A hot plate stirrer is an item that you can find in most laboratories or colleges. It is typically used to heat liquids by either setting them on the countertop or placing it inside a flask containing liquid. The usual heating method involves turning on the electric current to heat the metallic coil, which becomes red hot. However, it is not always easy to operate a hot plate stirrer, and people frequently run into problems with them. There are some tips and tricks that you can use to solve common operation errors and ensure that the operation goes smoothly:
- The stirring hotplate should not be used on or have anything placed on it when the switch is turned off. A common mistake that people perform is to set up their hot plate stirrer before turning it on, resulting in an accident where they unknowingly touch the hot coil with their hand or even by placing something on top of the coil. This makes it extremely dangerous because it can result in serious burns or even fires if flammable items are placed on the hot plate.
- When heating up, always ensure that it is set properly to prevent burning. There have been many cases where a person puts a test tube filled with water on top of the hot plate without setting up the temperature. If there are any sparks or flames when heating, this can result in extremely dangerous accidents when near flammable objects. Also, if too much water is added at once, it will cause a huge reaction when heated.
- Fire is another big concern when using a hot plate stirrer. If there is any smoke coming out of the hot plate, immediately turn it off. Even if no flames or sparks are occurring during heating, if smoke begins to come out of the coil, something is currently burning – most often the insulation on the coil. This can result in a fire that could spread quickly to nearby objects and people, resulting in significant damage.
You should not use a hot plate stirrer if any of the tips mentioned earlier are violated because these results in very dangerous accidents. It is extremely important to properly take care of hot plate stirrers to prevent accidents resulting in injuries or damage.