"PCR machines ABI 9600 breakdown"

W.T Howson whowson at julian.uwo.ca
Tue Sep 24 11:18:54 EST 1996

On 23 Sep 1996, z wrote:

> Hello, 
> here in the lab we have 3 perkin elmer (or abi now-a-days) 9600
> PCR machines. These machines are very expensive (appr. DM 20.000)
> but up to now i was very pleased with the way they are functioning.
> but last week, one of these machines broke down and apparently the 
> cooling system was damaged. abi told us that we have to send it in: 
> you can guess what that will cost. 
> just for fun i tested the other two machines also: one of these also 
> failed the chiller test. These machines cool noticably slower.
> machines are between 2-4 years old.
> Question: does this happen often, even with machines that are not too 
> old in my opinion ? what can we do to stop this from happening ?
> any other kind of advice welcome.
> Clemens Suter-Crazzolara, PhD
Here in our lab we have two of the PE 9600.  We had experienced the same
problems that you described.  We also received the same answer from PE
with regards to the service.  It seems that PE has no one in after sales
support that will really want to come to you!

We had a local service company come to repair our machines.  Basically the
coolant, which is just an antifreeze solution, was breaking down and
clogging the filter in the pumping system.  We have had the coolant
replaced on both machines and they are working well now.  This service
company and PE (after much hassle) have recomended that we replace the
coolant after about 18 months or when we see that the cooling rate is
slowing appreciably.  Cost for this replacement is not that expensive.  PE
does now recommend a "new" coolant but the cost was prohibitive so we are
still using Prestone.

Aswith regards to your later message about coolint to 4 degrees.  We have
given this up enitrely for our routine work as we can analyse our products
almost immediately after the run.  If we can't we store our products in a
4 degree refrigerator or freeze them until analysis can be carried out.

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