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FAQs

If your questions are not answered below, phone us on 01908 283800 or email us at service@starlab.co.uk


General

Do my pipettes need to be decontaminated?
This depends on what the pipettes have been used for. Basically, the pipettes must be safe for us to handle and accompanied by a signed Decontamination Declaration Form to confirm this, whether they needed decontaminating or not. This applies to both mail-in and on-site servicing. Please note that pipettes cannot be serviced if a signed Declaration is not received.

What makes of pipette can you service?
We can service all brands and types of pipettes, although we may not be able to obtain spare parts for some older pipettes. We service single-channels, multi-channels, electronic pipettes, multi-steppers and positive displacement instruments, as well as bottle-top dispensers.

Can you break down my invoice by department, or grant code etc?
Yes. We can invoice to your exact requirements.

Do you automatically replace seals and O rings?
No. During the service we will thoroughly test these components for function and will replace them only if needed. This reduces costs to you.

Will you inform me of any expensive repairs needed?
Yes. You can check the box on the Decontamination Declaration to be contacted before we proceed with any service if spare parts (excl. the cost of seals, o-rings, tip holders) amount to £25 or over for any pipette. We will then phone or email you to discuss the best way to proceed.

What if my pipette is beyond repair?
If, in our opinion, a pipette is beyond economical repair or spares are no longer available, we will return it to you with a label detailing the reason it is beyond repair. If required, we can arrange a Trade-In of your pipette for one of our own pipettes at a very attractive discount! Please note that a £15 pound investigation charge may be applied for pipettes found to be beyond repair or uneconomical to repair if measurable time has been taken to establish this.

Is your measuring equipment traceable to recognised standards?
Yes. All our balances are regularly calibrated and certified.

What accreditions do you have?
We are a UKAS accredited (ISO 17025) laboratory. We are also accredited to ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems and ISO 14001 for Environmental Management.


Mail-In Service

What do I need to send with my pipettes?
We require the following information:

  • A completed and signed Decontamination Declaration Form. We cannot work on any pipettes that are not accompanied by a form. Please ensure you complete ALL sections of the form and sign before sending.
  • Purchase order (and VAT exemption Certificate, if applicable)

The return of your pipettes may be delayed if you not supply all the required information and we need to discuss something with you.

How long will it take for my pipettes to be returned?
Our normal turn-around time is within 5 working days from receipt to dispatch, provided that we have all the information required. If, for any reason there may be a delay, we will let you know beforehand and give you an estimated time of when your pipette will be returned.

Will I be charged for return carriage?
No. STARLAB does not pass postage charges on to its customers on the UK mainland. Other areas of the UK may be charged a small, nominal fee.


On-Site Servicing

Can you calibrate any type of pipette on site?
We can calibrate any volume of pipette on site as long as the conditions allow us to do so. Small volume pipettes need a draft-free environment, no vibration and the location of the clinic cannot be in a thoroughfare. If in doubt, it may be best to contact your local Account Manager for them to check the area, or you could send you r pipettes to STARLAB for servicing – return carriage is free of charge. For UKAS pipettes under 20µl, we would need additional balances so we would need to know numbers of smaller volume pipettes to see if this is viable.

What facilities do I need to provide for your technicians?
Each technician requires minimum 2m bench space with leg room and access to at least one 13A socket. The location where the clinic is to be held should have no through traffic/be within a busy lab, and should be a vibration- and draught-free environment, with a temperature range of 15°C to 30°C. For UKAS Clinics, the same applies with the following two exceptions: each technician requires minimum 3m bench space, and the temperature range of the room must be within 17°C to 25°C. We will bring all the equipment needed with us.

How many pipettes can you service in one day?
The minimum number of pipettes required for an on-site clinic is on average, 20 to 40 per day, depending on the service level required and the condition of the pipettes. Please contact STARLAB to discuss your on-site requirements.

What details do I need to provide when booking an on-site clinic?
We require the following information:

  • Approximate dates required
  • Number and make of pipettes
  • Exact location of where the clinic will be held (eg building, floor, room no)
  • Full contact details of two contacts
  • Service levels required
  • Purchase order (and VAT exemption certificate, if applicable)
  • Parking details and restrictions

Please note that we must receive your confirmation as soon as possible. Confirmations not received a month before the start of a proposed clinic may have to be rescheduled or cancelled.

What if I cannot confirm the exact number of pipettes?
The minimum number of pipettes for an on-site clinic depends on the service level required, and although there is no maximum number of pipettes, we allocate a time frame and the appropriate number of technicians for a clinic, based on the information you give us. Should the number of pipettes that require servicing increase significantly, it may not be possible for us to service everything within the scheduled clinic duration. In such cases, we will either arrange another date to service the extra pipettes, or arrange for the extras to be serviced at our laboratory, depending on the numbers involved and/or the current workload in our lab. We will make every effort to accommodate extra numbers as quickly as possible.