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Thread: Moisture Meters

  1. #1

    Default Moisture Meters

    QUESTION: What moisture meter do you use and why?

    I currently have a Tramex MEP and recently found moisture on the ceiling of the house. There was no plumbing in the vicinity, but a sheet metal heating duct. Its a flat roof and was a hot day. My theory is that there was a duct leak in the ceiling which thermal imaging picked up and so did my Tramex.

    The plumber who checked it out (who also does home inspections) told my client that my moisture meter is not reliable (which is BS) and his pin type meter is better. Best I could tell from his description of his meter, it's probably a $40 Lowe's consumer meter.

    I of course didn't argue with the guy and let him speak, and sound stupid, which my client recognized.

    Similar Threads:
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    Tony Escamilla
    Villa Home Inspections

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Knoxville, TN

    Default Re: Moisture Meters

    I had several moisture meters, from a basic Delmhorst I bought in late 80's, to a more modern Delmhorst that was designed for EIFS. and my main one that the name escapes me. It was yellow, had pins and was pinless. I retired in 2019, so its been gone a while.

    When I got a positive on the pinless, I would use the pin to verify the readings. I found a lot of inaccurate or false readings using the contact only.

    If I got a WET reading with contact, but the pins didn't show moisture, I would attribute it to a false reading.

    Your thermal imaging showed a temperature difference, not moisture. Your moisture meter may very well have picked up something behind the drywall surface that showed a positive for moisture (screw, metal, etc). If his meter couldn't pick up moisture, Im thinking it wasn't there $40 meter or not. I bought a $10 Harbor Frieght meter for my woodshed, and compared readings with my $500 meters and they were right there in the ballpark with readings.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Chicago IL

    Default Re: Moisture Meters

    I have a Delmhorst, a couple Extechs, a Testo and a Klein.
    The Delmhorst and Extechs I use mostly for water intrusion work. The Delmhorst is probably the best all around. The Extechs give a range of info that allows for better documentation. For me at least the Extechs have taken more time to feel confident about. They seem to give what seems like wacky readings but once you figure them out, they provide solid info. You have to dial them in so to speak.
    The Klein seems to be working very well. Has a nice display that is easy to see on pictures. Only had it a few weeks. This one has options for drywall, soft and hardwood and masonry. Didn't cost too much.
    The Testo is a small pin tester with RH function. Works well with reliable results. The RH function comes in handy. Isn't as flashy as the other meters. Comes in a nice little case that clips onto your pants. Sounds dorky but very handy.
    I've seen the reviews aren't that good but one of my favorite has been the Flir MR160. I really trusted that thing to give reliable results. The IR screen comes in very handy. Lost 2 of them. Need to buy another one. Its pricey but its something to consider.

    I've found that experimenting with an MM is the way to go so you can properly interpret what the unit is telling you during a job. I've made little mockups with drywall, wood and masonry to do my own in-house learning. I've made each material damp or wet to varying extent to test the MM's.
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  4. #4

    Default Re: Moisture Meters

    Thanks for the good info guys. Looks like I?ll be looking for a pin type meter to augment my tramex

    Tony Escamilla
    Villa Home Inspections


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