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Thermocouple help - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Thermocouple help

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  • Thermocouple help

    Hi folks,

    I've been working on my pizza oven for the past month or so and am ready to pour the hearth. However, I would appreciate some advice on how best to install a thermocouple, as well as the suggested model to buy. I was planning to run some copper conduit through the hearth as I pour the concrete so I can easily run the thermocouple wire. Is this a good approach?

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

    Caleb
    http://picasaweb.google.com/calebschiff

  • #2
    Re: Thermocouple help

    I didn't make any provisions for my thermocouples. Rather, I just drilled the holes for them after I was finished.
    Oven Progress
    Bread Photos
    Oven Stand Thread

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    • #3
      Re: Thermocouple help

      I used stainless because of the heat exposure and resistance to corrosion. I've seen numerous discussion on Omega thermocouples, give it a search in the forums.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Thermocouple help

        I am using model #TJ36-CASS-18U-6 from Omega, as recommended by one of their engineers. So far so good. I have one running through the hearth under the oven floor, and right now the wire runs along the bottom of my hearth (along the roof of the wood storage area) and then back up through the hearth to reach outside the oven. I think the conduit would be a great idea, as long as it doesn't weaken the hearth. I used two 1/4" copper tubes running vertically through the hearth, and they got bent all to heck. I had trouble getting the probe to fit through it.
        Picasa web album
        Oven-building thread

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        • #5
          Re: Thermocouple help

          dbhansen,

          Great photos and oven! Thanks for your feedback. Can you tell me about the interface with your oven bricks and the thermocouple tip? This looks like it could be a tricky maneuver.
          http://picasaweb.google.com/calebschiff

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          • #6
            Re: Thermocouple help

            Originally posted by Caleb View Post
            Can you tell me about the interface with your oven bricks and the thermocouple tip?
            I'm not quite sure what you're asking, but basically the thermocouple probe extends through the concrete hearth (4"), through the insulation board (2") and about another 1.5" into the middle of a floor brick. The probe is composed of a stainless-steel sheath over (and bonded to) the two thermocouple wires, and the sheath is in direct contact with the brick. The thermocouple wires themselves do not touch the brick. The "U" in the product code stands for "ungrounded," which has something to do with the thermocouple/sheath interface, but don't ask me what! It was the recommended way to go.

            Daren
            Picasa web album
            Oven-building thread

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            • #7
              Re: Thermocouple help

              Caleb,
              unless you want to bake a host of bread, I wouldn't worry about using the thermocouples.
              I put in several in the floor and the dome and don't use them at all. I fire the oven for between 2 to 3 hours getting it to over 500˚C (the limit of my laser thermometer) and cook pizzas, then breads and finally a roast lamb and sweats. The oven is still hot next morning even without good insulation on my doors (my next project).
              I purchased a 10 station thermocouple switch from the UK, placed all the wiring copper conduit/tubing into the oven and it is all a waste really of time, money and effort.
              Hendo has a posting with his thermocouples and I think at this stage that they will not be used. Sure he would have installed them but the family initially are not but they can when needs permit as they were designed to be accessible and their locations are together with cable access to a reader.

              Neill
              Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

              The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know


              Neill’s Pompeiii #1
              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/n...-1-a-2005.html
              Neill’s kitchen underway
              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f35/...rway-4591.html

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Thermocouple help

                Thanks for your input Neill. I anticipate baking a lot of bread as am an avid, albeit, ametuer baker. I think I may purchase enough to have 2-3 thermocouples (2 in the floor, in the dome). Hopefully that is not too ambitious. I'm gathering my photos of the project and will keep the forum posted... its always good to pass along one's own experience.
                http://picasaweb.google.com/calebschiff

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                • #9
                  Re: Thermocouple help

                  Caleb,
                  you usually have 2 thermocouples together in specific areas of your oven, one to measure just below the hearth surface (or dome) and another at the bottom of the brick to measure the amount of heat retained (soak). I have 2 lots of themocouples in the floor and 2 sets in the dome. I can measure the centre of both at their surface and their soak to calculate (established through trial, error and experience) the amount of cooking I can achieve without a fire in the dome.
                  After you have used the oven for a period of time, you use the laser thermometer and experience more than the thermocouples. but by all means put them in, learn by them but don't spend a fortune on the equipment. The thermocouple wire is quite inexpensive but not so the reader. I got mine from my son for free so all up cost for my set-up was only around Aus$50.

                  Neill
                  Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

                  The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know


                  Neill’s Pompeiii #1
                  http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/n...-1-a-2005.html
                  Neill’s kitchen underway
                  http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f35/...rway-4591.html

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Thermocouple help

                    Caleb, one option for a reader is an infrared thermometer that also accepts thermocouple inputs. Have your cake and eat it too, as they say. You can get one for about $100 or less.
                    Picasa web album
                    Oven-building thread

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                    • #11
                      Re: Thermocouple help

                      Hello,

                      I am in the final stages of the what I call the "Brick" work. I have drilled two holes under the slab into the hearth brick to measure the floor temp, and I plan to drill two holes into the dome brick. There seems to be two types of TCs that can be used, one with a probe and a connector, the other being a probe with a trans joint. Can the cladding cover any of the wiring? Can the cladding cover the trans joint? I am asking to find out how long the probe must be.

                      Thanks for any input.

                      Sksski
                      Last edited by sksski; 04-08-2009, 01:20 PM.
                      SKSSKI

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Thermocouple help

                        The cladding could cover the wiring but...eventually your thermocouple will burn out so you might want to plan for a way to replace it when that happens...I purchased ours from Thermoworks the makers of the Thermapen...they are very knowledgeable about it and could make some excellent suggestions...ours was a 5 foot long wire and probe and a digital display...somewhere in the neighborhood of $120 plus shipping
                        Best
                        Dutch
                        "Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity. " Charles Mingus
                        "Build at least two brick ovens...one to make all the mistakes on and the other to be just like you dreamed of!" Dutch

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Thermocouple help

                          Thanks,

                          One more question. When the probe in inserted, should the tip be touching the brick? Or should it have some air between the tip and the drilled hole in the brick?
                          SKSSKI

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Thermocouple help

                            Originally posted by sksski View Post
                            Thanks,

                            One more question. When the probe in inserted, should the tip be touching the brick? Or should it have some air between the tip and the drilled hole in the brick?
                            I don't think it matters really...our thermocouple tip was flat so I made it touch the brick
                            Dutch
                            "Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity. " Charles Mingus
                            "Build at least two brick ovens...one to make all the mistakes on and the other to be just like you dreamed of!" Dutch

                            Comment

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