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GC Troubleshooting and Maintenance

A logical approach to GC Troubleshooting and Maintenance is explored in this one-day course. Commonly encountered problems and best practices are examined for all major system components including gas handling, inlet system, oven, column and detector.

Examination of separation chemistry, interrogation of poor peak shape and retention problems are a fundamentally important part of the course, leading to increased awareness of troubleshooting principles.


  • Course delivered face-to-face in one day or online in two half-days
  • We limit numbers to 12 per course so that each delegate gets the opportunity to ask questions and fully participate in tutorial exercises 
  • When delivered on-site we can design the course material to suit your specific training needs

Course Overview | Download course details »

Best practice for instrument maintenance and column handling as well as routines for cleaning and deactivating inlet and detection systems is discussed to aid the user in prolonging the intervals between essential system maintenance. 

In-depth treatments of the causes of peak shape and baseline anomalies are fully covered. 
This course is invaluable to anyone who wishes to gain further insight into the problems associated with GC analysis. The content is not instrument-specific. 

Who is this course for

This course is designed for those relatively new to GC and ideally will follow-on from attendance to the Fundamental GC training course.

Previous knowledge

Some previous knowledge of gas chromatography and basic experience are recommended but not essential. 

What you will learn

  • How the chromatographic process takes place
  • The architecture of a GC system
  • Working principles and problems associated with each component of the system
  • How to use chromatograms to troubleshoot chromatographic problems
  • Best practices for column use and care
  • Best practice in system maintenance and performance evaluation

Course Outline

Approaches to Logical Troubleshooting

  • Logical troubleshooting
  • System overview
  • Component perspective
  • Symptomatic perspective
  • System maintenance records
  • Symptom/Causes/Diagnosis & solution

Component Perspective

  • What to look for/what can go wrong with…
  • Injectors: on-column, split – splitless, large volume
  • Detectors: FID, ECD, NPD, FPD
  • Temperature and pressure control


  • Installation and conditioning
  • Operating principles
  • Optimisation
  • Operating range/bleed
  • Band broadening

Symptomatic Perspective: Baselines

  • Baseline spikes
  • Noisy baselines
  • Cycling baselines
  • Rising/falling baselines

Symptomatic Perspective: Peaks

  • No peaks
  • Fronting/tailing peaks
  • Split peaks/shoulders
  • Broad shoulders
  • Ghost peaks
  • Retention stability
  • Solvent incompatibility
  • Loss of sensitivity


  • Maintenance schedules
  • Correct maintenance procedures injectors and detectors

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