Preventing Leaks In HPLC Analyses

Leaks are a common problem in HPLC analyses. To minimize leaks in your system, avoid interchanging hardware and fittings from different manufacturers. Incompatible fittings can be forced to fit initially, but the separation may show problems and repeated connections may eventually cause the fitting to leak. If interchanging is absolutely necessary, use appropriate adapters and check all connections for leaks before proceeding. Highly concentrated salts (>0.2 M) and caustic mobile phases can reduce pump seal efficiency. The lifetime of injector rotor seals also depends on mobile phase conditions, particularly operation at high pH. In some cases, prolonged use of ion pair reagents has a lubricating effect on pump pistons that may produce small leaks at the seal. Some seals do not perform well with certain solvents. Before using a pump under adverse conditions, read the instrument manufacturer’s specifications. To replace seals, refer to the maintenance section of the pump manual.