Instrument downtime is often costly and time consuming, but frequently the problems can be resolved quickly with some troubleshooting knowledge.
The common GC problems:
  1. Peak fronting
  2. Broad peaks
  3. Tailing peaks
  4. Split peaks
  5. Ghost peaks/carryover
  6. No peaks
  7. High bleed
  8. Unstable baseline
  9. Poor resolution
  10. Poor retention time reproducibility
  11. Change in response. 

Shimadzu have included how to effectively troubleshoot and fix these issues to allow you to get your system back up and running and continue your analyses. 

Basic Steps
Follow these three steps to isolate where the problems is. Check the obvious explanations first and change only one thing at a time! 


Check the Basics:
  • Power supply   
  • Analytical conditions
  • Electrical connections 
  • Temperature settings
  • Signal connections   
  • Gas purity
  • Syringe condition   
  • Gas flows
  • Sample preparation


Identify the Cause:
  • Define the problem clearly; for example, “Over the last four days, only the phenols in my sample have been tailing.”
  • Review sample and maintenance records to identify trends in the data or problem indicators, such as area counts decreasing over time or inlet maintenance not being performed as scheduled.
  • Use a logical sequence of steps to isolate possible causes.


Document Everything:
  • Document all troubleshooting steps and results; this may help you identify and solve the next problem faster.
  • Always inject a test mix and compare to previous data to ensure restored performance.


Download GC Column Troubleshooting tips poster here!

Still struggling? Let us know!!!