Analytical Balance
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An analytical balance is an extremely accurate piece of equipment used for determining weights of various items.  An analytical balance used for the total suspended solids test must be capable of weighing to 0.0001g.

 
Beakers
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Beakers are used for mixing chemicals and as containers for samples during testing.  The lip at the top makes beakers easy to use for pouring and the flat bottom and straight sides makes boiling or heating easy.  When used for mixing, the straight sides make the use of some type of stirring equipment necessary.  Note:  As with Erlenmeyer flasks, the graduation marks on beakers are only approximate volumes.  Beakers should not be used when accurate volume measurements are required.

 
Burettes
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Basically, burettes are long, graduated glass tubes that have a valve (called a stop-cock) for use in dispensing accurate volumes of chemicals.  Burettes are used for titration, which is the method for accurately measuring out exact amounts of one chemical into another to produce a desired chemical reaction.  The Winkler method for the determination of dissolved oxygen and the Iodometric method for chlorine residual are two tests using burettes for titrations

 
Crucible Holders
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Made of rubber with a glass drain tube, crucible holders provide a seal between the crucible and filter flask.  When a seal is formed, suction can be applied to the filter flask creating a vacuum inside the flask, which pulls water in the sample out of the crucible.

 
Desiccators
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Desiccators are containers which are used to provide a moisture-free environment for cooling and storing objects and chemicals.  The top and bottom fit together to form an airtight seal.  The bottom section of the desiccator contains a chemical (desiccant) which absorbs moisture from the air.  Hinged desiccator cabinets are also available for this use.

 

Dissolved Oxygen Meter
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Dissolved oxygen meters measure the concentration of dissolved oxygen in water.  

 
Drying Oven
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A drying oven is used for drying samples, glassware and crucibles to constant weight.  Gravity convection ovens circulate air in the oven through holes at the top and bottom of the oven.  This circulation of air keeps the temperature even throughout the oven and keeps the humidity low.

 
Erlenmeyer Flasks
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The primary use for Erlenmeyer flasks is in mixing chemicals.  Because the sides of Erlenmeyer flasks are slanted and the mouth is narrow, mixing reagent liquids can be accomplished by swirling without fear of spilling the contents.  The advantage of this type of flask is that special stirring equipment (such as a magnetic stirrer) is not needed.  Note:  Although many Erlenmeyer flasks have volume markings, they are approximate volumes only.  The graduations on Erlenmeyer flasks should not be used when accurate measurements are required.

 
Filter Flasks
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Filter flasks are Erlenmeyer flasks with an adapter (called a side-arm) near the top.  A rubber hose is attached to the side-arm and connected to a vacuum pump or aspirator.  When suction is applied, air is drawn out through the side-arm and a vacuum is created inside the flask.

 
Gooch Crucible
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Gooch  crucibles are used in the suspended solids test.  The bottom of the crucible is covered with holes.  When a glass fiber filter is placed in the bottom of the crucible and sample is added, the water can be drawn though the filter by applying a vacuum to the bottom of the crucible.  Gooch crucibles are made of porcelain to withstand repeated reheating and high temperatures.

 
Graduated Cylinders
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Graduated cylinders are glass or plastic tubes that are calibrated for measuring liquid volumes.  Although not nearly as accurate as pipettes, graduated cylinders have an advantage in that they require much less technique to use.  This allows for more reproducible results for those who are unfamiliar with proper laboratory techniques.

 
Muffle Furnace
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A muffle furnace is a kiln type oven, capable of maintaining extremely high temperatures for extended periods of time.  Muffle furnaces are used primarily for igniting organic solids in the determination of volatile solids.

 
pH Meter
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A pH meter is an instrument which measures the intensity of the alkalinity or acidity of a solution by electrically measuring the change in current between a reference electrode and a glass pH electrode.

 

Pipettes or Pipets 
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Basically, pipets are specially designed  and calibrated glass tubes used for accurately transferring small volumes of solution (usually 50 mL or less) from one container to another.  Pipets are available in a variety of types and sizes, for many different uses.

 
Spectrophotometer
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A spectrophotometer is an instrument capable of producing light at a specific wave length, and then measuring the amount of that light which passes through a colored liquid.  Spectrophotometers are used whenever the intensity of the color in a solution needs to be measured to determine the concentration of a chemical.

 

Stocking Lab Materials
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Order time and order freshness should be taken into account when ordering laboratory materials.

 
Tongs
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Primarily used in the suspended solids test, tongs are special devices for grasping glassware.  It is very important to use tongs for handling crucibles to keep skin oil off the sides and to prevent burns.

 

Turbidometer
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A turbidometer is used to measure turbidity.

 

Vernier Protractor
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A Vernier Protractor is used to make an engineer's drawing.


 
Volumetric Flasks
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Volumetric flasks are specially designed containers for very accurate mixing and diluting.  Like volumetric pipettes, volumetric flasks are designed to measure one volume only.  The long neck makes it easy to determine when the final volume has been reached.