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Finally got it.....


kurt
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The TiR32, that is.

Played with it for a week orienting myself to the machinery, pulled it out yesterday for the first time on a job, and found a failed tile pan that had recently been "repaired".

Initial establishing shot showed nothing, plugged the drain and filled the pan, looked over other stuff, came back and found a nice big spot on the ceiling, completely invisible to the eye. Even after 2 hours, nothing was visible. The camera told me where to measure, I did, 32%, voila, pan still leaking.

Big smiles all around except for the listing agent.

I now understand Chris' discussion of how it's only a useful tool for determining the best place to "dig"; it's not magic. Gotta have a Protimeter to go with it, or it's worthless.

Here's a couple cool shots of the steam boiler and radiators........still figuring out palettes and focus stuff. I also understand the resolution part a lot more.

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$8500-ish

I made up my mind a while back, and now I just want to forget about it and focus on how I'm going to use it to make money.

Yesterday's find has already led to an associate of my customer wanting his house "shot".

I don't think one necessarily has to have a "marketing program" for this tool, and I don't think it's magic. It's another tool in the bag that I'm finding uses for, and I've already got 4 folks walking around the city telling their friends about "this inspector with an IR camera" after a single job. And I got my HVAC guys talking it up to their customers to check equipment.

I just don't see how I can go wrong.

I'm a total believer in more money for better resolution, though. The 160x120 jobs are OK, useful for some things, but the 320x240 rez is unbelievable; you can read the thing and actually see what you have to see.

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You have to for credibility.

Fairly, if one is diligent and rigorous, one can read the books and teach oneself, then network with a mentor and probably do as well. But, I'll still get the certificate training.

More than anything, it takes a lot time to even begin to do *it* satisfactorily. I also understand what Chris was saying about the wide angle being necessary if you're going to be doing building scans. It takes a really long time to work over a wall section satisfactorily with the standard lens. A lot of time.

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Training is really worthwhile. One of the things they really drilled on in my class was the difficulty in getting accurate temps on metals, especially shiny metals. Your imager has an emissivity table that may be useful. Here's an image I took today of a stainless flex connector on a hot water storage tank. The hot area of the connector is the manufacturer's label that's still on it, and is within about one degree of the water temp in the tank at the level of that connector. The adjacent area of bare tube reads much, much cooler because the reading is mostly reflected background. You don't always need accurate temps but there are times when they are really useful.

The Snell Group offers training all over the country.

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You have to for credibility.

Fairly, if one is diligent and rigorous, one can read the books and teach oneself, then network with a mentor and probably do as well. But, I'll still get the certificate training.

More than anything, it takes a lot time to even begin to do *it* satisfactorily. I also understand what Chris was saying about the wide angle being necessary if you're going to be doing building scans. It takes a really long time to work over a wall section satisfactorily with the standard lens. A lot of time.

Kurt, a couple of quick questions; is this something that you're going to incorporate into your everyday inspections and if so, how much time does it add on?

Is it easy to download the pictures to your report?

Everytime I think about getting one of these, I talk myself out of it. Then I see the pictures and it gets me thinking again. Plus I completely agree with you that this tool can be a great marketing device and separate you from other inspectors.

Tony

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It is not part of the standard inspection. It's impossible. Stuff like flat roofs have to be looked at after the sun goes down. Sometimes the angle of the sun screws up a reading. If it hasn't rained in a while, scanning a wall might not show a darn thing.

I've been using it for spot checking stuff like shower pans, heating system components, attic scans, any weird stain in a place I can't reach......that kind of stuff. I've found a couple things already that I wouldn't have found otherwise, one of them being the shower pan on the very first day I used it.

Here's what I think I know for sure...........

1) You don't absolutely have to have IR to perform competent inspections, but it fills in some spaces and saves time on some items.

2) It can help you find the odd leak around a skylite.

3) Competent understanding of building science and building methods allows one to figure out stuff just fine, but IR just kind of puts the nail in the coffin on understanding for the client.

4) It takes a LOT of time to do *it*.

5) Finally, a way to check radiant floor and wall heating.

I'm sure there will be more, but that's what I know now.

I can't tell you how many times I've gone through the "heat escapes through ceiling lights and condenses moisture in the attic" and the "low density insulation leaks air" discussions with clients to have them pretty much ignore me and think I'm nuts.

Show them an IR scan of the same attic with hot dots where the lights are, and all the air leaks through fluff insulation, and they make that little round "whooooooaaaa" sound and vow to fix it.

Lots of dog and pony mixed into the actual work. Builders that used to not pay the slightest attention to what I said are now crowding around the view screen and thinking I'm a genius because I can show an IR image of something.

Yesterday, I was able to charge $500 for a walk and talk on someone's new leaking house, that maybe I could have charged $200 for previously.

It's very similar to when I was the first guy with a laptop back in the early '90's. Folks just freaked out. IR is very much the same way; folks are wildly impressed.

Tomorrow I've got a leaking new condo building; I'll let you know how it pans out.

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