HPLC-Agilent 1100 problems

Discussions about HPLC, CE, TLC, SFC, and other "liquid phase" separation techniques.

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Hello everyone, we have an Agilent 1100 system with a quaternary pump and we have been having a lot of problems with it during the last month. The major problem is that sometimes the equipment is not running the mobile phase composition selected by us, but is running another solvent/solvents (we checked that by introducing air into the system and obsrving the bubbles in the tubing). Sometimes, the equipment is running the mobile phase composition selected , however, the injected sample is either eluted with the mobile phase w/o being retained in the column, or some peaks are missing from the chromatogram (using samples that we have run many times before and know what exactly to expect) - we know that there is no problem with the column since we tried 3 different columns with the same results. Another problem we are having is that the solvent bottles show empty every time the equipment is turned off and have to be refilled when it is turned on, even though the method is saved before turning the instrument off (it only shows the solvent bottles are empty...the actual volume of the solvents in the bottles are unchanged). This is something that started all of a sudden w/o any changes in the instrument setting made by us and we could not fix it so far. We are not sure if those are software- or hardware- related problems, or maybe both, but we think that this might have something to do with several recent power glitches we had in the building, or defect in the multi-channel gradient valve. Has anybody experienced any of those or have a suggestion on what these poblems might be due to and how to fix them? Thanks!
Did I get this right: The pump is turned off using the switch on the front, but the solvent bottles get emty anyway? Then you have a really big leak somewhere. Look for a puddle somewhere near the instrument.
If it is a software issue: See the reference manual, page 223 ff. for how to cold start the pump to erase non-volatile memory (in short: Note the DIP switch configuration, then power off, set the DIP switches to the configuration shown on page 226, power on and off the instrument, then set the DIP switches back to the original setting).
Last possibility is that your control software is corrupted and sends wrong instructions. If you have a spare PC and some hours of time, set up a the data system on the spare PC and see if it works with this one.

Good luck
Jörg
I am sorry I was not clear...it only shows the solvent bottles are empty...the actual volume of the solvents in the bottles are unchanged. Thanks!
You need to physically enter the approximate amount of solvent in the reservoir bottles (and the size of the reservoir bottles) using the software (there is no sensor).

If you have that window command selected to shut off the pump when the solvent levels get low, the software uses CALCULATIONS based upon your flow rate and amounts that you had entered as present in the reservoirs, got it?

As to other issues with Quat Pump, be sure to purge ALL FOUR channels, even though you might only be using two.
I know that the volumes have to be physically entered, but once they are entered they are not supposed to reset to zero every time the instrument is turned off (even though there is still solvent in the bottles), which is what is happening. The volumes used to start from where it left before turning the equipment off, now they don't, they reset to zero volume and I have to enter the volumes every time I turn the equipment on - not a big problem, but suggests that there is smth wrong with the equipment, especially when it is happening concurrently with the other more serious problem I described.

Thanks a lot for the help and suggestions!
Sounds like a dead battery somewhere. Instead of powering them off, try just shutting the lamp & degasser off and zeroing the pump flow rates. Does it reset if you do that?
Thanks,
DR
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DR wrote:
Sounds like a dead battery somewhere. Instead of powering them off, try just shutting the lamp & degasser off and zeroing the pump flow rates. Does it reset if you do that?


I tried it, it does not reset them. Only when the entire instrument is turned off, the volumes are reset. Thanks for the suggestion !
So, you've got a bad battery or capacitor serving in that same capacity (I suspect).
Thanks,
DR
Image
It like a firmware problem or application problem. Be sure not to accept ` if the solvent fnish pump shutdown`
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