Having the right tools at your disposal can significantly improve the ease and certainty with which you can identify electrical problems, while simultaneously reducing the time you spend diagnosing issues. Leading thermal camera and test equipment manufacturer, FLIR has compiled a list of products that every electrical contractor should have in their toolbox. This list includes a thermal camera, voltage detector, clamp meter, wire/ cable tracer and multimeter. View the video and overviews below for further information regarding FLIR’s recommendations.

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Thermal Camera: FLIR C5 Compact Thermal Camera

FLIR recommends that electrical contractors bring a thermal camera to every job. Thermal cameras, such as the FLIR C5, can speed up inspections as they quickly pick-up on hot spots allowing you to find faulty fuses fast.

The FLIR C5 Compact Thermal Camera with Cloud Connectivity and Wi-Fi is both a thermal and visible-light imager: it features a 160 x 120px thermal resolution and an integrated 5MP visual-light camera. The FLIR C5 offers a 1-Touch Level/Span, six selectable thermal colour palettes (Iron, Grey, Rainbow, Arctic, Lava and Rainbow HC), a Picture-in-Picture mode, and an MSX mode which overlays visual details onto the thermal picture allowing you to pinpoint the source of faults quickly and with greater certainty.

Moreover, support for Wi-Fi and Cloud Connectivity means images can be uploaded to FLIR Ignite™, making them easily accessible from a variety of devices, such as your smartphone or tablet. Alternatively, images can be emailed to relevant persons.

The FLIR C5 Compact Thermal Camera is ideal for electrical contractors as its comprehensive features and functions are contained within a pocket-sized and durable body. It easily fits into a crowded tool bag and is perfect for use in rugged environments. Furthermore, its integrated LED torch makes it perfect for inspecting dark and/or hard-to-reach areas, while its 3.5-inch touchscreen display ensures it is easy to use.

For further information regarding the FLIR C5 Compact Thermal Camera with Cloud Connectivity and Wi-Fi, please follow this link.

Voltage Detector: FLIR VP52 Non-Contact Voltage Detector

Non-contact voltage detectors quickly verify the presence of voltage. This allows you to check if circuits are live, while also providing a simple and affordable method of protection. The FLIR VP52 Non-Contact AC Voltage Detector and Torch is a UK version of the FLIR VP50-2 Voltage Detector, the recommended model in FLIR’s video (see above).

The FLIR VP52 Non-Contact AC Voltage Detector and Torch is a portable AC voltage pen with a detection range of 24V to 1000V. Upon recognition of an AC voltage, the FLIR VP52 will vibrate and issue a visual alert.

Furthermore, this non-contact voltage indicator includes High and Low sensitivity modes making it suitable for use on both industrial and low voltage equipment. It is CAT IV safety rated and features a double-moulded design with an integrated LED torch for illuminating dark work areas.

To read more about the FLIR VP52 Non-Contact AC Voltage Detector and Torch, please follow this link.

Clamp Meter: FLIR CM275 IGM™ Clamp Meter

Clamp meters can be used to inspect and service plant equipment, circuits and facilities, as well as troubleshoot electrical problems; FLIR recommends using a combined infrared-imager and clamp meter, such as their CM275 IGM™ Thermal Imaging Datalogging Clamp Meter. This tool identifies hot spots, allowing you to locate the exact source of faults and subsequently streamline testing, resulting in greater overall efficiency.

The FLIR CM275 IGM™ Clamp Meter has an IR resolution of 160 x 120px and provides non-contact temperature measurements. Furthermore, it is capable of conducting AC/DC voltage, AC current, capacitance and resistance measurements, as well as diode and low impedance tests. The FLIR CM275 IGM™ Clamp Meter also features a VFD (Variable Frequency Drive) mode and supports true-RMS readings.

Results, as well as thermal images, can be saved to the FLIR CM275 IGM™ Clamp Meter’s integrated memory; stored data may be downloaded wirelessly to create reports.

Like the FLIR C5 and FLIR VP52, the FLIR CM275 IGM™ Clamp Meter includes an integrated torch. It also has narrow jaws for accessing tight spaces.

Please follow this link for more information regarding the FLIR CM275 IGM™ Thermal Imaging Datalogging Clamp Meter.

Wire/Cable Tracer: Extech CLT600 Advanced Cable Locator & Tracer Kit

FLIR suggests keeping a wire/ cable tracer, like Extech’s CLT600 Advanced Cable Tracer Kit, in your toolbox at all times. The Extech CLT600 Advanced Cable Locator & Tracer Kit, which includes a transmitter, receiver and grounding rod/ spike, can be used to find and follow energised and deenergised electrical power and telecommunication wires/ cables in walls, ceilings, and floors, as well as underground. It is also suitable for locating breaks and identifying fuses or breakers in panels.

The Extech CLT600 Kit provides an array of useful features such as coded signal transmission, non-contact voltage detection, a backlit LCD via which the user can see the strength of the signal, an audible signal indicator, a Mute mode, and work lights. It is ideal for building, field troubleshooting, wiring diagnostics, and electrical installation applications.

Please follow this link to read more about the Extech CLT600 Advanced Cable Locator & Tracer Kit.

Multimeter: Extech EX530 True-RMS Industrial Multimeter

As every electrical contractor knows, digital multimeters are a great help when it comes to troubleshooting and diagnosing electrical issues. However, as FLIR points out, this comes to nothing if your multimeter cannot withstand rugged environments; this is why FLIR recommends Extech’s EX530 11-Function Heavy-Duty True-RMS Industrial Multimeter. This DMM features a double-moulded casing that provides protection from drops of up to 6 feet (2.9m) and has an ingress protection rating of IP67, making it waterproof.

The Extech EX530 True-RMS Industrial Multimeter can measure eleven electrical parameters, including AC/DC voltage, AC/DC current, resistance, capacitance, frequency, temperature, duty cycle, continuity and diode, to an accuracy of approximately 0.06%. This true-RMS digital multimeter also features MIN/MAX and RELATIVE functions, and readings are indicated on its 40 000-count display.

To read more about the Extech EX530 True-RMS Industrial Multimeter, please follow this link.

Further Information

Those were FLIR’s recommendations for the five essential tools every electrical contractor should own. If you would like further information regarding any of the aforementioned products or any of our other thermal cameras, voltage detectors, clamp meters, wire/cable tracers and multimeters, please do not hesitate to contact our sales team on 01642 931 329 or via our online form.