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Please help - Glass thermometer broke in presto pot!!

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So I was remelting the plain wax I had in the presto pot. It had cooled with the glass candy thermometer in it. As it was melting I started noticing the temp wasn't going over 150. Went to turn the thermometer slightly to get a better look and realized the glass cover broke inside the wax!! :mad:

It did not shatter; just broke basically in half. I'm super sure I got all the glass out. I've got 5 or 6 pounds of plain wax in there. Can I still use it or do I need to toss it? :confused: I'm making tarts with it.



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Maybe you could strain it with a coffee filter just to make sure? With tarts, I would be worried because people actually handle them.

That's a good idea. I'll probably end up doing that. Right now I'm melting wax in the double boiler just to finish the batch I was trying to make tonight.

Had to have my daughter help hold what was not fully melted off to the side while i dug the glass out of the bottom of the pot. Finally got it out and it bounced off the counter and landed on the floor. Shattered there. It's going to be a long night....

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Do you have an old wire strainer/colander you could sacrifice ? The kind that looks like screen wire?

If you could strain the wax through one of those, you'd be safe.

If you have a big one, you could strain the whole batch. You could use a tea strainer to strain one candle's worth at a time.

Also... did the inside of the thermometer break ? If those chemicals got into the wax at all, I'd dump the batch. No telling what kind of fumes they could give off or if they might cause your tarts to catch fire or some such.

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Dustpuuppy I do have one of those. I'll give that a shot. We don't hardly ever use it.

I can see that the inside did not break. That was the first thing i checked once i got the glass out of the pot. I did leave it out for my BF to check and confirm with his "expert opinion" when he gets home though. The paranoid side of me wants to make extra sure.

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Where I grew up, paranoid is a survival skill.

Like someone else said, you do handle these things more than you would a candle. My concern would be when they remove the used up tart from the melter. Not the only concern but it would be the top of the list, for me.

Also, if you dip from the top of the pot, you could just strain most and ditch the last inch, or some such. The glass should sink to the bottom, if there's any in there. Clean the pot thoroughly. If you have a spout attached, you might run a pipe cleaner through it, to make sure there's no glass trapped in there.

Those are my most paranoid suggestions. :cheesy2:

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I also was thinking the strainer with the coffee filter.

No spout on this pot. I will use the ladle on just the top half of what's in there. That should be enough wax to finish my project. May end up pitching what's left.

Or maybe I'll order more wax in the morning and get it here Friday. Can finish my project over the weekend. I don't know... I'll have to sleep on it I guess.

I have no idea what was in the thermometer. Can't even remember where i bought this one. It might have been the dollar store. Or it might have been K-Mart when I bought another pot. But it is just a "standard" candy thermometer. The inside was blue. It definitely did not break. When i used to buy them for gel a few years ago the inside was red.

I think I'll make it a point to make sure I remove the thermometer from now on before the wax cools. I never worried about it when I had gel in the pot.

Thanks everybody for responding so quickly. I appreciate it!

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If you've bought the thermometer in the last few years then it'll be alcohol. Nothing terrible about that.


"The Alcohol thermometer or spirit thermometer is an alternative to the Mercury-in-glass thermometer, and functions in a similar way. But unlike mercury-in-glass thermometer, the contents of an alcohol thermometer are less toxic and will evaporate away fairly quickly.

The liquid used can be pure ethanol or toluene or kerosene or Isoamyl acetate, depending on manufacturer and working temperature range. Since these are transparent, the liquid is made more visible by the addition of a red or blue dye. One half of the glass containing the capillary is usually enamelled white or yellow to give a background for reading the scale.

The ethanol version is the most widely used due to the low cost and relatively low hazard posed by the liquid in case of breakage."

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CareBear - thanks for posting the info about the thermometers.

After sleeping on it I went ahead and ordered more wax this morning when I got up. Hoping since I ordered so early this morning it will fall under the one day processing time and I'll get it Friday.

I am going to strain most of what's in the pot and split it into one pound batches and label it for my use only. I ought to be able to use it to continue wick testing my votives.

In the end I am also just too paranoid to hand out tarts that might possibly have a tiny glass shard that got through the filters.

Needed more wax anyway...turns out now I only have 3 lbs of "good" wax left!

Thanks again to everyone for your quick responses.


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Go to Wally world and buy a digital probe thermometer for less than $20.00 dollars. It has a probe on the end of a wire that goes down in your presto and then a digital read out that you can program for stirring times and things like that. It is very accurate and easy to clean off and there is nothing to break. I wouldn't dream of doing without mine. HTH.


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I save my old/runny panty hose and cut them off in pieces and tie them over the pour spout on my presto and also turkey fryer! Nothing gets through them but wax.

Aparently something besides wax got past those pantyhose at some point or you wouldn't be running around calling yourself "Grama". :shocked2:

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