Dear Lab Guy,
We use total immersion mercury thermometers for checking our autoclave temperatures. Can these readings be taken right after the cycle is done, or does the thermometer need to be read at room temperature?
Unless the thermometer you have is a maximum registering thermometer, the temperature you read, even if read right out of the autoclave, will not be an accurate reading.
Let me first say that we no longer offer these maximum registering thermometers. They used mercury, and we no longer manufacture thermometers with mercury.
But we do have a solution for you! The H-B DURAC Maximum Registering Bi-Metal Thermometer, is designed specifically for autoclave use. The red hand of this thermometer is pushed by the black hand that moves as the temperature rises. The red hand stays at the highest temperature in your autoclave after the black hand recedes from cooling temperatures. You can then take your reading after the autoclave cools down, without any risk of burning your hand or fingers.
I hope this helped and answered your question. Thanks for writing in, and please feel free to write back if I can help in any other way.
Yours in science,