IR level 0ne V/S Building Science

I just completed my Level one IR training and was trying to decide if I made the right choice. My thinking was to learn the basics of the camera as my top priority v/s less camera and more on building science. I have not attended building science so do not know how much camera was covered in that course would be interested in knowing from someone that did attend building science. My instructor in his opinion stated that I made the right choice in starting IR training with level one.

As I am thinking of buying an IR camera, I have been reading posts related to them. It is my understanding, so far, that the Building Science class includes most of the IR Level One class as well as more things.

I look forward to what others say.

I took the Building Science class based on John’s revelations in this thread:

BS covers 80% of LEVEL I. (In 1.5 days I might add! )

I think that they spend less time on Quantitative stuff as it has little application in what we use it for.

Not that we did not learn it though. We did an application to determine the R-Value of the building envelope which requires temp measurement for the calculations.

A lot of folks in my BS course had taken the Level I already.
They were as a lost as I was, so they can’t be too much the same!

I think HI’s should take the Building Science course as it applies.

ALL the Level I, Level II, and Level III folks in my BS course said that the
BS course covered about 80% of the Level I details.

The BS course was viewed by THEM as something geared more for
real world applications of the IR camera for the use in building inspections.

Some feel that the Level I course is superior based on the assumption
that it is has been recognized by the industry as the beginning IR course
that has been in place for years now.

The Building Science course is a more recent development that evolved
out of the need to teach the uses of the IR camera in the field of
building inspections.

Level I is recognized by NETA (International Electrical Testing Association,
an accredited standards developer for the American National Standards
Institute, ANSI). BUT… this is a little mis-leading to the novice because
home inspectors do not inspect according to NETA or ANSI standards.
Therefore their HI reports are not recognized, even if they have Level I
certification. Many are suprised to learn this later.

Does this matter? No.

Home inspectors need to comply with their own SoP and do not need
most of the scientific methods of testing, measuring, and documenting
defects discovered at an inspection.

Example: If moisture is discovered in a ceiling, does it matter what
the temperature is? No… Does it matter what the emissivity level
of the ceiling materials are? No… Does it matter that an intense
formula be used to prove your report data? No…

A moisture meter can verify the moisture problem and the camera can
take a picture and document the location. That’s it.

So, in the home inspectors case… how to use the camera, learning
some tricks of the trade and how to avoid false readings is the
most important things they need. This is what most of the IR
Building Science course deals with, plus 80% of Level I.

Is Level I enough to equip a home inspector to go out and use the IR camera?
Yes… your experience will do the rest.


John I agree with your thinking telling the difference between detected moisture in a wall with a camera and the different temps in a electrical panel is totally different. Image v/s temp set your emissivity for a dry wall not a lot of changes to be concerned with.

I intend to use my camera for the inspection business but my business plan is to separate my Hi and the IR into separate business as I want to venture into industrial/commercial with the IR.

My plan is to go back and take BS but also want level 2. I guess it is a matter of the chicken and the egg

My instructor was a level 3 and he stated that there are 13,000 certified IR with only 50 being certified as level 3. FLIR has 5 level 3 employed with them.

If you go beyond the normal home inspections and start to do IR scans of
machinery, equipment, electrical systems and transformers, etc… then
you probably need to go to the Level II training and also buy the higher end
IR camera.

The BCAM serves the residential home inspector well, but beyond that it
will not meet your needs… IMHO.

I talked to a Level III guy at our class and he said the BS course would
be a must for any home inspector in his opinion. He said the BS course
left him lost in the woods like a child. It is a lot to learn for the person
that does not have a strong construction background. He dealt with
mainly diagnosing electrical systems and power line maintenance for a
industrial power company in his area.

That was mainly who attended my class was line electricans scanning transformers and sub-stations and using the high end camera $40k plus.

You are absolutely correct the B-cam is the bottom of the line and will serve the Hi well and yes I will purchase a high end camera for my industrial work.

There were several students that brought their companies 920 and 930 cameras to class no comparison to the B-cam made me feel like placing my lonely B-Cam back in its case. But I didn’t:)

Hey Charlie,
Have you ever been a member of the Armed Forces? I had a commanding officer with a name that was similar to yours. Send me a P.M. if you have. Thanks:)

I also learned that breast implants have different signatures and can be “seen” with the Cam.:mrgreen: I thought I was looking for “moisture”.

As I pointed out in class, " I would not want to haul one of those cameras into a crawlspace (cost and size)". There is no use having a camera if your not going to take it on field trips to the attic and crawlspace! :slight_smile:

A Power line switch is small and a long way off. Home Inspection is up close and lack of wide angle makes you take two or more pictures which gives you 200 - 300 % increase in resolution.

I like my BCAM.
I runs and runs and can take a beating!

Yes I was 1963 to 1973 USN Pineapple fleet

Sorry David don’t intend any field trips into the crawl with a cam If it is not visible with my eyes it don’t deserve a mention attic different story.

I like my B-cam also but has its limitations works just fine for the Hi but I want more. You know the saying more is better and I am not referring to women:)

My instructor spent a tremendous amount of time on emissivity and T-reflective and stated that the pages of tables in the back of the training manual for level 1 on emissivity should not be heavily used. What is your take on this???

Hay, I find all kinds of neat stuff in the CS with my camera!

You are working towards another area of IR.
I’m not saying that bigger is not better when you can put it to use. Just that much HI stuff can be done at the lower levels. I don’t think I would hang out of a helicopter with my BCAM! :slight_smile:

I’m already planning for my next CAM. But I have 4 different flashlights too!

What do you think his point was?
There is a wide range of potential emissivity in the same substance.
In Building Science they all but told us to throw it all out in building inspection! “Clean out all the clutter in the scan”.

Did they offer solution of adding a black body paint/substance instead of using the tables?

Did he mean to not worry about it with the camera and add it later in the software?

On the B-cam that is the only place you can change it is in the software the camera that he was demonstrating with allowed you to freeze the image and walk away and change the emissivity right on the camera. So basically he was saying not to use the charts but find E yourself.

Yes I am going to take IR beyond HI I have a lot of old contacts in the oil refinery’s and a brother consulting on drilling rigs there are a lot of totally electric drilling rigs that could use IR.

I can go along with that!

Seeing that an aluminum plate can change emissivity from .2-.95, it is imperative to determine the correct emissivity for the object in question.

Baseline scans and comparison of previously known conditions is the most accurate in predetermining eminent failure. This also changes the quantitative factors to qualitative.

However, much equipment has predetermined specifications and making all the proper adjustments is necessary.

I trust you had an enjoyable time at school?

did anyone go with the BCAM SD

14 out of 16 in my class had the SD.

No one in my class had the SD and I was the only one with a B cam of any kind.

Bud I was totally lost the first day I thought I was from Mars but the second day on it started to make sense I did have a good time no stalls to clean for a week