Tips on Proper Maintenance of Lab Equipment

Tips on Proper Maintenance of Lab Equipment

Proper lab maintenance is very crucial for any lab as contamination can derail an experiment. There is also the risk of equipment damage for items whose costs sometimes run into hundreds of dollars. There is the risk of erroneous results that may arise from neglected equipment which loses calibration. Experts of lab supplies in Toronto opine that lab equipment maintenance is sometimes costly but very necessary because the costs of not doing it are even higher.

There are 4 main tasks to keep lab equipment functioning properly:

Calibration

This is to ensure that lab equipment reads accurately and there is no data corruption.

Cleaning

Cleaning is very crucial to prevent contamination and the resulting erroneous results. Regular use equipment e.g. glassware should be cleaned every time after use. Metallic objects should be cleaned with the recommended solvents.

Refurbishment

This involves taking apart equipment to get to hidden parts for cleaning, polishing, and assessment. Moving parts, for example, piston pipettes should be lubricated to prevent wear and tear.

Repair

Preventive maintenance includes repairs which may involve replacement of damaged parts or those that show advanced wear and tear. It is highly recommended that the warranty be exercised if it is still valid.  Otherwise, the repairs should be always done by a professional. DIY repairs run the risk of the wrong calibration.

Cleaning glassware

Lab glassware requires special attention because it plays a key role in holding reagents in experiments. This means that there is always the risk of contamination and the resulting contamination of data in the experiment chain.

Glassware is perhaps the most delicate equipment in the lab. It is prone to breakage from dropping. It is also prone to contamination from grease and leftover compounds, some unseen. This makes the glass sides uneven which gives erroneous readings. Guidelines for cleaning glass include;

  • Use detergent suitable for glassware
  • Rinse the glass in a solvent, followed by water and finally deionized water
  • When cleaning water insoluble solutions, use alcohol solutions (ethanol or acetone) and scrub with a brush if the residue is stuck on the sides.
  • When cleaning acids and bases rinse the glass under a fume hood using tap water and then rinse again several times with deionized water
  • Avoid drying glass using paper towels. Leave the items to air dry. If the glass has to be used soon after rinsing, use acetone to rinse out because it dries up faster.

Experts in lab supplies in Toronto say that proper maintenance and care is not only crucial for accurate readings but also reduces costs by adding life to the equipment.

Categories: Health

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