The Hottest Tap Water Ever

I think I have the hottest hot tap water ever in my lab. I have to double-glove to wash anything in it because anything less scalds me. It's insane. I must be right next to the furnace, or maybe my water is heated in the fires of Hell itself. Turning on the hot water tap full blast turns the sink into a a foggy sauna and is rather pleasant as long as you avoid the superheated deluge. It's great for washing glassware, but it's a rather unpleasant experience feeling every nerve in your hands scream "GET ME OUT OF HERE OH MY GOD I AM MELTING" and you... not really wanting to obey, cause you just finished cleaning that round-bottom and involuntary responses would require breaking it. You know what I mean.

Well, like a good scientist, I busted out my trusty thermometer and checked out the hot water temperature.

That's sixty degrees Celsius, folks. Celsius. That's around 140°F, right around the hurty point of water. Actually, the water cooled down a bit while trying to take a picture of it- it was around 65°C at first- around 150°F, which is well beyond the hurty point of water. I'm not going to do anything about it, because my glassware is deliciously clean after I wash it, no doubt due in part to the scalding power of my tap water.

Sorry, lame post. But I've been pretty busy lately.


David Eaton said...

You need to post a phase diagram of water with the hurty point labeled.

Between getting my BS and PhD, I worked in a plant that made vegetable oil. Mostly the stuff that comes in bottles, but we also hydrogenated the stuff. (Mmmm, trans fats.)

Anyhow, we took samples of the various hydrogenated oils in big stainless steel pails, which we later cleaned with steam hoses. You have to blend oils to make stuff like margarine or cookie centers, and some of the blend oils are hard, like HDPE or worse. I don't want to ruin Oreo's for you, so I'll stop there.

The water was just below the boiling point, and it was impossible not to fuck yourself up at least once a month with those monsters, especially around 6am working graveyard shift, when your judgment gets a bit clouded. God, I hated that. But it got stuff clean. I cleaned especially skanky glassware with it a few times.

Anonymous said...

Cleaner than a base bath?

Talking about washing glassware, my one-night base bath soak seems not able to clean the last bits of grease. Now, I'm resorting to hand washing with teepol and a brush to make the water sheet cleanly off. (Nor am I lazy - I pre-wash with brush and teepol BEFORE base bath).

Excimer said...

I don't use base baths because I never really had a use for them. If I have to analytically clean something I use No-Chromix which is wonderful at removing everything from palladium to organics and doesn't destroy glassware like base baths can. If I have to rock something hardcore clean, for things like SAM formation, I use piranha. Normally I just use soap and hot water, though. Works just fine for most things. What is Teepol?

milkshake said...

Excimer, I stole your base bath subject for Org Prep Daily. Thanx!

Reluctant Chemist said...

OMG - that is beyond hot. Well, I guess that's better than the lukeward excuse for hot water I get at my workplace.

Ψ*Ψ said...

Doesn't it make you wish there was a hot shower in your lab? Some places I've lived had not-so-awesome water heaters, which made bathing a less-than-pleasant experience.

Denise said...

I think our hot water is about that hot here, too, but only in the biochem building. In the chem one, it's a little cooler (50C), and in the teaching lab building it's only about 35C, which is quite pleasant when you need to wash your hands in the winter.

I set my water heater to about 55-60C at my apartment, partly because I like being able to sterilize chicken residue my kitchen sink, but also because I get better control over my shower temperature. After having the dudes who come through to change air filters and other unrelated functions turning it down too many times, I finally had the maintenance director put a note on the thing saying "temp setting is at tenant's request - leave it alone!" And my dishes do come out sparkling clean from the dishwasher.

Anonymous said...

My country's tropical all year round so we never get piped hot water. Boiling hot water to clean glassware is not fun, so that's not an option.

Teepol's this detergent which the teaching labs love to use. I think this is the exact one: http://www.teepol.co.uk/index.php?page=product&category=dishwashing&code=multipurposedetergent I remember them saying something about automative applications... on top of dishwashing. When used with a brush, it's better than acetone at getting out some types of organic crud.

Teepol itself doesn't leave residue, so they soak and wash with tap water, and air dry (our tap water doesn't leave much residue on drying either). It also removes greases easily, which the base bath doesn't always do. So yeah, teepol, base bath, teepol again, oven.

Anonymous said...

I realized that my last comment (anon at 1100 am) seemed ambiguous. Teaching lab uses it and it alone to wash glassware other than solvent rinses.

In MY lab, I use teepol, base bath, then teepol again before oven.

squirmy said...

we had a real problem with hot water a few years ago that makes 65 degrees sound kinda nice. i put a thermometer in the flow of the tap and i swear it went up to 100. fortunately, i only know of one person who got a serious burn from it. how effective it was at cleaning glassware doesn't really stick out in my memory...just the ouch until you remembered to turn the cold water on some.

btw, are base baths really that bad on glass? i've never had a standard taper joint not fit or a roundbottom break from thinning after a trip to the base bath. i wouldn't put a volumetric or a numbered joint in there, but otherwise, what's the big deal?