When you’re working on plumbing projects, measuring moisture levels can help you decide whether the problem is a water leak, insufficient ventilation, or something else.
These tools can help you assess your home’s humidity levels and locate areas where moisture is building up.
These gadgets are useful for diagnosing problems that lead to rot and mildew in homes. The right moisture meter will provide accurate readings of the humidity of walls and other parts of your home.
They come in two varieties: optical and capacitive. Let’s look at each one in more detail to see which one might be best for your needs.
Optical Humidity Meters
An optical humidity meter uses a light-emitting diode (LED) to measure the amount of water in the air. They’re inexpensive and easy to use. There’s no calibration needed and you can simply hold the meter against the surface of the wall, floor, or ceiling to get a reading.
Optical humidity meters aren’t the most accurate type of humidity meter. They can’t tell the difference between water vapor and other gasses, so they can’t identify a leak or dampness in a building.
They’re best for non-critical tasks, such as general home maintenance. However, they’re also useful for diagnosing mold and mildew growth. If you’re seeing signs of these in your home, an optical humidity meter can help you identify the problem.
Capacitive Humidity Meters
A capacitive humidity meter uses an electrical charge to measure how much water is in the air or wall.
They’re more accurate than optical humidity meters and can tell you whether there’s too much moisture or not enough. They’re also useful for monitoring weather conditions, such as the build-up of clouds before a storm, and the air quality outside your home.
A capacitive humidity meter can identify if your home has a ventilation issue, like a clogged vent, or an issue with insulation, like moisture building up between the walls. Unlike an optical humidity meter, a capacitive humidity meter needs to be calibrated. This means you need to check the accuracy of the tool before you start using it.
Using a heat camera as a moisture meter.
A third option is to use a heat camera. Wet spots tend to be colder. This results in a blue color on the screen. Using a heat camera requires some training as you need to know how to interpret the data.
The great thing is that it can also be used to check insulation and ventilation issues. For this reason, a lot of plumbers are starting to use a heat cameras.
Heat cameras are often used to find the general area of the leak. To find the final spot, a traditional humidity meter is used as this is more precise.
Which is best for plumbers?
Both types of meters are useful for plumbing work. You can use an optical meter to check for dampness in areas that are prone to water damage, such as the basement, laundry room, or garage.
You can use a capacitive meter to check the air quality and humidity levels in more specific spots.
Optical meters are getting replaced by heat cameras as the latter ones can be used for a lot of things. Most plumbers nowadays get a heat camera and a capacitive meter if they have to detect a lot of water leaks.
This speeds up the process as you can narrow down the cause of the problem much faster.
Some systems combine heat cameras with capacitive meters. This makes it easy as you have everything in one tool.
What to look for when buying a moisture meter
There are a few features to look for when buying a humidity meter.
-First, it should be designed for ease of use. You should be able to hold the meter against the wall or ceiling with one hand while pressing the button on the other.
-You want to make sure it is accurate so it doesn’t over-read the humidity levels. Finding a leak fast can reduce the amount of damage that it can create. Water leaks can be very destructive and have to be fixed asap.
-The battery should last a long time and be easy to charge.
-Price. There are cheaper systems out there but they are not that accurate. Sometimes you need 2 tools to get the best performance and it is just better to get a more expensive device instead of 2 cheaper ones.
-Finally, you want a tool that has a large, easy-to-read display. The last thing you want to do is squint and struggle to read the numbers.
The best moisture meter for plumbers
Moisture meters can be quite expensive but can make your job a lot easier. I have one that is made by FLIR. While there are a lot of models that are cheaper, I find that it saves me a lot of time.
Furthermore, the included probe makes sure that you don’t have to damage walls or floors to get a reading. Some moisture meters have pins that can dent a wall. Customers complained to me about this before so it is something that I want to avoid.
This moisture meter is quite rugged and can handle a rougher environment.
What I like about it is that you can store the images. This allows you to show them to your customers. If there is a big problem, you can use this to give them an idea of what is going on.
The main drawback is that this is a technological product. As with anything, they keep upgrading them and newer models might be more accurate.
Moisture meters are essential for any plumber that needs to find a water leak. They come in different sizes and types. In this post, we have outlined what you have to consider when getting one.
Moisture meters have improved a lot in recent years. Heat cameras are combined with advanced sensors. This makes it a lot easier than before to find the source of the problem. While some of these moisture meters are quite expensive, they can make it easier to find the source of the problem.
Finding where the water leak is located can save you a lot of trips to the customer. If your customers keep calling you because the problem hasn’t been fixed, they might get frustrated. The best moisture meters are quite expensive but they can make your work a lot easier!