Pt100 thermocouples: What are Pt100 thermocouples?

Pt100 thermocouples are a misnomer of two separate types of temperature sensor, a Pt100 resistance thermometer and a thermocouple. Pt100s and thermocouples are two very different technologies both used to measure temperature. A temperature sensor can be one or the other, a sensor cannot be both. It can often be hard to tell if you have a Pt100 or a Thermocouple in front of you if you are not a specialist. Instrumentation can often confused things further. If an instrument accepts both Pt100 and thermocouple input it might be confusingly labelled as Pt100 / Thermocouple.

Some general rules might help you decide if you have a Pt100 or a thermocouple in front of you:

General guidelines to help identify a temperature sensor.
ThermocouplesPt100 Resistance Thermometers
Are generally 2 wires (4 or 6 if multiple sensors are together in one sheath)Are generally 2,3 or 4 wires.
Cable colours follow thermocouple colour code pattens for IEC, British or other international standards.Cable colours are generally red and white.
Thermocouples can be used at higher temperatures (up to 1600°C).Pt100s are used at lower temperatures (below 500°C).

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