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HPLC Troubleshooting and Maintenance

A logical approach to HPLC Troubleshooting and Maintenance is fully explored within this one-day course. Commonly encountered problems and best practice are reviewed for all major system components including mobile phase, pump, injection system, 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 »

This one-day course introduces the fundamentally important concepts associated with troubleshooting HPLC analysis including hardware basics, separation issues, peaks shape and baseline issues and more.

All components of the HPLC system and associated problems are systematically studied. The use of chromatograms as diagnostic tools is explored in depth, including baselines, peak shape and retention time inconsistencies, spurious peaks, etc.

Suitable as a refresher for the more experienced analytical chemist or as an invaluable introduction to the technique for those with limited experience, this course provides an invaluable insight into HPLC principles and practice.

Who is this course for

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

Previous knowledge

No previous knowledge of chromatography is necessary, but basic experience of chemistry is beneficial.

What you will learn

  • How the chromatographic process takes place
  • The architecture of a modern HPLC system
  • Working principle and problems associated with each module of the HPLC 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


  • System overview
  • Component perspective
  • Symptomatic perspective
  • System maintenance records
  • Symptoms/Causes/Diagnosis and Solutions 

Component Perspective

  • What to look for/what can go wrong with… 
  • Autosamplers
  • Detectors: UV/RI/Fluorescence
  • Solvent delivery systems & mobile phase





  • Installation and conditioning
  • Column chemistry
  • Efficiency loss
  • pH operating range/bleed
  • Proper column management
  • Loss of sensitivity 

Symptomatic Perspective: Baselines

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

Symptomatic Perspective: Peaks

  • No peaks
  • Fronting/tailing peaks
  • Split peaks/shoulders
  • Broad peaks
  • Ghost peaks
  • Retention stability
  • Loss of sensitivity
  • Correct integration methods


  • Maintenance schedules
  • Correct maintenance procedures for all system components
  • Column maintenance
  • Performance evaluation


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