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Your Toolbox Belongs at Home

Team TFS
Team TFS
shutterstock_370757162I love being a homeowner because it gives me the freedom to take on small home repair projects and makes me a superhero mom to my kids. The other day, my son scraped his knee while playing outside. While searching for 25 Band-Aids (the minimum number he must wear for any scrape or cut) underneath the bathroom sink, I noticed a small water leak. Instead of getting frustrated and thinking “Oh great, now the sink is leaking,” I got energized, thinking “Great! The sink is leaking!”

This was an opportunity to learn more about the inner workings of my house and to make repairs on my own – it’s the same mindset I have for my laboratory equipment.

After cleaning my son’s skinned knee and applying the required number of Band-Aids, we were off to the hardware store. In the plumbing section, not only did we find a sink repair kit, but the phrase “No tools required!” was printed right on the label. The kit came with clear instructions, some images for added clarity, and all the necessary parts and pieces to make the repair. Perfect!

We got home with the kit, tore it open, and immediately started our repair…a repair that I was positive would take us no more than 20 minutes. An hour later, the leak wasn’t even close to being repaired, the bathroom floor was soaking wet, there were sink parts everywhere, and we’d brought in every tool from the garage in an attempt to make any progress. As I looked around the bathroom that now looked like a tornado had swept through it, I thought “This can’t possibly be how the repair was supposed to go.”

After some investigation on the internet, it turns out the “No tools required!” label was true for those who already owned the proper wrench and sealant – the tools that turned out to be absolutely necessary to complete the job with that particular repair kit.

While I was disheartened by my home repair experience, I seldom find that to be true with my Thermo Scientific™ iCAP™ instruments. Both the Thermo Scientific™ iCAP™ 7000 Plus Series ICP-OES and the Thermo Scientific™ iCAP™ RQ ICP-MS allow quick and easy access to all the parts that require routine maintenance or occasional replacement. Both instruments have large, easy-to-access sample introduction areas where components with push-fit connections and torches with built-in connections can be removed and reinstalled in seconds.

The optical entrance window on the iCAP 7000 Plus is released with a single push-to-release mechanism and can be removed, without breaking purge, for quick and easy cleaning. The peristaltic pump tubing is easily accessible to allow for rapid pump tubing changes, and the built-in drain sensor means the peristaltic pump never has to be repaired or replaced due to periodic spills from ruptured pump tubing.

The cones and lens on the iCAP RQ are easily accessed with a simple, 180-degree turn of a door handle and a specially designed tool that, unlike my mis-labeled sink repair kit, actually does come with the instrument. Everything is accessible without breaking vacuum and can be removed and reinstalled in seconds. The whole (60-second long) process is explained in one of my previous blogs.

As for all the other electronic and mechanical parts of the iCAP 700 and iCAP RQ instruments, you’ll need…well…nothing! There aren’t any other pieces and parts to worry about. Leave your toolbox at home for minor things like sink repairs.

There’s a lot to like about the iCAP instruments…including the lack of tools required for their general maintenance and repair.