We are searching for a purge and trap system for a 7890/5975. there seems to be 4 available: Tekmar, OI, EST and Schimadzu. Does anyone have experience (positive or negative) with any of these systems?
I can share a little bit with you about the Tekmar Atomx. We just have one gc/ms instrument set up for VOC analysis. It's a 5975/7890 with the Tekmar Atomx. We do not have a chiller on the sample tray. We only use this instrument for waters and for the most part, we only use it for drinking waters, so all in all it takes very minimal wear and tear.
Mostly, it works well for what we do. The problems we've had are:
-Since we got this guy in 2012, it's gone through 2 pressure control valves.
-We've replaced some of the green peek tubing with tan peek tubing due to leaks. I've done a lot of going through and tightening everything on it trying to find leaks.
-It uses a u-shaped trap that's positioned in such a way it's hard to see. Consequently, it's easy to have a trap ferrule get stuck in the housing and not realize it.
-If you have a leak or are otherwise trouble shooting, you have to take all the covers off and then it's still hard to reach into some areas.
-Even with performing the recommended lubrication of the sample trap and elevator parts, it has become increasing loud and clunky sounding during operation.
Our lab also has a Tekmar Atomx connected to the Agilent 7890/5977 combo unit with the chiller feature for future EPA 524.3 testing. For the most part the unit has performed well, but as noted we have had some leaks, and the U trap can be an issue! The major issue has been the sample tray which comes with the chiller, since the base is plastic, the rotating mechanism gouged out the pivot hole which caused sample positioning issues. The tray that is bundled with the non-chiller unit has a metal base, so that might not be an issue. Our service contract covered that replacement, which is very expensive! Hope this helps!
I have two customers in my area that have 7890/5977 systems with the Tekmar Atomx (one of them is actually Gerhard Paluca above!).
For the most part they seem to be work horses. An issue that comes up with EPA 524 is making sure the source is clean, linearity can be lost on some compounds if the source gets contaminated.
The Atomx is nice because it's all one unit, versus having a P&T and an Autosampler. It has some quirks, mostly mentioned above already, usually when in doubt, replace the trap! I've seen one of my customer's make noises when lifting the vial to the needle, but lubricating helped.
There are also a lot of documents regarding using Tekmar and Agilent instruments, we have application notes that use various Tekmar P&Ts, including the Atomx.
Overall, I think the Atomx is a great choice, as long as you keep it clean (use clean water and MeOH and prime them often), keep the Std vials and o-rings on them clean, and bake out the heated zones once in a while and don't over-heat your trap, it should work very well for years.
Hello Steven, we also have the Atomx with the 7890/5977 without the chiller set up. We use it for NPDS surface and waste waters. It works very well. I actually found the U-trap much easier then the set up in the Velocity. The problems I have had are wet labels will hang up the vials, the antifoam system, and the methanol rinse.
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