Thermometer question

William B. Melchior, Jr. wmelchior at
Wed Dec 14 15:06:28 EST 1994

In article <1994Dec12.140127 at>, kmorris1 at says:
>The red liquid in our thermometers seems to have "split"... ie, there are
>several small "pieces" no longer attached to the larger reservoir.  The
>thermometer, as a result, no longer reads accurately.  Is there any way to
>"reattach" the whole column of liquid together?

Several people have suggest deep chillling, which is the preferred method. 
At least with mercury thermometers there is an alternative, which I think of 
as the method of LAST RESORT, since it may break the thermometer:

Get a narrow tube a yard or so long and rest it vertically on a firm but not hard 
surface -- I use a notepad at least 1/4 inch thick.  Drop (!) the thermometer, bulb
end first, down the tube so it jolts against the pad of paper.  This may have to
repeated several times.

I have never actually broken a thermometer doing this, but I may have been lucky.
If pressed, I may have to deny ever having written this message.  (The only time 
this method has failed for me is when the interior capillary has become dirty 
(oxidized Hg?).

-Bill M.

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