5.16.2010

Temperature probe repair (works!)


The simple Taylor probe thermometer is an inexpensive and versatile piece of equipment.  I have a bunch of them.  It's the thing labeled as TruTemp (a knockoff) on the left in the above image.  The temperature probe, not certain if it's a true thermocouple, fits a variety of devices and is capable of cold temps to about 490°F. However, these things fail a lot and are too pricey to replace; cost as much as the entire two piece unit to replace.  What happens to these, if they get immersed (for an extended) period in water, is they stop working or read consistently low or high.
Andrew, unable to remember where he saw it, recollected these probes could be reconditioned by immersing them in hot oil.  Too lazy to wade through all the noise that would attend any search including the keyword probe, I set out to investigate.

I hypothesized that maybe at the juncture of the braided wire and the metal probe, some moisture may have been sucked in upon cooling, thus altering the measurement.  I immersed the probe, including that boundary of braded metal sheath, in 300&degF vegetable oil.  For about ten minutes, I noticed a steady gurgling as water being expelled from the deepest darkest bowel of the probe (no way I'm going near Google with these terms).  Once the gurgling stopped, I removed the probe, cleaned off the oil and checked the temperature of a 70°F bath of water and ambient air temp; it was spot on (corroborated with another insta read).  The Taylor type unit lasts forever and now, I'm feeling better, because the probes are likely more robust than I knew.  Thanks Andrew for the tip.  Saves me a bunch of cash and I get to reuse my old Taylors.  I despise the throw-a-way aspect of our society.

2 comments:

Andrew said...

Glad it worked-I threw away about three of the instant read probes before is stumbled on this tip. Supposedly the oil bath will seal the probe and prevent it from happening again. Who knows?

Mike said...

You guys are a great...this is a great tip! I'm with you, I've lost a handful of these over the years. Now next time I fry, I can fix my probes too..sweet!