ECN Electrical Forum - Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals
ECN Shout Chat
Top Posters(30 Days)
Potseal 11
Recent Posts
600 KW 120/208 3 Phase Y protection
by Yooperup. 07/24/17 12:20 PM
1913 American Electrician's Handbook
by gfretwell. 07/20/17 01:08 PM
Green House wiring
by ghost307. 07/20/17 09:10 AM
Permit Snafus...AHJs and Contractors Jump in
by HotLine1. 07/18/17 08:06 PM
New in the Gallery:
SE cable question
Popular Topics(Views)
239,354 Are you busy
174,812 Re: Forum
167,196 Need opinion
Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 73 guests, and 4 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate This Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
#7653 - 02/14/02 02:13 PM Preventative Maintenance on 480v MCP  
rperry05  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 1
Spring Texas United States
I work with Johnson Controls Inc. at Intercontinental Airport Houston Texas. We recently had an issue with a 3/O wire melting due to a loose lug. We have been discusing better ways to do preventative maintenance in our motor control panels. Is there a type of heat gun device that will let us know if there is a loose contact causing the wire to melt due to resistance or is tightening every lug and contact our best bet to ensure this does not happen in the future. I would greatly appreciate any input on this matter.

Bagroom Manager, Rob Perr.

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#7654 - 02/14/02 03:29 PM Re: Preventative Maintenance on 480v MCP  
Chris Rudolph  Offline
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 160
Winter Park,Fl USA
I have seen thermal imaging "guns" that will sense the hot spots and will thus show you the high resistance connections.
Sorry I don't know who makes it.


#7655 - 02/14/02 04:58 PM Re: Preventative Maintenance on 480v MCP  
mamills  Offline
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 745
Wharton, Texas, USA
Hi, Rob.
To add a little bit more to what Chris told you, our Fire Department recently purchased a thermal imaging camera from a company by the name of Bullard, located in Kentucky (sorry, I don't know the city). We use this for locating hot spots inside walls and ceilings (from fire, ballasts, or high resistance electric connections which are "cooking" in a hidden area). Works great, but the cost of this thing is horrendous...$9800.00! [Linked Image] Hopefully, someone can put you onto something a little more reasonable.

Mike (mamills)

Found a URL for this company...
(along with an address and phone numbers)

[This message has been edited by mamills (edited 02-14-2002).]

#7656 - 02/14/02 05:44 PM Re: Preventative Maintenance on 480v MCP  
resqcapt19  Offline
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,148
Thermal imagers or temperature indicators are nice but only give you a "snapshot" of what is going at that very instant. There are available some small stick on tabs that have a permanent change in color at a specific temperature. some are marketed for electrical use. You put the sticker on the termination and then every few months you just look for the color change and take any corrective action that may be required at that time. Take a look at this site:

I haven't tried them yet, but they look like a good idea.


#7657 - 02/14/02 06:34 PM Re: Preventative Maintenance on 480v MCP  
George Corron  Offline
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 717
Lorton, Va USA
Graingers, and lots of others, also sell non contact infra red thermometers. I've used them for a long time. They don't make a permanent record of the area, but they will let you know you have a hot spot, you can also run them up and down columns of breakers and check for loose connections or overloaded conditions like that. Used them for several major maintenance programs including Dulles Airport. They also go between $300.00 and $600.00 making them a bit more palatable.

#7658 - 02/14/02 07:00 PM Re: Preventative Maintenance on 480v MCP  
dana1028  Offline
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 163
San Carlos, CA
I have a Fluke 65 Infrared Thermometer - believe it cost around $100 - works like a charm...sends out an infrared beam and you can get readings on warehouse conduit 25' up in the air...breakers, lugs, etc.

#7659 - 02/14/02 08:54 PM Re: Preventative Maintenance on 480v MCP  
maintenanceguy  Offline
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 300
Southern NJ, USA
I've played with the infared themometers but don't have one.

The downside (and maybe they've come out with something better) is that it took nearly a second to get a temperature reading which meant scanning a row of breakers would have been terribly slow.

And the thermometer "sees" a circular area just like a camera lense does - so at 12", you're reading the temperature of whatever its pointing at but at 25', you're reading the average temperature of a circle maybe 2' in diameter.

#7660 - 02/14/02 10:40 PM Re: Preventative Maintenance on 480v MCP  
resqcapt19  Offline
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,148
The only problem with all of the scanners or non contact thermometers is that if the connection or device is not overheating at the time of your scan, you won't see the problem.


#7661 - 02/15/02 08:44 AM Re: Preventative Maintenance on 480v MCP  
Redsy  Offline
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,056
Bucks County PA
You can get a reliable non contact gun-type temp. sensor for as little as $125.00 from Sunshine Instruments. Try and contact Tom.

#7662 - 02/15/02 11:46 AM Re: Preventative Maintenance on 480v MCP  
dana1028  Offline
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 163
San Carlos, CA
Maintguy - re: 2' beam pattern at 25' - the Fluke I have has a VERY tight beam - at 20' the light beam does not cover more than a 3/4" conduit....I use mine to check to hot conduit - checking for harmonics, poor connections.

Page 1 of 2 1 2

Member Spotlight
Washington...Not DC
Posts: 216
Joined: March 2005
Show All Member Profiles 

2017 Master Electrician Exam Preparation Combos
2017 NEC Electrician
Exam Prep Combos:
Master / Journeyman


Shout Box
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0
Page Time: 0.018s Queries: 16 (0.003s) Memory: 0.8177 MB (Peak: 0.9929 MB) Zlib enabled. Server Time: 2017-07-26 18:37:51 UTC