What to do if the water purification system in the lab stops working?

Water is one of the most used and important reagents in research and clinical diagnostic laboratories. However, the supply of water in adequate quantity and quality can be affected by multiple causes.

Water quality for laboratories is linked to the resistivity and TOC value parameters. The first describes the ionic quality of water, while the second refers to the purity of water in relation to organic pollutants.

The assurance of water purity for laboratories is essential, because this aspect has an important effect on the reliability and integrity of the results. Currently, the high sensitivity of laboratory instrumentation detects small variations in water characteristics, which can greatly alter the result of an analysis.

Contamination of the water used in the laboratory can not only affect the performance of the process, it can also decrease the sensitivity of detection. For example, it has been revealed that 70 % of the problems that occurred during high performance liquid chromatography processes are directly attributable to water quality and the presence of impurities in it.

What are the problems that can arise in water purification systems?

It is important to determine the type of inconvenience that is occurring with the water purification system and then, look for the source. For this, we must perform a system check.

For example, determine whether it is a problem related to the ignition of the system, deterioration of the quality of the treated water, cessation of the water supply or insufficient output and even the presence of water leaks.

These problems are easy to detect and some of their solutions may be linked to the replacement of some system component. In addition, some of these drawbacks can be prevented with proper monitoring, for example, the monitoring of the resistivity parameters and TOC value, of the water. Ultra pure water has a resistivity of 18.2 Mโ„ฆ.cm and TOC values below 5 ppb. If resistivity and TOC value go out of bounds, then we run into a problem and it has to be solved.

Diagnosis and solution of problems in water purification systems

If the purification system does not turn on, we must either check that the equipment is plugged in properly or check the power adapter, looking for possible deterioration; if so, we must replace it.

If the water supply ceases or if it does not flow properly, we must check the pump and the outlet valve for pure water, in order to check for damage. It is also possible that the lifetime of the cartridges or filters has ended. To fix this type of problem, we only need to change the faulty component.

When the problematic situation is the deterioration of the quality of the treated water, we must check the expiration date of the cartridges or filters, to verify if they reached the end of their useful life. The system uses different cartridges to purify water, such as ion exchange resin and reverse osmosis membrane, among others. We must ensure that the cartridges are not used for longer than the manufacturer’s suggested period, even if they still provide quality water. Ion-exchange resins used in cartridges may suddenly or unpredictably deplete, releasing impurities. It is also important to check the water quality sensor for damage. In each situation described, the solution is to change the component.

Turning on warning signs and water leaks

In those cases where the computer turns on a warning about the expiration of the cartridges, we must change the cartridges. On the other hand, if there is any water leakage, we must do a complete check of the adapters and water pipes.

The water inlet pipe of the purification system, is under constant water pressure, thus increasing the possibility of cracks due to aging. Likewise, the exposure of pipes and joints to volatile, alkaline or oxidizing acid reagents and sunlight can accelerate the aging of pipes and joints. The situation described allows us to infer that the pipes, adapters and joints, should be checked regularly and if necessary, replaced.

Kalstein Water Purification System

At Kalstein we have a wide variety of water purification systems available, from the YR series. You will find different models that adapt to the different needs of each laboratory or analysis. Kalstein equipment, offer resistivity monitoring with high precision, allow measurement of the ionic concentration and monitoring of the TOC value, to prevent organic contamination. In addition, they are easy to operate, with a friendly graphical interface. They also enable quick cartridge replacement and a convenient supply of pure and ultra pure water. For more information on Kalstein water purification systems, please visit the


We are manufacturers, so in Kalstein you can make the purchase of water purification systems, at advantageous prices. For more detailed information, visit HERE