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takeahike66

Digital Probe Mod

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Moisture is the biggest enemy in maintaining a long life for your digital temp probe. Moisture and heat cause the enamel coating on the thin wire leads to corrode which leads to shorts in the wire. Heat can also be the cause for corrosion. The braid covering provides no protection from heat or moisture.

While I now use a wrapping of aluminum foil to protect the braid and wire from heat and moistures, I can up with a better solution. I purchased several 36” ¼ and 3/8” heat shrink tubing. Both size will work, the ¼” will take some effort to slip over the probes and then on over the braid. I was able to do it.

 

With the heat shrink tubing over the braid, It is now protected a lot better from the moisture inside the grill. You still can not get the probe wet by washing in the sink, but the heat tubing will provide pretty good protection. On the ends, I used an extra 1” sleeve over the end for added protection.

Photos shows how it looks after shrinking the tubing. I use a painter heat gun to provide the heat.

 

After covering with the heat shrink, I wrapped a layer of foil over the end of the probe and the covering.

 

 

 

Note: foil removed so you can see the heat shrink covering.

 

Hike

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Moisture is the biggest enemy in maintaining a long life for your digital temp probe. Moisture and heat cause the enamel coating on the thin wire leads to corrode which leads to shorts in the wire. Heat can also be the cause for corrosion. The braid covering provides no protection from heat or moisture.

While I now use a wrapping of aluminum foil to protect the braid and wire from heat and moistures, I can up with a better solution. I purchased several 36” ¼ and 3/8” heat shrink tubing. Both size will work, the ¼” will take some effort to slip over the probes and then on over the braid. I was able to do it.

 

With the heat shrink tubing over the braid, It is now protected a lot better from the moisture inside the grill. You still can not get the probe wet by washing in the sink, but the heat tubing will provide pretty good protection. On the ends, I used an extra 1” sleeve over the end for added protection.

Photos shows how it looks after shrinking the tubing. I use a painter heat gun to provide the heat.

 

After covering with the heat shrink, I wrapped a layer of foil over the end of the probe and the covering.

 

 

 

Note: foil removed so you can see the heat shrink covering.

 

Hike

Hike,

 

That sounds good, but how does the heat shrink tubing give protection from heat? I know it's great for moisture, I've used it often on my boat electrical connections to protect from moisture, especially the corrosive ocean salt water. But wouldn't the heat from the grill just melt the tube after a bit? I'm basing this on the fact that heat is what softens the tube so as to shrink it down. I have (using one of my commercial heat/blow guns) "overheated" the tubes on occasion and actually had them liquify. Hee hee. Or is the part of the wire you protect not actually in the cooking compartment?

 

Mike

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Hike,

 

That sounds good, but how does the heat shrink tubing give protection from heat? I know it's great for moisture, I've used it often on my boat electrical connections to protect from moisture, especially the corrosive ocean salt water. But wouldn't the heat from the grill just melt the tube after a bit? I'm basing this on the fact that heat is what softens the tube so as to shrink it down. I have (using one of my commercial heat/blow guns) "overheated" the tubes on occasion and actually had them liquify. Hee hee. Or is the part of the wire you protect not actually in the cooking compartment?

 

Mike

 

In the first picture, you can see where I removed the aluminum foil in order to take a picture of the tubing. The tubing protects the wire from moisture and the foil is for heat protection.

 

In this picture of my last China Red ribs, all the probes are cover in heat shrink tubing and then a layer of aluminum foil. So far no problem in the tubing melting yet. I only use the probes when slow BBQing, so the temp in the grill should be under 300F (normally 200F-250F). On the middle wire, you can see the grey tubing covering part of the probe. I probably should covered that section in foil to protect from heat.

 

 

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While I will agree that the shrink tubing will act as an barrier against moisture it will also hold the moisture in that has migrated up the braided wire underneath the shrink tubing. I rather be careful not to expose my probes to any moisture and allow the braided wire to breathe.

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While I will agree that the shrink tubing will act as an barrier against moisture it will also hold the moisture in that has migrated up the braided wire underneath the shrink tubing. I rather be careful not to expose my probes to any moisture and allow the braided wire to breathe.

 

To prevent this from happening, my shrink tubing extends over the probe metal at least an inch, and on some, two inches. I shrink these area pretty tight. Then I cut another 1" section and and overlap the end of the original layer.

 

While I felt the ends were water tight, I did not want to claim my mod was "waterproof".

 

I have not had to replace a probe since wrapping in foil, and now with the extra protection of the heat shrink tubing.

 

If the probe wires are not cover in foil when BBQing with a drip pan, the extra moisture from the water tray will collect on the wire and eventually cause the probe to fail.

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It's a smart idea using foil to reflect heat away from the sensitive insulation and heat shrink tubing. The heat shrink tubing needs to have good heat resistance and be inert to the cooking chemicals [think about the organic acids from seasoning or lemons you might stick on your food]. The best provider of heat shrink tubing is fluorotherm, they have HST with PFA properties that make this a great choice.

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