Laboratory Equipment

A sandbath for digestion
Volume III; Number 4; Autumn 1975 p.251 - 282
Distillation using a light-bulb
Volume VI; Number 2; Spring 1978 p.519 - 542

Laboratory pump and water conservation

We exist in a time when natural resources such as water are increasingly under pressure and some parts of the world receive little replenishment and live with periodic drought.
Under these conditions it is unfortunate that many institutional, commercial and private laboratories run their condensor systems with continuosly flowing water that ends up, literally, going down the drain. In spite of being taken for granted by many, water is not free.
It is the responsibility of laboratory managers and workers to develop systems that conserve this valuable resource and may even help to avoid paying for excess water usage.
One such system can be created using a closed circulation system.
The following was developed to suit a small lab but the concept can be modified and applied to any scale.


A multi purpose submersible fountain/aquarium pump
Clear plastic tubing that fits condensors
Large plastic container, minimum volume 25 litres
Connecting hose piece/s, tightening screw collar and plumbers tape

The smaller diameter lab tubing may have to be stepped up to a larger size to fit onto the pump outlet. This can be done by joining increasingly larger diameter pieces of tubing or hose sealed with the plumbers tape and/or screw collars.
The pump with attached tubing to the outflow is suspended in the water container so it will sit under the water.
The container needs to be positioned at least as high as the tallest condensor; eg., on a steam distiller. This is so the pump does not have to work against gravity.
After inserting and connecting the condensors, the last outlets tubing is returned to the water reservoir for recycling.

This system maintains cooling for at least four working condensors. When the summer heat rises to around 35deg. C it may be neccesary to add ice or partially replace with cold water, depending on how many condensors are being used and what for. The larger the volume of the container the less this is required. Keep the water container covered to reduce evaporation and from dust and insect contamination which may end up in the pump filter.