Thermal Imaging Surveys and Water Leaks
As we have covered in our section about the tools used to find water leaks, Thermal Imaging Leak Detection is one of the methods used to find water leaks. But how does it work and will it find all water leaks? Or will it only help in certain situations? Let’s look into that in more detail…
Water leaks come in many forms and finding them through thermal imaging leak detection is one of the methods used, alongside other types of leak detection. However, although it is a very powerful and useful method to find leaks, you would struggle to find water leaks with thermal imaging alone. A professional leak detection specialist will use a range of tools, methods and processes to locate a leak.
Thermal Imaging Camera – Functions
Clearly, as the name suggests, thermal imaging cameras display images in a visual format but showing temperature (thermal) variances across the objects they are looking at. Even on a surface which to the naked eye look normal can show temperature variances such as below…
In the image above, you can see the towel rail and the pipes leaving it going into the floor but where do the pipes go? Well, as you can see, thermal imaging leak detection tools will show that clearly.
This isn’t just useful for seeing where potential leaks are but also for tracing pipes across a property – in floors, walls, ceilings etc. This can work for both hot and cold pipes. To help this process, professional thermal imaging cameras are very sensitive to small changes in temperature.
Very importantly, although these thermal imaging leak detection cameras can be used by a novice to do basic tasks, to get the best from them and increase the chances of finding a leak a trained leak detection specialist will spot things that a regular person would not.
They will know how to calibrate the camera for different situations in order to get the best results and how to use the more advanced functions which can be very beneficial.
For example, as well as tracking pipes (say from a combi boiler system), the highly trained eye of a leak detection engineer will spot anomalies in the images they are seeing – this will lead to further investigations, including other tools.
Thermal Imaging Cameras – Cost
A professional thermal imaging camera used in thermal imaging leak detection cost many hundreds of pounds, often into the thousands (even tens of thousands sometimes). They are far more advanced leak detection systems than a budget thermal imaging camera. Manufacturers such as Flir and Fluke are two of the most commonly seen manufacturers in the UK. Both have a wide range of professional cameras.
Thermal Imaging Leak Detection Cost
A commonly asked question! Well the answer is that a reputable leak detection company will not normally charge you extra for this service, it’s almost always included in the package as standard. So when you are choosing a supplier to find a leak at your house, make sure you choose a reputable company who includes this within the service.
Thermal Imaging Leak Detection – Benefits
As you might expect, thermal imaging leak detection is excellent for finding…
- Hot water pipe leaks
- Cold water pipe leaks or cold spots
- Underfloor leaks in heating pipe leaks
- Leaks in central heating systems
- Linked to that central heating pipe leaks
- Leaks from boilers losing pressure including combi boiler leak
- Leaks around showers and baths, including;
- Shower Leaking Through Ceiling
The other great benefit is that they are non-destructive (just like pinless moisture meters), meaning that they can see under, behinds and below surfaces without needing to cause any damage – it’s almost like x-ray vision for leaks!
So, in conclusion, thermal imaging leak detection is extremely valuable in finding water leaks. However, they are just one of the many complimentary methods we use to find water leaks at your property, so if you need help with a water leak – get in touch today!
We discuss thermal imaging leak detection in our new Boiler Pressure Low? – Leak Tool
Can thermal imaging detect leaks?
Yes thermal imaging leak detection can find leaks, but as we have said above and on other occasions, thermal imaging leak detection is just one of the many methods of finding water leaks we utilise to maximise the chances of locating the leak, even in hidden locations in your home or business. We have a variety of leak detectors available, each with a specialism and purpose.
Can you see through a house with thermal imaging?
No, you cannot see through buildings, walls or solid objects with thermal imaging. However, thermal imaging can help to see things like hot and cold heat sources behind walls. This includes hot and cold water pipes, and water leaks. They can also be used for thermography inspections in houses, for a number of purposes.