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The Complete Guide to Using a Water Bath for Labs

In laboratories, there is a need to heat samples and solutions for various reasons. Water baths make this possible by delivering constant temperature over a long period. The medium for heating water. But the water has no direct contact with the materials to be tested. The heating by a water bath is important. And if the major reason for that is that it is non-flammable. The temperature can be controlled digitally or manually.

Working principle

You must already know that the water bath keeps the temperature constant. The necessity one this constant temperature is because of the nature of desired results. The solutions need constant heat that won’t make them burst into flames. Thermostats and sensors make the heat regulation in most water baths. And that brings us the types of water baths since they don’t all work the same way.

What are Types of water bath for Laboratory

Water bath with a shaker

This type of water bath uses a shaking motion to keep the temperature constant for the samples tested. They are commonly used for culturing cells and hybridization

Circulating Water Bath

Circulating water allows the movement of water around the water baths to keep the heat constant. Hence the temperature maintenance is impressive. There are Refrigerated/Heated Bath Circulators. Non circulating water baths often require stirrers. Heat is not circulated evenly. And the mode of heating is convection.

Why it’s important to use a water bath

Laboratories are likely to keep testing samples, solutions contained within test tubes, or flasks. These usually require a constant temperature to achieve the required results. Also, the high flammability of many chemical compounds makes heating by burner a poor choice. An excellent water bath can keep a constant temperature only ranging around +/-0.05 °C

What is included in the water bath

  1. The heating unit
  2. The control interface
  3. A stainless steel chamber separating the samples from water

General operating instructions

These are the recommended steps applicable to most water baths.

  1. Connecting the device to a power supply
  2. Inspection of the water level
  3. Switching the Water Bath on
  4. Determining the required temperature setting
  5. Powering off after use

Many users want to keep a water bath working at optimum condition. Then,  it is necessary to carry out the following precautions.

  1. Using purified water
  2. Keeping the water level within the recommended limit
  3. Keep the water bath off after use
  4. Sanitization is paramount
  5. Keep the ground prong in place to avoid electric shock
  6. Keep the environment dry
  7. Avoid extreme temperatures
  8. Do not submerge the device in water

Different types of lab baths

Oil bath
Ultrasonic Cleaner/bath

– Sand bath
– Dry heating bath
– Laboratory chiller

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About A Life Of The Mind (John Oneal)

John is a writer and has been using the internet and computers since he was 6 years old. He writes on several blogs including A Life Of The Mind which is his private blog with articles and reviews about many things of life.
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