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-   -   Thermal temperature readings on breakers (https://www.electriciantalk.com/f2/thermal-temperature-readings-breakers-179722/)

Sparky Mcgregor 10-20-2016 10:44 AM

Thermal temperature readings on breakers
 
I read recently that using a thermal temperature reading is a good way to find bad circuit breakers in panels. I believe it said to get a reading off of the input and out put terminal and that a difference of more than a few degrees should be investigated. I went though my note to get the specifics but unfortunately I can't remember where I read this. I checked the temperature for the breakers in the panel today and found a difference of roughly 10 degrees F from the input to the output on the breakers for the safety interlock. Since I can't find the source of this information I'm not really sure if I found something worth noting or not. Does anyone have any experience using this technique for panel troubleshooting or PM's that could offer me some more details on this?

backstay 10-20-2016 08:09 PM

I think breaker type, application, terminals would all work into the mix.

Anathera 10-20-2016 08:13 PM

15 Attachment(s)
Thermal imaging can help find loose terminals or heavily loaded breakers but it is most effective In a long term pm situation. It can really help locate miss balenced panels

Big John 10-20-2016 08:18 PM

For temperature difference on a common component or between similar components we use a scale developed by EPRI:
0-10C Minor
11-35C Moderate
36-70C Severe
>70C Critical

Flyingsod 10-22-2016 11:17 AM

10 degrees Fahrenheit should be investigated? I find that hard to believe. Pretty much everything I have ever looked at with the thermal imaging cam would have to be investigated. Maybe that's lab specs or something, in the real world you'd be chasing your tail imo

Sent from my C6725 using Tapatalk

Big John 10-22-2016 12:35 PM

This is where an experienced thermographer is valuable: The cameras are a dime a dozen and anyone can point them at something. But knowing what is an issue and what is not is where your value is to the customer.

I would very likely not waste the time or ink to report a 10 delta-T on a breaker unless I had reason to believe it was the beginning of a more serious problem.


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