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The value of a thermal imaging camera

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The value of a thermal imaging camera

I took a few pics at a friend's house. I did a 'Print Screen' of what was on my monitor. As you can see on the pics it was taken with the least expensive Flir camera, a C2.

If you look in the upper right corner you can see a small digital pic of the thermal image. In one instance I brought it to the full screen so you can better appreciate what you see.

What you are seeing is ceiling pics, a bathroom fan, basement window and fireplace. Pics were taken earlier today when outside temp was about -11C (yeah I know the time on the cam is not set properly - I'll fix that). His furnace was working at the time I took the pics.

EDIT: Pic 2 is the digital image of pic 8.
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Last edited by TomLafinsky on Nov 18th, 2019 4:37 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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What do you do with the info? For example the bathroom fan?
Newbie
Nov 12, 2019
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I purchased one too. Mostly to find cold spots with leaks/insufficient insulation
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Aug 12, 2007
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bizzyseller wrote: What do you do with the info? For example the bathroom fan?
You identify the problem area. So look at possible solutions.
For the fan , make sure you're using a insulated duct and there is a flap at both ends that closes properly.
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[OP]
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bizzyseller wrote: What do you do with the info? For example the bathroom fan?
I told him to do something about his 4 basement windows. That should be his top priority. Impact of bathroom fan is negligible. His second priority should be the insulation in the attic. He also has other trouble spots I didn't include in the posted pics.
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Ahhhh I see, trouble spots makes sense.

For those who want to keep using the bathroom fan in the winter, not too much can be done. It is afterall a hole in your roof (or at least SHOULD be)
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The C2 is by far not the cheapest Flir, but I digress. They're definitely awesome, and I borrowed one from a friend for the same purposes you mentioned. They're VERY useful when buying a house (in the winter, which is when I bought); gives you a very easy summary of how brutal the insulation is, so you can make an educated decision on how much of a pain in the butt it will be to fix.
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[OP]
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What is superior about Flir compared to Seek is the software. You can manipulate the pic in so many ways, moving the SP1 square anywhere on the pic and it gives you the temp for that particular location on the right side of the screen. Also having a digital (black and white) image of the thermal image is a real plus. Flir is also selling a less expensive dongle you connect to your phone but I find a camera more practical.

EDIT: If ever you buy a Flir cam my advice is to keep the battery to 100% charged at all time and if possible don't deplete the battery by more than 50%. When I don't use mine I take it out once a month and charge it back to 100%. It is what is best for this type of battery. When not in use the battery might lose about 10% per month.
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I've had the Flir One Pro in my Amazon cart for over a year, but can never bring myself to hit the order button.

Reviews always seem mixed. And at $500 + tax, it's not exactly cheap.
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[OP]
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RCGA wrote: I've had the Flir One Pro in my Amazon cart for over a year, but can never bring myself to hit the order button.

Reviews always seem mixed. And at $500 + tax, it's not exactly cheap.
If you own a single detached house, depending on the size and condition of your house the Flir might pay for itself in 2 to 5 years and after that it is money you save on heating/cooling. You can always sell it on Kijiji when you don't need it anymore.
Last edited by TomLafinsky on Nov 14th, 2019 12:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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This is as great idea, and something I never thought of.

I have a new-build and plan on getting a home inspector for my 1-year. The thing is that winter will be over around the 1-year mark. Will the home inspectors be able to detect accurate images during the spring time, or since it's winter now, it's better to take these images now? If that's the case, I'll look into renting the thermal camera instead.
[OP]
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fancypantsfloyd wrote: This is as great idea, and something I never thought of.

I have a new-build and plan on getting a home inspector for my 1-year. The thing is that winter will be over around the 1-year mark. Will the home inspectors be able to detect accurate images during the spring time, or since it's winter now, it's better to take these images now? If that's the case, I'll look into renting the thermal camera instead.
It works best when there is a substantial temperature difference. For detecting poor/inadequate house insulation it is best when done in winter (like winter temp in Quebec/Ontario/etc).

You can also use it to give free breast cancer exam to your girlfriend/wife or strangers Face With Tears Of Joy
The rising sun is like a beating heart.

Time will cease to exist when there won't be a soul left in the Universe.
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TomLafinsky wrote: It works best when there is a substantial temperature difference. For detecting poor/inadequate house insulation it is best when done in winter (like winter temp in Quebec/Ontario/etc).

You can also use it to give free breast cancer exam to your girlfriend/wife or strangers Face With Tears Of Joy
Whats the verdict on the Seek thermal Pro , FLIR ONE PRO LT Or FLIR ONE PRO.

I am thinking of getting one, but FLIR Pro is too expensive for me. SO looking at the FLIR PO LT or Seek Thermal Pro.
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Supahhh wrote: Whats the verdict on the Seek thermal Pro , FLIR ONE PRO LT Or FLIR ONE PRO.

I am thinking of getting one, but FLIR Pro is too expensive for me. SO looking at the FLIR PO LT or Seek Thermal Pro.
First of all, don't be fooled by the marketing folks at Flir and Seek. They call their dongles a camera but it ain't a camera! A camera is a device that can be used on its own to take pics and/or videos. Those dongles you connect to a phone/tablet can do nothing at all by themselves. They are in truth an accessory allowing you to take pics and/or videos.

Seek provides you higher thermal imaging resolution but the software is greatly lacking. In spite of its lower thermal imaging resolution Flir manages to achieve as good if not better results due to the fact it also takes a digital pic in black and white and uses far, far superior software to combine the digital and thermal pics together.

Flir allows you to manipulate the pics you take on your computer. You can do A LOT more with a pic taken from a Flir than a pic taken with a Seek. Btw if your goal is mainly trying to see under people's clothing then get a Seek Thermal RevealPro (not legally sold/imported in Canada). If it is not then get a Flir.

Between Flir and Seek I would say go with Flir. You'll enjoy how much you can manipulate the pics on your PC. I prefer a camera to a dongle because it is more practical to me.

You might find the cost as high but it can save you a bundle. My advice would be to get a Flir C2 (the only difference between a C2 and C3 is that C3 has Wi-Fi - not needed when you want to save money). Also try not to discharge the battery to more than 50% when possible and charge it back to 100% asap. When not in use charge the battery once every two months. Doing this way the battery will have a much longer useful life.

Check out videos over here, here and here too.

EDIT: Forgot to say that some Seek can't be exported to Canada. I tried buying a Seek Thermal RevealPro from Tequipment.net and they double-checked the address and refused to ship it to a mailbox in America. Flir is no problem. If you have an Amerifriend you can buy the Seek Thermal RevealPro but crossing the border with it might be...risky. I had no problem crossing the border with the Flir C2 as it is even stated in the documentation that Flir can be exported to Canada.
The rising sun is like a beating heart.

Time will cease to exist when there won't be a soul left in the Universe.
[OP]
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Feb 11, 2018
1343 posts
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Here's another example of what you can do with a thermal imaging camera.

Yesterday I got a call from a friend and he told me his kitchen sink was not draining very well. He has about 40' of pipe in the basement between the kitchen sink and where it joins the 4" pipe. So I brought my Flir C2 and let the hot water run in the kitchen sink. It took me less than a minute to find out where the problem was.

If you look at the first pic you will see that the water through the unobstructed pipe shows as a consistent white surrounded by yellow. But take a look at the second pic and you will see that about right in the middle it is light brown. We don't have this straight line of white surrounded by yellow. This is where the problem was.

I also included a third pic so you can see the main menu when opening the Flir software that comes with a Flir C2.
Images
  • Flir sink1.jpg
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  • FLIR sink3.jpg
The rising sun is like a beating heart.

Time will cease to exist when there won't be a soul left in the Universe.

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