How 3130/xl & 3730/xl Air Filters Effect Laser Life


If you’ve been following our blog, you know that regular maintenance is key to the health of your machines. We all know that our sequencers are made up of a bunch of smaller parts. We also know that eventually some of these parts wear out and it’s time to dig into the piggy bank to cover the new pieces if you do not enjoy Platinum coverage with SeqGen for your capillary electrophoresis machines.

Unfortunately, we haven’t found a way to beat Father Time when it comes to wear and tear on certain parts, but there are some things you can do to hold him off.


One of the most commonly replaced parts on the 3130/xl or 3730/xl sequencers is the laser. This is an integral piece on this machine, and you can’t complete runs without a properly functioning laser, so we tend to get a lot of questions about it. We realign these lasers as a routine step during our preventative maintenance visits, but there is one thing you can be doing to extend the life of these intricate little parts.

On the ABI 3130 and 3730’s, there is an air filter that helps remove contaminants before they reach the laser. Our engineers recommend that users clean these filters regularly to prolong the life of the laser itself. The process is simple enough. All you need is a can of compressed air you can pick up at your local hardware store and you’re all set. Just check the images below to see how to remove the filter from your machine, and give it a nice spray down.

For your 3130/xl:

Step 1:

3130_filter1.png

Step 2:

3130_filter2.png

Step 3:

air_can_filter.png

For your 3730/xl

Step 1:

3730_filter1.png

Step 2:

3730_filter2.png

Step 3:

air_can_filter.png

Assuming normal daily sequencer use, you’ll only need to check these filters about once every six months, but doing so can save you thousands of dollars in part replacements and downtime.

While this procedure is quick and easy, it should only be part of an in-depth routine maintenance schedule to keep your machine in top working condition. To help you identify exactly what you should be doing to take care of your 3130/xl or 3730/xl, we’re bringing you our complete maintenance guide. Get your copy today and keep your machines humming at full efficiency!

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Written by Susan Henry

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