accurate stovepipe surface temp/external

pellet9999 Posted By pellet9999, Nov 14, 2009 at 9:39 PM

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  1. pellet9999

    Member 2.

    Sep 3, 2008
    the gauges that are for sale for 15$ look cheap. Which external surface temp gauge shows an accurate temp for the outside of the pipe..??
  2. firefighterjake

    Minister of Fire 2.

    Jul 22, 2008
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    Stove thermometers seem to be one of those things where folks either have good luck with them or bad luck . . . they seem to be pretty close to reading accurately or way off. In either case, I think the prevailing sentiment is that unless you spring for the mega expensive calibrated thermometers or some type of digital hook-up, the thermometers you buy at the stove shop or hardware store are usually just going to give you a rough estimate of the temp.

    That said, I've had good luck with my Condar thermometers . . . at least the stove top thermometer is close in temp when I check it against my IR gun's readings.
  3. EddyKilowatt

    Member 2.

    Nov 8, 2007
    Central Coast California
    I have a Condar magnetic-attach surface temperature unit that agrees pretty well (25-50 deg F) with my infrared hand-held thermometer. I seem to recall putting the Condar in the oven and it agreed pretty well with the oven thermostat and my wife's oven thermometer, FWIW. (She bakes a great cake so we'd probably know if her oven thermometer was off!).

    I wouldn't say as much for the various 'probe-type' flue thermometers that feature a bimetal coil right behind the dial... I put one of those in the oven and it was off by sixty or eighty percent. They are basically estimating flue temperature from the pipe surface temperature.

    Since stoves and installations vary so much, the principal value of a thermometer is relative readings anyway... absolute accuracy doesn't matter too much. After a week or two you learn that you can close down the starting air once the stove gets above temperature 'X', the house will stay warm with the stove around temperature 'Y', and for a paperless re-light you need to reload the stove before it gets down to temperature 'Z'. X and Y and Z are different in every installation, but as long as the thermometer is sturdy and easy to read, it does the job.

    The one place where actual accuracy would matter is avoiding over-firing of the stove. But to use a thermometer for that, you'd have to have clear instructions from the stove manufacturer about where to put the thermometer and what reading constitutes 'too high'. For a variety reasons (that we consumers could speculate fruitlessly about), the stove builders don't supply this piece of information. It would be nice if they did, some day.

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