FLIR Thermal Imaging Camera

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takingcharge
Posts: 123
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:49 pm

FLIR Thermal Imaging Camera

Post by takingcharge » Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:19 pm

Any experience with purchasing and using a FLIR camera to locate water intrusion issues (roof/window/siding leak suspected) in a home? I’m weighing buying a new C2 ($500) vs a used E4/E5/E6 ($500-$1,000). Don’t want to buy more than I need but don’t want to buy one that won’t help. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!

9liner
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:03 pm

Re: FLIR Thermal Imaging Camera

Post by 9liner » Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:09 pm

Why not just rent a camera rather than dropping all that cash for something you'll use on a limited basis?

Here's an example:

https://www.globaltestsupply.com/produc ... igm-rental

takingcharge
Posts: 123
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:49 pm

Re: FLIR Thermal Imaging Camera

Post by takingcharge » Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:16 pm

9liner wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:09 pm
Why not just rent a camera rather than dropping all that cash for something you'll use on a limited basis?

Here's an example:

https://www.globaltestsupply.com/produc ... igm-rental
Thank you for bringing this to my attention, I’ll take a look. It has so many applications that I see value in owning one too.

iamlucky13
Posts: 775
Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:28 pm

Re: FLIR Thermal Imaging Camera

Post by iamlucky13 » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:15 pm

Have you seen the FLIR One model? It's a basic infrared camera that tethers to a smart phone (Android and iOS versions are available) for its user interface.

I don't know what limitations it has compared to the models you were looking at, but at $200, it seems very worth considering.

GuyInFL
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 7:17 pm

Re: FLIR Thermal Imaging Camera

Post by GuyInFL » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:35 pm

I used the iOS version and it worked well. I used it for an energy audit for my house. I'd call them to see how it does with water intrusion.

random_walker_77
Posts: 483
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 8:49 pm

Re: FLIR Thermal Imaging Camera

Post by random_walker_77 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:28 am

Or rent an even higher end one overnight from the home depot: https://www.homedepot.com/tool-truck-re ... a/FLIR-i7/

daveydoo
Posts: 1127
Joined: Sun May 15, 2016 1:53 am

Re: FLIR Thermal Imaging Camera

Post by daveydoo » Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:16 am

Why not a non-penetrating moisture meter? This was amazing when we had issues with a new home. Even the contractors didn't have them. Great for seeing where it's slightly damp -- floors and drywall -- without having to actually "see" it. I bought one for a relative when they got a new-construction home. I've lent it to a bunch of people, too. I see a Tramex and a Grainger but I can't see mine online. It's smaller than a paperback book but a little bigger than a stud-finder and has two "rubber" (but seemingly conductive) pads on the back. It's not IR; it's a current loop from one pad to the other, and senses to a depth of maybe 1". It was a few hundred bucks.
"I mean, it's one banana, Michael...what could it cost? Ten dollars?"

btraven
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Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:27 pm

Re: FLIR Thermal Imaging Camera

Post by btraven » Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:37 pm

The IR camera is going to work by showing you a temperature differential where it is wet. You could try first to use an IR thermometer and see if that gets the job done (just scan the suspected area).

bhsince87
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Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:08 pm

Re: FLIR Thermal Imaging Camera

Post by bhsince87 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:44 pm

I bought one of these on sale for about $170 about a year ago. It's resolution isn't so great, but i think it would be able to pic up a water seep if the temperature differential was great enough.

https://www.amazon.com/Seek-Thermal-Com ... B00NYWAHHM
BH87

daveydoo
Posts: 1127
Joined: Sun May 15, 2016 1:53 am

Re: FLIR Thermal Imaging Camera

Post by daveydoo » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:01 pm

btraven wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:37 pm
The IR camera is going to work by showing you a temperature differential where it is wet. You could try first to use an IR thermometer and see if that gets the job done (just scan the suspected area).
Why is something that is wet colder than something right next to it that is dry? Maybe if it just very recently got wet with cold rain on a cold day? This seems like a bad screening tool.
"I mean, it's one banana, Michael...what could it cost? Ten dollars?"

takingcharge
Posts: 123
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:49 pm

Re: FLIR Thermal Imaging Camera

Post by takingcharge » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:11 pm

daveydoo wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:01 pm
btraven wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:37 pm
The IR camera is going to work by showing you a temperature differential where it is wet. You could try first to use an IR thermometer and see if that gets the job done (just scan the suspected area).
Why is something that is wet colder than something right next to it that is dry? Maybe if it just very recently got wet with cold rain on a cold day? This seems like a bad screening tool.
Moisture retains energy, whether warm or cold. Dry air heats up and cools off faster than moist air. Areas with different moisture content will absorb and release energy at different rates.

DVMResident
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Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:15 pm

Re: FLIR Thermal Imaging Camera

Post by DVMResident » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:30 pm

Renting a camera is the way to go if you have a one-off application.

The C2 and FLIR ONE have similar resolution/specs. The C2 have a longer battery life (though still not that great), but the FLIR ONE is half the cost.

DVMResident
Posts: 1167
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:15 pm

Re: FLIR Thermal Imaging Camera

Post by DVMResident » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:42 pm

daveydoo wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:01 pm
btraven wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:37 pm
The IR camera is going to work by showing you a temperature differential where it is wet. You could try first to use an IR thermometer and see if that gets the job done (just scan the suspected area).
Why is something that is wet colder than something right next to it that is dry? Maybe if it just very recently got wet with cold rain on a cold day? This seems like a bad screening tool.
Materials vary in IR emission in efficiency (termed emissivity) and will show up on thermal cameras as different value even if the same temperature. Reference emissivities. So that helps quite a bit.

Thermal cameras work pretty well for detecting leaks.

shelanman
Posts: 445
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:35 pm

Re: FLIR Thermal Imaging Camera

Post by shelanman » Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:28 am

DVMResident wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:42 pm
Thermal cameras work pretty well for detecting leaks.
You are correct.

Though, as my neighbor learned to her dismay the last time she had a leak, they *also* detect where your clothes dryer was five minutes ago if it was on!

She had a leak. We *knew* she had a leak. We found a big warm spot in the wall near where we knew some hot-water pipes were. So, we cut a hole... not only wasn't there any hot water there, there weren't any pipes there at all... the leak was a good 5 feet away. But, she'd been using the dryer most of the morning before the plumber and I arrived, and moved it out of the way for us, since she knew the leak was in that wall somewhere. The wall was still warm to the touch, and it didn't occur to us until after the plumber made the cut that if the wall felt *warm*, and it also felt *dry*, that it probably wasn't due to *hot water*

sdaehelgob
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Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2010 10:19 am

Re: FLIR Thermal Imaging Camera

Post by sdaehelgob » Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:51 am

random_walker_77 wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:28 am
Or rent an even higher end one overnight from the home depot: https://www.homedepot.com/tool-truck-re ... a/FLIR-i7/
If you rent, make sure the weather is consistent with the imaging you want to do. Rainy day for roof leaks. Things like sunlight, shadows and snow/melt can make a difference, as can drafts and minor insulation defects when there's a big difference between indoors and outdoors.

It's fun to point a thermal imager at brushed stainless appliances or nickel fixtures and see your reflection. Or at drywall at a sharp enough angle of incidence.

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