Did you know you can use an infrared camera to check the condition of your electrical installations? This guide will tell you everything you need to know about electrical thermal imaging and how to use it to keep your commercial building safe and compliant.
What is thermal imaging?
Thermal imaging is when an infrared camera is used to identify electrical faults.
It is often called electrical thermal imaging, thermographic testing, or electrical thermographic surveying.
How does electrical thermal imaging work?
All objects emit thermal energy – the hotter the object, the more energy it emits. An infrared camera is used to identify the levels of heat an item releases. The more heat emitted, the brighter the colours, and vice versa.
For example, let’s imagine thermal imaging is used on a faulty distribution board. An infrared camera would identify a blown fuse – as the fuse is cooler than usual, it would show up blue. The fuse could then be replaced quickly.
What can thermal imaging detect?
Electrical thermal imaging can identify faulty electrical installations before they stop working, saving you time and money. Issues a thermal imaging survey can detect include:
- Overheating cables or motors
- Loose, worn, and corroded connections
- Damage and wear to electrical insulation
- Overloaded and blown fuses
- Damp and mould
What are the benefits of thermal imaging?
Thermal imaging is commonly used in places where turning off the power to carry out an EICR inspection is not possible, would cause disruption, or pose a health and safety risk. An infrared camera can be used while equipment is still operational.
Thermal imaging is often used in hospitals, universities, laboratories, factories, and prisons.
Another benefit of thermal imaging is that engineers can identify potential issues before they become major problems. This means businesses can get faulty parts of their electrical installations repaired or replaced before they cause downtime.
Is electrical thermal imaging a legal requirement?
No – electrical thermal imaging isn’t a legal requirement.
However, it is a legal requirement to ensure the electrical installations in your building are safe. Combined with EICR inspections, thermal imaging is a great way to protect against the risk of fire or electric shock.
Some insurance policies may stipulate that you need to have electrical thermal imaging carried out to validate your insurance. We recommend checking your insurance documents to see if this is the case.
How much does electrical thermal imaging cost?
In the past, only large companies relied on thermal imaging as it was very expensive. However, as time has moved on, technology has become more affordable.
The cost of thermal imaging depends on how much time needs to be spent on-site and how many different images need to be surveyed. Consider how much downtime may cost your business, and a thermal imaging survey may work out to be a very cost-effective investment.
Get in touch with us for your bespoke thermographic survey quote.
Need thermal imaging? Hawkesworth can help
If you think thermal imaging would benefit your business, we offer a high-quality, professional service across the country.
Our engineer will attend site to check your electrical installation at a time convenient to you. After the service, we will provide a detailed report showing photos of all your electrical installations, temperatures logged, and our engineer’s recommendations.
Keep your business fully operational and stay safe with thermal imaging.