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Question: best way to use infrared thermometer on pipes??

todd_14 Member Posts: 18
What’s the best way to use infrared thermometer on pipes/circ pumps/etc in a hot water system? 

does it make a difference taking readings on exposed metal surfaces vs. painted surfaces? 

new shiny copper?

dull old copper?

old black iron pipes?

Can I take infrared readings directly on copper pipes?

readinfs I get on new 2@ copper pipe connected to painted air separate vary a lot? 

Thanks for your input and suggestions. 


  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,342
    Dull surface is needed. A magic marker, one wrap of friction tape.
    I suppose a thin spray paint flat black in the areas to be tested would work also.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • aircooled81
    aircooled81 Member Posts: 205
    wrap a piece of tape on the copper, something dull. I don't think infrared temp guns pick-up the copper regardless of shininess. Simple is a piece of black electrical tape or duct tape. Best way to use them on pipes is with a grain of salt, I'd jam a thermometer into a petes port, insulate a thermometer or type K thermocouple to the pipe for accurate measurement. I don't feel my fluke temp gun is an accurate pipe measurement tool.