Should you take out a preventative maintenance contract on your ultra-low temperature freezers?
Ultralow temperature freezers are expensive pieces of equipment that require routine maintenance. They differ from most other types of equipment in that a break down could not only affect your current ability to operate but also compromise future research plans. The good news about ultralows is that they are now so reliable that all of the major manufacturers provide a five-year warranty as standard. The bad news is that this warranty does not cover the loss of any product. Routine maintenance is therefore essential. Should I take out a preventative maintenance contract or carry out routine maintenance myself?
Unless money is no issue, the answer to this question probably depends on the number of freezers in your lab. It’s probably possible to produce a mental algorithm that produces the answer from the following points.
• If you look in your user manual, you will most likely see that you need to do the following:
o Check whether the interior, exterior and accessories such as racking need cleaning.
o Check the integrity of any seals.
o Clean the condenser filter.
o Either defrost the entire unit or specific parts.
o Check the calibration of the unit.
• If you pay a third party for a preventative maintenance contract, you will save time having to do the above and will not need to source the necessary calibration equipment.
• It is also often useful to have an outside entity providing a report if there are certain staff members who are not following usage guidelines. On the other hand, if staff know that a third party will be rectifying any problems they cause, they may be less inclined to follow the guidelines!
• Using a service agent involves additional admin and disruption to routines. Also:
o Most manufacturers tend to be more expensive than local independents, tend only to service their own products and generally have difficulty getting hold of spare parts from other manufacturers if this is not the case.
o Not all local independents have training certification for carrying out repairs. Money saved on the initial contract can therefore be lost through higher costs on parts together with less effective repairs.
• Obviously, the single biggest issue on deciding whether to take out a preventative maintenance contract is the price.
o Call Wolflabs for a quotation. We will give you honest answers on what we feel is your safest, least expensive course of action.
o The more freezers you have, the more sense it makes to take out a PM contract.
o Most departments have a member of staff who deals with equipment servicing generally. Find out who this is and suggest that users club together to create a bigger contract that will significantly reduce unit costs.
To receive service pricing or further details on this type of equipment, please Email Us.