This Information Applies To: Agilent LC Systems
Agilent modules will go into an error status (red status light) when an error condition specific to that module occurs. For example, metering home failed will be specific for the autosampler, a lamp ignition failure will be specific for a detector, or a pump stroke will be specific for the pump. In those cases, only the module with the error will go into an error status. However, there are some conditions that will put all the modules into an error status. The most frequent one is a leak detected on any module.
This article will discuss a systematic approach to determining the module “detecting” the leak and causing the system shutdown.
Check the leak sensors on all the modules for liquid accumulation. For a G7129x module, the leak sensor is in the column compartment. Leak sensors are normally located in the lowest point of the drip tray attached to the front of each LC module.
If no visible liquid is seen, then go the logbook in your chromatography data software and see which module has the word “leak” associated with it. See the screen capture in Figure 1 taken from a handheld controller.
Alternatively, if Agilent Lab Advisor is installed on your workstation PC, connect Lab Advisor to your LC system. Go to Logs and Results, then on the filter options at the top of the page set the following filters:
Systems: Name of LC system with leak
Time: Time period to show the leak, usually Last 24 hours.
The screenshot example in Figure 2 shows the leak originated in the G1316C module, and triggered a Shutdown of all other modules in the LC stack.
Figure 2. Lab Advisor Logs and Results screen filtered to show errors on each module.
If the leak occurred in the evening, all the liquid may have already evaporated, and the area around the leak sensor may appear dry. Start pumping again and closely monitor connections in the flow path of the module associated with the leak to determine the leak source. If possible, correct the observed leak buy tightening fittings, or replacing the affected part and then monitor for leaks again until the LC system is leak free during operation.
Sometimes, the logbook will have only “Shutdown” as the error message. In this case, it’s not apparent which module triggered the error. Power off all the modules, then power on one module at a time and wait at least 5 minutes before powering on the next. Eventually, the module giving the error will go red and triggered other modules as well.
Getting a leak error doesn’t always mean that there is a leak. In Agilent modules, the leak sensor is a safety feature to turn off the system when the leak sensor detects any leak. That error is triggered because the liquid will cool the sensor, which is a heated resistor. However, if the circuit is broken, it will act as though a leak has occurred. By turning on the module and waiting for 5 minutes, it allows the main board time to properly warm the heat sensor. The error will be triggered if there is any liquid on the sensor, or if it is defective.
Learn how to effectively troubleshoot your Agilent LC system:
Agilent 1260 Infinity LC Systems with OpenLab CDS e-learning path available from Agilent education