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April 21, 2024
how does thermal imaging work

Thanks to the advancements in modern technology, the means of detecting leaks in your home are made easy. The conventional way of leak detection involves your plumber looking for clues and literally digging for answers. Sometimes, this can cause unnecessary damage to your property and may even potentially compromise your house’s overall structural integrity.

One of the most modern means of leak detection used by industry professionals today is thermal imaging. Curious about how it works? We’ll let you in on what goes down behind the scenes in this article.

But first, let’s talk about what thermal imaging leak detection is.

Thermal imaging leak detection

As the name suggests, this means of leak detection uses thermal imaging to help plumbing professionals accurately pinpoint damaged pipes in residential homes and commercial establishments.

Plumbers use specially designed equipment called thermal imaging cameras that can detect water leaks by reading the fluctuations in the electromagnetic spectrum in the infrared range. These devices can interpret wavelengths imperceptible to the human eye and can read past through layers that cover your plumbing system.

This way, they don’t have to drill holes on your wall or crack your floors open just to see where the leak is coming from.

How does thermal imaging leak detection work?

As we’ve briefly covered above, water leak detection through thermal imaging uses a special camera. These cameras record light as heat and can show this on a visual display screen. They catch the infrared energy and identify small differences in temperature on the surface of different materials. By doing so, they can highlight the warmer and the colder surface areas giving plumbers an idea of where a particular leak is located.

Recent innovations in thermal scanning allow the heat sensed by a thermal imaging camera to be measured and quantified which makes for a more precise way of evaluating the picture displayed by the camera.

That said, plumbers look for moisture patterns to help them identify certain changes or anomalies in your house — leak-wise that is. They would check the walls, the ceiling, and other places where water pipes may be located. They may look for irregular shapes that indicate water and moisture formation hidden behind the concrete or wooden layers in your home.

Without thermal imaging leak detection, finding where the leak is can be difficult as some of the signs are subtle and can be easy to miss.

Reasons for thermal imaging leak detection

Don’t know when to call for a plumber who can detect water leaks using thermal imaging? Here are a few reasons you should consider calling one.

High water bills

Well, unexplained high water bills to be exact. If you don’t own a pool and get a bill that says you’ve consumed as much, you might need to contact a professional leak detector who can help you using thermal imaging.

Chances are, there’s a leak in your property somewhere and it’s causing you to lose water, and you’re being charged for it. Contact a professional so they can assess your property for you.

Peeling paper or paint

This happens on leaks that are located on the walls of your home. Because of the presence of water and moisture, the paint or the wallpaper will dilapidate. The affected portion of the wall will also feel moist and will have a different temperature compared to other portions of the wall.

In this event, a thermal scanner will pick up the changes in temperature. Your leak detection specialist can check a more detailed reading and can take the necessary actions depending on the situation.

Presence of mold and mildew

Because of constant exposure to moisture, mold and mildew can develop on your walls and your floors. If you find a patch of mold or mildew on your home despite seeing no visible causes for it to grow, it’s best to contact a professional.

Don’t risk your family’s health and seek the help of a plumber immediately.

Benefits of leak detection through thermal imaging

  • Can detect moisture in your ceiling, flat roof, walls, and floors
  • A non-destructive leak detection method
  • It creates minimum disruption and causes no damage to your property
  • Fast and accurate leak detection reading


Knowing how thermal leak detection works can help you understand its benefits and gives you an idea of when you should seek the assistance of a leak detector specialist.

If you suspect that you have a leak in your property but are unable to put a finger to it, calling a thermal imaging leak detection company can be the best decision.