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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Central, PA
    Posts
    105

    Infrared Thermometer

    Looking to purchase a good infrared thermometer. Don't want to break the bank. Looking for opinions on what would be a good mid range option.
    Thank You

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    179
    if you can make it to New Jersey, Johnstone Supply is having a sale until april 1st, they have a UEI infared thermometer for 24.99 right now. I have it and it works pretty good, its not an essential tool and I dont see it worth spending anything over 40 on one of these.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    40
    I have the cheaper fulke one. Paid about 120$ for it. I had the UEI scout 2 for a few months and after having it sent back three times to get it working properly finally gave up and gave it to a property manager for him to use. My fluke has never given me issues, good reading to distance.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,925

  5. #5
    I have a General IRT207...works like a champ, $29.95. Was looking at a Klien IR1000 but my wife found the cheaper General was more highly rated.

    I'm with you JP, I think they're a bit overrated as a tool but nothing shuts up a complainer faster than a digital temp readout...
    (The wise men of modern thought) adore a god made of putty or of wax - plastic, effeminate, molluscous, with no masculine faculty about him, and no quality that entitles him to the respect of just and honest men, for a being who cannot be angry at wrongdoing is destitute of one of the essential virtues, and a moral Ruler who is not angry with the wicked, and who refuses to punish crime, is not divine. ---Spurgeon

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,925
    Quote Originally Posted by shaygetz View Post
    I have a General IRT207...works like a champ, $29.95. Was looking at a Klien IR1000 but my wife found the cheaper General was more highly rated.

    I'm with you JP, I think they're a bit overrated as a tool but nothing shuts up a complainer faster than a digital temp readout...
    Which is why I carry several digital thermometers. Just not IR. They've lied to me one, OK, well, a hundred times too many.

    Last straw was the guy who was checking superheats with one. I was measuring SH on a multi-evap circuit and had 0 SH, at the unit. Raw liquid coming back to the compressors. Guy went out and, using his fancy Fluke IR, told me there was no floodback.

    I pressed a schraeder core and a strong liquid plume shot 18" out of the pipe. He showed me the Fluke and I dang near chucked it across the room.

    I loaned him my Fluke 52 with a line clamp probe and he found and fixed the floodback within the hour.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Central, PA
    Posts
    105
    In no way shape or form I am looking at replacing temperature analyzers. Just looking for something to check surface temps.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by jabeu View Post
    In no way shape or form I am looking at replacing temperature analyzers. Just looking for something to check surface temps.
    For my work it's adequate enough...it settles arguments with annoyed residents and gives me something to offer my techs in added information. It is not used for diagnostic purposes...
    (The wise men of modern thought) adore a god made of putty or of wax - plastic, effeminate, molluscous, with no masculine faculty about him, and no quality that entitles him to the respect of just and honest men, for a being who cannot be angry at wrongdoing is destitute of one of the essential virtues, and a moral Ruler who is not angry with the wicked, and who refuses to punish crime, is not divine. ---Spurgeon

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Nova-Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    275
    I learned a few years ago it doesn't like something about copper. If you put a piece of electrical tape over the pipe it works a little bit better.

    That being said I've used them when doing vav checks just to see if reheats were working or if it was colder than the ambient. Also good for tube heaters 30 feet up in the air to see if they're running.

    Don't trust them one bit. I don't trust any of them to be honest. I've used my fluke with a temp probe, UEI infrared and with the probe and another infrared and they all gave different readings. If you're looking for something specific, forget it.
    There's been a few times employees/managers in grocery stores are complaining about product being too cold or too hot and I ask them what made them think that and they pull out their $10 IR gun

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    66
    Quote Originally Posted by jabeu View Post
    In no way shape or form I am looking at replacing temperature analyzers. Just looking for something to check surface temps.
    Dual laser dots to show the measurement area. Very cool concept from Klein.

    http://www.kleintools.com/sites/klei...r-Brochure.pdf

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    984
    I use mine to play with the cat. Always sure it reading never sure what though.
    Never argue with a crazy man.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    529
    As jpsmithcms1 has pointed out, if you are not educated about this type of device it is pointless using one. You have to know how to use one properly to get the most out of it.
    You can't just point it at any surface and expect it to read the temperature accurately.

    Infrared thermometers measure the infrared spectrum of light.
    Emissivity is defined as the ratio of the energy radiated by an object at a given temperature to the energy emitted by a perfect radiator, or blackbody, at the same temperature. Most infrared thermometers have the ability to compensate for different emissivity values, for different materials. In general, the higher the emissivity of an object, the easier it is to obtain an accurate temperature measurement using infrared. Objects with very low emissivities (below 0.2) can be difficult applications. Some polished, shiny metallic surfaces, such as aluminum and stainless steel, are so reflective in the infrared that accurate temperature measurements are not always possible.

    If you don't spend the amount of money necessary to get into the quality bracket that will do the job it won't even be close to what you need.
    I wouldn't bother with one in your price range except for basic troubleshooting. They are however great for certain applications of the HVAC/R field for determining how a hot or cold deck is operating, whether a fire damper or balancing damper is open or closed, and even getting an accurate indication of compressor head temperature which results from other problems such as improper superheat, broken discharge valves, or even a dirty air cooled condenser to name a few.


    You should know the distance to spot ratio that you require for your application. An 8 to 1 D to S ratio will give you a 1 inch circle of measurement at 8 inches from the target. A 30 to 1 D to S ratio will give you a 1 inch circle of measurement at 30 inches. Get the picture?

    You get what you pay for. I paid $750 for mine two years ago (probably cost$500 today brand new) and therefore get a reasonably accurate indication of distance temperature measurement as I follow flat black PAINTED ductwork or measure KNOWN reflective surfaces within coolers and freezers amongst other uses.


    http://www.omega.com/prodinfo/infraredthermometer.html

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    179
    only thing i use my IR thermometer for is to show homeowners what temp comes out of the registers in their house to compare to what their T-stat is calling for. Nothing for my own personal satisfaction but it definitely helps a customer feel at ease when you show them temps before/after if they aren't getting enough heat/cool. Homeowners seem to love technology and little gadgets so every bit helps to know when you left their house that you wont have a call back

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