Experiments were conducted to study the effect of tube inclination on nucleate pool boiling heat transfer for different tube diameters and surface roughness values. The results show that as the tube is tilted from the vertical to the horizontal, the temperatures at the top and bottom (with respect to circumference) increase and decrease, respectively. The increase and decrease is such that they almost compensate for each other, resulting in very little variation of the average heat transfer coefficient with tube inclination. The increase in bubble sliding length at the bottom wall and decrease in bubble sliding length at the top wall are thought to be the reasons for this behaviour. Experiments have been conducted with water, ethanol and acetone at atmospheric pressure, to confirm similar effects of inclination irrespective of fluid property. © 2009 Springer-Verlag.