Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do centrifuges need servicing?
A: Like all motor driven equipment, Hettich centrifuges require regular servicing to ensure their continual smooth running and operator safety. Due to the high forces present within a centrifuge if they are not correctly maintained they can be potentially dangerous to the end user. A service provider would check for any potential problems, replacing time expired components such as motor anti-vibration mountings and rotational accessories.

Q: How often should a centrifuge be serviced?
A: This depends on the level of usage. Generally one preventative maintenance visit per annum is sufficient, however if the centrifuge is used continuously or is an older brush driven machine then two visits per annum would be recommended.

Q: How long do rotors last?
A: Rotor life is very much dependent on a wide range of factors including make, model, application type and frequency of use. Some manufacturers will place a date stamp or expiry date on their rotors so it is worth checking with the manufacturer for specific rotor life. Generally speaking rotors can last for up to 10 years but it is recommended that you have them inspected on a regular basis.

Q: Why does my centrifuge keep imbalancing?
A: The first area to check would be any differences in weight between the rotor buckets and or adapters. Imbalance is also commonly caused by a lack of lubrication on the trunion (rotor) pins. The rotor pins should be cleaned and lubricated on a monthly basis to avoid serious imbalance.

Q: Why does ice form in the bowl of my refrigerated centrifuge?
A: If the centrifuge lid is left open while the refrigeration system is on, the condensation in the air will start to form an ice build up within the centrifuge bowl. During the period that the centrifuge is required to be at a set temperature, leave the centrifuge on and the lid closed. At the end of the day when you no longer require the centrifuge at the set temperature, open the lid and switch the centrifuge off. Leaving the lid open whilst switched off will allow any condensation build up to evaporate.

Q: How can I safely clean my centrifuge buckets?
A: Centrifuge buckets are typically made of aluminium, while this material is very light it is also suseptable to corrosion. A typical laboratory cleaner is either a strong alkali or acid to ensure effective decontamination. Prolonged use of alkalis or acids on aluminium surfaces can cause corrosion. This is why it is advisable to use a ph neutral product when cleaning centrifuge buckets, rinsing with clean water and allowing to dry. Never use any implement to scratch away contaminants or soak buckets for more than ten minutes.

Q: Do I have to use all the buckets?
A: All the buckets should be used on a rotor, for example a four place rotor should be used with all four buckets. However should you wish to spin less than the full compliment of adapters for example one tube, as long as a balance tube is used in the opposite bucket this will be perfectly safe.

Q: How can I work out the appropriate RPM/RCF for my application?
A: To work out the appropirate RPM and/or RCF for your application please use our RPM/RCF Calculator

DJB Labcare supply the Hettich range of centrifuges further information can be found at or by calling our office on 01908 612598.

Email us