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Hand held thermometers

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2010-08-09          172955


I've saw people use the hand held thermometers to check the temperature of a gear box, radiator hose, etc. from a distance away.
Anybody know anything about them, are they accurate, cost a lot etc.???
Frank.

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auerbach
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2168 West of Toronto
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2010-08-09          172965


Very accurate, Frank, instantaneous, and way cheaper than originally. They detect infrared radiation, the same as many motion detectors. Most have a built-in laser for accurate aiming and are calibrated for a digital readout in degrees F or C. They can give static or continuous readouts.

Not just for mechanics. Insulation people aim them at walls to detect heat loss. One dermatologist uses his to detect skin inflammation. ....

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2010-08-09          172966


I've got a Raytek MT-6 and like it a lot. It's plus or minus 1.5 degree accuracy. Mine was free, received as a gift, but they cost around $50 or less. ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2010-08-10          172975


Thanks guys, I'll check Grainger, they likely have them. ....

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Hand held thermometers

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yooperpete
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1413 Northern Michigan
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2010-08-10          172977


I purchased a unit from Grainger, the brand is Westward. Have had it for several years, and works great. Don't bother with the Harbor Freight model. One of the other businesses in our complex purchased one and it is way off in its readings. ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2010-08-10          172978


Yooper; Thanks for the info.
I got weaned off Garbage Freight a while back with some "Heavy Duty" drill bits that just kinda melted soon as you drilled anything other than styrofoam.
Grainger shows a Raytec MT-4 @ 113.00 A temp range 0-750F, but at pretty close range, like an inch or so.
The price range jumps form 113. to 25-2800. from there but with ranges in the thousands and distances of a couple feet or so.
Frank. ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7147 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2010-08-10          172980


Frank, you nailed the critical part of an infrared thermometer right on the head.

The difference between a cheapie and a decent one is not so much the accuracy, they're all pretty good nowadays, but the distance at which you can accurately measure, that's the important one.

I think you will find the spec. you're looking at on the Grainger site is not the distance, but the diameter at a certain distance. In the case of the MT4 you are looking at it is given as 1" at 8", so it will give you a measurement of an area 1" round at 8" away. Problem isn't that 8", but if you can't get closer than say 3', then the area would be a 3" circle it's measuring. If your talking about an engine block, that's not going to make a big difference, but if you want to check a single bearing on a driveshaft that might not cut it.

Best of luck. ....

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Hand held thermometers

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2010-08-10          172981


Murf;
I've saw combine service guys/girls use them to check a suspect bearing, and auto service guys/girls check a top radiator hose etc.
What got me to thinking about one was just the other day when we drove in the garage after a couple humdred mile trip at 95 in the shade. I felt the tires, not as warm as I would have thought. Ok, strictly for curiosity reasons, just how warm were the tires, I never had to take my hand off them type warm. I couldn't think of a common thermometer that I had that would be handy enough to get a reading off a tire, so maybe one of the hand helds.
Frank. ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7147 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2010-08-10          173000


We use them to check how well turf grass is doing, it's a really handy tool and super fast with excellent accuracy.

Ours are sort of 'middle of the road' units, about $1,000 a piece, but I also have a $10 unit that I use around the house & my own shop at home. I've checked it against the others, it's more than close enough for me.

I have a friend though in the insurance restoration industry that has a really nifty toy, errr, I mean tool. He has a hand-held thermal imaging camera, a FLiR unit basically.

It is so accurate he can point it at a wall and it will show wet areas from dry based on the difference in temperatures of the surfaces. They use it to check if there is still residual moisture that would develop into mould if left untreated.


Best of luck. ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2010-08-10          173007


Murf;
Where do you get a ten dollar one? I'm not a total cheapskate, but ten bucks beats one thirty anytime.
Frank. ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2010-08-11          173016


The units Murf is talking about are very common here with the moisture we have. At same time the guys who really know how to use them can take the simple point and shoot units and gather the same over all info just not a showy for the insurance adjuster and homeowner who needs a picture verses a series of temperature taken across a wall.

Frank, mechanic here told me they are the best to check for clogged radiator, if there is a cool spot it is clogged. Living where you do, get you one, go out side on a cool day and take temp readings to find out which windows or doors need sealing and even can show if a place in wall is not insulated. A good way to find studs believe it or not in outside walls for hanging pictures or such. You can check the temp leaking around windows and doors from inside also. ....

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2010-08-11          173044


Frank, have you ever watched a race team use them to measure tire temperature? I've never done this but theoretically you could use them to test for inflation or alignment problems. After driving for awhile ideally they would measure about the same across the tread. Higher temperatures in the center would indicate overinflation, higher temperatures at the edges would be underinflation, high temperatures at one edge or the other would likely be camber and/or toe alignment problems. ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2010-08-12          173054


KW;
That is interesting, I'm not a regular race fan, just on TV and a few times at a track so I've never been in the pit aeria to see them used.
I do know that a half flat tire won't go too far without getting hot. I used to help my parents when they ran a mom and pop corner gas station when someone would pull in with a tire about flat that would be plenty warm.
It really isn't going to change the price of tea in China whether or not I know tire temperatures, but I'm curious enough now to get one of the hahd helds, Not the 2,500 dollar one but something more in my budget, like 50 bucks.
Frank. ....

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yooperpete
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1413 Northern Michigan
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2010-08-12          173070


The Westward unit I purchased was just over $100.00. ....

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harvey
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1539 Moravia, NY
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2010-08-12          173073


Frank I don't worry so much about tire temps. But if you have a strange noise maybe tire tread or soft that would help, maybe a bearing. Where I see the big value is seeing temps on brake rotors is one working harder or dragging. It will also give you a good idea if wheel bearings on the Trailblazer are going bad or is that a tire noise. Don't ask me how I know!

The other places that are handy are head tems on air cooled engines. How much hotter is the read cylinder vs the front... ....

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Hand held thermometers

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2010-08-12          173079


Harvey;
I hate to bring up a sore subject but I'm guessing it would be the front wheel bearings. Ours has about 60K, when do they go out? By the time you hear them what else do they tear up? Did the hand held show excess heat from the outside or bebind the wheels?
Frank. ....

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harvey
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1539 Moravia, NY
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2010-08-13          173086


Frank on my 04 it was around 80k I drive about 35K a year. My wifes 04 now has about 35k on it they, I think, are starting to hum. I've got to check them on a longer drive other then her short brake burning trips to town.

I know the sound and am confident hers are making noise. The bearings which are assembled in a hub are around $300 each. If I remember right.

I never did a baseline of the good bearings but you have to go in from the back to get the hub. Check L & R to compare. I suspect you will hear they long b4 u check 4 heat. But the heat will help isolate the problem area. ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2010-08-13          173087


You can also check wheel bearings after a few miles with your hand. The hubs should not be so hot you can not place and hold your hand on them. Don't think they should really be hot at all. Will say I have done this often with trailered bearings but not sure on vechile bearings. ....

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auerbach
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2168 West of Toronto
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2010-09-01          173606


How do you use it to check the grass? ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7147 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2010-09-01          173611


Quote:
Originally Posted by auerbach | view 173606
How do you use it to check the grass?


Healthy turf will be growing pretty vigorously and as part of that it transpires a lot of moisture, that has a cooling effect. It will also generally be drawing water up from the topsoil and be fairly thick and lush.

Less than healthy turf will show up as hotter spots, both during the day and well into the evening. In fact at sunset the temp. differential becomes very apparent since the healthy grass will cool off rapidly once out of full sun. Weak grass is thin, and allows sunlight to penetrate to the earth below and heat it up. This is a double whammy, the grass is weakened further by heating the roots, plus the sunshine on the earth speeds the evaporation of the water the grass needs.

Best of luck. ....

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auerbach
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2168 West of Toronto
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2010-09-25          174175


The huge chain Canadian Tire is offering its "digital temperature gun" for $40. ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2010-09-25          174178


Auer;
Even tho I was the one who initally asked about them I just haven't gotten around to get one yet, but that's about my speed anymore.
I'm still interested enough to want one. How and where do you order one from them?
Frank. ....

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auerbach
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2168 West of Toronto
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2010-09-25          174179


The Canadian Tire website. But US prices are usually lower. ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2010-09-25          174180


Thanks, I'll do some checking.

For some reason our furnace has an odd ball size filter that nobody local stocks. I'm going to try to find one the puter after bit, so I'll look for "canadian tire" then too.
Frank. ....

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