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Old 04-29-2012, 11:35 PM   #1
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Infrared Temperature Gun – for tank temps

For fuel, water, or waste tanks: To determine a tank material’s temperature differences at its fluid level... which brand and model of Infrared Temperature Gun do you recommend?

Thank you all for any assistance! - Art
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Old 04-30-2012, 12:23 AM   #2
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FLUKE Thermometer,Infrared - 5YE68 - Grainger Industrial Supply

Pricier than some but very durable and handy.
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Old 04-30-2012, 12:29 AM   #3
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FLUKE Thermometer,Infrared - 5YE68 - Grainger Industrial Supply

Pricier than some but very durable and handy.
TY CP, for Granger suggestion... I'll look into it! You know much about Snap-On Thermometer Infrared Gun?
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Old 04-30-2012, 12:40 AM   #4
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How much temperature difference occurs at the fluid level? I've never heard of this but it makes sense.
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:00 AM   #5
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TY CP, for Granger suggestion... I'll look into it! You know much about Snap-On Thermometer Infrared Gun?
Aside from Snap-On having a solid reputation in the tool market no. I will admit to a personal preference for Fluke test instruments and meters from many years of hands on experience using their equipment.

I'll step out on a limb and concede they are most likely equal in quality.
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:06 AM   #6
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How much temperature difference occurs at the fluid level? I've never heard of this but it makes sense.
Not sure - I imagine that if the temp around tanks alters at all during day or night (which it usually does), or especially while running engines near any tanks, that the difference must be at least a couple degrees or more compared to the mass of fluid and the empty portion of the tanks. I'm not feeling that you would necessarily be able to draw a sharp line for the exact level (like within 1/16 inch +/-) but I betting with the correct model temp gun we can figure the actual tank level to within an inch or so... maybe even closer!

This came to my mind because my fuel gauges seem to be getting out of whack and I need a fool proof test to check on them. This weekend I was sound-tapping on both my 100 gallon aluminum fuel tanks and can't be sure (beyond a doubt) of their levels that way.

I’m getting a temp gun before next time on board. Figured this forum good place to ask preference on models and makes!
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:09 AM   #7
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Aside from Snap-On having a solid reputation in the tool market no. I will admit to a personal preference for Fluke test instruments and meters from many years of hands on experience using their equipment.

I'll step out on a limb and concede they are most likely equal in quality.
TY, Again! CP
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:05 AM   #8
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Fluke and Snap-On will certainly be pricey - probably worth it if they form part of the tools of your trade (or if you just like very nice tools). For testing tanks and a/c outlets, you might consider something by Craftsman or even Harbour Freight at a fraction of the price. I have a cheap one for checking exhaust elbows, a/c's and the like. It has worked well for the last 3 years. I believe I read somewhere that these things all work on the same principle, although the quality of manufacture may vary. I'm guessing that the most likely cause of failure would be leakage of corrosive goop from dead batteries.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:10 AM   #9
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Fluke and Snap-On will certainly be pricey - probably worth it if they form part of the tools of your trade (or if you just like very nice tools). For testing tanks and a/c outlets, you might consider something by Craftsman or even Harbour Freight at a fraction of the price. I have a cheap one for checking exhaust elbows, a/c's and the like. It has worked well for the last 3 years. I believe I read somewhere that these things all work on the same principle, although the quality of manufacture may vary. I'm guessing that the most likely cause of failure would be leakage of corrosive goop from dead batteries.
Good point.... Thanks, Mike!
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:31 AM   #10
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I just picked up a temp gun at Harbor Freight for $29.

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Old 04-30-2012, 09:39 AM   #11
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I've got the Harbor Freight unit also and it seem to work just fine for the past 5-6 years. I'm thinking in this application that a continous reading unit would work better than the way the Harbor Freight unit works, push the button for one read. i don't know if a continous read unit is available but if so it might be worth it.
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:29 AM   #12
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I've got the Harbor Freight unit also and it seem to work just fine for the past 5-6 years. I'm thinking in this application that a continous reading unit would work better than the way the Harbor Freight unit works, push the button for one read. i don't know if a continous read unit is available but if so it might be worth it.
Budd – By continuous read I take it you mean that as you vertically adjust gun’s position pointing at a tank that the gun’s temp digits would quickly alter their temp reading in accordance with tank exterior surface temps as per internal fluid mass and vacant areas... ?? If that type gun is available then it seems a tank’s fill level reading should be able to be accurately determined in regard to fluid mass area’s and vacant area’s temp variations. Especially in the running engine confines of a boat, where I imagine the vacant area tank material would become notably warmer than the fluid filled area. These readings could be quickly taken upon engine stop after a run to determine accuracy of fuel gauges. – Art
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:35 AM   #13
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Greetings,
Like any "instrument/guage" one tends to record trends. I purchased a Harbor Freight unit and it seems to be working fine these last 3 years. Now as to determining the levels in your tanks??
Yup, just checked, just keep the button on for continuous read. One thing to consider is to keep the unit the same distance from the objects you are trying to measure. There's some difference.
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:46 AM   #14
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Greetings,
Like any "instrument/guage" one tends to record trends. I purchased a Harbor Freight unit and it seems to be working fine these last 3 years. Now as to determining the levels in your tanks??
Yup, just checked, just keep the button on for continuous read. One thing to consider is to keep the unit the same distance from the objects you are trying to measure. There's some difference.
OK - RT - You intimating that the gun told you fluid level in tank? I couldn't quite decipher, cigar smoke was wafting around! - Art
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:47 AM   #15
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Greetings,
One thing to consider is to keep the unit the same distance from the objects you are trying to measure. There's some difference.
And the same (or close) angle. Also different colors and surface contours will make the readings vary.
However if you measure your stuff and are repeatable about the way you measure you will know trends and that is what is important.
But then again I have taken mine out during parties and those readings can be interesting as well
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:50 AM   #16
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I wonder if it would work with a hydraulic resevior tank.

The fluid get hot I know. I wonder if there would be a marked difference on the tank surface.

Interesting. I will have to check this out.

Tapping on the tank gets me nothing I can be sure of.

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Old 04-30-2012, 11:52 AM   #17
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And the same (or close) angle. Also different colors and surface contours will make the readings vary.
But then again I have taken mine out during parties and those readings can be interesting as well
Depending on what time of a party, the gender, and part of anatomy you point at, the gun's heat readings may get real interesting!
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Old 04-30-2012, 12:25 PM   #18
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Greetings,
Mr. Art. Not suggesting anything regarding the level of poop in the tank. I simply went below and "shot" expansion tank, transmission and isolation transformer. I got 3 different readings with the "read" button depressed so I ASSUMED the unit was capable of continuous readings. Another thing to consider is how much fuel is returned to your fuel tanks. A high flow return as in a DD may result in less or more accurate reading depending on where the warmed fuel is returned.
Mr. Art was asking about fluid level determination in various cavities. The IR unit, be it expensive or cheap has other uses and for $29 is worthy of investment. Heck, I have no gauges in any of my tanks. When the hull gets brown, one tank is full or when the engine quits, another. When I get thirsty, scotch.
Mr. SD. Try pouring ice water over the top of the tank when taking a reading. Cooling of the metal, if it is this material may give you enough of a differential to determine level.
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:05 PM   #19
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Greetings,
Mr. Art. Not suggesting anything regarding the level of poop in the tank. I simply went below and "shot" expansion tank, transmission and isolation transformer. I got 3 different readings with the "read" button depressed so I ASSUMED the unit was capable of continuous readings. Another thing to consider is how much fuel is returned to your fuel tanks. A high flow return as in a DD may result in less or more accurate reading depending on where the warmed fuel is returned.
Mr. Art was asking about fluid level determination in various cavities. The IR unit, be it expensive or cheap has other uses and for $29 is worthy of investment. Heck, I have no gauges in any of my tanks. When the hull gets brown, one tank is full or when the engine quits, another. When I get thirsty, scotch.
Mr. SD. Try pouring ice water over the top of the tank when taking a reading. Cooling of the metal, if it is this material may give you enough of a differential to determine level.
RT - Being a coast-living Atlantic Ocean boy from ages past, my preferred marine fuel gauge is a straight wood stick with volume notches implanted by knife blade... sticks are more accurate (every time) than any other item could be; besides maybe a clear glass tank with no schmeg stuck to its interior sides - LOL!

But, alas... the "new" boat makers (mine's a 1977 - and fairly new to me!) figured their "high tech" (automotive copy) in-tank mechanical gauges would make every lazy boater happier than hell! That is till they ran out of fuel some day with the ageing gauge still reading 1/4th full! So... with their great new mechanical fuel reading gauge available the “smart” (spelled s-t-u-p-i-d) boat designers decided that gave them license to place the tanks and fill hose at angles so that NO straight stick could possibly ever be used to “accurately” check fuel levels for making sure their super stupendous mechanical fuel gauges were not telling a fuel level fib!

If the world simply adhered to KISS – what a relaxing life it would be!!
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:11 PM   #20
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