Laboratory equipment should always be kept well to ensure accuracy and reliability during use. Your students may fail to get reliable data from their experiments if the equipment is not well-maintained. Contamination and breakages could slow down the academic progress of your students. Here are five ways in which you can ensure that your laboratory equipment last long;
- Proper cleaning
Lab equipment should be cleaned and kept away after every lab session. Some equipment comes with specific instructions on how they should be cleaned, it is advisable to stick to the manual. Microscopes, for example, should be cleaned using alcohol and ether mixture in given proportions. Once in a while, you can give the lab and all equipment a thorough cleaning. If you don’t have the facilities for equipment that require special cleaning, it is advisable to outsource the services.
- Regular calibration
Keeping the equipment calibrated regularly helps ensure that the data gotten is always accurate. This is nothing more than just basic preventative maintenance once in a while. You can also schedule periodic accuracy verification of the equipment. Your students will enjoy their science projects if they get to use well-calibrated educational equipment.
- Refurbish worn out equipment
With time, the equipment will slow down and not work as good as they did when they were new. You can always refurbish the equipment instead of throwing them out. The lab technician can take the equipment apart and clean each compartment. The parts are then polished and re-lubricated. Refurbishing will also help in identifying parts that have become faulty. The equipment will definitely work as good as a new one once it is reassembled.
- Quality repairs
Before you rush to replace equipment that seems broken, you should first consider repairing them or replacing the broken down parts. This will save the institution some money. You should take periodic audits of the lab equipment to take preventive measures before they stall. This will increase their life span and ensure longevity. If you have to undertake repairs, you should only engage the services of a qualified technician. However, if the technician advises that the equipment should be replaced, there is no point in undertaking repairs as it is only pushing the problem further.
- Engage a reputable scientific instruments supplier for replacements
Every equipment is bound to reach the end of their lifespan even with proper repairs and maintenance. Trying to extend their lifespan when they have reached a dead end could end up in disaster, especially if chemicals are used in them. Shop around for a reputable scientific instruments supplier and engage their services. When doing replacements, it is important to choose quality over cheap so that you don’t have to keep going back to the shop. Quality equipment is more durable.
Once the replacement is done, carefully dispose of the defective equipment to avoid accidents and environmental degradation. If they can be recycled or reused for other purposes, then do that. You can use purpose-designed disposal bins to dispose of waste equipment.