Laboratory water baths are used in various settings, such as academic facilities, clinical laboratories, and government research laboratories. The role of lab water baths is to maintain water at a constant temperature for submerging samples. This simple operation is useful in a lot of applications such as coliform analysis, microbiological cultivation, thawing, and reagent warming. If you are in the market for a water bath, you will find many models from different manufacturers. All these choices can be overwhelming. Whatever industry you are in, here are some important things to consider when looking for a lab water bath.
Durability and Quality
This is a major consideration to think about because you want something that will serve you for a long time. When you are buying online, it can be hard to tell about the quality of the water bath. Some cheaper units are inferior imports, but you will not be able to tell easily, just by looking at the picture. There are two things you will find in a quality unit: an epoxy coating and stainless steel construction. Stainless steel is important because you do not have to worry about rust, which can be a hazard to water baths.
On the other hand, the epoxy coating protects a bath from bruises and bumps and is easy to clean. Besides the construction, check the warranty from the manufacturers and their guarantees for replacement and maintenance. Manufacturers that have confidence in their product will have no problems offering these services.
Temperature Uniformity and Stability
Lab water baths vary in temperature stability, even those within one product line. However, most of them have a temperature range of 30°C to 100°C. With heating/cooling water baths, you can set temperatures either above or below room temperature. Some applications may be more sensitive to temperature fluctuations. If yours is one of them, be aware of how temperature-sensitive your application is, then shop with that in mind.
Safety is necessary when working with lab equipment, yet it can sometimes slip your mind until something goes wrong. Buying wisely will ensure you do not have to worry about safety concerns. Great safety features like alarm indicators and automatic disconnect protect both your samples and your water bath. Such features monitor the liquid level and water temperature and will either signal or shut off if either falls or exceeds safe thresholds.
Aside from protecting the water bath and samples, lids help prevent water from splashing out of your bath. You may think that such amenities are not important when looking for water baths, but if you work in a busy lab, it means you can easily get distracted by other tasks, hence leaving your bath unattended. Such safety features ensure there are no accidents, and you can work with some peace of mind.
A water bath control scheme can either be analog or digital. For many years, analogs were very common, and you will still find them in a lot of laboratories. But with many people looking for convenience, today, you are likely to find more digital models than analogs. In fact, most manufacturers have stopped producing analog baths. Considering how temperature control is a major concern in lab applications, you might want to consider getting a digital control system.
It has a high level of precision, meaning you can trust the reported temperature to be accurate. Still, to some point, analog water baths can be reliable, especially if you are dealing with an insensitive application that does not need digital precision. Whatever choice you make when buying water baths for labs, keep the manufacturer or brand in mind. Water baths are not the same, and some brands are unreliable.
Lid Vs. Lidless
Lab water baths can come with or without lids. In some cases, you can purchase the lid as a separate accessory. Considering the workings of a lab water bath, it is better to get one with a lid. You will help minimize the risk of contamination. Plus, if you are operating the bath at a high temperature, the lids will help reduce evaporation and regulate the temperature. If you want a lead, confirm whether the seller is selling the unit with one. At times, promotional photos can be misleading.
A lab water bath is a significant purchase, and that is why one needs to put some thought into the buying process. If you follow the above tips, you will be better equipped to make the right choice. Do not forget that a water bath also needs proper maintenance to serve you for a long time.