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New laser temperature gauge.

Post in 'The Gear' started by Robbie, Oct 6, 2006.

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  1. Robbie

    Robbie Minister of Fire

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    I got my laser thermometer today from sears. (see thread below for more info.)

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/3483/

    So far I really like it. The down side is I can't check my wood stove yet because it's about 78 degrees outside now and thunderstorms in the area.

    I don't think it's ever going to get cold here in Tenn.

    I did a few preliminary test with the laser on my kitchen stove and learned a few important things that could help me boil water in the future.....yes I still need to boil some water on my wood stove. :cheese:

    I turned the eye (older coil type) on medium and within a minute it was 300 degrees on the large outer ring........and 500 degrees from there all the way in the smallest coil. This was interesting and the coils stayed about that temp. for the next 5 minutes.

    I put a pan of water on the eye and within about 3 minutes it was steaming. I never did get it to a boil because I knew it would in a matter of a couple minutes or less.

    This laser works great, it will read temps. almost instantly, from the floor of my kitchen (68d) to the stove eye (500d).........that is pretty cool if you ask me.

    I can't wait to try it on my wood stove, I plan to make a chart (yes a chart) %-P showing my stove in close to the hottest range I feel safe to operate it and then on down to just starting with kindling. I plan to use 3 or 4 test spots to check, and this will be noted so anyone can operate my stove and just shoot this laser to see how close they are to operating in the correct range.

    Of course there will be a grey area, but it will be fun just to see where it all runs and so on. I can check.....heck even my wife can check from the sofa and make sure it's all going well. During this making of the chart, I plan to note what temps. my pipe and everything else is running around my stove.........even the walls.

    This way, a person could check a wall quickly and tell if it's too hot, again all this will be taken with a grain or more of salt and done mostly for fun. The real stove operation will be strictly business, as always.

    This laser is on sale at sears until saturday night I think for about $49.99 bucks, was $79.99

    Robbie

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I plan on taking a walk around with mine this winter and finding out just where the heat loss point are in this house.
  3. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    That is a good buy...Harbor freight also has one for $39.99

    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=91778

    They have a couple of cheaper ones but they top out at 200-400F.

    I have an older NC thermometer that is fun to pull out every now and then. I've found that when the top center of the actual firebox of my insert gets to 650-700F, I start thinking 'Woah...this thing is cooking!' and let that fire burn down a little.

    Corey
  4. Haston

    Haston Member

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    Does anyone have practical experience with the Harbor Freight laser that Cozy linked in the post above? The owner's manual indicates that it's top temp reading is 518 degrees, which I think is somewhat limited in reading stove temps. Hint: I bought the same thermometer but haven't opened the package for fear that I bought the wrong unit. H.
  5. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I have had the Harbor Freight thermo for a few months. On the little Jotul the other day it tracked right along with the Rutland magnetic one right up to 650. I opened the door and shot it into the fire and it went up to 1040.

    If you don't like anything you get at Harbor just take it back to them. They don't care if you opened it. I was in there one day and complained about the belt clip on my box knife not holding too well. The manager went and got another one and handed it to me.
  6. Haston

    Haston Member

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    Above 1000? Good to hear. Thanks for the fast reply, BB, as well as the heads up on Harbor Freight. All best. H
  7. bruce56bb

    bruce56bb New Member

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    bb, are you on harbor freights payroll?:)
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    No but I am thinking about hitting them up for commissions!
  9. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    BB is the "HarborFreight-toy-gadget-guru-Internet-forum posting guy".
  10. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Chinese Toys-R-Us

    If I didn't spend so much on toys I would be able to afford one of those fancy Canuck stoves!
  11. Haston

    Haston Member

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    Just an update: I cracked open the sight hole on our oil burner just after the furnace cycled and the thermometer came back with a temp above 1000. My wife wanted to know what kind of new toy I had acquired. A thermometer for the wood stove! I said with a note of enthusiasm. But I guess I've worn her out with my steady stream of new toys (truck, climbing, and bike equipment). It was all I could to to resist taking a temp reading on her (admittedly very nice) fanny as she walked away shaking her head. H.
  12. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Infrared thermo's are great I use them sometimes to check for a hot breaker in a panel or signs that a bearing is worn on a motor......BUT....and this is huge It does not read acurate on Shiney surfaces..... If you try to read off a piece of stainless pipe it won't read as well as a matte black pipe for example.... and also further distances the beam is spread making temps less accurate.
  13. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Yeah. Over six feet away it starts to vary as you move farther away.
  14. Robbie

    Robbie Minister of Fire

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    Got a fire tonight, 48 outside and 79 inside.................thats with no blower on now...........with blower on earlier I was sweating after an hour. :cheese:

    I got my laser last week and I'm having a ball with it. I am running temps of about 350 (now) on the top front of my stove, and 190 at the elbow in my pipe that goes through the wall.

    I also got to test my damper shut off again tonight. I shut it down after I had a good fire going, it lit off the burn tubes for a few minutes then choked down to a dark looking stove. I knew what was going to happen, I just wanted to make sure what it did the other night was not a fluke.

    See this thread to explain about my damper mistake the first time,

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/3401/P0/

    I wanted to make sure it was operator error, (me)..........and sure enough, it sat dark for a couple minutes, only red glow in the center log where a tiny bit of air was coming in, but not enough, so guess what it did ?

    It built up gases and when I figured it was about ready, I eased the damper open just a hair and.......WHOOF........it was a firebox full of blue flame, at the same exact moment of expansion, I heard a "POOF" and saw a teeny bit of smoke come out my pipe damper control.

    This is the same thing it did the other night, I just had to try to recreate this to make sure it was what I thought it was..........and it is. I can not damper my stove all the way and leave it or it will expand and put some smoke in my house.

    The cure for this is very simple, I just won't damper all the way closed. I can damper, and then push damper in just a hair, enough for my stove to get a tiny bit of air and it performs perfectly.

    All these occurances seem to be very normal and all are operator errors. I am writing about this in detail to try to save someone else from going through this.

    It's simple for me at this point, don't stave my stove of air, if I do it will spit smoke out at me in a short while. :lol:

    I got off track of the laser thread..........it's amazing, and so much fun. I like being able to sit in my recliner and check the temp under my stove, (about 102) and on all walls surrounding my stove, (98 or so to 100).

    My wifes feet are around 88 or 89............... :lol:


    Robbie
  15. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    That is an interesting bit of info on the laser thermometer. The picture on the HF web site looks to show the thermometer reading '1008'. So I hope I didn't mislead anyone into purchasing it if it cant go at least that high.

    Also, out of curiosity, is anyone seeing issues with surface emissivity and readings on the thermometer? My old unit has a dial to adjust for different emissivity, but I don't know if most new ones do or not? It may be a factor if you are looking at stove top temps (which would probably be black or oxide coated metal), then try and take a reading off a shiny surface such as polished steel or some other low emissivity surface.

    Corey
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