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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Bristol NH
    Posts
    229

    temperature measurements

    OK what does every one use to measure pipe temps. I have 5 different type k probes clamps etc, 4 different mechanical analog gauges 1 digital a laser TIF9612 with probe and my meter has type k compatibility. None of them ever agree. Is there something better? Am I being stupid? That one was hypothetical...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    1,130
    I used a Fluke 87 with temperature probes for much of my work before lasers. I made up little wells by cutting 2-3" pieces of 1/4" copper tubing, pinching one end and soldering it. I'd strap my well to pipe with ty-wraps and if vertical would put some glycerin in them. Served me well to get oil temps on and off oil coolers and the like.

    When the lasers came along I got one an found that they weren't consistent on different materials, especially copper since I think some of the light "bounced" giving inaccurate readings. I found by making a black dot (using a felt tipped marker) on the pipe I got accurate, repeatable temperatures.

    Any sensor you have that can be put in an ice bath can be checked for accuracy.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Chesterfield, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    84
    Quote Originally Posted by KnewYork View Post
    I used a Fluke 87 with temperature probes for much of my work before lasers. I made up little wells by cutting 2-3" pieces of 1/4" copper tubing, pinching one end and soldering it. I'd strap my well to pipe with ty-wraps and if vertical would put some glycerin in them. Served me well to get oil temps on and off oil coolers and the like.

    When the lasers came along I got one an found that they weren't consistent on different materials, especially copper since I think some of the light "bounced" giving inaccurate readings. I found by making a black dot (using a felt tipped marker) on the pipe I got accurate, repeatable temperatures.

    Any sensor you have that can be put in an ice bath can be checked for accuracy.
    It is called "Emissivity".

    Quote: "em·is·siv·i·ty
       [em-uh-siv-i-tee, ee-muh-]
    noun Thermodynamics .
    the ability of a surface to emit radiant energy compared to that of a black body at the same temperature and with the same area."

    A little flat black paint works as well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,547
    Quote Originally Posted by Failure2Comply

    It is called "Emissivity".

    Quote: "em·is·siv·i·ty
    [em-uh-siv-i-tee, ee-muh-]
    noun Thermodynamics .
    the ability of a surface to emit radiant energy compared to that of a black body at the same temperature and with the same area."

    A little flat black paint works as well.
    In my opinion, IR thermometer are toys.

    They have specialized applications, but for every day use, a thermistor or thermocouple thermometer serves much better.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,547
    Quote Originally Posted by boilerman856
    OK what does every one use to measure pipe temps. I have 5 different type k probes clamps etc, 4 different mechanical analog gauges 1 digital a laser TIF9612 with probe and my meter has type k compatibility. None of them ever agree. Is there something better? Am I being stupid? That one was hypothetical...
    After 15 years of using thermocouples, I've been making the switch to thermistors.

    As of now, I use my Digi-cools for temp measurements. Slow, but accurate.

    Thermocouples are sensitive to tiny induced voltages that can come from poor grounds, static buildup, RF energy from cell phones, and other sources that I'm sure I'm leaving out.

    I don't really trust thermocouples at present for much more than a ball-park reading.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    1,356
    Quote Originally Posted by jpsmith1cm View Post
    In my opinion, IR thermometer are toys.

    They have specialized applications, but for every day use, a thermistor or thermocouple thermometer serves much better.
    You are correct. Mine has never left the van.
    Local 449?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    5,487
    My first IR came with a black grease pencil.
    I like the copper tube idea. Lennox once had a RT unit with wells installed on the copper lines. Instructions said to fill with oil but I think glycerin would be better.
    Tracers work both ways.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Chesterfield, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    84
    Quote Originally Posted by jpsmith1cm View Post
    In my opinion, IR thermometer are toys.

    They have specialized applications, but for every day use, a thermistor or thermocouple thermometer serves much better.
    I agree. For checking motor windings or electrical panels they work fine. I see too many people shooting a temperature across the room thinking it is accurate. I guess in their mind where ever the red dot hits is its sensing point?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Mid-Mo
    Posts
    3,595
    I had a ton of k-type stuff and I found the same thing everyone else has......they suck. I only use mine to calibrate in ice water then check the calibration of my Cooper SH66A. Only complaint on it is you can't ever get all the sensors in the box and get it shut!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Central New Jersey USA
    Posts
    65
    The Cooper SH66A is my choice. I've had one for over 25 years. Every instrument has its flaws,especially the IR. You have to pay attention to how it does its "work" to be able to trust it. I use the IR only to get a "rough idea" if something is working. Since I'm old and lazy, the IR is only used for a quick ref. without getting a ladder.
    Would love to hear if there is anything better than the Cooper SH66A.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    maroon lazyboy
    Posts
    1,047
    the bluevac has a very accurate ambient thermometer built in. Stated accuracy is .2F

    I like the ktype for in duct dry bulb, I use my SC56.

    For pipe temps I use my AK900 sensors strapped and insulated.
    and a cooper box for a backup

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    wedged in freezer shelf
    Posts
    6,650
    For pipe Cooper 4011
    best bang for the buck but no high temps.
    “If You Can Dodge A Wrench You Can Dodge A Ball”

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    4,381
    the bluvac i once owned seemed to read different temps than everything else i had. ive been using cooper sh66 & 77 for years. i have some k type stuff ill use now & again. as for IR .. i use it on disconnects, contactors & such. good tool for that. i only shoot it at a diffuser to kill some time after a repair while the store temps out

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