Water BathsWidely used in the microbiological laboratory for incubations, water baths maintain water at constant temperature. These devices feature both temperature controls and safety controls. Shaking water baths come with additional controls for shaking, including those for setting the speed of shaking. It is critical to use quality water baths to ensure reliability and consistency. Here are two popular models that are known for these qualities:

  • Boekal Scientific’s Shaking Water Bath with Orbital and Reciprocating shaking features a robust design and is ideal for wide range of temperature-controlled shaking protocols. Applications include Northern and Southern hybridizations, De-staining of gels, Incubation of cells or bacterial cultures, and Wash processes. Its unique magnetically coupled shaking mechanism ensures maximum reliability, consistency and quiet operation. It enables orbital and linear shaking in one product by simply changing the orientation of the shaking tray from one mode to the other. The space saving design allows optimal use of benchtop space. Other features include 3-point factory programmed temperature calibration throughout temperature range, PID Controller for easy temperature selection, and rapid heat up and excellent stability + 0.1°C. It has a programmable timer up to 99 hrs, 59 min and the bath stops heating when timed operation is completed. A convenient drain port facilitates easy cleaning of the bath.
  • Benchmark Scientific’s MyBath is a compact water bath with 4 liter capacity that is designed for use in molecular labs. It offers digital accuracy and convenience with user-friendly controls that allow digital selection and monitoring of temperature. Its hinged lid can be flipped open (to the rear) or completely and instantly removed, providing a secure, covered environment in the lab. This bath is the only one that comes with test tube racks for 50ml, 15ml and 1.5/2.0ml tubes.

Regardless of the model, labs need to adhere to certain protocols when using water baths.

  • The stability of temperature, uniformity of temperature distribution and time needed to achieve equilibrium conditions should be established initially
  • These details should be documented with regard to typical uses
  • The constancy of the characteristics noted during initial validation of the equipment should be checked and recorded after each repair or modification
  • The operating temperature of the device should be monitored and records retained

Ideally, calibration-corrected temperatures for the water bath should be recorded once a day for each day in use for all laboratory activities.