RTD: What is RTD?

RTD stands for Resistance Temperature Detector in its full form. A sensor called an RTD (Resistance Temperature Detector) alters resistance in response to temperature. As the temperature rises, the resistance rises as well. It is possible to repeatedly recreate the resistance versus temperature connection. RTD is a passive device. By itself, it does not generate any voltage. By running a little electric current through the sensor to produce voltage, external electronic devices can measure the sensor’s resistance. Resistance temperature detectors or RTDs measure the metal’s resistance used to construct the detector’s resistance at various temperatures. RTDs work well with metals with higher resistivities because different metals have varied resistivities. Platinum is widely used in RTDs because of its strong resistance. Because resistivity increases with temperature, RTDs in freezing temperatures would have a lower resistivity than RTDs in boiling temperatures, with room temperature resistivity being a mid-range value. In this article we will discuss about RTD checking.

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Troubleshooting Advice for Temperature Resistance Detectors:

Power, food, and beverage, among other industries, employ resistance temperature detectors (RTDs) extensively for temperature measurement. Different kinds of application issues can occasionally arise when utilising them. The table below provides a list of the typical issues with RTD applications along with potential solutions or corrective actions to assist in solving these issues.  It will help in RTD checking . The following list is by no means complete:

 RTD Problem  Possible Cause  Solution
 Over time, an indication changes.


 Ageing from heat (drift of the measuring resistor)  (1) Choose an appropriate high temperature design

(2) Regularly re calibrate

(3) Replace the sensor if necessary

Temperature indication differences from the table’s values (parasitic and galvanic EMFs) (1) Substandard lead, contaminants, and moisture

(2) The temperature difference between the connection lead terminals.

(3) Corrosion of the connecting head’s connection terminals.

(1) Verify installation;

(2) shield connections from heat (bring to same temperature)

Temperature indication error rises as the temperature rises (indication too low) Insulation resistance is reduced, acting as a shunt conduit for the measured signal. (1) An inaccuracy of the same size as Tolerance Class B RTD sensors is produced by an insulation resistance of roughly 0.1M in parallel with 100.

IEC60751’s minimum standards for insulating resistance are:

(a) Insulation resistance must be greater than or equivalent to 100M at 20 °C (68 °F).

(b) Insulation resistance must be more than or equivalent to 2M at 500°C (930°F).

(2) Replace a faulty RTD sensor

 Temperature indicator alters as ambient temperature changes. RTD sensor in a two-wire circuit; there is a significant temperature swing in the connection lead. (1) Switch to a 3-wire circuit to essentially eliminate the effects of ambient temperature

(2) Change to a 4-wire circuit, which entirely eliminates the effects of connecting lead resistance.

often too high an indication of temperature  


Too much lead resistance; not compensated

(1) Install cables with a greater wire size if it’s possible.

(2) Compensate leads

(3) Use transmitters for sensor heads

(4) Upgrade to 3- or 4-wire circuits

(5) Shorten connection lead distances

Self-heating caused by excessive current measurement Measure with a smaller current (1mA current recommended)

RTD Checking |How to check RTD: 

An RTD checking typically undergoes two typical testing. These are:

(A) A multimeter-based continuity test

(B) Insulation tester with insulation resistance test, such as 60-100V

(A) A multimeter-based continuity test:|RTD Checking

While RTD checking, In Continuity test Multimeter should be set to the resistance setting. Verify the terminal-to-terminal readings of the RTD. The reading should be close to 110 ohms at room temperature. The reading could vary depending on the type of metal used in the RTD.

probe resistance checking..
probe resistance checking..

Fill the RTD with cold water. For a few minutes, let it adjust and watch the readings. In order to determine the temperature of the room, you should obtain a value of less than 100 ohms. Give the RTD some time to warm up to room temperature after removing it from the chilly water. After soaking the RTD in hot water, check the readings once more. The reading should be higher than the reading for the ambient temperature if your RTD is functioning properly.

RTD resistance checking with Multimeter.
RTD resistance checking with Multi-meter.

Using an ohmmeter to diagnose an RTD is the easiest method. Since the RTD must have some initial resistance at room temperature, it should be possible to isolate and detach its leads in order to measure its resistance. The resistance level should be around 110 if the RTD is platinum. The RTD would then be heated in order to determine whether the resistance increased. This field test will show whether the RTD can change resistance as its temperature changes even though the precise temperature may not be known. Keep in mind that the resistance difference could just be a few ohms. The RTD has to be replaced if the resistance does not alter or if it equals infinity.

The most frequent issue with RTDs is that the sensor wire will break and result in an open circuit. If the RTD’s initial resistance reading is infinite, the RTD is open and needs to be replaced. The RTD may also short out, which would leave the resistance measurement close to zero and prevent it from changing as the temperature did.

The RTD’s circuit might need to be calibrated after it has been confirmed that it is operational( not Faulty). The amount of resistance the RTD offers for each temperature across its range can be measured using a calibration tester, which is essentially a precise Wheatstone bridge. If the calibration is to be successful, one must also be able to precisely adjust the temperature for each reading.

(B) Insulation tester with insulation resistance test, such as 60-100V: 

All different kinds of electrical wires and cables are routinely tested by measuring insulating resistance. This test is frequently used to examine the insulation’s resistance.

When it comes to RTD At room temperature, the results of the IR test should be greater than 100 mega ohms on 60-100 volts.

This test performs by Megger and this process is called meggering.

RTD Insulation Resistance:

This measures the resistance to current leakage through the insulating material of the sensor wires and across its surface. While a low insulation resistance suggests that the RTD sensor may have some issues that could lead to current leakage, a high insulation resistance indicates that the sensor is in good condition. Typically, as an RTD’s insulation resistance changes over time, parasitic short circuits are produced that function as resistors in parallel with the RTD sensor’s actual resistance. A lower false measurement signal is caused by the shunt current. Poor insulating resistance has a greater impact on RTD sensors with higher nominal resistances than lower nominal resistance RTD sensors, such as a Pt1000 sensor has a greater impact than a Pt100 sensor. Insulation Plays a big role in RTD checking.

A Pt100 RTD sensor is considered to be in good condition if:

During RTD Checking If found-At room temperature, a continuity test results in a resistance reading of about 110 Ohm.

Insulation resistance of at least 100 Mega ohm is determined using an insulation test at room temperature.


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