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Thread: Thermal cameras

  1. #1
    Michael Russell's Avatar
    Michael Russell Guest

    Default Thermal cameras

    I would like to know how many of you do thermal imaging in your inspections and which make is your camera ( model & maker) and why if possible

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Thermal cameras

    Fluke TIR32 and TIR3. Yellow is my favorite color..

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Thermal cameras

    Do those of you that own thermal Imaging use it at every inspection?
    A lawyer once advised that if you buy a tool that can find a hidden problem you then must use it at every inspection or you may be found negligent.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Thermal cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by William Kievit View Post
    Do those of you that own thermal Imaging use it at every inspection?
    A lawyer once advised that if you buy a tool that can find a hidden problem you then must use it at every inspection or you may be found negligent.
    Hmm, dont know how they would find out. Be that as it may, I do use mine on every inspection. You can see images in this section of issues I find pretty frequently. Level 1 & 2 training a must.

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
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    Level III Thermo-picture-taker-er...er

  5. #5
    Michael Russell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thermal cameras

    i'm looking at the certifiction and want to buy one i just want to see whats out there to help me make my decision, and yes i do check out the diff models you guys tell me you have. but i am looking to be cautious about this i may just go entry level and build up from there, i haven't quite decided yet


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Thermal cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Russell View Post
    i'm looking at the certifiction and want to buy one i just want to see whats out there to help me make my decision, and yes i do check out the diff models you guys tell me you have. but i am looking to be cautious about this i may just go entry level and build up from there, i haven't quite decided yet
    Spend $1500, get used to the machine for a year, then get a better unit from there. Just MO

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
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    Level III Thermo-picture-taker-er...er

  7. #7
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thermal cameras

    Go spend the money Flir T640. Now thats a camera.

    If you have the money then spend it if you don't do not go into dept for a camera. save up and pay cash for one.

    Check out my new TV Commercial at Santa Rosa Termite & Pest Control - Inspector & Exterminator this has been a gig help in new clients.

    I use a fLIR BX320 Very nice camera for the money.

    Best

    Ron


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Thermal cameras

    FLUKE TIR32.

    Use it on every inspection.... I catch things everyday (today included) I would otherwise miss.

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Thermal cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by William Kievit View Post
    A lawyer once advised that if you buy a tool that can find a hidden problem you then must use it at every inspection or you may be found negligent.
    I'd be curious where he came up with that gem.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Thermal cameras

    Got these today..Bathtub leak and zinsco breaker/damaged bus.

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  11. #11
    Michael Russell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thermal cameras

    Nice commercial Ron


  12. #12
    United Infrared's Avatar
    United Infrared Guest

    Default Re: Thermal cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Russell View Post
    I would like to know how many of you do thermal imaging in your inspections and which make is your camera ( model & maker) and why if possible
    Sorry I haven't posted in a while but seems when I am supposed to be on vacations when I am reading posts?

    Couple tips from experience

    1. Cameras are much cheaper now, if you are going to get into business, don't waste your money or time testing the water with inferior cameras. 320x240 minimum. Flir e60 ($7500), fluke ti32 ($8995), and many others like test, process sensors and any other Chinese brand all under 10k for a decent camera. This equates to about 2-300 month. My minimum going out the door is $350

    2. Wide angle lenses a must 1k cost. Many times you simply cannot get back far enough for an image to show enough with standard 25 degree lens

    3. Including iR on a home inspection is crazy and literally giving away something for nothing when you can capture income. If you use it, don't show it or as mentioned, you open liability, don't agree? Think about what happens in court when you exceed standards, you better use a co meter, moisture meter and test their sprinklers while you are at it, problem is you are not getting the wage you deserve unless your minimum is 700 per insp

    4. Get proper training, level 1 minimum. Even US dept of energy states iR process valid in court, certification is going to be looked at and a cheesy camera with no training? You figure

    5. Everything has a temp so opportunities are everywhere

    There are many more tips and I am happy to help any of those with questions. I have been a home inspector for 15 years now and have utilized iR since 2005 successfully. I started United Infrared in 2008 and we have now built to over 170 thermographers making us the largest network in world. We currently have 7 training applications with some of the best instructors out there including Dr. Bob Madding who has recently joined as technical director of ElectricIR ElectricIR™ - About ElectricIR™. Dr. Bob has been doing iR since 1972 and was the guy who did the IR In predator.

    In addition, UI is a full line distributor for Flir and as well represents all the brands of IR cams out there in addition to other tools utilized in investigations. All our members have preferred rates on equipment

    Links to check out. Maximize your business with Infrared! and United Infrared™ Training Calendar if you want to know about network

    FYI: the flir t640 is a great camera however the additional 4k for that over t620 doesn't appear worth it (slightly better thermal sensitivity and a viewfinder which can be accomplished with other methods. The t620 is 19700 (UI members pay less) is a great camera if ou can afford it but as I mentioned earlier the 320 cams have come in the realm where one job will more than pay your monthly lease/finance on it.

    My direct line if any questions is 760-593-2339

    Last edited by United Infrared; 07-01-2011 at 10:49 AM.

  13. #13
    Michael Russell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thermal cameras

    Thanks for the photos Marc


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    Default Re: Thermal cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Russell View Post
    Thanks for the photos Marc
    No worries buddy...

    What's up Peter...

    Last edited by Marc M; 07-01-2011 at 11:52 PM.
    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
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  15. #15
    Norm Zhang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thermal cameras

    I'm also looking into thermal imagers, after a lot of research, I decided to go with a Testo 875, reasons for my untrained mind are:

    Testo is German, so it got to be good.
    875 has a wider angle lense for the price range, 32w x 23h, so it suppose to better than 17 x 17.
    not so important factors also include: 160x120 resolution, compare to 120x120, and 80mk at 30 degree compare to 100mk.

    It could be a good tool to toy around for a few months and then get something serious and use this as a backup.

    P.S. All the level I to III training confuse me a little, can't figure out who's having the authority, ITC, ASNT, CMOR...???


  16. #16
    Roger Hankey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thermal cameras

    I have a Fluke TiR1. Now that I've done IR images in many dark attics I am a critic of Fluke's IR camera and a fan (camera envy) of the many FLIR camera features.

    You need a built in light on a camera if you are going to use it in an attic. You need AUTO focus since you really have only one hand free to hold the camera. My other hand is on the roof truss to keep me stable while walking the trusses.

    I agree, don't give away the IR service. Charge for it. I also agree that Level II training is a must. I have seen too many reports, websites, and ads where someone claims the camera "sees" moisture. Well I can assure you that the camera only sees temperature differences. It may very well see that moisture is cooling (or warming) a surface, but it does not see the moisture. Using an IR camera, even after 3 years experience is a humbling and learning experience. You must think thermally, which is NOT a natural instinctive reaction. You need to ask yourself "Why is this a temperature variation?" I was trained by Snell Group and found their classes useful.


  17. #17
    United Infrared's Avatar
    United Infrared Guest

    Default Re: Thermal cameras

    Norm,

    Testo is a good camera and has just introduced some new ones with some great sensitivity.
    Their 882 320x240 at $6500 is the best price camera on the market for that resolution. There new one 885 has even better sensitivity at 30 mK

    To answer your question on what level I-III means
    Level I= You know how to turn on your camera and take a picture
    Level II= You know how to write a report
    Level III= You know how to tell someone how to turn on their camera or write a report
    I am being a little funny but there is truth behind that...

    We are a distributor for Flir, Testo and rep many other brands of IR cameras. Have a look at Maximize your business with Infrared! if you are thinking of joining the IR business... if you have more questions, don't hesitate to call or email. I will be limited this week as Flir has their Inframation conference in Las Vegas so gone till Saturday there... InfraMation 2011

    If you want to review some webinars on thermal imaging, view United Infrared – Blog United Infrared - Blog - Infrared Business Training and click the webinar tab at top right. There are several free ones to enlighten you on the business.

    Peter: 760-593-2339 peter@unitedinfrared.com


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Thermal cameras

    I use a "primitive" first generation Fluke at both HI and WI inspections, and I catch stuff every day.

    Here are some examples from the WI report I'm writing at the moment - the first IR is below the open conduit in the second (I found the moisture before I went on the roof), the left-hand cool spot on the third (as I know form experience) is going to prove (once the wall is opened) to be a wet truss end due to incorrect though-wall flashing.

    In such cases it's critically important to confirm suspected moisture differences based on the IR with direct moisture measurements - never report off the IR alone unless it's impossible to access the area or direct measurement, and to carefully distinguish between what you know based on observation and measurement, and what you suspect based on the same.

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    Michael Thomas
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Thermal cameras

    Primitive or not - it does the job well and looks good still.

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
    www.mazzainspections.com
    Level III Thermo-picture-taker-er...er

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