Inbuilt House Vacuum Cleaning System Leak

Some houses have an inbuilt vacuum cleaner system behind the walls, with the main suction unit in the garage or storage area. If the suction pressure of the vacuum cleaner falls away, how do you find out where the air is escaping?

Recently we were called out to a job where the contracted installers of the system had an air leak issue that they couldn’t detect, causing a reduction in suction and general performance of the system by 25%.

What other options did they try to find the leak before calling us?

• They replaced the original suction unit to make sure that wasn’t the problem, and the new one had the same fall in pressure.
• They stuck a snake camera right up the vacuum pipe to see if there were any screws or nails penetrating the pipe from a recent home renovation. The main issue with this option is you can’t get the camera to snake around every different pipe because there were offshoots of piping to each individual outlet off the main pipe.
• They had listened closely with their ear up against the wall in many areas to detect a potential ‘hissing’ sound where air could be escaping. No luck there either.

After spending literally hours in travel time, changing units over , hiring cameras to go up the pipe, lots of frustration etc, we came in with the thermal imaging camera and detected a ‘hot spot’ on the internal wall lining within 15 minutes.

How did we detect a hot spot when there is no hot air in a household vacuum cleaner?

We blocked all the vacuum outlet holes in each room, then pumped hot air into the network of pipes from the main suction unit. Due to the close proximity of the internal vacuum pipes to the internal wall gib board/plasterboard lining, it was easy to detect the hot air leak using our infrared thermal imaging cameras. This is because the pressurized hot air was coming out of the breach in the pipe and hitting the wall lining.

Our IR cameras are very sensitive and detect down to 0.10 of a degree, therefore where the hot air was hitting the back of the wall was a different temperature to the rest of the wall. Easy work for the infrared camera. Job done!

If you have an issue with a similar type leak, and there are no certified thermographers in your area

Liquid Leak into River – Aerial Infrared Photo

An infrared camera is an excellent way to detect ‘hard to solve’ problems that the human eye won’t see.

Below is an infrared image of liquid leaking into a river.

Here’s why this leak could be seen using a highly sensitive thermal imaging camera: See where the liquid is spilling into the river? That liquid is a different temperature to the water it’s flowing into… therefore an infrared thermographer can instantly pinpoint the source of the leak. There is no way this spillage could have been detected with the human eye, because the colour of the liquid was almost the same as the water it was flowing into.

These same principles are what we use to detect leaks in NZ houses. This thermal imaging photo is taken from the sky out of a small aircraft.

Courtesy of AITscan
Courtesy of AITscan

We detect leaks all over NZ using infrared technology!

Detecting Leaks in Boats Using Infrared

We had an interesting call today from a gentleman in Christchurch who was requiring infrared work on his boat.

Do you suspect leaks in your boat?

In the case of this phone call, the skipper needed his refrigeration system looked at to determine areas of heat loss through the insulation, but there are also other applications for infrared thermal imaging on boats…

Laminate seperation, moisture under boat decking, water intrusion, mould growth and loose electrical connections are some of the areas we can utilise infrared thermal imaging here in NZ on boats.

When water heats up or cools down, it will do so at a different rate to the surrounding materials, thus allowing the infrared camera to pick up the tiny surface temperature differences … quickly pinpointing the area of concern.

The best time of day for a thermographer to perform leak detection on your boat would be after hours when the sun has gone down. Performing an inspection at this time of day eliminates solar reflection that causes false readings in some cases… especially when imaging exterior surfaces that are directly hit by the sun.

Call us today for a leak detection infrared scan on your vessel!


Thermal Imaging – Mechanical Inspections

When any mechanical device is in operation, heat is generated.

Forces such as misalignment, friction, improper lubrication and inaccurate belt tension cause excessive heating.

What can we detect?

We can detect misalignments is coupled equipment, excessive friction, over/under lubrication of bearings, over/under tension of belted systems and defective equipment.

thermal image mechanical

Thermal imaging can detect potential catostophic failures due to overheating weeks in advance.


The system must be under load, and we need a clear line of sight to the object being imaged.

The brilliant part about thermal imaging on mechanical (and electrical) components, is there is no interuption to the service needed, it’s non-contact and can be performed remotely.

Components we are certified to inspect:

Motors & Generators – Electrical connections, Rotor & Stator, Bearings, Couplings

Rolling Element Bearings



Thermal imaging is the fastest way to detect exceptions that are not visible to the human eye.

Contact us today for a complete inhouse infrared ‘predictive’ inspection of the mechanical components in your business today!

Fast Way to Measure Water Tank Level (see photo)

If you’re looking for a fast way to measure your water tank level, you should consider thermal imaging. The measurement is taken in an instant.

Thermal imaging has a variety of applications beyond moisture inspections, and this image below is just one of many applications. We would usually take an image of a water tank in conjunction with a regular home inspection.

Water tanks are used for all types of applications and come in various sizes, and there usually comes a time when you would like to know the exact water level. There is only one simple and fast solution.

If you are no longer capable of checking your water levels through ill health, or you simply don’t like climbing up the tank to look down the hole, then we can do a ‘tank level measurement’ for you with our thermal imaging camera.

Here’s an example of a tank being measured in a refinery…

water tank level

Contact us today for a thermal imaging scan of your water tank!