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Harbor Freight Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer


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15 replies to this topic

#1 Squeaky Clean

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 08:53 AM

 I picked up a new tool this weekend. Harbor Freight was having a tent sale yesterday and I got this Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer for like $20. I have been comparing it to my old school mercury thermometer with remarkable results. The regular price was $60.00, will this be an ok tool or should get the one that our Samurai recommends as well?

           

My Deal = http://www.harborfre...69465-8905.html

 

Samurai recommended Tool = http://www.amazon.co...XNEHCNTZCNE2RP4

 

         


“I’m on a path of enlightenment and would like to become an appliance repair technician. I’m looking for any and all suggestions from those who have made this journey.”

 

 


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#2 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 10:03 AM

I have several, a fluke, a mini kintrex, a cheapie from somewhere, a thermoworks, a sperry pocket infrared therm and a bon jour culinary laser.

The bon jour was my first, bought it many years ago for cooking... i later used it for appliance repair... issue... range... would not go below 0 degrees but it did have temp readings on the side for simmer, saute, fry etc... cool back in the day http://www.amazon.co...=bon jour laser


Thermoworks food safety laser.... great but the trigger kept accidentally getting pressed while in my tool box... I use it now when i need to provide documentation of temp readings... "food safety thermometer" just sounds official in a report. http://www.thermowor...ts/ir/irfs.html

Kintrex.... mini compact and waterproof..... love love love it...no bigger than a tube of chapstick.... great as a backup but has no laser and limited distance... impressed with this thing so I have to vouch for the company. http://www.amazon.co...nfrared compact

Cheapie.... defaults to centigrade every time you pull the trigger and battery falls out if dropped


Sperry..... sucks.... http://www.amazon.co...ser thermometer

Fluke..... my favorite.... durable... takes a beating great temp and distance with variable emissivity settings (you can change settings based on reflectivity of surface) http://www.amazon.co...ser thermometer

All of them are pretty accurate except the Sperry, none cost more than 90 bucks.... look for ease of use and durability....

To your question, with a 12 to 1 dts ratio, great reviews, inexpensive ($50) and having some experience with one the company's infrared products, I would go with the kintrex you linked. Remember, their primary use is for quick temp readings to aid in diagnostics. Even when I do an official fridge temp report, I use thermocouple readings and only include the laser readings in the report as supportive info.

Edited by DurhamAppliance, 25 August 2014 - 11:00 AM.

Durham Appliance Thrift & Repair, LLC

www.DurhamApplianceThrift.com


#3 beam current

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 01:31 PM

I don't know, that Fluke sure is sexy. Just the "shiney tool" syndrome taking over my brain again. It makes my Craftsman 50455 seem so inferior now. Thanks DA, now I have IR thermometer envy. And there goes this month's budget, again :).

I look at it this way..... if you spend a little more now on your test equipment, the tools that help you accurately diagnose the appliance (which make you money), then it's a no brainer. Harbor Freight is probably not the way to go.

Stay cheap on your common hand tools, you can always upgrade later. But choose and buy wisely on your test equipment.
I think this will work. I once saw it on a cartoon.

Or, on the other hand.....

Troubleshooting the appliance's complex electro-mechanical systems is the methodology in which one must, by using analyitical techniques and the process of elimination, determine the cause or causes of a specific failure. Rarely does this cause of a failure directly present itself for you to see.

So.....

To be better equipped to troubleshoot, you will need:

1.) To follow this: Safety first and foremost. Trust your instincts.
2.) Basic hand tools.
3.) A decent DVOM meter. Buy one. Borrow one. You need one.
4.) Last, but certainty not least, common sense. Most of us have it. Slow down and use it.

Now, let's have some fun!

ZIG:
Hope is the power that gives a person the confidence to step out and try.
Success is the maximum utilization of the ability you have.

N.M.:
It always seems impossible until it's done.

#4 Squeaky Clean

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 01:46 PM

Thank you both for all of your replies......I guess I will just use it around the house. I'm just amazed at its accuracy for $20. I saw this o the sears website, it looked interesting.

Wide Range IR Thermometer with Type K input and Pipe Clamp =  http://www.craftsman...=2&blockType=G2


Edited by Squeaky Clean, 25 August 2014 - 01:46 PM.

“I’m on a path of enlightenment and would like to become an appliance repair technician. I’m looking for any and all suggestions from those who have made this journey.”

 

 


#5 beam current

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 02:18 PM

Harbor Freight has a no questions asked return policy.

Squeaky, do you do AC repairs also? Why would you need the pipe clamp for appliance repair? Just curious.
I think this will work. I once saw it on a cartoon.

Or, on the other hand.....

Troubleshooting the appliance's complex electro-mechanical systems is the methodology in which one must, by using analyitical techniques and the process of elimination, determine the cause or causes of a specific failure. Rarely does this cause of a failure directly present itself for you to see.

So.....

To be better equipped to troubleshoot, you will need:

1.) To follow this: Safety first and foremost. Trust your instincts.
2.) Basic hand tools.
3.) A decent DVOM meter. Buy one. Borrow one. You need one.
4.) Last, but certainty not least, common sense. Most of us have it. Slow down and use it.

Now, let's have some fun!

ZIG:
Hope is the power that gives a person the confidence to step out and try.
Success is the maximum utilization of the ability you have.

N.M.:
It always seems impossible until it's done.

#6 DurhamAppliance

DurhamAppliance

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 03:10 PM

Beam is correct, durability is very important... the last thing you want on your mind is whether your diagnostic tool is working properly or not. Also, you have to consider customer perception. We all have customers who fancy themselves as some sort of mechanic or electrical super genius. Those guys know Harbor Freight name brands and are always checking out your tools.

It then becomes that much harder to charge $350 for a board replacement after they see you break out your HF meter, etc. Hand tools aren't nearly the issue but still to be considered.

Not only are the customers paying me for my knowledge but also compensating me for using professional/commercial tools to accomplish their repair.

Durham Appliance Thrift & Repair, LLC

www.DurhamApplianceThrift.com


#7 beam current

beam current

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 04:05 PM

"Also, you have to consider customer perception. We all have customers who fancy themselves as some sort of mechanic or electrical super genius."

You nailed it DA. "Hey, what's that thing you're using there? Mind if I check it out? "

Ah, yes I do. No touchy touchy. Go get your own one-wire.
I think this will work. I once saw it on a cartoon.

Or, on the other hand.....

Troubleshooting the appliance's complex electro-mechanical systems is the methodology in which one must, by using analyitical techniques and the process of elimination, determine the cause or causes of a specific failure. Rarely does this cause of a failure directly present itself for you to see.

So.....

To be better equipped to troubleshoot, you will need:

1.) To follow this: Safety first and foremost. Trust your instincts.
2.) Basic hand tools.
3.) A decent DVOM meter. Buy one. Borrow one. You need one.
4.) Last, but certainty not least, common sense. Most of us have it. Slow down and use it.

Now, let's have some fun!

ZIG:
Hope is the power that gives a person the confidence to step out and try.
Success is the maximum utilization of the ability you have.

N.M.:
It always seems impossible until it's done.

#8 Squeaky Clean

Squeaky Clean

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  • Flavorite Brew:Benchmark Bourbon (Old Number 8) on the rocks & glass of coke on the side

Posted 25 August 2014 - 05:38 PM

Harbor Freight has a no questions asked return policy.

Squeaky, do you do AC repairs also? Why would you need the pipe clamp for appliance repair? Just curious.

     I'm taking a night class here in a few weeks, they gave us tool list needed for class and they said we need a clamp for Super Cool / Super Heat 


“I’m on a path of enlightenment and would like to become an appliance repair technician. I’m looking for any and all suggestions from those who have made this journey.”

 

 


#9 beam current

beam current

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 10:21 PM

SUB-cooling and superheat. Super cool does sound cool though :) .
I think this will work. I once saw it on a cartoon.

Or, on the other hand.....

Troubleshooting the appliance's complex electro-mechanical systems is the methodology in which one must, by using analyitical techniques and the process of elimination, determine the cause or causes of a specific failure. Rarely does this cause of a failure directly present itself for you to see.

So.....

To be better equipped to troubleshoot, you will need:

1.) To follow this: Safety first and foremost. Trust your instincts.
2.) Basic hand tools.
3.) A decent DVOM meter. Buy one. Borrow one. You need one.
4.) Last, but certainty not least, common sense. Most of us have it. Slow down and use it.

Now, let's have some fun!

ZIG:
Hope is the power that gives a person the confidence to step out and try.
Success is the maximum utilization of the ability you have.

N.M.:
It always seems impossible until it's done.

#10 beam current

beam current

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 10:38 PM


Wide Range IR Thermometer with Type K input and Pipe Clamp =  http://www.craftsman...=2&blockType=G2[/quote]

BTW, nice set.

Also a FYI. When servicing AC systems, you will be using the pipe clamp with your meter mostly, not the IR gun.
I think this will work. I once saw it on a cartoon.

Or, on the other hand.....

Troubleshooting the appliance's complex electro-mechanical systems is the methodology in which one must, by using analyitical techniques and the process of elimination, determine the cause or causes of a specific failure. Rarely does this cause of a failure directly present itself for you to see.

So.....

To be better equipped to troubleshoot, you will need:

1.) To follow this: Safety first and foremost. Trust your instincts.
2.) Basic hand tools.
3.) A decent DVOM meter. Buy one. Borrow one. You need one.
4.) Last, but certainty not least, common sense. Most of us have it. Slow down and use it.

Now, let's have some fun!

ZIG:
Hope is the power that gives a person the confidence to step out and try.
Success is the maximum utilization of the ability you have.

N.M.:
It always seems impossible until it's done.

#11 Squeaky Clean

Squeaky Clean

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Posted Yesterday, 07:20 AM

SUB-cooling and superheat. Super cool does sound cool though :) .

 

  Thank you for clarifying the HVAC vocabulary. I guess its just a typo on the tool list they gave me. They also recommend the Fieldpiece HS33 for the class, I hope my Extech will be suitable. I see they offer a clamp accessory for my meter. 

 

P.S. I doubt I will be servicing any AC systems, I'm just taking the class get more in depth knowledge regarding compressors, control systems, and Freon line distribution. Things like reclaim and obtaining my EPA certification .


Edited by Squeaky Clean, Yesterday, 07:27 AM.

“I’m on a path of enlightenment and would like to become an appliance repair technician. I’m looking for any and all suggestions from those who have made this journey.”

 

 


#12 beam current

beam current

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Posted Yesterday, 02:16 PM

Thank you for clarifying the HVAC vocabulary. I guess its just a typo on the tool list they gave me. They also recommend the Fieldpiece HS33 for the class, I hope my Extech will be suitable. I see they offer a clamp accessory for my meter. 
 
P.S. I doubt I will be servicing any AC systems, I'm just taking the class get more in depth knowledge regarding compressors, control systems, and Freon line distribution. Things like reclaim and obtaining my EPA certification .


The Extech TK430 will work just fine. It has the same functionality as the HS33.

That's very commendable. Obviously the more knowledge you have, the better you will succeed. You don't want to be a PCM as Samurai talks about on this site. Money well spent.
I think this will work. I once saw it on a cartoon.

Or, on the other hand.....

Troubleshooting the appliance's complex electro-mechanical systems is the methodology in which one must, by using analyitical techniques and the process of elimination, determine the cause or causes of a specific failure. Rarely does this cause of a failure directly present itself for you to see.

So.....

To be better equipped to troubleshoot, you will need:

1.) To follow this: Safety first and foremost. Trust your instincts.
2.) Basic hand tools.
3.) A decent DVOM meter. Buy one. Borrow one. You need one.
4.) Last, but certainty not least, common sense. Most of us have it. Slow down and use it.

Now, let's have some fun!

ZIG:
Hope is the power that gives a person the confidence to step out and try.
Success is the maximum utilization of the ability you have.

N.M.:
It always seems impossible until it's done.

#13 Squeaky Clean

Squeaky Clean

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  • Professional Appliantologist
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  • Location: USA
  • Flavorite Brew:Benchmark Bourbon (Old Number 8) on the rocks & glass of coke on the side

Posted Yesterday, 05:29 PM

Beam,

 

   Do you do closed system repairs?  I ask because I have learned that there are companies here in my area (Nashville, TN) that do not do any closed system work on appliances......if the system has a leak or it needs a compressor, they just tell them to buy a new fridge.   Is that the norm?  Last week I was in my neighbor's home and she told me that a local company had looked at her fridge and said it needed a compressor (extra garage fridge) and was told to just get something off Craig's List. I noticed the timer wiring harness was all dark and the timer housing looked burnt. I swapped the timer with mine from my fridge (similar model) and the compressor and evaporator fan took off,  it immediately started cooling........anything else I should look at?   Thanks!    Sorry for all the questions in one post :)


Edited by Squeaky Clean, Yesterday, 05:32 PM.

“I’m on a path of enlightenment and would like to become an appliance repair technician. I’m looking for any and all suggestions from those who have made this journey.”

 

 


#14 beam current

beam current

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Posted Today, 12:46 AM

Yes, residential AC and refrigeration. The sealed system "norm" usually is that the higher price end product line, SubZero and Viking, are cheaper to repair instead of replacing and vice versa for pretty much everything else. For a couple hundred dollars more, a customer could have a brand new refrigerator. And take into account your parts cost, labor, and warranty period, there is not alot of wiggle room involved. Plus the risk of melting the plastic liners on an evap change out, does not make it an attractive or lucrative job for most businesses.

As far as the technician condemning your neighbor's refrigerator for a supposedly bad compressor, I would assume he did not properly troubleshoot. He decided to collect his trip charge instead of a better paying repair fee. Unfortunately, there are businesses that operate this way.

You would want to check the following to determine if there really is a compressor problem:

1. Evap frost pattern. Then determine if it is a leak, inefficient compressor, or a restriction issue.
2. Compressor start relay and overload.
3. Compressor winding resistance, winding short to ground, capacitor if applicable, amp draw, and megger the windings.
4. Condenser fan operation. Condenser coil cleanliness (especially garage frig)
5. Wire connections.

I would also troubleshoot why the timer and wiring fried. Was it internel or external failure caused? Use the tech sheet or service manual.

Edited by beam current, Today, 01:30 AM.

I think this will work. I once saw it on a cartoon.

Or, on the other hand.....

Troubleshooting the appliance's complex electro-mechanical systems is the methodology in which one must, by using analyitical techniques and the process of elimination, determine the cause or causes of a specific failure. Rarely does this cause of a failure directly present itself for you to see.

So.....

To be better equipped to troubleshoot, you will need:

1.) To follow this: Safety first and foremost. Trust your instincts.
2.) Basic hand tools.
3.) A decent DVOM meter. Buy one. Borrow one. You need one.
4.) Last, but certainty not least, common sense. Most of us have it. Slow down and use it.

Now, let's have some fun!

ZIG:
Hope is the power that gives a person the confidence to step out and try.
Success is the maximum utilization of the ability you have.

N.M.:
It always seems impossible until it's done.

#15 Squeaky Clean

Squeaky Clean

    Ikkō-ikki

  • Professional Appliantologist
  • PipPip
  • 47 posts
  • Location: USA
  • Flavorite Brew:Benchmark Bourbon (Old Number 8) on the rocks & glass of coke on the side

Posted Today, 11:26 AM

Thank you Beam.......I don't want to get to too far off on this subject, but I have inspected all the wiring and nothing else looks like it got hot. Its going into the second day and the evaporator has a good frost pattern and the defrost mode is working properly. Temps in both compartments are rock solid. I checked the other items using the videos on this website. I don't have a megger yet, so I will have to assume the compressor is fine....no strange sounds and temps are consistent.

   Could have it just been the timer component that shorted out internally?


Edited by Squeaky Clean, Today, 11:29 AM.

“I’m on a path of enlightenment and would like to become an appliance repair technician. I’m looking for any and all suggestions from those who have made this journey.”

 

 


#16 beam current

beam current

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Posted Today, 01:54 PM

Yes, that is fairly typical. Have you had any recent brown/black outs or lightning storms? These play havoc on all appliances, especially the ones crammed full of circuit boards. Using surge protectors definitely helps. Good upsale item too.

Good on ya for watching the videos. You will find this site extremely helpful. The folks on here are great.
I think this will work. I once saw it on a cartoon.

Or, on the other hand.....

Troubleshooting the appliance's complex electro-mechanical systems is the methodology in which one must, by using analyitical techniques and the process of elimination, determine the cause or causes of a specific failure. Rarely does this cause of a failure directly present itself for you to see.

So.....

To be better equipped to troubleshoot, you will need:

1.) To follow this: Safety first and foremost. Trust your instincts.
2.) Basic hand tools.
3.) A decent DVOM meter. Buy one. Borrow one. You need one.
4.) Last, but certainty not least, common sense. Most of us have it. Slow down and use it.

Now, let's have some fun!

ZIG:
Hope is the power that gives a person the confidence to step out and try.
Success is the maximum utilization of the ability you have.

N.M.:
It always seems impossible until it's done.




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