How do I get rid of a block contamination error on my Agilent AriaMX?

The recommendation is to clean the wells, the heat block and surrounding areas, and the filter cartridges.

A Block Contamination error is commonly caused by dirt/debris or scratches in or around the heat block area of the instrument which affects surface reflection characteristics used for background signal level calculations. The recommendation is to clean the wells, the heat block and surrounding areas, and the filter cartridges.

Please see below the protocol for cleaning.

  1. Turn off Instrument.
  2. Remove the power cable from the rear of the instrument.
  3. With the power off, carefully move the Optical Module Housing to the far left side of the Instrument.
  4. Open the instrument Hot Top
  5. Remove any existing plasticware from the instrument
  6. Use compressed air to remove dust from the Hot Top lid, and Thermal block wells.
  7. Wipe down the Hot Top lid, and Thermal Block with a lint-free cloth.
  8. Re-perform the full suite of Instrument Diagnostic tests to confirm contamination has been cleared and error has been resolved.
  9. Clean wells with 70% isopropyl using a V-shaped cotton swab (Agilent PN 9300-2574) or similar.
  10. Allow wells to dry completely.
  11. Perform Background Calibration
  12. Re-boot Aria Instrument
  13. Re-perform the full suite of Instrument Diagnostic tests to confirm contamination has been cleared and error has been resolved.
  14. If BC errors persist after two repeated cleanings, please reach out to your local Agilent Technical Support center*.

*To contact the local Agilent Technical Support center, use the following link:

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