Infrared FAQ

Infrared Inspection FAQs

Q. How long does it take to do an Infrared Inspection?

A. The actual scanning of the equipment is very fast. The camera allows a great deal of equipment to be examined at one time. When an anomaly is observed it is quick to zero in and find the problem.

What takes the time is opening and closing all the equipment. On the average our work at most facilities takes about a day. We then spend some time making reports, and there is always a cross check of the data before the report is approved and sent to the customer.

Q. Will an Infrared Inspection solve all my potential problems?

A. No. Infrared Inspections can only detect overheating; other types of defects may not show up. Fortunately these are not common and can likely be discovered and corrected through an inspection.

Q. Can you scan our high voltage switchgear?

A. Yes, but we would need to have a qualified technician on site to open and close the equipment. Often the facility already has one available which is ideal.

Q. I have a large breaker that is tripping more and more often but the electrician can’t find the problem. Would an Infrared Inspection help?

A. It might. Nuisance tripping can occur for a variety of reasons and many might be visible through the camera.

Q. Are there any repairs made during the inspection?

A. Yes. Quite commonly we will find an anomaly and correct it on the spot by tightening a connection.

Q. What is MV on some of your anomaly reports?

A. MV stands for millivolts and is a measurement of voltage or electrical pressure across a suspected part. It is really a cross check to confirm our diagnosis of the problem. Higher than expected millivolts are indicative of too great a resistance through the part.

Q. How long can I wait to make repairs?

A. That depends on the severity of the problem. There should be an explanation at the front of the report indicating the various severities and the recommended timing of repairs. As a rule, the most severe should be handled now while the least severe could wait till the next scheduled maintenance.

Q. Do you also perform repairs of the problems you find?

A. Yes. We are always happy to quote any repairs we recommend.

Q. Can we use someone else for the repairs?

A. Of course. Who performs the repairs is up to you and if they have questions about the recommendations, they can call or email for a quick response. You can also arrange to have a re-scan after the repairs to ensure the problems are resolved.

Q. Are re-scans after repairs really necessary?

A. We always recommend a re-scan, especially on critical equipment or when the severity was high. That said, you could have the repairing technician check his work using a laser type spot-thermometer to verify the problem was corrected.

Q. How often should I have my equipment scanned?

A. We recommend an annual inspection.

Q. My last Infrared Inspection came up with almost 50 problems. Can I expect that every year?

A. Though not a guarantee, from our experience as more and more scan surveys are performed and repairs made the number of deficiencies each year tend to drop.

Q. Are you insured?

A. Yes, we carry all the standard insurances.

Q. Can we rent your camera and do the inspection ourselves?

A. No, we don’t rent our cameras but there are companies that do. Bear in mind that the camera is only a tool and it requires a skilled operator to get results.

Q. Can your cameras see through the equipment?

A. No. Infrared cameras see thermal radiation emitted from the surface being examined. Sometimes they may appear to “see” the underlying object but actually they are only seeing the heat or lack of heat being transferred from the underlying object to the surface being observed.

Q. Can one of your cameras see through clothing?

A. Nope! It just sees surface temperatures. Now, if you put a hot tamale in your shirt pocket it might appear clearly on the camera but what you are seeing is the heat from the fabric being heated by the tamale.

Q. Does your equipment emit harmful radiation? Is it safe around pregnant women?

A. No - these cameras don’t emit anything harmful.

Q. My insurance company wants me to get an Infrared Inspection. Is this really necessary?

A. It falls under the same category as a health insurance provider wanting you to get a check up before they will cover you. They want to know the building’s electrical is in good shape and not likely to cause a claim. They may require it before insuring or renewing your coverage.

Q. We rarely have trouble with our electrical system. Why should we get an inspection?

A. Infrared Inspections are like a check up at the doctor or dentist. They don’t always find problems, but when they do they can save a lot of cost and headache by making repairs before a failure. Electrical systems that are lightly loaded and seldom modified are usually less prone to trouble and can often extend the time between examinations. When you have a facility with large electrical demands or lots of additions or relocations, then a scan might be recommended fairly often.

Q. Our plant only operates at night, so when would you do the inspection?

A. At night.

Q. Will an inspection after daylight hours cost more?

A. It depends on our schedule and availability. Sometimes we can shift schedules to accommodate after hour work, but sometimes we have to charge overtime. Call for a quote with your particulars and we’ll work it out.

Q. We had an inspection done by another company but disagree with their conclusions. Is this something you get into?

A. If it is a simple matter of re-evaluating the data for a second opinion - sure. If it is a disagreement that is heading to court - nope.

Click here to view an example Infrared Inspection Report


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