Infrared inspection for electrical problems

Just read another members website promoting IR here’s what it says:

From these temperature variances I can report probable issues with things like: insulation, water infiltration, air infiltration, electrical problems, the presence of vermin, and more

How are persons claiming residential electrical problem inspections without loading all breakers/fuses, wiring, junctions, switches, receptacles, motors, etc to do a full electrical inspection?

I find this misleading as it is a mere fluke to find anything without some to full current draw on all circuits and devices.

How do you know if he did it wrong?

Not a fluke…here are two examples:

The first image is a 15 amp fuse that was overloaded. It measured at 13 amps.

The second image is a dimer switch that measured between 127 and 130 degrees F (at face plate). Dimers are usually hotter than a normal switch due to internal resistance, but this particular dimer controlled 8 can lights. All from this one dimer switch.

Rather be safe and call out both issues than be sorry :slight_smile:




I have more of a problem with this statement than any other.


Rodent burrows in ceiling insulation show up quite nicely!

Rodents and other mammals produce heat and show up quite nicely as well!:slight_smile:

Why…I came across this a few weeks ago. 2 squirrels in an interior wall cavity, and yes I was the one to remove them.

See it here

[size=2]Brian, evaluating electrical circuits with infrared should be loaded to 30% minimum for evaluation.

For the most part turning on all the lights in the house and after running appliances (stoves, ovens, microwave, dishwasher, refrigerator, HVAC, water heater (the electric) generally gets most circuits up to that capacity. That’s less than 5 amps on a 15 amp circuit.

It doesn’t take very much to find an electrical issue with the infrared camera. The important thing is to evaluate the temperature in comparison to the amperage draw on the circuit at the time of testing. Even at a low load, defective devices show up warm.

[size=2]If you have a circuit breaker at 90° at a 70° ambient panel temperature and you only have 6 amps on a 15 amp breaker, I think it’s safe to say there are issues to investigate further.

I guess I see more electrical problems than squirrel problems. Fortunately in Southern California there are not that many squirrels, now rats are a different story!

Where did Brain go?

I love your images. Very nice camera.

Move up to Arrowhead :slight_smile: Lived up there for 10 years. Plenty of Squirrel problems! Like them always eating the food from my bird feeders, or running INTO the house and up my leg!

That’s an awesome IR photo. Amazing that they had nested in INTERIOR walls!

During the inspection all lights would normally be turned on to test ? Yes
I leave them on and continue inspecting
last inspection is electric panel and branch circuts after visual I then pop out the Bcam and have a lookise, if i see any anomolies then I go room to room and scan areas, if I see something out of ordinary I refer to electrical contractor for futher eval and include IR photo A call to my electrician friend and he can in most cases be right there in a few hours. Sellers do not mind buyers do not mind and issues are or can be resolved that day.

Now I have not run into vermin as of yet but did find a ceiling not insulated due to squirrels, but they were dead in the attic, damage was already done

Have to careful on creating expectations!!!

127 -130 degrees F is the delivery air temp of most forced warm air furnaces. The blowers usually come on at 150 degrees and safety “off” is 200 degrees F. Was this temp of just 30 degrees above body temp really a problem?

You asked a question, then in the same paragraph, provided the answer. A circuit that is above 80% of rating will always get written up for further evaluation by a Licenced Electrician. If an Electrician comes behind me and certifies the circuit to be fine, then so beit! I sleep better at night knowing I did my job. :slight_smile:

This is an odd statement. Your comparing apples to oranges. Execessive heat in “electrical” components = potential trouble. period.

By most standards, yes. At the very least it warrants further evaluation!! And, the reference is from “ambient temp” NOT “body temp.”


This one was from yesterday’s inspection.



I call that an issue!

Enough said!

HVAC electrical circuit board a tad hot.

Where did Mr. MacNeish go?:shock: </IMG>

Agreed,…but relative to the center of the sun, it is cold. :roll: :stuck_out_tongue: