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Protimeter vs Tramex ME


DonTx
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I gotta brag about scoring on a new Tramex Moisture Encounter off of Ebay about two weeks ago for $200. It arrived last Friday just in time for a 4700 sf forclosed stucco home I had on Sat. Tramex claims this meter will detect moisture an inch deep, so I was eager to try it out.

The home was on the water and had been vacant for about a year. The stucco looked rough and there were many cracks and damaged areas.

Once I was pretty much done with the inspection, I started around the windows with my new Tramex. At the Master Suite windows and the windows of the bedroom above, the Tramex nearly jumped off the meter. I found many other areas around the windows and walls where the meter showed high readings.

I started second guessing the Tramex, thinking perhaps there was some metal mesh or wiring it was picking up on so I went and grabbed my Protimeter SurveyMaster.

The PM got into the yellow in a few areas so I figured there was some moisture after all. I pulled the cap off and used the pins on the sheetrock (I didn't worry about damaging the sheetrock because the former owners had done a pretty good job of damaging it before being thrown out). The pins registered 24-27% in the high areas. [:-bigeyes

I tried another area where the Tramex had showed in the red and where the Protimeter showed in the high green on the scale. This area showed 20 to 22% with the pins.

I think I'm gonna like this new Tramex. I won't give up my Protimeter because of the pins and ease of getting into window corners, but I will definately be using the Tramex most of the time. Loose and leaking commode bases will tremble at the sound of me unzipping the Tramex pouch! Did I mention I only paid $200 for this new meter? [:-magnify

If you're looking for a new toy, these meters are worth every penny most places ask for them (around $375-$400).

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The Tramex ME is great for testing drywalls. From what I have found it will read moisture to almost 2 inches, once you get use to reading it you will be amazed. On a side note, if the drywall is in a room with high humidity it will give you high readings, even if the walls are not wet. The drywall picks up the ambient moisture. You have to be careful of false positives.

To test the exterior of EIFS you still the Tramex WWD. It makes life so easy!!

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Don,

Your $200.00 investment was easily worth twice that. Just the ability of this MM to provide quick and easy operation is worth the extra money of paying full price. I'd say you got quite a bargain.

I've had the same concerns as you had with the Tramex Moisture Encounter Plus around stucco windows (getting false readings). I plan on splurging on the Tramex Wet Wall Detector early 05. I do quite a few commercial stucco buildings that certainly warrant the added investment.

Richard

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I've had the same concerns as you had with the Tramex Moisture Encounter Plus around stucco windows (getting false readings). I plan on splurging on the Tramex Wet Wall Detector early 05. I do quite a few commercial stucco buildings that certainly warrant the added investment.

None of the moisture meters will work on Stucco very well due to the metal lath. Now on EIFS, the Tramex WWD is the only way to go.

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Rich,

I agree with Scott. I have a Wet Wall detector also and it's practically worthless on Stucco due to the metal lath. It's too powerful for Stucco.

There is a company here that is cleaning up on Stucco inspections (referrals from Realtors) because he drills through the Stucco and then takes a moisture reading using probes from a Delmhorst or a Protimeter.

I still haven't found no industry standard for checking moisture in Stucco this way. I find it easier to come in from the inside and repair the sheetrock rather than poking a hole in the moisture barrier.

Stucco inspections are big around here. I'm thinking that a infrared camera would do the trick nicely. I then wouldn't have to drill holes through the Stucco and damage the moisture barrier.

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Donald,

I have used probes from the interior with great success, just be careful of the electrical lines.[:-bigeyes

I have also found that the Tramex Moisture Encounter if great for checking the wall cavity for moisture.

On a side note; the guy that is drilling holes into the stucco is also destroying the moisture barrier behind the lath!

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  • 2 months later...

I've been using the Tramex ME for years. Using it 'and your head', it is extremely useful. I'd like to sell mine and get the Tramex ME Plus (the new one has an on/off switch that can't be left 'on' by accident). I think a good pin meter is excellent as well. When will they put both features in the same rig? (Pins and pads..). I have a Delmhorst 2-pin type that I only use to 'firm up' nasty moisture issues in framing and the like.

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  • 6 months later...

I have a Tramex wet wall detector with all the bells and whistles. Cost a lot of $$. However in my area (metro Atlanta) a well trained experienced EIFS inspector does not depend on the wet wall scanner as a final determination for inside wall moisture due to false readings caused by inside wall obstructions. The tramex wet wall detector works well on EIFS only to indicate where to use the pin meter which saves time and effort.

There are EIFS repair Companies in this area that advertise "free" EIFS and stucco inspections. I just cannot imagine how they can work for nothing. icon_speech_duh.gif.

When someone offers me something for free the first thing I do is grab my backside with both hands -:).

Happy inspecting,

Paul Burrell

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