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Get more life from your Hewlett-Packard (HP) 7673 Autosampler

If your Autosampler has run thousands of samples like mine, it might be a little sluggish these days. Here's how to PM your Autosampler system and maybe get another six to twelve months of continued use from it.

Follow these guidelines to service your Autosampler.

The 7673 (and similar newer and older HP/Agilent autosamplers) all consist of a tower, tray and controller box.  Apply these preventative maintenance procedures to all three every 6 months.


Start with the controller box.

As with all things electrical turn the power off and unplug the box from the wall. Remove the top cover and inner cover plate. Take it outside and use canned air or dry N2 from a tank and blow all the dust out of it. Use soap and water and a brush on the plastic cover to clean the crud from the grill. Use cotton swabs and alcohol to clean the blades of the fan and the fan cover. Inspect the connections for the boards that plug into the main board for corrosion. Put it all back together.

Now, work on the tower.

For the tower, remove the back cover and pressure clean the inside. Inspect the belts for ware. Replace them with new ones (from CSS Analytical) if necessary. Use cotton swabs and alcohol to clean the two stainless rods as best you can. Move the syringe carrier assembly up and out of the way to clean the lower part of the rods. Flip the unit over and remove the plastic sample holder giving you access to the spring arm that rolls on the sample holder. It is important that this spring be clean. Use pressurized air and IPA to clean the dirt and oil from the spring. Avoid the urge to put oil on the spring as it is very close to the inlet of your GC and contamination may easily occur. Observe that there is a little plastic wedge under the syringe motor that when pushed in (further from its present position) will add more tension to the syringe belt.

Finally the tray.

The tray can also be taken apart and cleaned. Flip it over and extend the arm out to its furthest position exposing a screw and hook that holds the rods to the arm. Remove the screw and extend the arm to the opposite position exposing a screw and hook on the other end. This will allow the arm to be lifted off of the tray. Carefully lift the arm off of the tray observing a flexible cable which connects the arm and the try. Use a sharpie marker to mark one end of both the flex cable and the connector it plugs into so you can put the connector back the way it came out. Once the arm is removed from the tray, clean the rods and bushings with IPA. Once again, avoid the urge to use oil on the bushings. Removal of three screws will allow the arm cover to be removed giving you access to inside the arm and the belt(s) therein. A thorough cleaning of dust and dirt will go a long way. Be very careful and only attempt to work on the tray and arm if you are skilled at taking things apart and putting them back together. Sending a bag full of parts to CSS Analytical will surely cost you a bundle of money and precious time to have all the puzzle pieces put back together.

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