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Moisture meters & IR


Chris Bernhardt
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Performance comparison between a surveymaster (actually an Aquant and protimeter) and a Tramex ME+ on wetness in a ceiling from a drain leak.

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Readings a foot away

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The Tramex ME+ is more sensitive than the SM. Using the SM only, could make confirming wetness in a ceiling more difficult.

Chris, Oregon

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That's disturbing.

Am I misreading the pics? It looks like the pin mode was not finding anything with the Aquant.....(?)....

That would not be uncommon. In the pin mode the meters just detect the moisture at the location of the pins. So if the drywall has not become wet you end up with a good reading. The scan modes detect the moisture even before the drywall shows or becomes wet. The Tramex detects moisture in the wall cavity, I have had a Tramex detect up to 3" in depth!

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The home had been vacant for a year, so the leaking occurred when I ran the sink upstairs in the master bedroom. I had already scanned the ceilings on the first floor with my IR cam before running the plumbing upstairs, so I could make comparisons, which I do as a matter of practice.

The point is that wetness that's just on the back of the ceiling drywall is not going to be readily confirmed by the SM. It doesn't mean the SM is useless, far from it. I use the SM & the Tramex ME+ both all of the time, even the protimeter to characterize moisture anomalies. I even use the super sensitive Tramex wet wall detector on occasion to help flush out or characterize anomalies.

What I want to point out is that when you get your infrared camera, you might want to consider adding to your arsenal of moisture meters.

Chris, Oregon

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This reminds me of something I saw at the orange box the other day - a Ryobi scan-type moisture meter that costs $49.95 and can scan up to 1/2-inch deep. The packaging talks about finding moisture and preventing mold, yadda, yadda. I was halfway tempted to buy one, take it home and do exactly what Chris has done to compare the sensitivity of my 11-year old $400 SM against it.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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  • 1 month later...

First of all, the GE Aquant is a non-destructive meter, meaning there are NO PINS. I don't even see a Surveymaster in the pics. How can your test be accurate about a Surveymaster when there's not even one being tested? I'm sure they all have their limitations, but if you're gonna compare a Tramex to a SM, then at least have a SM in the mix. Not angry or sarcastic...just wondering.

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First of all, the GE Aquant is a non-destructive meter, meaning there are NO PINS. I don't even see a Surveymaster in the pics. How can your test be accurate about a Surveymaster when there's not even one being tested? I'm sure they all have their limitations, but if you're gonna compare a Tramex to a SM, then at least have a SM in the mix. Not angry or sarcastic...just wondering.

Good point, but the SM does only read about a 1/2" in depth and the ME goes down to around 2 1/2" in depth.

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First of all, the GE Aquant is a non-destructive meter, meaning there are NO PINS. I don't even see a Surveymaster in the pics. How can your test be accurate about a Surveymaster when there's not even one being tested? I'm sure they all have their limitations, but if you're gonna compare a Tramex to a SM, then at least have a SM in the mix. Not angry or sarcastic...just wondering.

The SM is the Aquant and the Protimeter combined in the same package. I prefer the Aquant over the SM because it's form factor (no pins extending its length) can get into some tighter spaces.

Chris, Oregon

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