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How to repair or fix a linear mercury Torricello barometer tube using a vacuum pump?

I wanted to fix my Torricello barometer tube, but I did not know how to and internet did not provide an answer. 

But in the end, it showed to be easy to do. Easy because we are lucky to have a very good vacuumpump in our kabinet.

Before you watch my video and start trying yourself, please think about your safety.

Mercury is poison!

Mercury is fluid, but it also evaporates and gets airborne, so you can inhale it. You will be exposed to mercury, so maybe YOU should be more carefull then I was. Maybe you should do this in a fume cupboard instead of in open air like I did (sorry).

When I pulled out the cork, I put that cork in a plastic tray under the tube. Good for me, because a little bit later I saw some tiny mercury balls in that tray that must have been stuck on the cork. Using a pipet I could put this mercury back to the still open tube.

My vacuumpump can suck very quickly. I was afraid mercury would enter my vacuumpump. And I have no lever or other control, so I had to control manually. Maybe next time I should use something that narrows the hose to a very small opening to slow down the proces or build in some kind of gas-faucet.

Maybe (this just comes to my mind) you better use a big syringe and some rubber ring to seal the air. A syringe should provide more controll and you don't have to be afraid of losing mercury in the pump. Because in most bad senario, some mercury will enter the syringe.

I don't know if you could use a normal vacuum cleaner and if that is a good idea because I did not try. But last thing you should try is to suck yourself with your mouth. Because, as I allready mentoined:

Mercury is poison!


Mercury evaporates!

So you will inhale it if you suck the air from a mercury tube.

I guess I also inhaled some mercury today. Actually I have no idea how much, but I just guess I am still safe. (I am not inhaling it daily.)

My barometer was allready repaired before I made the video. Oops, did not expect this fast succes.

Pay attention. if you hold the tube upside down (with cork in position closing the tube), there should be no empty space in the top of the tube.

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Je collega-TOA Lennart



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