Thermal imaging inspections are non-invasive testing techniques for detecting and visualizing variations in the surface temperature of electrical systems. They are also known as thermographic inspections or infrared inspections.
Thermal imaging has become an essential tool for electricians in the commercial sector because it is non-destructive and non-invasive. Electricians can identify potential problems and improve safety by analyzing thermal images and recommending solutions to prevent equipment failure and reduce energy consumption.
The process involves using a thermal imaging camera (an infrared camera). The camera captures infrared radiation and converts it into a visible image representing heat distribution across your electrical systems. It can evaluate the condition of various electrical components, such as transformers and electrical panels where hot spots and other issues can occur.
Three thermal patterns often cause electrical failures in commercial buildings:
- Poor surface contact that causes high resistance
- Overloaded circuit
- Multi-phase imbalance
Book A Thermal Imaging Inspection
How Do Thermal Imaging Inspections Work?
During a thermal imaging inspection, a licensed commercial electrician scans the electrical systems, equipment, and commercial building using a thermal camera. The device gives feedback on the infrared radiation emitted by objects. It creates a thermal image from the different temperatures represented by different colours or shades.
For instance, warmer areas appear as brighter colours (red or orange), while cooler areas appear as darker colours (blue or purple).
Thermal imaging inspections aim to identify abnormal temperature patterns or anomalies that may indicate potential electrical problems that should be addressed, such as:
- Loose electrical connections
- Overloaded circuits
- Faulty components
- Damaged insulation
- Abnormal temperature variations
- High current flow
- Undersized conductors
These electrical issues often generate heat, which can be detected through thermal imaging inspections. Commercial electricians can determine areas of concern that require further investigation, repair, or maintenance by identifying these hotspots or temperature variations.
How Thermal Imaging Contributes to a More Efficient Service
Thermal imaging inspections play a crucial role in enhancing the efficiency of electricians’ services. It canidentify potential electrical issues that may not be visible to the naked eye.
The following are reasons why you may want to consider this valuable service.
Early Detection of Electrical Problems
Thermal imaging of electrical systems allows electricians to identify abnormal heat patterns, possibly indicating electrical faults. Electricians use thermal imaging to discover:
- Loose connections
- Overloaded circuits
- Faulty components
- Or other potentially hazardous situations
By detecting these issues early on, electricians can proactively address them before they escalate into major problems, preventing costly repairs, downtime, or safety hazards.
Thermal imaging inspections can also be used to identify energy inefficiencies in a building’s electrical system. Electricians can detect areas where energy is being lost due to poor insulation, air leakage, or other factors.
Identifying these issues helps our commercial electricians recommend the proper solutions to improve energy efficiency.
If your business experiences an electrical issue such as a circuit breaker tripping or equipment failure, thermal imaging inspections can help. Your electrician can quickly identify the root cause of the problem. By troubleshooting to uncover the problem, it can reduce downtime and minimize the impact on business operations.
Electricians can conduct inspections without having to shut down equipment or disrupt business operations. This means that businesses can continue to operate while the inspection is being conducted, minimizing downtime and disruption.
Thermal imaging helps electricians pinpoint the exact location of problems in electrical systems. By identifying hotspots, cold spots, or temperature differentials, electricians can quickly isolate the source of the issue without the need for extensive manual testing or dismantling equipment.
This saves time and effort in troubleshooting, enabling commercial electricians to diagnose and resolve these types of complicated electrical problems more efficiently.
One common application of thermal imaging inspections is preventative maintenance. By conducting regular inspections, electricians can identify potential issues before they become serious problems.
This can prevent downtime and costly repairs, as well as improve safety for employees and customers. It’s a proactive approach that minimizes downtime and ensures the electrical system operates reliably.
Electrical faults often generate heat, leading to fires, electrical shocks, or equipment damage. Electricians can use thermal imaging inspections to identify overheating components, loose connections, or other hazardous conditions that might compromise personnel safety or the electrical infrastructure.
Addressing these issues reduces the risk of accidents or electrical failures, creating a safer working environment for both electricians and the occupants of the building.
Documentation and Record-Keeping
Thermal imaging inspections can also provide your business with a comprehensive report on the condition of your electrical system. The report will include thermal images of key components, highlighting any areas of concern.
It will also provide recommendations for addressing any issues that are identified. The report can be used as a roadmap for improving the safety and energy efficiency of the building’s electrical system.
Electricians can capture thermal images, annotate them with relevant details, and maintain a record of the inspection findings. This documentation helps in tracking the condition of electrical systems over time. They can compare changes between inspections and make informed decisions regarding repairs, replacements, or upgrades.
How Much Does Thermal Imaging Cost?
Thermal imaging inspections are a specialized service offered by commercial electricians that may incur additional costs.
Of course, the service fee may vary according to your commercial building’s size and complexity. Nevertheless, you are looking at between $200 and $1,000 or more, depending on the scope of this service. The charge excludes any additional work done to correct any possible electrical issues that may be found.
Electrical Fires in BC
Although primarily used for inspecting commercial buildings, this technology can also be utilized to help diagnose residential electrical problems.
According to the University of the Fraser Valley’s Centre for Public Safety, nearly 10% of the 28,160 residential fires in British Columbia were electrical-related incidents. Also, electrical fires injured or killed 150 people and razed more than $150 million in property damage.
The researchers concluded that the risk of electrical fires is highest in areas that are mostly taken for granted, like laundry rooms, garages, and basements. In contrast, sections with high foot traffic, such as the kitchen or bedroom, are considered low risk.
Ask Us About Thermal Imaging for Electrical Systems
Overall, thermal imaging inspections are a valuable tool for commercial electricians. They provide a non-invasive, comprehensive way to evaluate the condition of a building’s electrical system.
By identifying potential issues, improving energy efficiency, and preventing downtime, businesses can save money and improve the safety of their operations. Hiring a licensed commercial electrician ensures that your electrical needs are met safely, adhering to local codes and regulations.
Premium Electric specializes in commercial electrical repair and maintenance services.
If you suspect your commercial building may have electrical issues, request a thermal Imaging Inspection from Premium Electric today.
Contact Premium Electric to book an appointment and let our experts handle your electrical projects with the knowledge and expertise they deserve.