The Importance of Calibrating Thermometers Traceable To NIST

Updated: Dec 6, 2019

If you’re getting your thermometer calibrated and constantly hear the phrase “traceable to NIST”, you’re probably trying to figure out the meaning of this frequently used calibration term. The term points to the indications of your calibrated thermometer being traceable to NIST, which ideally means that certain criteria have been met. But before we get into why calibration of thermometers is important, let’s first understand what NIST is.


What is NIST?

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a measurement standards laboratory and a non-regulatory agency of the United States Department of Commerce. NIST is responsible for developing, maintaining and disseminating national standards-realizations of the SI-for the basic measurement quantities, and for many derived measurement quantities. NIST is also responsible for assessing the measurement uncertainties associated with the values assigned to these measurement standards.


The importance of calibrating thermometers

It goes without saying that the more you use an instrument, the higher its chances of being changed. Similarly, thermometers used to measure higher temperatures, several times every week are more susceptible to changes. These changes can be seen in the form of discoloration of mercury, leftover debris, and oxidized mercury along the capillary tube, leading to inaccurate readings. These could happen due to imperfect filling, leading to moisture, air, or other foreign material getting trapped in small quantities inside the instrument. In such cases, the instrument should be removed from service and sent to be rectified by the best thermometer calibration service providers.


Metrological traceability, as per NIST, requires the foundation of an unbroken chain of calibrations to pre-determined references. Traceability links the value and uncertainty of a measurement result with those of every one of intermediate reference standards. This implies you can be sure of your calibration results when you are working with a lab that provides calibrations traceable to NIST guidelines. This is why Custom Calibration is your source for all of your temperature calibration needs. Whether it's a one-time calibration of your equipment or an on-going calibration plan, we've always got you covered. All calibrations performed by us are traceable to the Standard International (SI) through NIST. So reach out to us today!

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