How to Calibrate a Thermometer? – Complete Guideline 2020

The temperature is one of the commonly measured parameters at large. Since there exist different electrical and mechanical thermometers in the market, there is a need to calibrate them to ensure regulatory compliance and quality consistency. To calibrate a thermometer is to configure it to provide temperature readings within the standard range. But then, do you understand how to calibrate a thermometer? In our discussions today, you will learn how you can easily and quickly carry out the calibration process. You will also get an idea of the right time to calibrate your thermometer.

Why Do You Calibrate A Thermometer?

Calibration is an essential process people using thermometers should consider if they need the best of their thermometers. We calibrate thermometers to ensure the displayed readings fall within the set specifications and understand the figures’ inaccuracy at specific measurement points. When you embark on the calibration process, you measure points that are critical to the instrument’s applications. 

Let us take an example of retailers and food caterers; they must ensure all hot held foods are kept closest or above 63 degrees celsius. This way, they will prevent cultivating harmful bacteria that will make the food go bad. Therefore, calibrate the thermometer at 63 degrees celsius or something closest to this value as possible. 

How to Calibrate A Thermometer?  (Step By Step)

Digital thermometers are easy to calibrate since most of them have a reset button for calibration purposes. However, you will find others with a nut under the temperature dial to make adjustments. But then, you must check the manufacturer’s instructions on how to calibrate your thermometer the right way. 

How to calibrate a thermometer

Even if you are not in a stand to calibrate your thermometer, you can use methods to check your instrument’s accuracy. The techniques help to know the accuracy of your thermometer and make prior adjustments to it if there is a need to do so. 

professional outdoor thermometer experts outline two methods to test thermometers’ accuracy and calibrate them to offer users the best of the best. The calibration of thermometers can be done using extremely cold temperatures or high temperatures at large. So, do you still need to understand how to calibrate a thermometer? Herein you learn a few techniques you will use to calibrate your thermometer easily and quickly at home. 

Using The Ice-Water Method To Calibrate A Thermometer:

  • Start by filling a large glass with ice and add cold tap water to the tip. Follow by stirring the contents and allow them to sit for about three minutes. 
  • Immerse your instrument in ice water. Ensure it is immersed two inches in cold water. The thermometer should touch the glass at all, neither the sides nor the bottom surface.  
  • Use the probe to stir ice water and prevent it from resting against your ice cubes. 
  • Wait for about thirty seconds and take the temperature reading.
  • If you do everything correctly, the thermometer should read 0°c or 32°f. If this is not the reading, use the nut or the reset button on the thermometer to adjust the head until it reads this figure. 

Using The Boiling Point Method:

  • Start by getting water in a deep saucepan to boil.
  • Hold your thermometer gently and place the stem in your boiling water.
  • Like in the ice-water method, ensure your thermometer is immersed in boiling water at least two inches deep. 
  • Allow the thermometer to settle for about thirst seconds and take the reading.
  • If you correctly do it, the thermometer should read 100°c or 212°f. In case you don’t get this, keep the thermometer submerged and make adjustments until it reads this value. 

People living in high altitude regions should mind testing their test accordingly since water in these areas boils at lower temperatures. After calibrating your thermometer, you will have a completely reliable tool to use in measuring temperature. You will be left assured you get an accurate temperature reading for the rest of your working session. In case of any impact on your thermometer, ensure you calibrate it before using it.

When Should You Calibrate A Thermometer?

This is a good question for all thermometer users who need to get the best out of their thermometers. Before you think about calibrating a thermometer, first know the right time you need to do that. On the day of purchase, you need first to calibrate your instrument before you can use it. This provides you surety that you will get accurate readings from your daily temperature measuring tasks at large. 

Besides this, you should also calibrate your thermometer after being knocked or dropped. This is also the right time to carry out calibration to ensure you get accurate results ahead of your temperature measuring sessions. After any impact, the calibration that was early done may change. Recalibrate the thermometer to the standard value before you can use it again. 

Thirdly, you will be using your thermometer in different environments at large. You will also measure different things with different extreme temperatures. In this case, it is best to calibrate your thermometer when you change from measuring cold objects to hot ones. Ensure you adjust your instrument to standard figures to give you accurate readings at large. 

Calibration ensures that you do not get slightly off from the correct temperature reading in your next temperature measuring session. If you are using the thermometer regularly, ensure you also calibrate it often to avoid faulty readings.

Final Verdict

Have you gotten the idea of how to calibrate a thermometer? In our discussions today, we have highlighted two methods you can use to calibrate a thermometer. Calibration is vital for regulatory compliance and also quality consistency at large. 

However, you are advised to check the manufacturer’s manual, the best method you should follow to calibrate your model. You will even get surprised that other models should be sent back to manufacturers to get them calibrated. Calibrate your thermometer to get accurate readings always. 

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