Can Water Chemistry Affect Thermometer Reading?

bitseriously

Has anyone ever run into a thermometer issue where water chemistry affects the temperature reading?
I use an instant read meat thermometer for temp matching my new water during water changes. Kind of a variation on this one...

upload_2018-7-16_12-51-56.png
I also have a thermometer installed in my tank, to monitor things on daily basis, at-a-glance. Like these:

upload_2018-7-16_12-52-9.png
On wc day, I use the meat therm to measure the temp in the tank, and then use the same thermometer to set the temp in my buckets (tap water). It's not uncommon for the meat therm to give a different reading from the in-tank therm (never more than a couple degrees different, until now), but I figured if a single thermometer gives the same reading from both tank and tap, I'm good.
BUT WAIT!!!
During wc's two weekends ago, I was surprised to see my tank temp at 87F according to meat therm (heart actually started racing LOL), but the in-tank therm still showed 81F (whew). Regardless of the different readings between two thermometers, if I use a single thermometer to match the temps in tank and bucket, I should be fine, right? NOPE.
Like most of you, I've discovered that my fingers are pretty good at sensing small differences in temp. Dip in tank, then dip in bucket… if off by more than a couple of degrees they will feel different. And that's what I found. I checked and rechecked, and even though the readings were 87F in the tank and in the bucket, the temperatures were actually quite different. Assuming that the actual temp in the tank was 81F*, the temp in the bucket felt a lot warmer.
So my question to you, the experts, is this: Is there any chemical or physical differences between typical tank water (fw) and primed tap water that would cause an instant read thermometer to measure their temps differently?

* I've added an analog (mercury) aquarium thermometer to the tank, so I can be sure that I'm keeping it where I want it. The analog and in-tank therms are giving about the same reading, ±1deg.
 

_Sara_

Do you happen to know the type of thermometer you have?? Resistant thermometer? Thermocouple? Voltage type?
 

bitseriously

No, I don't know any of those things. It's PC-branded meat thermometer. As a fellow Ontarian, you'll know what that means, but it doesn't answer your question. Without the original packaging, I doubt the info you've asked about can be obtained...
 

_Sara_

LoL!

hmm... If you have a conducting thermometer, maybe the water is conductive?
Also, there might be a chemical reaction going on from dechloronation or water transfers causing a endothermic/exothermic reaction?
 

richiep

hI bitseriously I think the answer to your question is no unless i'v mist out on something, if it were true we'd all have two thermometers and that's not the case, at the very least your results are strange, the only thing that springs to mind is, there's a fault in the meat thermometer which is only reading to a certain temp then jumps or falls to the next reading giving the impression of two different readings, i'm no expert but I throw the one you'v got and get a new one, I do the same as you but I use an infer red gun to take tank temp then the water bucket temp you can pick them up on ebay for £15 ish I think that's $12 ish.
 

SixThreeOh

Try calibrating the meat thermometer.
 

bitseriously

Try calibrating the meat thermometer.
If this type of device can be calibrated, I don’t know how, or know how to find out.

Sounds like no ones encountered the same thing, so I guess I can chalk it up to ****?owmeh (****? Oh well, meh. :meh
 

SixThreeOh

If this type of device can be calibrated, I don’t know how, or know how to find out.

Sounds like no ones encountered the same thing, so I guess I can chalk it up to ****?owmeh (****? Oh well, meh. :meh
I work in a bakery and our digital thermometers have to be calibrated regularly. Just google how to calibrate a digital meat thermometer. There's a few methods and I don't know the specifics of your thermometer.
 

richiep

Didn't know they could be celebrated, that would account for the swing in temperature. Looks like case solved
 

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