two weeks eralier and there was no mention of this condition.

ps- actually after I took this image I placed the back of my hand a few inches and you could feel the heat radiate.

I don’t do the infrared scan since I don’t have the equipment, but they do intrigue me.

I have heard quite a bit about them lately, but no prices.

What would the average 2000 sq ft-er price w/report be?

My comment reflects that it would not be cost effective for me to purchase an IR imager until and unless I could develop a recognized need for this capability in my service area. If and when I can determine an effective way to market this service I too will purchase one. Its a business decision.

Can you possibly justify the $10k cost for one of those things when similar tests can be done with FAR less expensive testers, as mlarson alluded to?

I would also like one, but I haven’t heard of anyone making enough money with one to justify buying it.

I’m sure there are folks who are making real good money with one. I just can’t find anyone in Phoenix who has said they are.

Problem is, in Phoenix all the shots come out solid red. :mrgreen:

Yeah Pete, you got that right!

I have seen so many breakers (all of them at 145 degrees) I don’t even make mention.

When the panel is facing the sun and it’s 118 degrees outside, if nothing was in the panel it would be 145 degrees in there…:smiley:

But I could of used one the last few weeks when we got rain, but than again it won’t rain until Feb. now (with normal weather patterns).

I do believe it would be in the box more than making money.

I have had my camera now for several years. Back then and even today is dificult to justify charging more money but I also see a bigger picture:
1-- I possibly get more inspections than other inspectors because I have this technology.
2-- When propects call to get information and pricing I close every single one of them.
3-- I know that I have prevented lots of liability issues because I have found problems that otherwise I would not have found.
4-- I have established a new revenue stream from engineering companies that use my services for specific inspections, case in point tonigth I will be at the St. Pete Clearwater Airport to do an infrared job and yes they pay a lot better than a home inspection. I have also traveled overseas to do an infrared inspection on a 20,000 sqft home.

Overall I am glad I have it and I will say, the more inspectors using infrared the more you will have people requiring them.

I’m glad it’s working well for you. Each of us has to make decisions based on our situation. I find the $280 a year I spend for NACHI membership produces a far greater return on investment than other marketing efforts.

I’m curious jcolon, is there some reason you are not a NACHI member?

We would welcome you here and you could share wit others your expertice in this and other areas.

Please note I should be unless :

  1. I am signing up with an outdated or incorrect member name
  2. Something has happened with my membership I am not aware about.

I became a member some 9-10 months ago.

I may have been loging in wrong. Lets see if this post shows me as a member.


Originally Posted by jcolon
I may have been loging in wrong. Lets see if this post shows me as a member.

It shows up for me. Also in his public profile.

As of today it OK now.

Guess what I even learned to add an “avatar”

I would like to create the possibility that the NACHI organization add a “INFRARED TOPIC” under the “SPECIFIC INSPECTION TOPIC”. This would create the possibility that those who might be interested in Infrared technology could find out about new market possibilities and helpful hints. Can anyone help me with this?

What camera are you using?

I find hot electrical all the time with IR.
Got any other photos of other issues to share?

I use a Flir B2. It is important to note that you should not look for heat spots if the electrical panel is located on the exterior of the house because of heat radiation.

Also keep in mind several points:
1-- Panel must be under load. I personally load the panel as much as I can by turning as many appliances and fixtures on.
2-- You are looking for a Delta above 25 degrees F that alerts you to a possible problem however I simplify this by setting my camera alert at 100 degrees F and restrcting to report only those above 100 degrees F.

In the electrical panel image I included with my original post some of the breakers would not come off according to the electrician because they had already fused to the bus bar and so it became necessary to replace the panel. I was not there but the **listing agent **called me and told me about it. She also asked me if I could come over her house and her moms to do an electric panel infrared inspection.