Basically what the title says. I set my equipment up exactly like pretty much every diagram I could find. There's condensation through the claisen adapter and into the distillation adapter, but for some reason, the condensation won't fall slide down into the condenser tube.

The boiler flask has been at a roaring boil for several hours, the water going through the condenser tube is hooked up properly and ice cold, and the receiving flask is sitting in ice. Everything is identical to the diagram. I've tried it with and without the thermometer - and with and without the separatory funnel but the condensate won't get in the consdenser tube.

Any ideas?

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  • $\begingroup$ This thing will never work satisfactorily. The path to the cooler is too long, and you need a high power steam source. Thermometer is superflous, you know at what temperature water boils. bcp.fu-berlin.de/chemie/chemie/studium/ocpraktikum/_Bilder/… $\endgroup$
    – Karl
    Dec 10, 2015 at 18:38
  • $\begingroup$ It was a question that got a good answer, so it must have been a good question. $\endgroup$
    – HighInBC
    Sep 11, 2016 at 22:14

1 Answer 1


First of all, make absolutely sure that there is nothing blocking the path between the distillation flask and the final vent, and that all the joints are tight.

When beginning the distillation, you should be able to view the condensation line move up within the apparatus after the mixture begins to boil. If it moves up toward the thermometer, but then stops and never makes it up to the condenser, that might indicate that you need to insulate the apparatus above the distillation flask and up to the thermometer. Try wrapping it with glass wool and foil and see if that helps.

  • $\begingroup$ Completely erased the previous comment...I actually took a moment to look up glass wool...Going to give it a try $\endgroup$
    – Shane
    Nov 13, 2015 at 16:21
  • $\begingroup$ Well, that was it. Wrapped insulation and aluminum foil around the tops of the claisen adapter and it was all good. Thanks iad22agp. $\endgroup$
    – Shane
    Dec 13, 2015 at 21:50

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