There is a lot of information on the web about chemistry, but finding information about how to maintain analytical instruments is more difficult. Are questions pertaining to maintaining instruments relevant to Chemistry stack exchange?

  • $\begingroup$ So, let me get this straight. You wanna ask about How can I purchase X in [Some country]?? $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Apr 11, 2015 at 18:01
  • $\begingroup$ I am not interested in product availability, but rather rather questions like How often should I check/replace component X in an instrument Y, How do I identify if component X in instrument Y needs to be changed, or How do I clean/repair component X in instrument Y. I generally find product availability is usually addressable directly by sales representatives or websites. $\endgroup$
    – Galen
    Commented Apr 11, 2015 at 18:16
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ That is pure experimental-chemistry I reckon. You might post it already, or you might wait for a few hours before everyone has shared their idea on this. $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Apr 11, 2015 at 18:20
  • $\begingroup$ BTW, Chemistry.SE isn't a forum. It's a Q & A site. There's a difference. $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 6:46
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for the correction that Stack Exchange is not a forum. $\endgroup$
    – Galen
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 16:42

1 Answer 1


Questions about instrument maintenance might be on topic, especially if they involve a problem that cannot be easily solved by using the manual or contacting the manufacturer.

Not so good questions:

  • What is the maximum recommended temperature of a poly(dimethylsiloxane) column?
  • After how many injections should I clean/check my autosampler syringe?
  • What is optical range for PMMA plastic cuvettes?

Better questions:

  • My gas chromatograph has been giving me peaks with long tails. Can I fix this with method development or do I need a new column?
  • I want to measure the visible absorbance spectrum of $\ce{AX_2}$ in some solvent. Will this solution react with PMMA cuvettes or do I need to use glass/quartz?
  • My UV-Vis-NIR scanning spectrophotometer is giving me different baselines when it switches lamps. Do I need to realign the optics or is one of my lamps going bad?
  • We've been doing some trace metal analysis of soil using ICP. We had the wrong type of torch and now it is clogged with deposits (probably carbon). How could I clean the plasma torch without damaging it? The manual recommends that we replace it, but we can't afford to do so.
  • I want to do pH measurements in non-aqueous media (principally acetone and acetonitrile) and the solvents damaged the housing on my plastic probes. Does that impair the function of the electrode?
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Perfect. Thanks for offering some examples!! $\endgroup$
    – jonsca
    Commented Apr 13, 2015 at 5:18

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