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Can you use a regular indoor/outdoor thermometer for incubation?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by BigWeenMachine, Mar 15, 2016.

  1. BigWeenMachine

    BigWeenMachine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2015
    Im having problems getting my temp to match up with 6 different thermometers. Can you use regular indoor/outdoor thermometers in the incubator???
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Nov 23, 2010
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    You can use them but that's a lot of electricity to use on a gamble.
    Most thermometers are only supposed to be accurate to within plus or minus 2F. That wouldn't be close enough for incubation and most don't meet that standard.

    I posted this earlier for someone having temp issues.

    Here's what you are dealing with.
    Not all thermometers read at the same timing. Also not all thermometers are accurate.
    Understand that almost all incubators thermostats are in an on or off state.
    What you are trying to achieve is a constant and appropriate internal egg temperature.
    If a thermometer samples when the heat element is energized, it will read in the 100s.
    When the temperature drops below set point, heat will turn on till the thermostat kicks off. Temperature will continue to rise for a few seconds to minutes while the heat element cools.
    The readings on a good instant read thermometer will swing wildly and constantly.


    Get 2 guaranteed accurate thermometers and throw the rest out. There will still be swings in readings unless your thermostat energizes in a graduated scale but you'll know what is up.

    http://thermoworks.com/products/low_cost/rt301wa.html

    https://www.brinsea.com/p-394-spot-check-digital-incubator-thermometer.aspx
     
  3. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    Sure, I find the cheap glass aquarium thermometers found in the pet section at Walmart to be very accurate... They sell them in the stores, not online

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Aqua-Culture-Aquarium-Floating-Thermometer-1ct-Fish-Aquatic-Pets/10795052

    That or these digital ones are pretty accurate as well...

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/AcuRite-Digital-Humidity-and-Temperature-Monitor/16888914
     
  4. BigWeenMachine

    BigWeenMachine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, to be on the safe side, would it be better to be a lil cool or a lil hot if I can't get my thermometers to match up. I have no idea how accurate all my thermometers are. Even though I calibrated them all before putting them in, some are running different temps when just yesterday they were running the same temp as a different thermometer in the incubator. I'm trying to make sure that none of them get over 100-101 yet some then show up as 93. Am I doing it right? Cooler better than hotter???
     
  5. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    A variance of 93° to 101° on your thermometers certainly suggest they are far from calibrated or that you have some real hot/cold spots in your incubator...

    Hot temps are far more lethal then slightly cooler temps, but also it's not the air temp that is important, it's the internal egg temperature and the best way to measure that is to simulate an egg and measure it's internal temp... Many incubators will fluctuate between say about 97° and 102° as the heating elements cycle on off, and this is perfectly fine in most cases as the average temp would be about 99.5°...

    Take a small ziplock bag, put 2-3 oz of water in it, remove the air, zip it shut and then fold/roll it into something similar to the size/shape of an egg with a known good thermometer in the middle of the folds/rolls... This will give you a very good approximation of the internal egg temperature... Another option and the one I use is a 2oz 'preemie' baby bottle filled with water and the thermometer inside that... There are also other DIY ideas as well as commercial egg simulators...
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    cooler is better than hotter but keeping in mind my first post. You're trying to achieve ideal internal egg temperature.
    If they are close to being accurate and they're dropping to 93, that could be closer to the internal egg temp which is way too low.
     
  7. KYBOY

    KYBOY Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can use them, lots of people do(I did and still occasionally do) but its a crap shoot if its accurate or not..Ive got two accurites that are dead nuts with my spot check, then Ive got another that's 3° off and 10% off on humidity.
    Ive got a brinsea spot check that is suppose to be very accurate but even Ive seen them be off a little before..I saw two with the probes right next to each other reading more than a degree apart..Though Id trust them for the most part..
    There are good thermometers/hygrometers out there that are accurate but you have to pay much more..The extechs are accurate and you can calibrate them! if its off you can make it right and it will be right from then on..Last one I saw was 3% off on humidity but after being calibrated was dead on with the salt test..
    if your going to buy a cheaper one like the accurate id find a way to check its temp like against a mercury medical therm and do the salt test for humidity..
     

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