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How to Distill Water Using a Pot and Stove

How to Distill Water Using a Pot and Stove

Distilled Water is water that has had many of its impurities removed through the process of boiling the water and collecting the resulting steam. In an emergency, the following is a simple method to obtain drinking water from contaminated water is to distill water using a pot and stove follows:

Get a large pot with a lid and an empty drinking cup. 

  • The glass should be big enough to hold a fair amount of fresh water.
  • Make sure the glass is short enough that you can still put the lid on the pot.
  • A Pyrex or metal cup is safest, as certain types of glass will explode when exposed to heat. Plastic may melt or deform.
  • Make sure the pot and lid are suitable for using on a stove.

Slowly pour the contaminated water into the pot. 

  • Do not overfill. Stop well before the water level has reached the mouth of the glass.
  • Make sure no contaminated water splashes into the glass while boiling. You don’t want to get any contaminated water into the drinking glass, or your newly made distilled water will be contaminated.

Place the pot, cover upside down on the pot. 

  • Position the pot lid so the highest point or handle is facing down directly above the glass. This will allow the water vapor to drip into the drinking glass as it condenses.
  • Make sure the pot lid is providing a good seal along the edges of the pot. Without a good seal, a lot of the steam will escape and diminish the supply of fresh water vapor.

Bring the water to a slow boil over low heat. 

  • Make sure you bring the water to a boil slowly over low heat. A violent full boil can contaminate the drinking water by splashing into the glass.
  • Too much heat can cause a glass to break.
  • If the water is boiling quickly and violently, the glass may shift away from the center of the pot and the handle of the pot lid.

Watch the pot as the water condenses. 

  • When water boils, it becomes pure vapour, leaving behind anything that was dissolved in it.
  • As the water becomes vapor, it condenses in the air as steam and then on the cover’s bottom surface as water droplets.
  • The droplets then run down to the lowest point (the handle) and drip right into the glass.
  • This will probably take 20 minutes or more.

Wait a little while before drinking the water. 

  • The glass and water will be very hot.
  • There may be a small amount of contaminated water left in the pot, so be careful when removing the glass of distilled water not to splash any contaminated water into your fresh water.
  • You might find that the glass and fresh water will cool faster if you remove it from the pot.
  • Be careful as you remove the glass so you don’t get burnt. Use an oven mitt or potholder to take it out.

In an emergency, a simple, effective method to obtain drinking water from contaminated water is to distill water using a pot and stove.


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