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Is my Thermapen ruined?

BoatmanBoatman Posts: 854
edited 2:47PM in EggHead Forum
Left the plastic storage bin open yesterday and it rained really hard. The box filled with water, and there was my thermapen....floating! :unsure:
After removing the battery and drying overnight, now the display reads temps all over the place, even when closed and says low battery. When opened it reads -1 :sick: Is it toast, and are the batteries special or off the shelf? Thanks............. B)


  • AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
    Pull the battery back out and let it dry for a week and see if that doesn't fix it. -RP
  • BoatmanBoatman Posts: 854
    Good advice. Are the batteries special or would someone like Radio Shack have them?
  • BeerBQBeerBQ Posts: 117
    I left mine out in the rain overnight with similar results. Throw it in a bag of rice for a couple of weeks to pull the moisture out. I received the same advice from this board and it worked like a charm.
  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,508
    Good suggestion Randy. No battery until it's totally dry.

    On your dashboard with the defroster fan on high is a good way to dry it.

    Cheers yall!
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
    Instagram: @DizzyPigBBQ
  • CBBQCBBQ Posts: 610
    You can also open everything you can on the theropen and take a hair dryer to it. If that doesn't work throw it in the rice.
  • AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
    Your battery should be fine just keep it out of the pen until its dried out. I'm 5 years on my battery and Mollyshark said she has never replaced one. -RP
  • BoatmanBoatman Posts: 854
    Thanks everybody for the great suggestions. I will put in the rice and post the results next week. B)
  • bryansjbryansj Posts: 79
    Boatman wrote:
    Thanks everybody for the great suggestions. I will put in the rice and post the results next week. B)

    If you think it is still wet inside you could rinse it with distilled water and then do the rice trick. The distilled water should help clean it out and remove any conductive water from the circuit board. Of course I've never tested it with my pen...
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    If you are getting power to the display, chances are very good that you will get some corrosion on the circuit board. It looks like white dust or baby powder on the solder and circuitry.

    I had the same problem you describe - I left a storage box out in the rain, and mine filled with water even with the lid on.

    I took my thermapen apart and used rubbing alcohol (and a little ethyl alcohol for me) with cotton swabs to remove the corrosion. Left it to dry, reassembled it, and it has worked for a couple years since "the incident".
  • I had to replace my battery this year. Radio Shack didn't have them, but after poking around a bit, my local Lowes had them in the checkout endcap and they were cheap too.

  • CPBCPB Posts: 133
    Same thing happened to me, keep the battery out, get some silica desiccant (try radioshack), it works much more effectively than rice
  • Fidel wrote:

    I took my thermapen apart and used rubbing alcohol (and a little ethyl alcohol for me) with cotton swabs to remove the corrosion. Left it to dry, reassembled it, and it has worked for a couple years since "the incident".

    That's how a pro would clean an electronic board.
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    This same type question came up last year. Amber, the service person at Thermoworks, said to do exactly as Fidel stated above.

    If your Thermapen is within warranty call Amber at Thermoworks and get permission to open the Thermapen, it is possible the opening and using alcohol will not void the warranty.

    The screws are under the 'stickers' on the thermapen, both the back of the body and under the circular 'hinge' of the probe.

    There are specific instructions for testing and adjusting the thermapen, Amber asks that folks follow those instructions and test both in boiling and ice water.

    If anyone wants the instruction I have them available - email me and I will send a copy.

  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    No don't do that, see my post below. Especially don't get it wet again in distilled/pure water.

    There are some interesting ideas above but none should be used on electronics of any type.

    There are some specific instructions provided by Thermoworks.

  • When mine got wet, I sent it to Therapen. They cleaned and re-calibrated it

  • BoatmanBoatman Posts: 854
    Took it apart - I think Godzilla put the screws in this thing! Amazing amount of moisture inside :woohoo: Dried with cotton swabs, then cleaned with alcohol swabs and reassembled. Installed battery - does the same thing! Maybe I'll take the battery out and let it rest for a few days B)
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    Not sure what will happen at this point in time but do yourself a favor and make a tool free phone call. Talk with Amber in service, explain the problem and ask here what to do from this point.

    Amber is great to work with. Possibly she may have another solution or have you ship the unit in and do a low cost fix.

    1-800-393-6434 or 1-801-756-7705

  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    Ross, do you recall what the charge was?

  • BoatmanBoatman Posts: 854
    Thanks for the info. I spoke to Amber and her recommendation is to re-open and let it dry out completely, then reassemble and test. She said a repair and re-calibration would cost between $10 - $25 B) Thanks for the help.
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    They are good stuff over at Thermoworks.

    Did Amber email you the re-calibration instructions. If not send me your email address and I will forward the PDF to you.

    I would also get a new battery I am not sure if the moisture exposed to the battery will cause battery corrosion.

  • BoatmanBoatman Posts: 854
    I have calibration instructions, and have done it once or twice actually....thanks for asking. I like the replacement battery fix for a problem that may show up later B)
  • MtnBlueMtnBlue Posts: 109
    Just curious - would the new "splash-proof" Thermapen survive an incident like this or does splash-proof refer to quick splash rather than a longer soaking? I'm getting ready to purchase one and am trying to choose between the old version and the new version.
  • SmokinJSmokinJ Posts: 220
    Cover the thermapen with rice . That will help dry it out.
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    I would probably go with the newer version, unless money is an issue.

  • MtnBlueMtnBlue Posts: 109
    Thanks! That's the way I was leaning.
  • SoCalWJSSoCalWJS Posts: 398

    MIne has never worked since getting exposed - i even went through the cleaning instructions that somebody posted once.

    I'm tempted to get the new water "resistant" one, but "holy schlamoly", it's kinda pricey. :whistle:
    South SLO County
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    Someone above said Amber at Thermoworks said a fix and recalibration would cost about $15 to $25.

    Why not call Thermoworks tomorrow and see about getting yours fixed? You can call Toll Free, numbers are in my above post or on Thermoworks website.

  • Here are some ways to maybe save it, The last one works for sure.

    Cell phone in the toilet bowl? Here’s how to fix it
    Posted by Karen Datko Rating: tips, electronics, save money, frugal
    Your cell phone, pager or iPod has fallen into the toilet bowl, swimming pool or kitchen sink full of water. You fish it out. After you've washed your hands -- depending on the circumstance -- what can you do?

    FiscalGeek offers five techniques for restoring the gadget to life in a post called "Frugal fix: Revive your cell phone or electronic devices from water damage." He starts with his "go-to" method, which involves rubbing alcohol.

    Here's a short description (don't try this without reading his entire post):

    Remove the battery -- immediately. Then take off the battery cover and other compartments, he says.
    Submerge the device in a container filled with the alcohol for five minutes.
    Let the device dry for an hour or so. "The alcohol will evaporate very quickly but be sure it's really dry," "FiscalGeek" says.
    If that doesn't work after several tries, move on to the other options:

    Store the phone overnight in a sealed bag of dry rice. The rice acts as a desiccant. (We'll save you the trouble of looking that up. It means "a drying agent.")
    Use a Dri-Z-Air dehumidifier. He explains how.
    Finally, maybe a hair blower will work.
    It's worth a try to salvage the phone or other gadget. Otherwise, you're left with his final suggestion:

    Smash it with a hammer and buy a new device. This one works every time.
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