Why An Electrician Would Use Infrared Testing And Why You Might Need Such A Service

Posted on: 13 September 2016

Infrared testing is often used to detect changes in temperature underneath concrete or detect objects under concrete that should not be there (e.g., human remains). However, in the world of electricity, infrared has slightly different uses. Here is why an electrician might need to use infrared testing and why you might need him/her to do it.

There Are "Hot Wires" in Your Walls

Electrical wires that are no longer insulated because rodents or other pests have chewed through the protective coating are often referred to as "hot wires." These wires have the potential to cause major fires, often without much warning. Since you cannot see the damage to the wires, you would never know there was a problem until your house or building burned down and the fire marshal conducts an investigation. The electrician can use the infrared testing to "see" the hot wires and then cut the power circuit to these wires until they are repaired or replaced.

Seeing Through Concrete Walls

In some industrial instances, concrete walls are constructed to prevent contamination of potentially lethal substances. These concrete "rooms" often have access points for maintenance teams, which means they also have electrical components and wiring. To protect the electrician from exposure, he or she uses the infrared testing to "see" through the concrete walls and into the chamber, often within a few inches of the electrical wiring within. If there are no problems, then the electrician does not have to suit up in a HAZMAT suit to enter the area and perform repairs. If there is a problem, then he/she has to suit up, go in, fix the problems, then spend time in a decontamination chamber before coming back out.

Checking Circuit Breakers and Fuse Boxes without Taking Them Apart

Lastly, infrared testing can reduce the number of labor hours involved when used in conjunction with circuit breakers and fuse boxes. Electrical current gives off heated pulses, which when interrupted inside, will stop short of the pathways they are supposed to travel. Rather than take the entire box apart to find the problem, the electrician can use infrared testing to "see" inside the box and find where the current seems to be blocked or not traveling properly. Additionally, roaches have been known to bury into these power boxes and cause electrical problems, and the infrared testing can also detect the body temperatures of the moving roaches and any nests inside.

For more information, contact a company like Center Line Electric.