“Do Thermal Imaging Scans on Electrical Panels Really Matter?”

Do Thermal Imaging Scans on Electrical Panels Really Matter?


As an electrician, I am often asked by homeowners and business owners if thermal imaging scans on electrical panels are really necessary. Thermal imaging, also known as infrared scanning, is a technology that detects abnormal heat patterns and temperatures in electrical systems. It can identify potential problems before they lead to failures, fires, or other safety issues. But with the cost involved, many people wonder if thermal scans are truly worth the investment.

In this article, I will examine the key benefits of thermal imaging for electrical panels to help determine if it’s a service worth utilizing. I will also outline factors to consider regarding when thermal scans provide the most value. My goal is to equip you with the information needed to make an informed decision about thermal imaging for your property's electrical safety.

How Thermal Imaging Works

By identifying hot spots from issues like high resistance connections, thermal scans can detect electrical problems long before system failures occur. I simply analyze the thermal images to determine where hazardous faults likely exist.

Key Benefits of Thermal Imaging

Here are some of the major benefits thermal imaging on electrical panels can provide:

When Thermal Scanning Provides the Most Value

Based on the benefits outlined above, thermal imaging of electrical panels is particularly valuable in the following situations:

Case Study: Preventing Shutdown in a Manufacturing Facility

Here is a real world example highlighting the value of thermally scanning electrical systems:

A manufacturing plant was experiencing brief power interruptions causing equipment to shut down unexpectedly. They called me to perform a thermal imaging scan on their main electrical distribution panels hoping to identity the cause.

The images showed several highly elevated hot spots indicating severe connection issues. I color coded the images to clearly identify the locations of the faults.

I alerted the maintenance team to the imminent failures so repairs could be made. The faulty connections were verified and corrected, preventing a major outage. Had the thermal scan not been performed, the entire plant would have faced an unplanned shutdown once the connections fully failed.

This case demonstrates how infrared thermography was able to detect hazardous electrical faults before they caused disastrous downtime for the plant. The images provided actionable data to address the problems proactively.

Factors to Consider

When deciding if thermal imaging will provide value for your facility, here are some important factors to take into account:


Thermal imaging offers powerful preventive maintenance benefits by enabling early identification of hidden electrical faults and hazards. For critical facilities and older electrical systems, thermal scans can be highly effective for detecting issues proactively, avoiding failures, enhancing safety, and reducing costs. While the upfront investment is not insignificant, the value derived from infrared imaging of electrical panels often justifies the cost when used properly at the right intervals. In many cases, thermal scans deliver savings that outweigh their expense.