How to test and clean ET-73 probes?

Discussion in 'Meat Thermometers' started by my87csx481, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. my87csx481

    my87csx481 Fire Starter

    As the title says, how do you guys test your probes?

    And how do you clean your probes?

    The manual says not to immerse the probes in water.  I've read many threads about damaged probes and want to know how to not damage mine.

    I briefly tried to search on here for an answer.  Sorry for not finding a thread with an answer, if there is one.
  2. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I place them in boiling water and make sure it hit's about 212° (only the tip of the probe not the cable.

    I did leave one in the rain and it did screw up, so I guess you do need to keep them dry.
  3. mama's smoke

    mama's smoke Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I clean the probes by giving them a good rub with antibacterial wipes.  Those that have a scrubbing side are best.  I put shrink tube on mine right after I got it.  It should go over the probe (from the wire) only about an inch.  I never put them in water.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  4. my87csx481

    my87csx481 Fire Starter

    Shrink tube?  The stuff used for insulating electrical wires?  Sounds like a good idea.  Any problems with it melting?
  5. morkdach

    morkdach Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  6. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I just clean my probes by whipping the probe off with a damp cloth. Now for the testing  would do just like Dan told you and place the tip of your probe into some boiling water and it should read 212* and thats that.
  7. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Interesting.  I'm an electrician and I know that the shrink tube we use isn't rated for the temps we use as smokers.  Matter of fact, our temps are what shrink the tube.  Maybe there's a high temp shrink I'm not acquainted with...........Gonna have to check this out.
  8. my87csx481

    my87csx481 Fire Starter

    I was thinking the same thing.  Please let me know if you find anything.
  9. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    When doing the boiling water test, be sure the water is at a full rolling boil.  Also, altitude/atmospheric pressure will determine the boiling point in your area.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2013
  10. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    I also do the boil test after the water is at a rolling boil I put on some gloves and put the bottom 1-1.5" of the probe into the water. To clean the probes I use alcohol wipes you can buy a box of the alcohol prep pads pretty cheap at most Pharmacy's and they work great wipe allow to dry and then insert them and they dry quick
  11. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Yep, there sure is.  Carries a milspec too.  One type requires 300*C and continuous over the whole length of tube to shrink correctly.  Definitely high temp when applied correctly, however, using a heat gun is not advised.  There are other types available so it is feasible, however, the price is rather high, plus you'd have to be concerned with possible material gas being emitted from the shrink in a smoker box temperature environment.  In the oil refinery, we'd use thermal guns to read the temps, not necessarily a wired probe, unless of course, constant monitoring was required.  Hey, I'm retired....I'll go do a technical-geek speak core dump and get back to smoking.
  12. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    Shrink tube will melt. Besides, unless its the stuff with an even lower temp softer inner core that seals it will leak anyway as most the cable used for most temp probes has a braided outer jacket.

    I find that Permatex Ultracopper high temp silicon works well for lots of things around the smoker including sealing up temp probes. I also thread on a small coil spring around the area for strain relief then goop the silicone around the area the cable exits the body of the temp probe and the spring holding it in place. Let it sit up overnight just to be sure and you should be good to go. 

    Ultracopper is rated for use up to 700 degrees F. If your smoker gets that hot, the temp probe will be damaged beyond repair in any event so moisture intrusion would be the least of your problems.

    The quick check for themometers of all kinds is a water bath of boiling water 100C (212F) at sea level and 0C (32F) using an ice bath, water and ice or slush.

    Of course the more important temp for a smoker thermometer is the 100C point. The boiling point lowers for higher altitudes. Here's a chart to use as a guide for your locale. It would be close enough for a smoker to simply interpolate between the altitudes listed here.
    0 (0ft)100 (212°F)
    300 (984.25ft)99.1 (210.3°F)
    600 (1968.5ft)98.1 (208.5°F)
    1000 (3280.8ft)96.8 (206.2°F)
    2000 (6561.68ft)93.3 (199.9°F)
    4000 (13123.36ft)87.3 (189.1°F)
    6000 (19685.04ft)81.3 (178.3°F)
    8000 (26246.72ft)75.5 (167.9°F)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2013
    bigdan05 likes this.
  13. steve k

    steve k Fire Starter

    Dittos on the Permatex high temp silicone.  I've used the red version on my Maverick and it works great, both the red and the copper are made for  use as engine gaskets, so they can handle 250 degree smokers.  If you don't do this sealing, even condensation from normal cooking will run down the cable and ruin the probe in no time.  I think Maverick should seal their probes better to begin with, and the failure to do it is a defect. That being said, it's a great thermometer when the probes are sealed were the cable meets the solid metal.  I like the relief spring idea, maybe if my silicone needs replacement, I'll give that a try.
  14. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I guess I am a lucky guy. I wash and clean my probes with dishsoap and a sponge and have never had an issue of any kind. Do an alcahol wipe just before using to make sure it is clean.  Mine is 2 1/2 years old and still ticking.  Just knocked on some wood [​IMG]  after that statement
  15. I'm not so lucky. I've used my probes 3 times. Submerged them in water to clean (probes only). My meat probe is 50% high now. I'm replacing both probes today and will not submerge again. The customer service lady at Maverick said that just from the moisture of being in the smoker could ruin the probes.
  16. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    Thanks for the info.  Just ordered a tube for $5.00 with $0.02 S/H on Amazon.  I couldn't pass that up.  All automotive stores are $7.49+.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2013
  17. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    This CDN thermometer model DTP482 has a five year warrantee that has a probe with a rubber gasket at the cable/probe joint.    I found this out by mistake when I received it.  I'm still sealing it with Permatex Ultra Copper Maximum temperature RTV Silicone.  The reviews were good and it tested 212* @ sea level in boiling water.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2013
  18. What are you sealing?

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