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Proper Installation and Maintenance of CO₂ Incubators


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CO2 incubators are widely used in scientific research to grow and maintain cell cultures. Proper maintenance of the CO2 incubator increases its life expectancy and ensures that the unit will provide optimum environmental conditions to support the growth and development of cells. A CO2 incubator is considered as one of the most vital equipment in a laboratory that is why proper maintenance is a must. Here are some guidelines to help keep your incubator working at its optimum performance.


PROPER INSTALLATION REQUIREMENTS

  1. The CO2 incubator should be placed on a dry, stable, and sturdy platform or on the various optionally available floor.
  2. Never place the CO2 incubator close to heating or cooling ducts, flammable materials, or devices that produce excess heat such as autoclaves, radiators, ovens, and the like.
  3. Ensure adequate air ventilation around the CO2 incubator to allow proper heat and gas dissipation. Do not place the unit directly in the path of moving air currents.
  4. Ensure that the CO2 incubator is connected to a dedicated power source with a protective grounding installed.
  5. Check if the CO2 incubator is leveled by placing a bubble level on the center top shelf of the unit.


GENERAL MAINTENANCE

  1. Check the pressure gauge on the two-stage gas regulator daily to ensure that the pressure is not below 15 psig. Replace tank if necessary.
  2. Disinfect surfaces of CO2 incubator with a general-purpose laboratory cleaning agent weekly. During the cleaning process, the operator should use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) according to the provisions of the laboratory.
  3. Check the water level and refill the humidity pan with sterile distilled water once a week.
  4. It is recommended to calibrate at least once a year to ensure continuous and optimal performance of the CO2 incubator.
  1. Inlet filters are installed to remove any contaminant in the CO2 or N2 gas supply. Replace the inlet filters at least once a year.
  2. Decontamination in CO2 incubator uses high heat sterilization or moist heat decontamination cycle to kill organisms that commonly contaminate the workspace. Decontaminate the inner chamber of the incubator as needed.
  3. The ULPA filter provides contaminant-free air within the work area of the CO2 incubator. It is recommended to replace the ULPA filter once a year.