Using a specialized camera, heat radiation, or signature, is detected and recorded in a picture format. Faulty electrical components and loose connections generate more heat than normal and thus show up colored differently – a ‘hot spot’. Electrical hot spots are never self-correcting and continue to worsen over time. IR scanning is a low cost, high value preventative maintenance technique. It gives a clear picture of the problem in real time, under normal loading conditions. It can be performed safely, is not time consuming, and requires no physical contact or outages. Repairs can then be scheduled at a convenient time with proper parts and personnel.

IR scanning is widely known and accepted by State Fire Marshals, Electrical and OSHA inspectors, and Insurance Companies. Some insurance companies require IR surveys of electrical and mechanical systems or may provide discounts for those that have a scan performed regularly. Many customers have had IR scanning done annually for 10, 15, or more years.

Bluewave IR concentrates on electrical equipment, but IR scanning can also be used to detect roof leaks, insulation deficiencies, and potential mechanical equipment failures, such as bearings. Bluewave staff will gladly discuss any of these items further and can expand the scope of IR scanning at your facility.

[The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70B section 9.2 states that every commercial and industrial building should have an IR survey annually.]

<< See examples of Bluewave Infrared Scanning hot spots. >>


Bluewave staff will complete your company’s safety program for vendors/contractors and have any required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Please discuss any atypical requirements with Bluewave in advance. In most circumstances the company contracting Bluewave must provide an escort knowledgeable in electrical equipment and the location of all the equipment. Scan typically includes electrical service entrance, all electrical equipment, switchgear, and circuit breaker panels. When practical and safe, the escort shall open the electrical equipment while energized for a complete scan. This is critical with fused disconnects, for example, but not required with standard circuit breaker panels. However, if a circuit breaker indicates certain problems, then the Bluewave Engineer may request that the cover be removed for additional viewing.

Bluewave Infrared Scanning will find any hot spots, analyze and record the circumstances, and discuss with your staff. The infrared image as well as a standard digital picture will be saved. The standard digital picture is key to locating the problem with the naked eye. Bluewave IR will then provide a report, at a later date, including all pictures, relative data, and suggested action plans for the company owner. Actions and repairs to be completed by your company maintenance department or qualified contractor.