Trying to buy a thermal leak detector? But do you want a thermal camera imager or something more like a thermometer?
Therein lies the dilemma.
Finding the right kind of thermal leak detector could turn into a chore if you don’t have a clear picture of all the specs and features you’ll need. We know that these home power thermal leak detectors may not strike as complicated if you’re a professional or seasoned DIY-er.
But it cannot be denied that more often than not, people end up buying something that may not serve the intended purpose. And since it’s better not to invest in the wrong gadget, we took our time to create this guide to help you choose better.
Obviously, we came across several brands with their individual suite of products. But it was only after thorough research and analysis that we got the 7 best thermal leak detection kits available right now.
Check out our other article on comparing thermal leak detectors vs. infrared thermometers to know which one you should select.
So, without further ado, let’s begin, shall we?
Best Thermal Leak Detector Kits For Leaks
Here is the list of the 7 best thermal leak detector kits to help you detect and diagnose thermal leaks in your home or office
1. Seek Thermal Compact Imager for iOS-Apple – Best for Smartphone Compatibility
Ranked second on our list, this compact and versatile all-purpose thermal camera by Seek Thermal is designed to impress the gadget geek in you. So, if you’re looking for cutting-edge thermal imaging solutions, we recommend this ultra hi-tech unit that can be directly plugged into your iPhone, providing instantly accessible results.
First and foremost, this truly portable device is capable of translating thermal energy into an image that you can view on your phone screen. Furthermore, with the help of a free downloadable app, you can actually use this image in conjunction with the smartphone to quickly fix energy loss problems.
We are also very impressed with the 36° wide field of view of this mini thermal imaging camera which makes it ideal for use at close range in an outdoor environment. Therefore, you can use this model for both home and outside applications since it can detect thermal energy from a distance of 1000ft.
Besides, this thermal imaging camera uses its specialized thermal imaging technology to quickly identify any hotspots or overheated circuitry so that you can take precautions against any possible fires at home. Another advantageous feature we like is the focusable lens that allows you to fine-tune thermal imagery for advanced leak detection.
There are not many downsides to choosing this gadget, but some users may find the USB cord included in the package to be a little too short. There is a way to get past this problem by using an extension cable; however, that makes the device bulkier, which may seem unappealing to some.
What We Like
- Portable, smartphone-compatible device
- Comes with 36° wide field of view
- Detects thermal energy from 1,000ft away
- Focusable lens fine-tunes thermal images
What We Don’t Like
2. Seek Thermal Reveal for Detecting Leaks – Best for Image Storage & Sharing
Up next is the Seek Thermal Reveal imaging camera that offers users all the benefits of customizable settings. Therefore, you can sort your preferences among a range of image settings, light levels, and power usages. Now that’s a serious flex for a compact, handheld device like this one, meant for professional and home use.
What puts this thermal camera equipment ahead of its competitors is its highly functional features that not only allow you to obtain thermal images but also store, share, and transfer them. Furthermore, we like the ergonomic grip and the heads-up display of this device, enabling smooth focus without losing sight of the surroundings.
Other than that, we appreciate the robust construction of this device, reinforced with a rubberized protective casing, making it durable enough to be kept alongside other items in the toolbox. Also, we are impressed with the long battery life of ten hours, so you need not worry about running out of juice mid-operation.
And to add to your convenience, this Seek model comes equipped with a 300-lumen LED light so you can clearly see while working in an unlit or dark space. All these intuitive features, coupled with advanced technology, make it a convenient thermal imaging device whether you’re a DIYer solving home insulation problems or an electrician trying to locate hotspots.
We could not help but notice the small size of the screen that also goes on to inhibit the thermal imaging capability of the device. That being said, the screen orientation could also be a disadvantage for some users as it’s not conducive to viewing wildlife or inspecting tight spots.
What We Like
- Compact, handheld design
- Share, store and transfer thermal images
- Rechargeable battery runs for 10 hours
- Comes with a 300 lumens built-in flashlight
What We Don’t Like
3. Bosch PDT 1 Leak Detector – Best for DIY Home Projects
Bosch has recently been making waves with its low-cost thermal detector and has us thrilled with the excellent performance of this neat little device. So for our sixth slot, we’ve included the PDT 1 model which is designed to streamline DIY home projects and can also take on professional applications with high accuracy.
When it comes to home power tools, Bosch has earned a lot of praise for their specialized gadgets, and the PDT 1 is yet another feather on their cap. To begin with, this compact, pistol-shaped thermal leak detector is specifically made for identifying thermal bridges and mold risk areas.
Long story short, this user-friendly thermal imaging camera uses a contactless infrared measurement function to determine the temperature differences of any surface, detect hot or cold spots, and find mold-risk areas at home. Therefore, it’s a highly versatile device that can help you resolve problem areas and also tell you about the severity of the issues with its traffic light indicators.
It works in three modes and depending on your requirement, you can also use it as a moisture and humidity reader to assess issues relating to dampness. Furthermore, surface temperature and thermal bridge modes help maintain the room temperature and detect poor insulation, respectively.
All this in one comprehensive gadget that features a large, easy-to-read, backlit screen and enables easy use through one-handed operability.
To be honest, we are delighted with this product and its varied functions and features. However, while testing the gadget, we faced some issues while operating on the surface temperature differences mode. Other than that, it’s a great budget option that you can keep at home for quick and easy assessment.
What We Like
- Compact, pistol-shaped design
- Versatile device with three mode functions
- Features a large, easy to read backlit screen
- Supports one-handed operability
What We Don’t Like
The FLIR TG165 is another gem from the leading thermal camera brand that combines precision with high-quality thermal images for accurate results each time. That being said, with this device, you can seamlessly conduct home and building inspections, thereby identifying energy inefficiencies, moisture damage, and electrical problems in a jiffy.
To begin with, the TG165 is designed with innovation and practicality in mind as it comes with a range of features that can streamline the leak investigation process. Besides, this product is primarily a combination of an IR thermometer and thermal imaging camera, only with more accurate readings.
Feature-wise, we like the dual laser system on this model that uses two points to display the thermal image of the place or object you are viewing. This function is especially useful as you can toggle it on and off, and it also assists you while aiming the device.
Furthermore, this gadget has a wide temperature detection range of -13°F to 716°F, meaning you can map thermal inconsistencies in any area or object in the home, building, or car. Also, it has a remarkable 50° field of view, which allows you to scan a vast space in a single sweep, thereafter producing a large image of heat signatures.
We couldn’t overlook a few minor issues in this otherwise functional piece of equipment. Chief among them is the irreplaceable batteries and some display issues. Some users may find it unsuitable as the hardware cannot be used once the batteries stop working, and given the price of the item, that may seem wasteful.
What We Like
- Temperature differences detection range of -13°F to 716°F
- Features a wide 50° field of view
- Ensures accurate readings
- Dual laser system for better aiming
What We Don’t Like
Up next is the Fluke TIS20, which is among our favorite items from the list, but that doesn’t mean we’ll give you an entirely rosy picture of how it works. However, it is a genuinely highly functional thermal imager that can identify potential hot and cold risk areas before they become costly problems.
If you need a reliable and affordable solution for quick and easy frontline troubleshooting, we suggest investing in this Fluke model. On that note, we like the convenient fixed focus point and shoot operability of this infrared thermal camera. It is a snap to use and allows you to scan large areas at a time and pinpoint leakage issues.
Furthermore, it features three thermal camera modes, including Normal, IR, and the innovative IR-Fusion. The third option combines the 120×90 resolution with the exclusive IR-Fusion Blending mode and helps you locate insulation problems and energy inefficiencies quickly without any ambiguity.
Also, this thermal leak detector allows greater data management and reporting capabilities as you can upload thermal images to Fluke Cloud Storage via WiFi connectivity. Besides, the Fluke Connect software system wirelessly links the gadget to smartphones and lets you view different measurements (thermal, mechanical, and electrical) from the same device, at the same time.
Mac users may not like this Fluke gadget as the software provided is only compatible with Windows OS. That being said, Fluke doesn’t offer a Mac version, so it’s not like you can choose another model from the same brand with Mac support. Therefore, if you can ignore this minor inconvenience, it is still a great buy with superior capabilities.
What We Like
- IR-Fusion Blending mode for faster leak detection
- Allows superior data management via Fluke Cloud Storage
- Easy focus point and shoot operability
- Seamless smartphone viewing through Fluke Connect software
What We Don’t Like
The Perfect Prime IR0001 is an excellent choice for technicians and homeowners alike as it is efficient, precise, and, most importantly, easy to use. Therefore, despite being ranked 10th on our list, it’s quite a versatile device that can be put to several applications, catering to both professional and residential needs.
First off, we like the fluidity of data displayed on the screen while the thermal imager turns the reading captured into visual images. Also, the device comes equipped with 4GB micro SD card memory storage for photo and video recordings, which also permits deleted file recovery.
Furthermore, the IR0001 features a 2.4-inch full HD display that regardless of the compromised aspect ratio, ensures precise and detailed thermal image data. Other than that, we like the remote sensing function of this model, which we found to be fairly accurate while testing.
Moreover, it is a handy, budget pick that will surprise you with its consistent and reliable performance while using it for car engine overhaul or air conditioner maintenance. But that’s not all! This affordable unit is a complete package that also comes with a drop-resistant rope for convenient fastening and a protection bag for safe storage and transport.
We are satisfied with the overall functioning of this device, but we would’ve liked it better if the images produced had a higher resolution. 0.3 megapixel is hardly the best spec on a thermal imager available in the market, and you may have to make do with pixelated images mostly.
What We Like
- Comes with a 4GB memory SD card
- 2.4 inches full HD screen
- Handy and easy to use device
- Includes a drop-resistant rope and protection bag
What We Don’t Like
Now that we’ve reached the end of our list, we’d like to finish off with this FLIR product that has impressed us with its bargain bin price and unique features. So if you’re looking for a pocket-size device for building inspections, HVAC, facilities maintenance, or electrical repair, we recommend selecting this option.
For starters, this mini, portable device provides MSX-enhanced thermal images that add crucial detail from the onboard visible light camera to the infrared image. This sophisticated mechanism helps you identify and address problem areas faster without incurring costly repairs.
Also, the undiluted thermal picture offers substantial data whenever the device locates hot fuses, plumbing issues, cold air leaks, and other problematic heat patterns. Furthermore, all the readings can be viewed in real-time, whether you’re watching the camera’s LCD display or streaming video over USB.
But what we like best is the spot meter and the maximum or minimum temperature differences detecting features within a defined box area, so you instantly know where it’s hottest or coldest. Apart from that, the gadget comes with WiFi connectivity that lets you share images wirelessly across multimedia platforms.
Lastly, it’s a piece of excellent, low-budget equipment that also includes a bunch of accessories in the package like a lanyard, USB cable, storage pouch, and tripod mount for added convenience.
We do not have any complaints regarding the performance or features of this low-price unit. All things considered, we are actually impressed with the effectiveness and accuracy of the gadget. However, we are not happy with the poorly conceived manual as it severely lacks information and other necessary details.
What We Like
- Produces MSX enhanced thermal images
- WiFi connectivity with real-time streaming
- Features a spotmeter for easier reading
- Includes a USB cable, lanyard, pouch, and tripod mount
What We Don’t Like
Best Thermal Leak Detector Kit Comparison Table
|Product||Dimensions||Weight||Display Type||Screen Size||Resolution (Pixels)||Temperature Range||Warranty|
|Seek Thermal Compact Imager||1.6″ x 0.75″ x 0.6″||3.67oz||N/A||N/A||206 x 156||-40F° to 626°F||1 Year|
|Seek Thermal Reveal||1.5″ x 2″ x 2″||0.176oz||LCD||N/A||320 x 240||-40F° to 626°F||N/A|
|Bosch PDT 1 Leak Detector||4.88″ x 2.09′ x 7.09″||10.58oz||LCD||N/A||N/A||14°F to 104°F||N/A|
|FLIR TG165||8.3″ × 2.5″ × 3.2″||13.9oz||LCD||2.4″||320 × 240||-13°F to 572°F||1 Year|
|Fluke TIS20||10.5″ x 4.0″ x 5.7″||1.6lb||LCD||3.5″||120 x 90||-4°F to 662°F||2 Years|
|Perfect Prime IR0001||212mm x 95mm x 62mm||8oz||LCD||2.4″||32 x 32||-4°F to 572°F||2 Years|
|FLIR C3||4.9″ x 3.1″ x 0.94″||4.8oz||Touchscreen LCD Display||3″||640 x 480 & 80 x 60||14°F to 302°F||2 Years|
Buying Guide For The Best Thermal Leak Detector Kit
Knowing all about the 7 best thermal detection kits is hardly too much information as you still need to judge them on the basis of other parameters. You may have something in mind but you still need to figure out if it’s actually going to be useful. That’s where this guide comes into the picture.
We have carefully listed out the various factors you need to consider when buying a thermal leak detection kit. Read on to know more…
The application of the gadget is a key element to consider as you should pick one based on the intended purpose. If you’re a homeowner or a DIY-er, you can select among affordable options with basic and easy-to-use functions.
However, you may need an upgraded thermal leak detector with higher detection capabilities if you want a thermal imager for locating temperature differences and anomalies at the job site.
In case you haven’t used a thermal leak detector before, choose a device with intuitive and user-friendly controls. You don’t want to go through a hard time trying to figure out how the gadget works.
Also, while considering easy operability, pay attention to the display size of the device. On that end, it’s best to invest in a model with a larger screen for convenient viewing.
Additional Features and Accessories
A lot of thermal leak detection kits come equipped with a host of add-on features and accessories that you may or may not need. If you’re a DIY user with very basic requirements, it may not be ideal to invest in a high-end model meant for commercial use.
However, if you’re a professional and need a technically sound device for inspections, you can buy one with all the bells and whistles.
Now, this feature is a must-have, especially if you’re a professional and need to share reports with clients, companies, or homeowners.
That being said, investigators on-site should be able to transmit information and stats in real-time for quicker processing. In that case, buy a device with inclusive software and WiFi connectivity options to streamline storage, transfer, and analysis.
How much does a thermal leak detector cost?
The cost of a thermal leak detector will vary depending on the model and features. Generally, prices range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.
Are there any safety considerations when using a thermal leak detector?
Yes. It is important to use the thermal leak detector in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure safety.
Are there any maintenance requirements for a thermal leak detector?
Yes. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance, such as cleaning and replacing the batteries as needed.
How long does a thermal leak detector last?
The life of a thermal leak detector will vary depending on the model and the usage. Generally, the detector should last several years with proper maintenance and care.
As we wrap up our insight into the best thermal leak detectors available, it’s essential to emphasize that these devices have proven their effectiveness and reliability when it comes to detecting temperature discrepancies and preventing damage.
From the above 7 best thermal leak detectors, here are the top three expert recommendations:
The Seek Thermal Compact Imager for iOS-Apple is an ideal option, as it is portable and smartphone-compatible, making it perfect for on-the-go leak detection.
The Seek Thermal Reveal for Detecting Leaks is a good option with its customizable settings and versatile features, and it’s useful in both professional and residential scenarios.
Lastly, the Bosch PDT 1 Leak Detector is the right choice if you’re looking for a cost-effective device that provides precise detection of thermal bridges and mold risk areas while being user-friendly.
With these top three choices in mind, choose a thermal leak detector that best suits your needs and budget, and save both time and money by quickly identifying and addressing energy loss issues.