Calibrating thermometers - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-19-2020, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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Calibrating thermometers


I find that all of my digital thermometers read differently. I have some inexpensive digital tank thermometers that seem to run about 1F cooler than the Inkbird 306T reading. Should I just adjust the Inkbird to match the tank therms? Or should I just leave them alone and not worry about 1? Does anyone calibrate their thermometers? What do you use? I have one of those laser gun thermometers that I haven't found to be useful.

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-19-2020, 08:46 PM
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I have two bayite temp controllers. I calibrated them by buying 5 glass thermometers (~$2.50 each) and taking their average as the true average. In the end, out of the box my temp controllers weren't that off +/- 1.0F. They tend to need recallibration whenever you change probes though.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-27-2020, 07:02 PM
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Calibrating a thermometer is not super easy but here are some potential ways.

Bowl of ice and water, well mixed, should be exactly 32F
Actively boiling water should be 212F

If there is any way to expose your sensor to either of those, you should be able to see how calibrated you are.

Alternatively, you can purchase an RTD based sensor as a reference, those can be calibrated at the factory to be a little more accurate.

The infrared "gun" type temperature sensors are mostly garbage. They will give different readings of different materials even if they are all the same material, because different materials emit light (in this case, infrared) differently. This is called emissivity, and some temp guns allow you to adjust emissivity, but then you need to refer to literature for the emissivity of a material, and so on.
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