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Thermometers

Thermometers

  • What is a thermometer?

    A thermometer is an instrument that is used to measure temperature. Traditionally, thermometers consisted of a glass tube with a bulb at the end containing mercury, which would extend along the tube as it expanded to react to fluctuations in temperature. Nowadays, most industrial thermometers are digital. To find out more about thermometers, see our History of Thermometry page.

  • When is it important to use a thermometer?

    There are many different applications which require the use of a thermometer, from basic everyday tasks such as cooking or testing family members for a fever, to checking fridge/freezer/oven temperature, measuring water temperature to help prevent outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease, reaching critical temperatures in a manufacturing process, maintaining temperatures during distribution of food products, tyre production, oil production, laboratory testing, facilities/building management and more. The risks of not having a thermometer for these applications vary from a burnt dinner to patients contracting a life-threatening disease.

  • Why do I need an accurate thermometer?

    These days, all industries have legal requirements and regulations that they need to meet. Many of these, within the food catering/manufacture/retail industry and the facilities management industry especially, are based around temperature. Food served at the wrong temperature can be life threatening to a consumer, and water that is stored at the wrong temperature can be a breeding ground for the deadly legionella bacteria. Within manufacturing as well, there is a fine line between the right temperature, and one which will spoil an entire batch or product. In scientific applications, accurate thermometers are even more important, as temperature must be controlled extremely strictly. With this in mind, a lot of industrial bodies have issued guidelines about temperature control. For food, the HACCP regulations are very strict about temperatures of chilled, cooked and stored food, and recommend a thermometer with an accuracy of ±0.5°.

  • Should I clean my thermometer? How should I clean it?

    If you are using a thermometer with a probe attached (or ‘plugged in’), you can clean the probe using a probe wipe. All TME probes are waterproof so are safe to clean in this way. Mostly you will need to clean a probe if you are using it to measure something unclean, for example if you’re using a needle probe to measure the core temperature of meat, and then you want to use it to measure the temperature of a sauce, you will want to clean it inbetween these uses. The thermometer itself should need cleaning less often, however TME thermometers are all either waterproof or splashproof, so wiping them down with a damp cloth should be sufficient. Please note wipes within sachets are now recommended as tubs of wipes may dry out if the lid is left open.

  • What is an IP rating?

    IP (Ingress Protection) ratings are defined by an international standard. They define levels of effectiveness for sealing electrical enclosures against intrusion from moisture and dust. Each number of an IP rating has a specific meaning. For example, TME’s MM2000 digital thermometer has an IP rating of 67. IP67 enclosures translate as IP rated for ‘dust tight’ (that’s the 6), and protected against immersion in up to 1m of water for up to 30mins (that’s the 7). So the MM2000 is referred to as being IP67 waterproof.

  • What is the difference between a thermometer and a probe?

    Simply put, the thermometer is the ‘box’, where you will see a screen that displays measurements, and the probe is the thing connected to it. So the probe (or sensor), senses the temperature and sends a signal to the thermometer, which translates it into a figure (usually °C or °F) and displays it. Probes can come in many different varieties which are designed to suit a specific application (such as needle probes, flat food probes, air probes etc). Thermometers, too, can have many different applications in addition to displaying a temperature reading. Some thermometers have a hold function, or can calibrate other thermometers, scan barcodes or wirelessly send temperature readings to other electronic equipment such as PCs or PDAs.

  • Do I need to buy a probe with my thermometer?

    If you don’t have any kind of probe, you won’t be able to use your thermometer. A thermometer, as we have established, translates a signal from a probe or sensor, therefore in order to have something to translate, you will need to plug a sensor into it. Be careful though, as some thermometers are supplied complete with probes, or have probes built-in. For example, TME’s SOLO thermometer has a built-in needle probe, which is attached to, and swings out of the body of the thermometer. If you need a thermometer which you only use for one application (such as measuring core food temperature), these kinds of thermometers are a useful option. If, however, you know that you want your thermometer to measure different types of things (air and water, for example), you may want to think about a temperature kit. These offer a thermometer with (usually) more than one different type of probe, and TME offer a wide variety, tailored for different applications.

  • How can I switch between °F and °C?

    For most of our range of handheld thermometers, all you need to do is press the SCALE button (SCL), for others the scale is pre-set, or can be changed in the software programme. The following is a list of the TME Handheld Thermometer models that are covered by this topic Models with SCL Buttons: - MM2000, MM2008, MM2010, MM2020, MM2030, MM2040, MM2050, MM7000-2D, MM7005, MM7010, MMCOMBI and MMCOMBI-W. Models where Scale Change option available within the software programme: - MM7100 and MM7105. Models where Scale is Pre-set to °C: - MM2005 and CA2005

  • What does 'self-calibrating' mean?

    All our instruments have a voltage reference, and they use this to check their own calibration “ Self-Calibrating”. However although this gives us excellent long term stability for many customers they also require an annual calibration check or certificate to external sources.

  • How waterproof is the CA2005?

    The CA2005 has an IP67 rating which means that it is completely waterproof. This protection means that the unit shouldn’t come to harm if accidently submersed.