You can use a few methods to calibrate a thermometer. However, the two primary methods for calibration are the Ice Point Method and the Boiling Point Method.
These two methods are widely accepted as the most accurate ways to calibrate a thermometer. Let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of choosing each method.
Ice Point Method
The Ice Point Method for calibrating a thermometer measures the thermometer’s ability to read the freezing point of water (0 degrees Celsius). You will need a container filled with crushed ice and water.
First, fill the container with water and add the crushed ice. Next, insert the thermometer into the mixture. Ensure the stem is fully submerged without touching the sides of the container. Wait a few minutes and see if the thermometer registers 0 degrees Celsius.
The advantage of using the Ice Point Method is it’s easy to perform. You don’t need any special equipment to perform the test, yet it is reliable and accurate.
The disadvantage of the Ice Point Method is it only measures the temperature below the freezing point of the water. If you need to perform a test for a higher temperature, you’ll need to use the following method.
Boiling Point Method
The Boiling Point Method is for calibrating thermometers that measure above the boiling point of water or 100 degrees Celsius. Like the Ice Point Method, you don’t need any special equipment to perform this test.
First, fill a pot with water and bring it to a rolling boil. Once it’s boiling, you can insert the thermometer into the water while making sure it is not touching the sides. Next, you have to submerge the thermometer fully into the water. Wait for a few minutes until the temperature reads 100 degrees Celsius.
The advantage of the Boiling Point Method is that it is easy. In addition, it is an accurate way of testing your thermometer’s ability to read the temperature.
The disadvantage of the Boiling Point Method is that it can be dangerous. You must do it carefully or risk burning yourself. However, other calibration methods are more reliable and accurate. In addition, the results can vary based on altitude, which can impact the boiling point of water.