If you’re concerned about being shocked, you can perform a quick inspection to ensure the heating mantle’s fiberglass coating doesn’t show wear or damage. If the fiberglass coating is in good shape and no water or chemicals have been spilled into the mantle, you should feel confident you’re not at risk.
Below are 5 additional heating mantle safety tips you should be aware of as well:
1. Always use a heating mantle with a variable autotransformer to control the input voltage. Never plug them directly into a 110-V line.
2. Be careful not to exceed the input voltage recommended by the mantle manufacturer. Higher voltages will cause it to overheat, melt the fiberglass insulation and expose the bare heating element.
3. If the heating mantle has an outer metal case that provides physical protection against damage to the fiberglass, it is good practice to ground the outer metal case to protect against an electric shock if the heating element inside the mantle shorts against the metal case.
4. Heating mantles should not be used for vacuum distillation of heat sensitive or unstable materials. It’s difficult to regulate precise temperature control.
5. Be aware that some older equipment might have asbestos insulation rather than fiberglass. This insulation should be disposed of using the proper channels and replaced with fiberglass.