Water bath alternatives

Discussion in 'Science Technicians - General Discussion' started by Sharon Watson, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. As water baths are quite pricey, I have been doing a little searching for alternatives and fell across one of these. The temperature range goes from 25 to 99.9 degrees and it appears that you can attach it to cooking pots or sturdy plastic troughs - I was thinking of using deep Gratnell trays if the volume is within 10-15 litres. This circulates as well as heats which is an added bonus.


    What do you think? This one is costing £83.99 with Amazon. Something to to try maybe?
  2. Sorry, can't help but it does look interesting.

    I shall be looking to see how you get on as we need to get some waterbaths and they are very expensive, a cheaper alternative would be very attractive.
  3. Sous Vide wands, I bought 4 last year and use double depth gratnell trays and upturned plastic baskets to stand beakers on or z frame test tube racks.

    Lakeland wand cost £99.99 heats quickly, note it has an annoying continuous beep when it gets up to temperature and makes a noisy whooshing noise when operating, it always needs temp setting when switched on

    Aldi- 3 for £49.99 [annoyingly later sold off at £19.99] Pros they are quiet to operate, they beep once when at temperature and when switched on temp is the last used, so often don't need resetting

    The only wary thing is not knowing how much heat a gratnell tray could take [might deform at] So I use the wands at temps up to 60 degrees. I can carry all four and boxes in one go and then I've put two water baths in the more remote labs, for those pracs where we need 6. No more 6 trips up 2 1/2 flights of stairs and 6 trips down again!

    Great price, easy to move and digital so no faffing about with a dial, switch on and leave. Just try and find out re beeping for temperature reached and how noisy they are to run!
    stelden and Sharon Watson like this.
  4. We haven't tried this yet, but the chemistry HoD has suggested using fish tank heaters. He uses it at home for brewing and apparently the temperature control is spot on. A lot cheaper than a waterbath.
    stelden likes this.
  5. karen b

    karen b COMMITTEE

    We have two Gratnells water baths. They have heating mats in the base and claim to go up to 99 deg C
  6. I shall have to remember this when I brew next :D
  7. I did look at these but the temperature range isn't low enough. I am going to pursue it though as I think the heater/circulators is the way to go for us.
  8. I'm with you Sharon re the heater/circulator gadgets.

    Looked at the Gratnells waterbaths Karen b mentioned and I think these would be my 2nd option. I have some deep Gratnells trays (and even got lids) that we could use. Just needing to buy the gadgets would be a much cheaper option.

    I think I'll put forward to HOD giving one a try and see how we go.
  9. The Lidl one's can go to at least 30 degrees [not tested lower] so it's a question at looking at each model
    Sharon Watson likes this.
  10. Beaker likes this.
  11. Great. I'm very interested in these.
  12. Sounds interesting, I'm wondering if adding a fish tank pump with a bit of tubing would give a bit of circulation...
    littlemissloser27 likes this.
  13. I've used my gratnells waterbath at 99 deg and it was fine. It's just a normal deep tray with a heatproof mat to stop the element touching the plastic.
    Beaker likes this.
  14. The older Gratnell trays won't go through a dishwasher - they tie themselves in knots. After that experience, I haven't tried the present generation.
  15. Just to let you know I have bought one of these: https://www.amazon.co.uk/HOMPO-Prec...543932621&SubscriptionId=AKIAJO7E5OLQ67NVPFZA

    I am loving it so far. I have it set at 37 degrees at the moment and it looks to be Ok - 4 different thermometers say it is 37.5ish/38/38 and 38 so I now start to think that I need to calibrate my thermometers!!! No I am not doing that as we are a school, not R & D!
    At the cooler temps I am using a plastic tub but will buy a polycarbonate tub for the higher (40 degrees plus) as that should withstand the heat. Happy techie :D:D
    I am also thinking of the sous vide baths mentioned in another post; maybe 1 or 2:)
    Beaker likes this.
  16. did you get a tub for higher temps? If so what did you get, thanks
  17. I use double depth gratnell tubs up to 60 degrees, read somewhere older type trays may not be OK with higher temperatures than newer. IDK how true this is, but at the min still have enough water baths for 70 & 80 temperature ranges.