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  1. #1
    Jeff Remas's Avatar
    Jeff Remas Guest

    Default IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Lots of thermal imaging cameras are sold each year to home inspectors.

    Are you making money because you have it and it generates revenue that you otherwise would not of had?

    OR

    Is it another toy and/or crutch in your tool arsenal to make you feel more comfortable about your inspections and it does not generate any more income than you were?

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  2. #2
    United Infrared's Avatar
    United Infrared Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Good Question Jeff......

    Having been a home inspector for over 13 years, I wrote a business plan on infrared in 1999 but we were just too busy then to make it happen and thank God cause the price came down.....In 2005 we spent about 20k on a camera and through just marketing to my existing base of clients, I generated enough to pay for the camera in 9 months however I split the cost of the 20k so basically I did 10k worth of IR in 9 months....this I consider pretty good.

    Shortly after getting into the business, Flir approached me to be a local sales rep and help move equipment with home inspectors.....I have watched several buy and let the thing sit and not make money....it is a different market and this is the hard thing for many inspectors is to understand the opportunity and how to diversify.

    Well, this led to the opening of my national infrared company and today we are the largest infrared servicing company in the world with over 63 thermographers in 25 states....Our thermographers are all independents, many of them home inspectors who wanted to do more than just do home inspections....there are ways to do it@!

    Here are a few links, you can see some of our videos at YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. and do a search for unitedinfrared

    United Infrared, Inc.
    Give Your Customers The Green!


  3. #3
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Remas View Post
    Lots of thermal imaging cameras are sold each year to home inspectors.

    Are you making money because you have it and it generates revenue that you otherwise would not of had?

    OR

    Is it another toy and/or crutch in your tool arsenal to make you feel more comfortable about your inspections and it does not generate any more income than you were?
    JR: Here is my experience. After 12 years in the business with little or no desire to purchase an IR gizmo, but prompted by the sheer number of prospective clients inquiring about my use of one (thanks to the sheep among us falling hook-line-sinker for these toys), I bought an entry-level camera. My thought was to ascertain the usefulness of the whizbang.

    Shortly on the heels of my purchase came the GWB-induced Great Depression 2.0. Many, if not all, HIs in my market with IR cameras stopped charging extra for scans. This is the typical dumb-ass response by the typical morons operating in my area - perhaps all areas. You guys know who you are - let's not deny it.

    It is true that I have found a few issues that would not have otherwise been as easy to locate without the camera, but none that would have been impossible. I am not inclined to spend $30K on a camera so I can traipse around on commercial flat roofs and accrue liability beyond imagination - not to mention raising my E&O premiums to the sky.

    So then, I find that the cameras have little (not none, but little) use and do not, at least for me, appear to be capable of paying for themselves in their short anticipated lifespan.

    I am certain that folks like RB will now chime in and extol the benefits of the devices, their hyperbole replete with mythological tales of overnight payback on the purchases. Maybe in their (still over-inflated) markets - not in mine.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    A.D. Interesting.

    I see many cameras for sale by inspectors who got caught up in the hype.

    As a participant on Mike Holmes forum there are a few individuals, electrician and contractors who feel along with Mike that home inspectors should have cameras regardless of price. They tried to argue that any inspector or professional should have the full stable of tools. Unfortunately I did not ask the electrician if he had one or the contractors.

    In my area of business I don't see the demand for the service and just cannot see the justification $$$ for the device. Clients don't want to pay anything extra, and why would I include it with an inspection at no additional cost other than a risk reduction tool which is an expensive way to reduce risk?


  5. #5
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    JR: Here is my experience. After 12 years in the business with little or no desire to purchase an IR gizmo, but prompted by the sheer number of prospective clients inquiring about my use of one (thanks to the sheep among us falling hook-line-sinker for these toys), I bought an entry-level camera. My thought was to ascertain the usefulness of the whizbang.

    Shortly on the heels of my purchase came the GWB-induced Great Depression 2.0. Many, if not all, HIs in my market with IR cameras stopped charging extra for scans. This is the typical dumb-ass response by the typical morons operating in my area - perhaps all areas. You guys know who you are - let's not deny it.

    It is true that I have found a few issues that would not have otherwise been as easy to locate without the camera, but none that would have been impossible. I am not inclined to spend $30K on a camera so I can traipse around on commercial flat roofs and accrue liability beyond imagination - not to mention raising my E&O premiums to the sky.

    So then, I find that the cameras have little (not none, but little) use and do not, at least for me, appear to be capable of paying for themselves in their short anticipated lifespan.

    I am certain that folks like RB will now chime in and extol the benefits of the devices, their hyperbole replete with mythological tales of overnight payback on the purchases. Maybe in their (still over-inflated) markets - not in mine.
    Bagdad Bob... Sorry that you got in to late...

    I think its is as you stated. Its your area and what limited knowledge you have of these Cameras... I get $ 200 just pull my camera out of the case.

    Your problem is you are doing the same thing as all the others in your area and have not found your voice with your camera.

    Good luck with that.... Your could try selling your camera... someone may buy it from your for pennies on the Buck

    Best

    Ron


  6. #6
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Sorry that you got in to late...
    RB: There was no "just in time" on this issue.

    what limited knowledge you have of these Cameras
    RB: I am not from California, so I can read. I read voraciously and am a quick study. I have read everything readily available on these cameras, so my knowledge is not "limited" as you suggest. What is not in the literature available is how to get normal people of sound mind to spend more money than they have to on information of limited value.

    ... I get $ 200 just pull my camera out of the case.
    RB: That sounds like a typical BS statement from someone who has found themselves a bit short between the legs.

    Your problem is you are doing the same thing as all the others in your area and have not found your voice with your camera.
    RB: Maybe I should try a tuning fork?

    Your could try selling your camera...
    RB: No need to. It has limited usefulness, like some other tools I own. I, unlike you, did not spring for the >$10K model, so have lost nothing, rather I have gained verification that my initial intuition regarding these toys was correct. That is worth a lot.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    I've been using an IR camera for almost 4 yrs.
    What I found is, it depends on your market and climate
    Thermal Imaging on single family homes as a stand alone inspection is a tough sell.

    On resale inspections it's a fancy toy that most customers like to see, but with the exception of a occasional water leak that could not be seen without an IR camera, [ apx 5 out of over 500 ] few ask for any thing else like missing insulation be corrected.

    New Home Warranty Inspections.
    Identifying missing insulation in walls and attic areas that are not accessible on new homes is a different story, when the builder is required to make the correction.

    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
    www.inspectaz.com

  8. #8
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harris View Post
    I've been using an IR camera for almost 4 yrs.
    What I found is, it depends on your market and climate
    Thermal Imaging on single family homes as a stand alone inspection is a tough sell.

    On resale inspections it's a fancy toy that most customers like to see, but with the exception of a occasional water leak that could not be seen without an IR camera, [ apx 5 out of over 500 ] few ask for any thing else like missing insulation be corrected.

    New Home Warranty Inspections.
    Identifying missing insulation in walls and attic areas that are not accessible on new homes is a different story, when the builder is required to make the correction.
    DH: Agreed on all points.


  9. #9
    Richard Soundy's Avatar
    Richard Soundy Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    For some years now I have voiced a fairly strong opinion on the dangers of spending money for an IR camera as a justifiable tool for property inspectors.

    I am fairly familiar with IR measurement, but the business we are in as inspectors could not justify the ROI [Return-On-Investment} for such a tool. What is more, if you know what your doing the standard "low cost" single point IR Thermometer is capable of catching the problems we try to uncover with IR - yes, a chart/table of numbers (measurements) is not as impressive as a picture for your client, but it is the findings that are important!

    I firmly advocate that using a IR camera for moisture intrusion analysis is a high risk practice. For electrical surveys and insulation surveys it is great. For those inspectors who have purchased a IR camera, you should expand your services into the highly lucrative Preventative Maintenance markets (commercial) - there is a need for these services and you can offer one big advantage - A SERVICE WITHOUT A CONFLICT OF INTEREST.

    Best regards

    Last edited by Richard Soundy; 12-02-2009 at 12:26 PM.

  10. #10
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    All excellent points

    New construction, yes. The missing insulation I find under attic decking all the time is substantial. Water leaks ... some one above stated 5 in 500 inspections.

    There are several folks around here that put the money out (in the 5 grand range) for IR cameras and then give the service away to get more inspections (along with every other free service they can think of. I read an inspectors site out of North of Dallas yesterday. Free IR scan, free termite inspection, if needed, a free termite report and something else was in there as well. Claims of 15000 inspections in the past ten years or so but then somewhere else on the site it said 15000 in 15 years and then somewhere else it said 10000 buy himself in the past ten years and the rest from inspector trainees etc etc.

    I do know of a couple companies that are just in the business of energy audits and that is there only business where the camera pays out because you are expected to have i=one for just that type of work. The unfortunate part of it, I do believe, the inspect all homes being sold for the energy audit rip off deal will soon be in a cities soon. That is the market I will be missing out on for now. But it has not hit here yet. I think it is a complete and utter waste of time to do an energy audit on homes that are being sold with out the mandate that they be updated. Then again I believe that it is a serious mistake to be putting financial burden on anyone selling or buying a home right now seeing how we are still in the down economy.

    Look at it as rosy as you wish. This market (overall) sucks. Why should there be financial burdens any where in the housing market where it drives such a large part of the economy.

    Honestly. What a bunch of idiot politicians pushing program after program spending dollar after dollar that we do just not have at this time. Also forcing folks to spends dollars they cannot afford ... Lets put it this way. Forcing people to spend money in one market areas when they really need and want to spend it in another market area. Take dollars out of other markets and pump it into the energy audit market. Looks great for politicians but in reality it is just robbing from Peter to pay Paul. Lets move money that would have been going over there to over here. We cannot lose. It will look great in the numbers market even though it is just taking away from another segment of the economy.

    It cannot be more simple than that. It is all a dilerious joke. Talk about the old flim flam men.........


  11. #11
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    BAGDAD Bob what I was saying about your limited knowledge you have of these Cameras is that this is knowledge you will not find in a book or on an Internet web-site. or from a IR Class... you get this kind of knowledge from working with the camera day in and day out. A smart guy like you It should not take you but a year of working with an IR camera and looking into this other world of Delta T... I have come up with ways to provide information on how much damage that a dry-wood termite has done to a board. This information was something never understood by any other termite inspector. We had no method to see the Chanel's cut on the inside of a board before. This has become my voice and people seek me out for this information. but it took me over a year of working with a camera to find this information and unlock this new door... These cameras are just getting started and the more guys work with the thing the more doors will be opened. Some will only do what they see others doing. What do they call that? Monkey see monkey do......


    Hope this helps. your a smart guy you just need to open your eyes.

    Best

    Ron

    Last edited by Ron Bibler; 12-02-2009 at 05:32 PM.

  12. #12
    Ryan Stouffer's Avatar
    Ryan Stouffer Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    so in 5 words or less would you guys buy one or not?


  13. #13
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Stouffer View Post
    so in 5 words or less would you guys buy one or not?
    I just got a new BX320

    Best

    Ron

    Last edited by Ron Bibler; 12-03-2009 at 02:16 AM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Stouffer View Post
    so in 5 words or less would you guys buy one or not?
    Yes for new homes
    No ... ...... .....
    I used my five words

    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
    www.inspectaz.com

  15. #15
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    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Nope; not interested in buying one unless I get a really good deal or one falls off the back of a truck.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    "toy or moneymaker"

    BOTH.

    EITHER.

    Depends on the inspector and what the inspector wants and does with it.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  17. #17
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    These cameras are just getting started and the more guys work with the thing the more doors will be opened.
    RB: I am a persistent fellow, so I hope you are correct.


  18. #18
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    In five words, I don't know.


  19. #19

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    I bought a camera and got certified in 2008. The camera has more than paid for itself in that time. I've done flat roofs, commercial building electrical scans, found moisture leaks that no one else has been able to find, found missing insulation on 11 month warranty inspections that were then fixed by the builder, found broken radiant heating systems in seconds rather than waiting 30-45 minutes, identified failed thermal glass in windows, and gotten some cool pictures of my animals to boot! LOL

    If you take the time to learn what the camera is telling you and how to avoid false readings, it is a valuable tool. A tool and technique that needs to be sold and the clients educated on its capabilities. As soon as they see what it can do, its usually a slam dunk for a job.

    While I will occasionally take it out (the camera ) during a regular HI for "show and tell". I do not include it in the regular home inspection other than for my own use to confirm a potential issue for myself. It gets pitched as a separate service. As a "consultant" that does not make recommendations on or do the repairs, my liability is pretty limited. I pitch the service on the basis of speed. I can find problems in minutes that regular means would take hours to find, if they can find it at all. Not everything I find is visible without IR.

    Bottom line, if you know how to market the service, it can be a money maker. it has been for me. My new slogan is "I hate nice weather!" When it rains here, my phone rings. Last rain storm brought in over $1200 on 3 inspections in two days plus referrals. That was for a total time investment of about 6 hours including the reports. Unfortunately, it rarely rains in SoCal. Got a storm due in this weekend so I'm charging up the batteries right now. When it rains here, my phone rings!

    True Professionals, Inc. Property Consultant
    877-466-8504

  20. #20
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Does it not strike anyone else on this forum as a strange phenomenon that 1000 s.f. homes are worth $1,000,000 and IR cameras provide you a return on your investment only in California?


  21. #21
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    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Good point Aaron.
    California has always been about ten years ahead of most places. Could be we are seeing what will be common for the rest of the country.

    15k on an IR camera, to inspect a 100k foreclosure. Mmmm I don't know if thats such a good deal. Heck I can and have bought houses for less than 15k.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  22. #22
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Heck I can and have bought houses for less than 15k
    RC: Me too.


  23. #23
    Bob Spermo's Avatar
    Bob Spermo Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Jeff,

    I am a home inspector and an energy rater. My IR camera has probably not made me any money in my home inspection business but many of my clients like the info and product it produces.

    However, it has made me a good deal of money in the energy field. This summer I picked a 2 month contract that made me 5 times what my camera cost. I would not have gotten the contract had I not had an IR camera and the IR training.


  24. #24
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    BS: The Austin area is a bit like California in that respect.


  25. #25

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Some of you guys are just Dinosaurs! If a tool makes you money, good on ya. If it does not, maybe you just don't know how to use it properly.

    Mine makes me money. It's paid off and all gravy now.

    Some of you are right in that here in CA it is a viable service and is a small percentage of the sale price. People see the value. Of course, it you inspect dirt floor shacks in the outback, maybe not. Have they actually gotten them thar fancy glass light bulbs out there yet. The're pretty cool! I can actually shoe my horses after dark now.

    All in fun guys

    True Professionals, Inc. Property Consultant
    877-466-8504

  26. #26
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Some of you guys are just Dinosaurs! If a tool makes you money, good on ya. If it does not, maybe you just don't know how to use it properly.

    Mine makes me money. It's paid off and all gravy now.
    '

    DB: Freud requests an inteview with you . . .


  27. #27
    Chuck Lambert's Avatar
    Chuck Lambert Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    A.D.,

    Why is it hard to believe an IR camera can make one money??? As Dana says tools can make you money..You have tools right? Your flashlight, your pen, your paper, your computer, your ladder, ...etc.. You use them and make money with them correct?

    IR camera use during Home inspections is the smallest use I have for mine. Ever heard of heavy industry? Predictive maintenance, electrical, motors, steam generation, food processing, corrugated paper, assembly lines, thermocouplers, injection molds, CMU walls, moisture intrusion, equine, bovine, pc boards, top fuel dragsters, top fuel funny cars, heavy equipment the list is actually endless....

    Not trying to talk you into buying one...better yet don't, they are a bitch to learn, cost butt loads of money to calibrate and are hard as h@ll to market.

    Chuck


  28. #28
    Cobra Cook's Avatar
    Cobra Cook Guest

    Smile Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    (I WANT TO GET ONE!) MY FIVE WORDS. nOW I HAVE JUST NOT DECIDED WHICH ONE YET. WHY DO I KEEP HEARING ONLY ABOUT A 10- 15,000 INVESTMENT? WHAT IS WRONG WITH A GOOD RIDGED OR FLIR IN THE 5,000 RANGE. I USED ONE AT A VAREI MEETINGS LAST MONTH AND IT WAS NEAT, IT WAS A RIDGID BRAND I COULD HAVE PICKED UP FOR A LITTLE OVER 4,000. I PRACTICED BY LOOKING AT THE WATER CUPS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROOM TO SEEM WHICH STILL HAD ICE IN THE WATER OR NO WATER AT ALL IN THEM AND I WAS 100% CORRECT ON THE FIRST TRY. COULD JUST AS WELL HAVE BEEN A HIDDEN WATER LEAK OR MISSING INSULATION IN A WALL.


  29. #29

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    First, back off the all caps. It's the equivalent of shouting.

    Second, do your research. It takes more than a camera to do this properly. It takes TRAINING and experience in building science or you will shoot yourself in the foot pretty often with misinterpreted readings. This will do you more harm than good and you will find it hard to have any credibility with clients if you can't tell the difference between a valid read and a reflection or a thermal bridge due to typical construction.

    Yes, you can get cameras from FLIR and FLUKE for under 5g's that are suitable for building inspection work. I've seen cameras from $3K to over $100K. Add another $2k the training.

    now that you have all this under your belt, you need to find a way to market it and actually make money with it.
    It's take me a couple of years but I'm making money with it now.
    Good Luck

    True Professionals, Inc. Property Consultant
    877-466-8504

  30. #30
    imported_John Smith's Avatar
    imported_John Smith Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Money maker - however, at some point you have to say this is a home inspection or this is an infrared survey. Sure you can do both, but the reality is IR is outside the scope of a home inspection.

    Most large companies have their own IR guys to do PMs on mechanical and electrical equipment. Plus the real players require a butt load of liability insurance just to step foot on their property.

    Ironically, I was listening to our local AM radio home repair guy yesterday and a caller asked him if he should get an HI that had an IR camera. The radio guy said just get a good home inspector and dont worry about the IR end of it.

    Both serve their purposes. How much diagnostics do our really want to get into?


  31. #31
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    I love the 2000 in training. Pretty soon they will have level one through level 20 training. I have used one a dozen times and my friends that own them don't see anymore with their 2000 in training.

    I love the ice cubes in the cup of water and then just cold water and room temp and then hot water imaging

    The big sales pitch to everyone is

    "make sure they have training and are cerified"

    Hmmmm. I wonder who started that kind of marketing to the public?

    Gee, we can sellm them a 5000 dollar camera (by the way, anyone ever look inside). Yep, you got it. A touch of electronics and away you go for 5 grand. And then we can sell them 2000 in certification. You know how nice a tele you can by and how fantastic a picture and the plethera of electronics it has and how many years it lasts????????

    It is not brain surgey or astro physics. Its looking at an item and determining what you see. It does not take 2000 in training to figure it out.

    Not digging anyone in particular but I hate the great ripp off that society either buys into or gets sold into.


  32. #32
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    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Ted,

    Do you think an MRI or a CT scan can be read by a layman or should they be read by a doctor (with a medical degree) and who has had training in interpreting MRIs and CT scans?

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
    www.avaloninspection.com

  33. #33

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Everyone seems to want to lump the IR in with Home Inspection. It is not part of a home inspection! I rarely take it out at a home inspection other than for my own use. I sell a separate service for moisture detection, electrical faults, insulation verification etc. That's what pays the freight for this "toy".

    The part that cost the money is the lens primarily, not so much the electronics. Yes, they are probably overpriced but what are you going to do? This ain't something you can get at Wally World. You shop for the best deal and then work out how to make money with it. It is totally doable.

    I make as much for an IR scan as I do for a home inspection but it takes half the time, I don't have to crawl attics or crawl spaces, I could do it in a suit and tie and it presents little or none of the liability or "tail end" (4 years in CA) that a HI does. The market is changing and newer buyers are tech saavy. They appreciate the high tech nature of this service and are willing to pay for it. Why not take advantage of that fact? It's stupid to leave money on the table!

    As for insurance, yes, I have a "butt load" of liability insurance as part of my business owners package but it cost 1/5th of what I would have to pay for E&O and it covers my equipment as well, including my computers, both at home and on the road. It's called Inland Marine insurance.

    As most of you know, the "training" that one gets is mostly about getting certified. That Certification is for the clients more than anything else. They have been told forever that you need to get a "certified" person or the job is no good. We all know that is bullshit. But that is the game so we play it.

    What separates the real deal from the wanna be's is the knowledge of building science and an understanding of how heat moves in and out of a structure. My HVAC experience has taught me more about that than any IR Cert class ever did. But I got the Cert anyway because clients expect you to have it.

    Someone once said "It's not how much it costs you, it's how much it makes/saves you that counts.

    Step up, get the equipment, learn how to read what it is telling you and how to market the service and say bye bye to crawling under **** infested houses when you are 60 years old! I'm 65 and I spent enough of my life down there as a plumber. No more!

    True Professionals, Inc. Property Consultant
    877-466-8504

  34. #34
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Dana Bostick View Post
    Step up, get the equipment, learn how to read what it is telling you and how to market the service and say bye bye to crawling under **** infested houses when you are 60 years old! I'm 65 and I spent enough of my life down there as a plumber. No more!

    I am assuming you are not going in crawls when doing an IR scan of someones home. I am guessing you still go down there when doing a home inspection ? as well as attics ?


  35. #35

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    I am assuming you are not going in crawls when doing an IR scan of someones home. I am guessing you still go down there when doing a home inspection ? as well as attics ?
    Of course! Just putting myself in the position to not have to do them anymore by building my IR business and backing away from HI's as it grows. Not quite there yet.

    True Professionals, Inc. Property Consultant
    877-466-8504

  36. #36
    Ken Delang's Avatar
    Ken Delang Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    This is such a joke. If you are a HI you know that you do not qualify under Obummers stimulas. You need to be retrained. At least that is the case in Minnesota that does not even require HI Licensing. But you need to go to school because HI's are not smart enough to figure out heat loss.

    My girlfriend was approved for the Winterization Act Stimulas. Has she heard from them in 5 months? No. More Democratic nonsense.

    So here we are. Buy a camera? Why????? Buy a light meter and use the old scam that it goes up near the windows like old window salesman did.

    If people voted for Obama, they must be stupid enough where an IR camera will not make a difference.

    I forgot to say that as a qualified HI, Obama considers you too ignorant to do an energy audit.


  37. #37
    Cobra Cook's Avatar
    Cobra Cook Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    sorry about the "caps" dana, I have no need to shout, my grand son was watching sponge bob and playing games on my computer earlier and had some how locked up the key board. after i started typing i was too lazy to go back and do it over. would you like to go some where and have a cup of coffee so I could apologize better? I will be buying one in the coming up year, have been reading up on the different brands but, I will not under no circumstance pay one dollar over a hundred grand. Do you know that fluke is the only manufactor that still makes their camera in the US?


  38. #38
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    you have to say this is a home inspection or this is an infrared survey.
    IJS: True.

    the reality is IR is outside the scope of a home inspection.
    IJS: Though also true, the opposite is becoming true in the perception of the home buying public, at least in my arena.

    The radio guy said just get a good home inspector and dont worry about the IR end of it.
    IJS: Kudos to this gentleman.


  39. #39
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    It is not brain surgey or astro physics. Its looking at an item and determining what you see. It does not take 2000 in training to figure it out.
    TM: You are right on the money with this observation.


  40. #40
    Andrew Turner's Avatar
    Andrew Turner Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Well, I don't think i could justify $10,000 just yet but I was looking at a $2000 Extech IRC40. I was wondering if anyone had any comments on it. i.e. is it suitable? I think thermal imagining would offer a significant value to my clients here in Eastern Ontario.

    So my responses to the original post would be.

    Toy = yes (fun to play with for a while)
    Tool = potentially (if you apply it accordingly)
    Moneymaker = yes (as you may get more business and referals based on this)
    All-In-all, added value = yes


  41. #41

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Cobra Cook View Post
    sorry about the "caps" dana, I have no need to shout, my grand son was watching sponge bob and playing games on my computer earlier and had some how locked up the key board. after i started typing i was too lazy to go back and do it over. would you like to go some where and have a cup of coffee so I could apologize better? I will be buying one in the coming up year, have been reading up on the different brands but, I will not under no circumstance pay one dollar over a hundred grand. Do you know that fluke is the only manufactor that still makes their camera in the US?
    No biggie Cobra,
    Just had not seen your name here beforfe so I did not know if you were a nube here AND to computers. With kids, it's lucky that's all they did. Every few months I need to clean off my daughters computer from all the crap her son gets on it. Last time I had to reformat and reinstall Windows completely it was so bad!

    The $100,000 camera from FLIR is their "Gas Finder" that can see hydrocarbon emissions. Very specialized industrial field. Not going there.

    True Professionals, Inc. Property Consultant
    877-466-8504

  42. #42
    Cobra Cook's Avatar
    Cobra Cook Guest

    Smile Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    a month a so i noticed that my computer was getting slower and slower and then started getting messages that i did not have enough memory on my hard drive to save a report? i have a 1 gb hard drive and thought no way, i then remembered my 5 year old grandson had been watching sponge bob so i went into the media center and found that he had saved almost 200 sessions of sb. 750 mb of it. not bad for a 5 year old!


  43. #43
    Deck Expert's Avatar
    Deck Expert Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, need California inspectors to refer biz to

    Hello To all California Inspectors...those of you with a thermal imaging camera are welcome to send me your business cards for referrals.

    I specialize in inspections of waterproof decks, tile, roof decks, balconies etc; I use the Milwaukee digital camera system like you see at HD. These work great for me, I drill a small non obtrusive hole and can usually find a leak pretty quick.

    Now and then though a client does not want holes drilled into their building components and it's these clients who need a thermal imaging inspection done...

    so Nor Cal/SoCal inspectors, send me your card to

    Bill Leys
    DeckExpert.com
    PO Box 14438
    San Luis Obispo CA 93406

    Rate sheets would be great to have too!

    Thanks,

    Rains here, calls will be a coming.


  44. #44
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Breedlove View Post
    Ted,

    Do you think an MRI or a CT scan can be read by a layman or should they be read by a doctor (with a medical degree) and who has had training in interpreting MRIs and CT scans?

    Uhmmmmm

    I know you are not serious about the comparison. I for one knows what is inside the walls. I also have done the exterior, interior (all floors) and know where everything is.

    I know about air leaks, water leaks etc. I know of missing insulation and where the insulation should be when I am pointing the camera at it. I have lived in frozen climates, humid/damp climates and extremely dry climates.

    I said I have used different cameras a dozen times or so. I have not been wrong on anything I have found.

    I am not a radiologist or a Doctor and I do not need to be to look at a picture and colors in the picture and compare it to where I am pointing the camera at and tell you what is going on.

    As I said. I am not taking anything away from anybody. Do you really think it is a miracle that IR cameras are becoming more prevalent with the makers advertising in different markets and the tremendous mass marketing to home inspectors selling all the fluff and hype. They say if you yell loud enough, long enough and repeat the same thing enough all will start to buy it.

    BINGO. You and everyone else involved has been sold a bill of goods and unfortunately it is becoming a necessary evil that everyone will have to buy this toy sooner or later.

    Hype and fluff. Hype and fluff. Flim, flam, thank you mam.

    Now with that said . Where can I get a 5000 dollar camera for next to nothing. Unfortunately the time is coming to get one.

    Thanks schmucks More money to spend on tools and more marketing to spend money on to get the money back


  45. #45
    Richard Soundy's Avatar
    Richard Soundy Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Ted, do you currently make full use of your "low cost" IR Thermometer? If so, how and where?

    Just curious....

    VBR - Richard


  46. #46
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Soundy View Post
    Ted, do you currently make full use of your "low cost" IR Thermometer? If so, how and where?

    Just curious....

    VBR - Richard

    Well I guess that is pretty obvious. What's you point ?? Please don't try to compare them.

    I said this a long time ago. IR cameras are slowly being pushed into a tool one must incorporate into the kit and will soon be a tool you must use on every inspection.

    It is useless on an everyday inspection. Useless to the point that it is becoming one more process and notation in every area of the home. Extending the inspection process and report and increasing liability. AND with almost all I know of folks that have them are giving it away with the home inspection. More work, more expense, more marketing, more reporting, more liability, more time involved and no money at this time at all. There are several inspectors in our area that already give away termite inspections and reports with their home inspection. Some measure foundation movement and draw up a chart all for free and then throw their camera in the mix. Separate business.....Yes. Another item to add to everything I noted above.....No.

    Look folks. Work is slow. The vast amount of home inspectors are lowering their prices and throwing everything into an inspection for less than nothing. They are increasing their liability and turn home inspection into a sham. The line has to be drawn some where. Enough is enough on additions to home inspection. Over the years in many areas of the country home inspectors are actually earning less than when it all came about decades ago and with all the free adds it is ridiculously low to what it use to be. Lets not mention the printing of money and lowering the dollar value every day.

    Enough said. What may work for some in some areas is a joke in others.

    Should we get into energy audits that are slowly becoming mandatory in parts of different states on the sale of a home. Soon it will catch on everywhere adding a burden to the sellers of the home with hundreds out of their pockets ..... for what....They don't even have to fix anything.

    Things are going to far gentlemen. Most of you are up in years and if you look back over the decades you will plainly see what I am talking about.

    The thing of the future ???????????????????? An unnecessary thing brought on by manufacturers of a tool that they saw another whole new world to market to. This is it. The tool of the future. Soon everyone will have to have one. Come buy one of ours and oh yeah, take our 2000.00 course to get a certification. Because with out a certification you won't sound professional enough to push the inspection.

    Gees. I am shocked that so many were talked into it in such a short time. Most that took the class and bought their toy don't even use it or sold it off already. Most of the rest are throwing it into the home inspection for free to obtain more home inspections with th wiz bang toy they bought.

    Yep....I'm done....Like I said....where can I get a decent one for next to nothing.


  47. #47
    Deck Expert's Avatar
    Deck Expert Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    I'll weigh in with my 2 cents, even though I ain't got no dog in this fight...

    Every thermal imaging inspection I've ever attended has been an eye opener...the camera can be used to find leaks-air, water whatever.

    As a contractor, I'm in the same boat as HI's, battling the low ball competition for work. So many of you are crying about that...

    this has been the best opportunity for me to show my clients why I get paid what I get paid...because I'm the best. In all due modesty of course.

    I don't match the low ball competitors prices, I don't cry about their tactics, I just keep doing what I'm doing, working with my existing client base for referrals, and marketing to the high quality contractors and business who will pay me what I'm worth.

    Take your camera and use it to market...business slow? Sign up for a booth at your local home and garden show, jump in with some Realtors who are giving a seminar, cold call real estate offices, use mailers to send to target market businesses demonstrate the damn thing and wow the audience...and they'll pay you for your services. If you feel that your worth it of course. Otherwise, your worth no more than the hack down the street who is low balling you and selling simply on price.

    The camera works, like it or not. Yes the mfg's market it, get a clue and realize yes I'll have to get "certified" but holy sh*t, invest in yourself and your business.

    It's getting cold, the dinosaurs are on the verge of extinction...evolve or die!


  48. #48
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Deck Expert View Post
    I'll weigh in with my 2 cents, even though I ain't got no dog in this fight...

    Every thermal imaging inspection I've ever attended has been an eye opener...the camera can be used to find leaks-air, water whatever.

    As a contractor, I'm in the same boat as HI's, battling the low ball competition for work. So many of you are crying about that...

    this has been the best opportunity for me to show my clients why I get paid what I get paid...because I'm the best. In all due modesty of course.

    I don't match the low ball competitors prices, I don't cry about their tactics, I just keep doing what I'm doing, working with my existing client base for referrals, and marketing to the high quality contractors and business who will pay me what I'm worth.

    Take your camera and use it to market...business slow? Sign up for a booth at your local home and garden show, jump in with some Realtors who are giving a seminar, cold call real estate offices, use mailers to send to target market businesses demonstrate the damn thing and wow the audience...and they'll pay you for your services. If you feel that your worth it of course. Otherwise, your worth no more than the hack down the street who is low balling you and selling simply on price.

    The camera works, like it or not. Yes the mfg's market it, get a clue and realize yes I'll have to get "certified" but holy sh*t, invest in yourself and your business.

    It's getting cold, the dinosaurs are on the verge of extinction...evolve or die!

    Look. I respect all you are saying.

    Dinosaurs have nothing to do with home inspection. Crying about low ballers ??? Seriously, you are a contractor, not a home inspector.
    Get certified ????? You have been sold beyond the point of reason. If I were not a home inspector it may be a different story. I would be marketing a different style and type of business. When one is marketing as a home inspector it just adds a greater burden to endlessly add new equipment "certification", more liability. You seriously do not understand home inspection. Do you realize that home inspectors are heald to a seriously high standard. The amount of trades it takes to build a home and all the knowledge of all those trades are wrapped up into one man.....The home inspector. There is already way to much to be looking for in a short amount of time.

    IR camera + seperate charge. That is the ideal position to be in. IR camera added to an inspection as in given away for free. That is real life.

    You seem to read only parts of posts that you wish at the moment. This entire thing has seriously gotten out of control.

    I Like the idea of an IR camera. I don't like the idea of spending 5000 and another couple thou for "certification" only to compete in the home inspection field against those that put all the money out for this to go into a completely different field plus their home inspection and then found out everyone else already did the same thing and now they are throwing it in for free with a home inspection.

    Invest in yourself ??????? Are you serious. I have invested in myself for 35 years and 30ish just in home inspection.

    For those of you out there thinking of buying your new toy and certification. Leave the home inspection field first and start a new business. If you think you are going into the next step of multiple businesses it is far more likely you will remain being a home inspector with 7 to 10,000 in new toys that you will be giving away with the home inspection. If you want to get into the energy auditing business.....well.....there is another whole certification for that. for about another 10,000 in tools and certs and then of course marketing.

    Leave home inspections alone. Draw a line between all these different businesses and stop throwing more into the mix for home inspection.

    One more thing. As far as getting into this fight.......

    There is no fight. It is an exchange of ideas and opinions.

    What a novel concept, huh? No fight.


  49. #49
    Richard Soundy's Avatar
    Richard Soundy Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Ted, I do not dispute your statement in the slightest and with regards to the use of an IR Camera I agree fully.

    You ask "what was my point" regarding the question? Well here is the point:

    An IR Thermometer versus IR Camera -
    A. Big price difference, works on same principle, one needs training/certification other does not (that is a marketing and money making ploy for sure...).
    B. Since it works on the same principle one is equally capable of finding a problem as the other. Naturally, not at the same speed and one does not have the same impressive picture to show the client. But, based on Bill's the Deck Man statement - is "being the best" finding the problem or impressing the client? It just does not make business sense in home inspections with the ~$200 versus ~$8000 price differential.
    C. Back to my original question (assuming most inspectors have an IR Thermometer). How well do you understand your IR Thermometer and how much use do you get out of that same instrument?? For those who jump to a IR camera without using and analyzing with a single point IR Thermometer you must have a lot of money to throw around....

    Best regards - Richard


  50. #50

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    A "single point" IR (non-contact) thermometer works on the same principle as an IR camera. Many of the same limitations apply as well. Emissitivity of the surface being scanned, spot size vs. distance (very important with cheap units) etc.

    The measuring spot from a non-contact thermometer gets bigger as the distance increases, like a cone. The cheap ones have a 6:1 ratio. If you do not fill the spot with the surface being read, it will be inaccurate. With cheap ones, you need to get real close, 12-24 inches or less. With the better ones, you can read from farther away. The unit I use has a 5 inch spot at 80 inches and is NIST rated. 16:1 ratio. That is good enough to get the whole register in the spot from the floor level. Shiny surfaces have less emissivity in the IR range which can lead to an inaccuracy. This is the ability of a material to emit IR radiation. With an IR camera, this can be compensated for by applying a strip of electrical tape to the surface you want to measure. For instance on window glass, stainless steel or chrome surfaces.

    For HI use, this accuracy is not so much an issue when using a camera. You are looking for an unusual difference that should not be there, not the actual temperature in most cases. A decent non-contact thermometer can do the job quickly for things like getting a quick temperature read from a heating register or a return air grill.

    This thread seems to have gotten off into some serious technical areas that are totally off the point. We are not there to act as technical experts in the heating and cooling field. We are there to tell the client if the damn thing is even working and putting heat or cool into all the rooms! A decent non-contact will do that pretty quickly.
    When I was working as an HVAC installer, I had to physically climb up to every register and stick a temperature probe into the register to get a read. I like this much better and don't need the level of accuracy of a tech.

    True Professionals, Inc. Property Consultant
    877-466-8504

  51. #51
    Join Date
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    Oregon
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    2,365

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    It must be a regional thing... Over the last 5 years or so I can count on one hand the number of times I've even heard someone mention them (outside of this board of course).

    I like the potential for use as an energy audit/evaluation tool. My area seems to be focusing a lot on that and if I ever buy an IR camera it will be to pursue work in that area.


  52. #52
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Soundy View Post
    Ted, I do not dispute your statement in the slightest and with regards to the use of an IR Camera I agree fully.

    You ask "what was my point" regarding the question? Well here is the point:

    An IR Thermometer versus IR Camera -
    A. Big price difference, works on same principle, one needs training/certification other does not (that is a marketing and money making ploy for sure...).
    B. Since it works on the same principle one is equally capable of finding a problem as the other. Naturally, not at the same speed and one does not have the same impressive picture to show the client. But, based on Bill's the Deck Man statement - is "being the best" finding the problem or impressing the client? It just does not make business sense in home inspections with the ~$200 versus ~$8000 price differential.
    C. Back to my original question (assuming most inspectors have an IR Thermometer). How well do you understand your IR Thermometer and how much use do you get out of that same instrument?? For those who jump to a IR camera without using and analyzing with a single point IR Thermometer you must have a lot of money to throw around....

    Best regards - Richard
    I use a fluke 63 and I believe it is a 12 to one. I point it at anything suspect in a home such as bad receptacle, old or new water stain, walls with plumbing in them and drifting off to where there is no plumbing, around the base of windows and the wood and or drywall below them drifting off away from the windows. I am looking for differences. The 12 to one is perfectly fine for showing differences. Pointing at vents you cannot get near or just the ones over head. I try to maintain similar distances away from these items to get an average reading. A quick pointing around duct to plenum connections and such. I could not begin to tell you the ways I use an IR thermometer. Before the come backs start. These readings are for a general all around reading not for accuracy of function

    Now for the next note (nothing to do with you Richard)

    I have full respect for IR cameras and there uses. I do not hold fault to folks that may pull them out at a home inspection just to get that second or third opinion of there own diagnosis.

    The only fault I hold to anyone is giving services away. The training, certification, time involved, liability, continuing ed, you name it. Why anyone want to give all there knowledge away in every other field beside home inspection is beyond me. As mentioned before. A home inspector has to draw from every single tradesman's knowledge to be a home inspector. What they know, we must know. Why anyone would want to give more away than that is beyond me. Why anyone wants more liability than there is in a home inspection is beyond me. Why any home inspector wants to keep adding and adding and adding more areas to their home inspection is beyond me.


  53. #53
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Chicago, IL
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    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker



    Fig 1 What the eye sees.



    Fig 2 What the camera sees.



    Fig 3 What's under the rooftop deck once they pull it up.

    Fig 2 is why the infrared water intrusion side of the business is a steadily increasing portion of my income.

    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 12-09-2009 at 03:30 PM.
    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  54. #54
    Deck Expert's Avatar
    Deck Expert Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Great pictures demonstrating why I am a fan of Thermal Imaging...beats destructive testing, simplifies the process of determining blame and cause, costs less.

    FYI ain't got no dog in this fight was a cliche..

    Been a realtor, seen lots of HI's done, know and appreciate what a HI does and the exposure to liability there is...that's why I'm a limited specialty inspector....and oh btw, ever seen what a waterproofing contractors insurance liability costs? Starts at 7k per year...and the premium only goes up with more $ volume in sales from there.


  55. #55
    Ken Delang's Avatar
    Ken Delang Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Dana,

    You are amazing. You brought up some points I never thought of before.

    Sure some owners might want to see some "High Tech" pictures, but your method actually can give some usable data.

    Cameras? IR cameras? We don't need no stinking cameras! IR cameras are for HI's looking for a gimmick man. As that great statesman, Jimi Hendrick once said..... the world is a gimmick man.....

    Home owners want data and not pretty pictures. Spot data will allow people to insulate. A picture only shows heat loss, but not the absolute location. GOOD JOB.

    Ken


  56. #56
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Home owners want data and not pretty pictures.
    KD: Unfortunately, this is probably not the case. Most, in my experience, buy the sizzle and not the steak.


  57. #57

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Thanks Ken,
    I use both an IR non-contact thermometer and a FLIR IR camera. Usually not the same inspection though. The non-contact is used for heating and cooling "quick reads" and on the electrical panel to spot an excessively hot breaker.

    The IR camera is only used for a full-on IR scan as a separate inspection. I will use it to check to see if a radiant heating system is functioning. It's very fast for that. I can tell in a minute of two if it is rather than wait 10-20 minutes for it to come up to speed.


    True Professionals, Inc. Property Consultant
    877-466-8504

  58. #58
    Cobra Cook's Avatar
    Cobra Cook Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Ken, it appears that you do not believe in continueing education or proven technology. While i do not have an ir camera i will surely get one as soon as the funds come available. This I say for the same reason I got certified in mold inspections, that service is not used on every inspection, but the reason was to provide my customers with the best of the best is service and availiblity. Why would you want to give up a tried and true service that will make you money that is if you are not too lazy to take it out of the case and market it, to some one else?. What would the US Military do without the ir cameras they use in the defense of this country, why is it illeagal for the companies who sell in this country these products, to ship them overseas? you must be able to really see what you could not see without these cameras. Now with that said and in a far fetched way, don't get one, but do not tell us that your customer do not want the most knowledge you can give when they are about to make the most expensive purchase ever. So you do not take any pictures? wow i will just say you have it made. Dana i agree you should not have to take the camera out on every inspection but when i get one and it will be soon I will for awhile be breaking it out for a quickie shot or like a commerical on tv to let more people talk about how neat is was to be able to see what the inside of the refrige looks like with the door closed. Does the light really go off when the door closes? Just a thought, i can hear the phone ringing now. It will fulfill my desire to go into energy audits and also to quicken the time it takes to do a mold inspection.


  59. #59
    Join Date
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    Mesa AZ
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    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Delang View Post
    Dana,

    You are amazing. You brought up some points I never thought of before.

    Sure some owners might want to see some "High Tech" pictures, but your method actually can give some usable data.

    Cameras? IR cameras? We don't need no stinking cameras! IR cameras are for HI's looking for a gimmick man. As that great statesman, Jimi Hendrick once said..... the world is a gimmick man.....

    Home owners want data and not pretty pictures. Spot data will allow people to insulate. A picture only shows heat loss, but not the absolute location. GOOD JOB.

    Ken
    KEN !!! Where in the heck have you been?
    Did you get all your differences resolved with nickos club ?

    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
    www.inspectaz.com

  60. #60
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    michigan
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    421

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Here's a good reason for an IR, not necessarily a camera.
    Over years of being an E-contractor I have found on numerous occasions where the sheathing on the service cable acting as a conduit for water has damaged the main breaker in a panel board. A water leak anywhere above will also avail the same result.

    Besides the main being damaged, the terminations are also compromised.
    The damage is not always detectable by simple visual inspection. Usually, the main will not trip and the conductors are over heated due to the alum oxide (copper not as bad).
    The public needs your help with this issue, HI's. Your the only ones who have this opportunity to find this problem before it becomes fatal.
    The ones that I have found as an electrician came about after the customer has magically lost power to one of their legs, or in a few cases, had a fire.

    Just a suggestion, what about asking the homeowner, seller, purchaser, if they would like a Term Image for a small additional fee? Even at $5.00, it would pay for the equipment eventually. Just a suggestion.
    Bob Smit, County Electrical Inspector


  61. #61

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Bob-
    Since I always have it with me on an HI, I do use the non-contact to do a quick scan of the open panel for hot spots. If I do see something, I may go out and get the camera and shoot a pic for the client. The Extech is a bit faster and less bother for a "quickie" look.

    True Professionals, Inc. Property Consultant
    877-466-8504

  62. #62
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Even at $5.00, it would pay for the equipment eventually. Just a suggestion.
    BS: OK, let us assume two inspection per day, seven days a week, and the $5.00 per inspection you suggest. At that rate it would take 8.21 years to pay for a $30K camera. The camera will not last that long - and neither will the inspector at that rate of inspections.

    Even assuming the more usual 200 inspections per year and an entry level camera priced at $5K you are looking at 50 years before you get a return on your investment.

    Of course, if you ask the IR promoters on this forum, they get $200 and up on each inspection just for whooping it out. I remain skeptical, as should you.


  63. #63
    Cobra Cook's Avatar
    Cobra Cook Guest

    Wink Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    AD, change the batteries in your calculator please, 200x5=1,000x5=$5,000.00 in five years It is clear that you do not wish to get involved with the IR technology and there is nothing wrong at all with that, it is just another way to make a few bucks. But wow Bob, only five dollars to pull it out? How puch extra to put it in?
    Not every tool i buy is to recover the actual cost over a specific period of time but mostly to make what i do easier. I guess if a camera would cut just a half hour off of each inspection at my hourly rate of what i charge for other services i perform, is $65.00, then eventually it will pay for its self. No matter i will be able to take on maybe another inspection or other service in the same day or i could be just be home basking the the hot tub and smoking another Habana Made in Habana,Cuba "ROMEO JULIETA"s I purchased on my last trip to the Carribean. Either way it could be a win win situation.


  64. #64
    Deck Expert's Avatar
    Deck Expert Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    "Home owners want data and not pretty pictures."

    Lawyers shut up in depositions when presented with inarguable pictures demonstrating the problem. Are thermal camera's not allowed in a courtroom because the technology is unproven? No...it's pretty damning evidence

    Clients understand better when presented with pretty pictures that have an explanation below the picture.

    No one says you have to buy one, but get outta the way as your competitors run you off the road of technology and beat you out of jobs.

    "There's no crying in baseball"


  65. #65
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    AD, change the batteries in your calculator please,
    CC: That was produced from the wetware calculator with inaccessible batteries.

    It is clear that you do not wish to get involved with the IR technology
    CC: Too late, I already have one of the things, just can't figure out why I bought it.


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