Is It Time for Your 3500 Genetic Analyzer's PM?

3500XL-592159-edited.jpgWith everything that goes on in the lab throughout the day, it’s easy to forget about routine maintenance and taking care of your machine. As with any piece of specialized equipment, you’re going to have wear and tear that causes a need for regular service. Without it, you’re risking unnecessary damage to your equipment and inaccurate sample runs.

If you have a coverage plan from SeqGen, you’ll receive one preventative maintenance visit per year, and just in case you forget about it, we’ll send you a reminder. We recommend that you let the professionals give your machine some tender love and care at least once a year, but in between service visits there are a few things you can do to prolong the life of your machine.

Laser Alignment

Were you aware that the alignment of the laser on your capillary sequencer will slowly change over time due to the constant movement of the autosampler? It isn’t very noticeable at first, but after a while you begin to see that the spatial calibration is uneven, which also causes the run results to be inconsistent.

Dust collecting on the focus lens could also result in a weaker sample signal and peaks gradually sinking into the baseline. However, if your machine has stopped calling peaks correctly, that’s a good indicator that it’s time to call in that team of (SeqGen) professionals. Cleaning the lens yourself may seem like a good idea, but since you have to take the machine apart to do so, we don’t recommend it.

Capillary Leak Detected

A frequent problem that many of our customers face is a false “Capillary Leak Detected” error message. Most people see this and automatically freak out thinking they have to order a new array. However, we can walk you through the correct way to check for a capillary leak, and hopefully keep your existing capillary array. If you do find a leak, don't worry to much, send us a picture of the pump and we'll see if we can figure out how to fix it. 

Preventative maintenance may keep your machine running longer and more efficiently while giving you confidence in the integrity of the data you are producing. However, don’t overlook the importance of regular, professional care for your ABI 3500. Consider a comprehensive coverage plan offered by SeqGen to make sure you have all of your bases covered. Contact us today to learn more about our service options and how we can help maximize your lab’s efficiency.



Written by Susan Henry

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