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3-39 Condar Probe vs. 3-19 Condar Probe. Test Results.

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by pen, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    High end start-up temp comparison

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    pen

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  2. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Pull it out of the pipe an inch Pen. Mine reads right in line with Woodstocks thermocouple tests, so i'm leaving mine that way.

    4000 hour life just sounds wrong but if Condar says so maybe Begreens probe is past it's prime? Oops, left Begreen open on that statement. :lol:
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Very interesting Pen. I have not touched my thermometer. It went from factory to flue, so this does make one wonder about calibration of these units. It may need to be checked against a reference probe like WES999's if you want the actual factual temps.
  4. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Ah, that's not necessary.

    Just hate coming up with more questions and no clear answers.

    pen
  5. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    I've mentioned using a spacer like you have or insulator to Condar but I they didn't seem interested. Probably because that means a package change which I would assume is more difficult than a printing update.

    pen
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Pen and I have exchanged probes to compare temps in differing flue setups. I ran some tests on our double-wall pipeand found that at 300 °F my older probe and Pen's new probe agree, both reading the same. But as the temps warmed up, they started to depart. I think this pretty well confirms what we have been saying. The newer Condar probes appear to be reading high at temps above around 500 °F. By time our flue was reading 700F steady on the 3-19, it was reading about 825F on the 3-39.

    A thermometer should be consistent across its rated range. Instead, it looks like the newer Condar bimetalic springs are wound slightly different giving progressively higher readings at higher temps. This is troubling. We've had a lot of folks getting unnecessarily worried about their stove when it could working just fine.

    Attached Files:

  7. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Nothing like having our speculations confirmed.

    I think their testing method at the factory needs to change as it's not realistic enough to use a thermocycler.

    pen
  8. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Thanks Begreen, I hope Condar makes some changes.
  9. Peter B.

    Peter B. Feeling the Heat

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    pen & BeGreen:

    Thanks for your persistence with this...

    Without reviewing this thread (or others related) I seem to recall that Condar recently 'disowned' their claims about the FluGard's (3-39) accuracy when used with single wall pipe... but they maintained it was accurate for double wall.

    It would appear they have more work to do 'correcting' their literature.

    I just wish they'd correct their probe's accuracy instead.

    Peter B.

    -----
  10. mhrischuk

    mhrischuk Guest

    It's really not difficult to make a thermometer accurate. Making it accurate and be able to sell it at a price point that generates high profit is the hard part. That is what is on the manufacturers top of the list.

    Are there alternatives? A little higher cost but more accuracy?

    My Dodge diesel has a pyrometer. It's a "K" type that reads from 328F to 2282F. For anyone interested, you don't want your exhaust gas temps to exceed 1250F for long durations or you begin to soften the pistons.
  11. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    That pyro for your truck costs about 150-200$. These flue meters are 15-20$. That's where accuracy can be compromised.
  12. mhrischuk

    mhrischuk Guest

    How accurate does it need to be? If the 15-20 dollar unit isn't accurate enough than why use it?
  13. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Condar is the only game in town. The issue is whether it is accurate enough for use and until this thread showed us the error, nobody knew that these meters weren't 100% accurate.

    We are stove geeks her and require more than the standard level of accuracy. This thread also gives us the ability to create a conversion chart to account for the non-linear error in the OEM condar probe meter gauge. If you can produce a 30$ gauge that is extremely accurate then I would buy one. Until then, we are making do with what we have.
  14. mhrischuk

    mhrischuk Guest

    I hear you.
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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  16. certified106

    certified106 Minister of Fire

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    Looking forward to seeing the data. I think this fall when I light my stove up I will grab one of our high temp digital thermocouples from work and verify how accurate my probe is.
  17. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I tried the SBI last year on single wall pipe and compared to the condar probe it was about 50-100 degrees less at cruising temps. I also found both probes to be more accurate on single wall pipe if you pull them out about an inch. Woodstock sent me a spread sheet from an all day burn with thermo couple flue temps to compare mine and they were very similar.

    I keep switching back between probes and surface thermometers, someday I'll probably go to a thermocouple setup but I just don't like the looks of wires hanging out and a big digital read out box. I guess manufactures don't think there is much money to make in a real accurate thermometer for wood stoves, most people don't even use one.
  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I spoke with Condar and quite frankly I wish they were more receptive to outside feedback. The new thermometers have lower wife appeal (more garish) and are not accurate in the higher temp ranges. But still they are doggedly persistent that they know better than their customers what is good for them.
  19. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

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    BG, I have both Condors and the SBI. I have only used the original Condor so far. I was going to compare last winter but ran out of time. I also found the SBI would not fit in the hole I drilled for the Condors. It was slightly bigger. I will be interested to see what you come up with.
  20. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Sounds good chief. I'm finding some other alternatives as I search farther afield. Some may need adapting:

    pizza oven thermos:
    http://www.cooper-atkins.com/productspecsheet.asp?pid=43
    http://www.fornobravo.com/store/Door-Thermometer-for-Wood-Oven-p-16335.html

    Tempoint 12-7014 thermometer probe , courtesy of xclimber:
    http://www.professionalequipment.co...ermometer-tempoint-12-7014/dial-thermometers/

    I've always been partial to TelTru equipment:
    http://www.teltru.com/p-449-gt225-back-connect-thermometer-2-inch-dial-with-18-inch-npt.aspx
  21. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

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    Interesting alternatives. I like the last one.
  22. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I've been tempted more than once to get one of those Teltru probes. There is a member here who has one but he did peg it out a couple times and doesn't know if it effected the accuracy. Wish they made one that goes up to 2000.
  23. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    If my trusty Sandhill ever gives up the ghost, I'll prolly get the TelTru magnetic surface thermometer. I like the classic black numbers on white behind a glass bezel.
  24. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I like those as well but do you think they would be that much more accurate than any other surface thermometer?
  25. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    They should be more precise, but I don't own own so I can't say for sure. Our Sandhill has stayed pretty accurate and it is quite old. What I also like about both is that they are less vulnerable to needle bending and look a lot classier.

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