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Old 02-28-2019, 06:33 PM   #1
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Handheld Thermal Imaging Camera

I am looking at handheld thermal imaging cameras as a way to check levels in tanks without putting more hols in the top.

Has anyone tried this and did it work?

Does anyone have a suggestion on a inexpensive one (cheap) that works reasonably well. Would like a stand alone but not totally against one that runs through my phone if it works.

Thanks
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Old 02-28-2019, 07:04 PM   #2
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Try a heat lazer
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Old 02-28-2019, 08:44 PM   #3
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The search function is your friend: Holding tank level backup
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Old 02-28-2019, 09:47 PM   #4
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I've done this with the Flir One attached to my iPhone. Works pretty well, a bit dependent on weather. In long term steady temperature, there is no difference between the liquid inside and the tank sides. Usually the temp is rising or falling enough to make it work.
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Old 02-28-2019, 10:41 PM   #5
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There are sensors that can be mounted on the tank top or sides that use some kind of sonar to measure levels.
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Old 02-28-2019, 11:04 PM   #6
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can you just use a dipstick from the filler pipe ?? It not as fun as a thermal camera, but might be more reliable and certainly less expensive
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Old 02-28-2019, 11:22 PM   #7
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Benthic2 the main tank I am trying to check is the holding tank, so no, no dipstick. I have a SCAD that was installed by the previous owner that has never worked right, thus I do not trust it.

Worst case I will install a fitting in the top of the tank that I can remove and use a dipstick but that is really low on my favorite projects.
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Old 03-01-2019, 07:00 AM   #8
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The tank tender will allow fuel, water waste tanks to be monitored easily.


Tank Tender

tanktender.com/
Home · About · Installation & Operation · Order Form · Pressure Checking · Installation Video · Distributors.‎Installation & Operation · ‎About · ‎Order Form · ‎Pressure Checking
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Old 03-01-2019, 02:15 PM   #9
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FLIR TG165 $350 C at Canadian Tire. I really like it, decent picture, auto ranges which is good and bad. Please note very well that it WILL NOT work on a SS or alum tank. They act like a mirror and if taken straight on, you can see the frustration on your smiling face in the screen. Watch close and you will see the temperature change in your face as it flushes with embarrassment.
Might (I don't know.) work on painted SS or alum tank.
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Old 03-01-2019, 02:29 PM   #10
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A simple IR thermo gun may work just us good. Available for as cheap as $3.
I paid $20 for one and it works great for checking tank levels.

Not as fun as a $350 IR camera, but just as effective.
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Old 03-01-2019, 02:29 PM   #11
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Trouble is I don't think you'll be guaranteed of enough temperature range difference to make a thermal camera the right option.

That said I've been very pleased with a little Seek Thermal widget I've had for my Android phones. I recently picked a USBC-microSD adapter to allow me to continue using it with my most recent phone upgrade.

https://www.thermal.com/compact-series.html

What kind of tank is it? Ours has a poly tank and you'd be surprised how well it works to shine a bright flashlight against the side. Lights up the level pretty clearly around the outside.

Tank sensors are on my 'to do' list.
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Old 03-01-2019, 03:28 PM   #12
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As I said, I've done it and it works. A cheap IR gun also works, though a bit less precise. Both may have an emissivity problem on shiny metal, but this is easily dealt with by sticking some masking tape (on any tape) to the surface to be read.

The Flir One combines the optical camera in an overlay, which helps to calibrate position etc. It is a pretty useful gadget at times for lots of different things.
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Old 03-01-2019, 03:41 PM   #13
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I have an older seek thermal. I can easily find plumbing and wiring, leaking roof, wet flooring so I would think so. I’ll have to try. Normally use the flashlight on the back of the tank truck. This would be easier!
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