Floods in the laboratory must be avoided because they are costly and can cause serious damage, disruption, and personal injury.
Floods result when circulating water escapes from hoses that burst or have connections that fail.
Researchers or undergraduate staff who use city water for cooling in reflux condensers, solvent stills, laser instruments, etc. must adhere to the following Chemistry Department Policies. Failure to follow these policies and procedures will result in appropriate corrective actions, mandated by the Chair's office.
Use of Cooling Water Policies
- Thick-walled, re-enforced tygon tubing must be used on all water-cooled systems. Connections must be made with hose clamps. Rubber tubing or wire are not substitutes.
- Tygon drain hoses from water-cooled systems must be firmly attached in the drain line.
- The use of electrothermal flow monitors are required for water-cooled solvent stills.
- Each water-cooled condenser left unattended or left overnight must be tagged with the researcher's name and home telephone number.
- For situations where water-cooled condensers are run continuously, a pressure sensitive flow detector must be installed on the water outlet feeding the condenser.
- Thick-walled, re-enforced tygon tubing or copper tubing must be used. Connections must be made with hose clamps, or compression fittings. Rubber tubing or connections held with wire are not permitted.
- Tygon drain hoses from water-cooled lasers must be firmly attached in the drain line.
- For situations where water-cooled lasers are run continuously, a pressure sensitive flow detector must be installed on the water outlet feeding the unit.
- New laser cooling systems must be installed according to manufacturer's specifications.
- Inspections of each laboratory will be conducted by a team of Chemistry Department personnel on a periodic basis to audit compliance with Policies.
- Flood Prevention recommendations made by the team will be communicated to the researcher in writing. Deficiencies are to be corrected within two weeks of notification.
- Flood prevention training is provided as part of Chemical Safety & WHMIS training. All new researchers, students and staff must successfully complete the course before they can work in the laboratories.
How to Prevent Lab Floods
Install and maintain hose connections to condensers with care!
- Use only tygon hoses of the appropriate diameter and thickness for carrying the cooling water. Rubber hoses will crack or split with time because they are susceptible to chemicals and should be replaced frequently. Tygon is chemically resistant. Hoses that are too small or too large in diameter cannot be properly secured.
- Secure hoses to the nozzle of the water line and to the inlet and outlet of the condenser with appropriately sized metal or plastic hose clamps or with plastic locking disconnects. Wire is not a substitute.
- Make sure the drain is not clogged or blocked.
- Make sure exit hoses are well secured in the sink drains by having a long piece of metal tubing secured in the drain and connected to the exit tube.
- Install a pressure regulator on the inlet lines to equipment such as solvent stills that are used for extended periods.
- Whenever possible, avoid running water overnight or on weekends.
Conduct a visual inspection of all cooling water hoses in your laboratory on monthly basis and replace as necessary.
- Do use tygon hoses.
- Do conduct a visual inspection of all cooling water hoses in your laboratory on a monthly basis and replace as necessary.
- Do avoid running water overnight or on weekends.
- Do make sure the drain is not clogged or blocked.
- Do not use rubber tubing or wire to make connections on water-cooled systems.
- Do not use rubber tubing or wire to make connections to laser units.
- Do not use rubber hoses, they are susceptible to chemicals and will crack or split with time.