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5 Things to Understand BEFORE Buying a Remote Temperature Probe

1. There are three main types of remote temperature probes: (1.) Platinum RTD (Resistance Temperature Detector), (2.) Thermocouple,* and (3.) Thermistor.**

*There are many different kinds of thermocouple probes. Dickson uses K-Thermocouple probes on it’s units. Be on the lookout for an article (we’ll provide a link to it) on thermocouple probes in the near future!

**A Thermistor is an RTD Probe. It's confusing, but we promise to explain later.

***The photo below shows a stainless steel thermistor probe. Dickson also sells thermistor probes submersed in glycol bottles, as well as open thermistor probes.

2. It all depends on your application.

Really, it does. What you are monitoring with is determined by what you are monitoring. It’s not as simple as “RTD for Food Manufacturing.” The specifics of what product or environment you are monitoring, and what temperatures you are monitoring at is essential to picking the correct probe.

3. Generally speaking: RTD = Better Accuracy, Thermocouple = Larger Temperature Range, Thermistor = Cost-effective.

*Thermistor probe wires are more easily manipulated and bent than thermocouples, which makes them ideal for snaking through refrigerators.

These three rules hold true in most circumstances. So when buying a probe, be aware of them. You don’t want to buy an RTD Probe to measure your 1500 degree furnace, just like you don’t want to use a thermocouple probe when accuracy is your number one concern. And hey, don’t worry. If you have any questions about specific applications, call and talk to one of our specialists. We can help you find the perfect probe for your specific application. Just call 630-543-3747.

4. Your remote probe, sensor, and/or device should come completely calibrated...

So make sure it does! If you use a replaceable sensor, re-calibration is a cinch. Visit our Replaceable Sensor Page for more information on the new and improved process of calibration.

5. Thermocouple Probes are particularly susceptible to electrical interference.*

It may sound strange, but electrical interference can cause temperature readings to fluctuate to extreme levels in thermocouple probes. When monitoring a refrigerator for example, by plugging in both your refrigerator and your thermocouple probe data logger or chart recorder to AC power, electrical interference may occur, and the temperatures you see on your device will not be accurate of what the actual temperatures are in your environment. How do you beat the interference? By wrapping the end of your probe in heat shrink tubing, which will provide you with accurate readings, absent of that interference.

*We’ll show you how this happens and how to prevent it in another post soon.

As always, we suggest you give us a call if there is any doubt whatsoever what the correct product choice for you is. Our number is 630-543-3747. We promise we are both witty and friendly.