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Old 11-22-2009, 05:45 PM   #1
BillyBroas
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Default Erlenmeyer Flask on Electric Stove

I have a borosilicate flask coming in the mail and am wondering if it is ok to heat it directly on my electric stove coil. I've read that some people use trivets made from metal hangers as a heat diffuser. This seems like a good idea, but is anybody successful heating it directly? Thanks!

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Old 11-22-2009, 06:05 PM   #2
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You risk cracking the flask if you place it directly on the burner coils. You may get away with it indefinitely, but sooner or later it will likely crack and when it does you will be out one flask and you will have a big mess to clean up. It's simply to make a wire trivet from a coat hanger or other heavy gauge steel wire. I use a burner grate that I salvaged from an old gas stove. It works perfectly for this. I turn the grate upside down on the electric coils and place the flask on the grate. I use another grate when cooling the flask in the sink. This allows the cooling water to flow freely around and also under the flask for faster cooling. You can usually get the gas burner grates for free if you scrounge around a little. An appliance repair shop might also have some lying around out back.

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Old 11-22-2009, 07:50 PM   #3
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Thanks Catt I'll start looking around for a burner grate. That's a smart idea too to use a grate in the sink to let the water flow beneath it.

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Old 11-22-2009, 08:39 PM   #4
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Any thoughts on putting it directly on a glass top electric stove?

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Old 11-22-2009, 08:44 PM   #5
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Any thoughts on putting it directly on a glass top electric stove?
I put my flask directly on my glass top range. No problem, even on high.
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:08 PM   #6
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I've heard of people putting a cast iron pan on the coil then the flask into that. The cast iron helps to diffuse the heat.

A flask should be fine directly on a gas stove or a ceramic top.

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Old 11-22-2009, 09:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyBroas View Post
Thanks Catt I'll start looking around for a burner grate. That's a smart idea too to use a grate in the sink to let the water flow beneath it.
A wash cloth in the sink work well for that. Also helps to protect the sink some.
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:29 AM   #8
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I just don't understand. Why would a direct flame on a boro. flask be ok, but heat from an electric element pose a problem? I'm really not being snarky. I want to know what's going on here because I've always used my flask on my electric stove, and I want to know if I've been putting myself (well, my kitchen stove) at risk this whole time, and the reason why that is.

I understand going from hot to cold quickly and vice versa is not good. The glass will expand/contract, etc. I'm talking about putting some room temperature water and DME in the flask, putting it on the electric stove, and bringing the heat on it up to a boil slowly. Why is this a problem?

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Old 11-23-2009, 12:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Munsoned View Post
I just don't understand. Why would a direct flame on a boro. flask be ok, but heat from an electric element pose a problem? I'm really not being snarky. I want to know what's going on here because I've always used my flask on my electric stove, and I want to know if I've been putting myself (well, my kitchen stove) at risk this whole time, and the reason why that is.

I understand going from hot to cold quickly and vice versa is not good. The glass will expand/contract, etc. I'm talking about putting some room temperature water and DME in the flask, putting it on the electric stove, and bringing the heat on it up to a boil slowly. Why is this a problem?
The problem is an electric coil is very hot and direct heat on a single spot of the glss compared to a NG gas flame. A ceramic/glass stove top also provides a more gentle and even heat by acting as a heat spreader from the direct electric coil.
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Old 11-23-2009, 03:33 PM   #10
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How about if you put the flask in a pot with about one inch of water and boil the water? Would that work?

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