Dial Thermometers Dying Quickly at Our House

Only one answer to this.
OP is in the vicinity of Groom Lake, and Molecular displacement caused by the lake activity has caused the 2 different metals in the bimetallic coils to become a single cohesive substance.

As long as you don’t hear muffled helicopter noises at night, you should be safe but don’t let on that you know.

And that’s about the only thing i could think of that makes less sense than what the OP is having happen.
How the heck are bi metallic springs massively dying at the OP’s house?

Corrosion and severe over heating are about the only things i have ever seen kill the spring where they dont even work inaccurately anymore.

LOL. Will keep an ear cocked for helicopters. :slight_smile:

Appreciate everyone’s feedback. This has bugged me for years and my curiosity has grown with every dial thermometer thrown in the trash, but I couldn’t find anything online that would explain it. I even waited until all the teenagers moved out of the house and the next set died, so that eliminated one of my suspicions. I guess it’s just one of those mysteries.

I"ll bite the bullet and spend a little more money for a digital type next time – see if it survives. If it doesn’t, I’ll get one of those really bright lights and interrogate my husband and the dog until somebody confesses something that brings me peace on the matter.

Cheers, y’all!

I’ve managed to destroy more dial thermometers than I can keep track of, and as much as I’d like to blame The Man, I’ve come to the conclusion it’s what I do.

  1. Don’t put the thermometer in the dishwasher. For that matter, don’t immerse it in water. Just make sure you wipe the probe clean.

  2. Don’t bend the probe, don’t bend the dial and don’t bend where the probe meets the dial.

  3. If you should happen to drop or bang the thermometer, heat a cup of water to boiling and take its temperature to make sure the thermometer still works.

  4. Don’t put your oven thermometer in the freezer, and don’t put your freezer thermometer in the oven.

TLDR - treat your thermometer as if it’s way more fragile than you think it is.

Great tips, although the only one of these things that would have happened at our house is possibly the dropping – I don’t put my thermometers in the dishwasher or use them for anything except what they are labeled for. I haven’t asked Dear Hubby if he’s been dishwashing the meat thermometer, though, so you might have solved that mystery. Still, there’s the little oven thermometer … I can’t see him dishwashing that, I can’t even imagine him using it. I’ll go Columbo on him at dinner one of these first nights and see what I can learn. I assume there’s some perfectly rational explanation behind all this, I’d just like to know what it is so I can stop it from happening. :slight_smile:

Thermometers that use a bimetallic spring work great if they’re well made. But most of the ones consumers buy nowadays are not well made.

Digital thermometers that use a thermistor RTD as the sensing element are the way to go.

I have two consumer-grade dial thermometer/hygrometer/barometers that are 60 years old. Both survived a household move, and both appear to be accurate, at least within reason. They have never been outside the range of 500-1000 ft above sea level. I even beat one up pretty good doing “science” experiments as a kid, and it still works fine.

Do all digital thermometers use a thermistor RTD or is that something I have to look for specifically? Looking at the options on Amazon, I can’t tell.

They would most likely be RTD technology or more rarely use a type J or type K thermocouple (WIKI). Not interchangeable in the circuitry but all three are just as efficient, accurate, and reliable for what you seem to want them for. In industry, I’ve used more thermocouples. RTDs are cheaper and easier to set up. The thermocouples are more likely in heating appliances like your oven, water heater, and furnace.

Cool, then I can’t go wrong as long as I order digital. Thank you. :slight_smile: