FLIR is one of if not the leading thermal imaging manufacturer today producing a variety of thermal imaging products from traditional thermal imaging cameras to thermal imaging scopes, monoculars, and thermal cameras for drones and scientific research. FLIR also has one of the best warranty’s in the industry which shows their commitment to quality. One of their thermal product lines for contractors, tradesmen and home owners are moisture meters.
The FLIR MR160 is a semiprofessional moisture meter with a built-in thermal imager allowing you to quickly detect moisture problems potentially saving you or your clients thousands of dollars and structural or interior damage. Let’s look at some of the specifications of the MR160.
The MR160 is filled with many features that only higher end moisture meters have. IGM or infrared guided measurement employs the thermal camera to quickly and easily pinpoint where the moisture problem on the surface or wall is as the image is displayed on screen in real time. The built-in laser pointer also makes it very easy to see exactly where on the wall you should place the pin probe for more precise measurements. The addition of the new ICE thermal palate makes moisture areas stand out on screen even more, so it is very easy to tell where you might have a potential problem.
You can use the pinless probe to initially find the suspected moisture area and then use the included pin probe to confirm the problem. You do not have to remove the drywall or paneling only to discover that what you thought was a moisture problem was only a cold spot behind the wall due to thin or no insulation in that area.
You can also overlay the moisture data, date and time on your images and then save them for later inclusion in your reports. The reports are easy to generate thanks to FLIR’s included report software.
The exceptionally long 18-hour battery life when used continuously almost guarantees that you will not run out power when out in the field or if you forget to charge the MR160 for a week or two.
The MR160 is ideal for checking moisture in floorboards to ensure they are not too damp to install as damp floorboards shrink as they dry which can cause damage. The MR160 is also great for locating moisture behind drywall, paneling and other surfaces allowing you to quickly detect issues instead of one day noticing that water is seeping through your walls or foundation. The included pin probe allows you to even more precise readings.
Building inspectors will also benefit from the MR160 as it will allow them to do inspections on a regular basis and create reports with their findings showing progress on repairs or areas of concern that will need to be repaired.
Home owners and renters can also benefit from having a MR160. Homeowners, especially ones with older homes can routinely check areas of concern and confirm if moisture is leaking into their homes and prevent major damage. Homeowners can use the moisture meter to confirm that repairs that have been done to their foundation, floorboards and basements have been done correctly and are not allowing moisture into their home.
While you might not think renters could make use of the MR160 it can be used to identify moisture issues if your landlord has failed to make needed repairs to your home when asked. Showing the proof of the moisture problem with the MR160 will help you get your needed repairs done quickly.
We all know of potential difficulties dealing with insurance companies. The MR160 could come in handy for some insurance claims to show proof of faulty repairs or other moisture related issues in your residence.
So, what’s the difference between the MR160 and the FLIR MR176 aside from the higher price of the MR176 which is almost double the MR160’s price.
All the base features are the same between the MR160 and MR176 including thermal resolution, pin and pinless probes, battery life, field of view. The big difference is that you can change the temperature/humidity sensor on the MR176 in the field or on the job if you have extras with you. The MR160 will need to be sent back to FLIR or taken to a shop that can install the new temperature/humidity sensor.
The MR176 is clearly aimed at the commercial market for people who will be using it everyday and need to be able to swap a new temperature/humidity sensor in on the fly and continue working. If a moisture meter with a thermal imager is critical to your business or everyday work, then we would suggest going with the MR176 over the MR160 even though it costs more.
The MR160 has several great features and a lot of benefits if you are looking for a semiprofessional moisture meter with a thermal imager and a non-professional price tag. The MR160 is best suited for home owners, renters and professionals who do not depend on it for daily use to complete their job. For professionals who will need to use a moisture meter everyday and it is vital to their job we would recommend the MR176.
While the MR160 is still more expensive that other moisture meters it is your best choice when you want a quality instrument knowing that you can use it for years to come.