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Flir Thermal Imaging Camera I-7

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  • Flir Thermal Imaging Camera I-7

    Hello fellow members
    I am interested in buying a thermal imaging camera ie flir i7 [budget related] what are your opinions for plumbing related use.

    thanks Tony

  • #2
    Re: Flir Thermal Imaging Camera I-7

    I have used a Flir unit a little, mostly for energy efficiency analisys.

    It seemed to work rather well.... Wish I could afford one.

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    • #3
      Re: Flir Thermal Imaging Camera I-7

      Impressive looking kit. Seems they are not lightweight players with cheap equipment. What do you plan to do with something like this in the Plumbing field

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      • #4
        Thinking about buying an inexpensive ir camera to find a water leak behind the finished walls in my basement.
        I can rent a flir i7 for $300/wk, or I can buy a entry level model outright for < $1000.

        Any recommendations on what entry level model is up to the task?

        Would a Flir TG165 ($500) detect water behind walls?
        Last edited by johncameron; 05-31-2015, 06:32 PM.

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        • #5
          I bought the flir e4 a few years back and did the super ez file hack now it's a e8 for less than a G.
          Seattle Drain Service

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          • #6
            Here is a picture from today of my dog, pretty good resolution. I use this to find water leaks and ground water for the most part but have used it on drain lines to see where the clog is or pointed and an exhaust manifold to see heat differences the sky's the limit!
            Seattle Drain Service

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            • #7
              Nice Cuda! I assume it also does a nice job of close up details, say a few feet away? I'm kind of worried it won't show (non-contact) water behind the walls. Is that the E4-b model? What does the software hack improve?

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              • #8
                The main thing about the E4 to the E8 is that the actual unit is the same just has different software (firmware) inside that dumbs it down. Off the top of my head I do not remember the e4 resolution but it was not good but the e8 has great resolution and a lot of menu choices that make the e8 better than the really expensive 30 and 40 series big brothers they just have wifi and bluetooth that the E series does not. Anyway Flir knows about the software upgrade people did and added blocks to stop it so the older cameras are best but people kept working on it and defeated them so that the camera could still be updated to the good specs. I do not know if the current model you listed is even possible to hack but to find out google e4 hack ev forums and you will find the current answers to which one to buy, if you do not like software changing then just buy an already hacked e4 on ebay that someone else has done for you.
                Seattle Drain Service

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                • #9
                  Thanks Cuda, Wish I would have bought when you did. I am hesitant buying off ebay and the new e4 models are encrypted. One downside is the hack voids warranty and software update.
                  Thanks again, I will keep looking.

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                  • #10
                    If you have an iPhone FLIR makes something which allows your iPhone to turn into a thermal imager. Not sure if they have something for Android. While not as good as the higher end models I hear you can get reasonable performance form the iPhone device - at least according to a few HVAC guys I have met. Cheaper than the stand-alone models.

                    Also I've heard that this won't always necessarily show water leaks - I think it is based on what is surrounding the leak.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by johncameron View Post
                      Thanks Cuda, Wish I would have bought when you did. I am hesitant buying off ebay and the new e4 models are encrypted. One downside is the hack voids warranty and software update.
                      Thanks again, I will keep looking.
                      I knew the first minute I was loading the hack into my e4 that I might brick the unit and I would have $1k down the drain but that didn't happen as for ebay look at the feedback because the guys selling the updated e4's are taking all the risk at first and if they get it done it makes it ready to use for you. Yes the warranty is void (maybe) but I am going on 2 years with mine and love it!
                      Seattle Drain Service

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                      • #12
                        Update

                        Originally posted by johncameron View Post
                        I'm kind of worried it won't show (non-contact) water behind the walls.
                        I'm happy with my newly acquired, upgraded flir e4, but to answer my own question, I think the answer is sadly, no. It does a great job of finding temp differences on the surface such indicating insulation voids, but is unable to penetrate behind drywall and vapor barrier to find water. If the drywall is wet, it would show, but it can not penetrate thru dry drywall to find a small leak.
                        Perhaps if you spent 25k or more on a ir camera, it would.
                        For under a grand the e4 is a good value, but no miracle worker.

                        Btw, thanks Cuda and everyone for your advice.

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