Panel Temperature

If I’m checking the breakers in an electrical panel with an IR gun, what temperature is too hot? Assume the panel is in the house or garage.

If you are not loading the circuits, what do you hope to find?

Instead, look for signs of overheating and poor connections when you do the internal inspection of the panel.

I do that, too. But I ran across a Zinsco panel and thought it would be nice to know if the breakers were overheating.

I am from the old school we had no temp reading systems except our fingers .
Hand on motor count to ten it is OK .
Breakers back of fingers did not make you instantly remove your hand it was OK .
Worked for me for over 50 years .
Old habits hard to stop still use hand and fingers.

If the breakers are “overheating,” you won’t necessarily need a thermometer to verify it. There will likely be more obvious indications.

You need to know the temperature of the breaker, the load on the circuit and the potential load of the circuit.

Then you must have all the data for the components (breaker, wire etc.) and determine if the potential load on the circuit will potentially raise the temperature of the component above its maximum rated temperature.

You must also adjust your IR thermometer to the proper emissivity for the component you are scanning (otherwise you’re using the wrong temperature in your mathematical equation for temperature rise correction).

No problem right?

Piece of cake :smiley: Where shall we start?

LOL Jeff I just spit Iced tea all over…hahaha Thanks for the smile.


Jeff, you know I wasn’t talking at you! :wink:

I don’t even want to get started!

I just finished reports from a week on the road throughout Kentucky doing electrical inspections for a Bank Corp. that had one of their banks burn down from an electrical fire…

…I am so tired of calculating temperature rise correction, I could just puke!

But the $$$ is good! :slight_smile: