Agilent 1100 shutdown

Agilent 1100
Agilent 1100

From time to time, we all face problems with HPLC instruments. Then, we all search the internet for the solution for our problem. In this troubleshooting section I would like to point out my problems with instruments and their solutions. Hopefully, it can help also you.

Recently, I was asked to run the HPLC-MS instrument which was off for several months. The LC part was Agilent 1100 and MS was from the Bruker (HCT+). The instruments themselves worked fine, but there was a problem with their connection. At least I thought so. The Agilent HPLC went always to power off mode after couple of minutes. No matter what I have done, no matter what I have tried. It always went to shutdown mode.

As I said, I thought the problem is in their internal (software) connection. The Bruker HyStar software was started by the ChemStation. Because of this I have contacted Bruker company and asked them about the problem. I will speak about the webex communication sometimes in the future, but I have to say it was a nice and new experience. The guy from the Bruker told me, that there is no problem with the connection at all. Therefore I have continued to ask – Agilent this time.

They told me, that the problem I am describing can be caused by the instrument degasser. After the long time, when the instrument is not used at all, the degasser can be broken. It is still working, still degassing the mobile phase, but it can send the wrong input to the instrument and switch it off.

So, if you have a problem with the Agilent instrument (1100) which is going to the power off mode without any reason, check the connection on the back of the instrument. If there is a line between the degasser and the main unit of the instrument (usually pump, but can be autosampler too) than disconnect this line. It is probably different type of connection than the LAN type. [UPDATE 2015/07/30 – see Steven’s comment down the page].

It is probable, that the (autosampler) control light will go red after while. But as soon it can not comunicate with the instrument, it cant tell that something is wrong. And you have still a lot of time to contact the company service to solve the problem with the degasser. Alternatively, you can ultrasonicate the mobile phase or degass it with the stream of helium.

4 replies on “Agilent 1100 shutdown”

Came upon this error today with our 1100. We recently updated the PC and software versions so I naturally thought it was some kind of system error – especially when the chemstation help for “shutdown” lists that the mainframe(?) has received an error from the detector.

Thank you for posting – hopefully it helps get others through this challenge as well.

The actual problem you are describing is indeed caused by the degasser, but you have not understood the meaning of the red LED. When the degassing module turns on the RED LED, it means that the degasser is no longer functioning and has failed to stay within the manufacturer’s operating parameters. This means that your degasser is not degassing your mobile phase, is no longer in compliance, your HPLC system is now out of validation and of course your degasser is broken. Disconnecting the remote cable from the back of the instrument will stop the error from progressing through the software and triggering the error in the other system. However, unplugging this cable is making a choice to ignore that your system is out of compliance and broken. We should not be encouraging other chromatographers to ignore errors that are alerting them to the fact that a serious instrument error has occurred (would you ignore a leak, a wavelength error, calibration error?). This indicator light was designed for this exact purpose. The remote cable connection was provided so that in addition to the red LED, your software could alert you too.

Additional info… If the Degassing module’s YELLOW LED stays on in a continuous manner, then this too means that your degasser is broken. The Yellow light turns on to inform you that the vacuum level is no longer within specification and the system is now running the pump in a continuous fashion to try and maintain some level of degassing before the entire system fails. It is a warning to you that teh module is no longer operating within the manufacturer’s specification (out of compliance) and you need to have the degasser repaired ASAP, before more damage occurs and you contaminate the rest of the system.


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