Frequently Asked Questions

The following are more commonly asked questions along with their respective answers. If you do not see your question listed below, please contact our Customer Solution Center at toll-free (866) 419-ALFA (2532) and a representative will be happy to assist you.

Question:My ISE calibrations are failing. What can I do to resolve this problem?
Verify that all fluids (including ISE Clean/ISE Condition) are fresh.

On the bottom of the calibration report, the numbers under cal slope should be close to 90.

If there is a word error such as drift, delta, or noise on the calibration report, try recalibrating.

If one electrolyte is failing, you may need to replace the electrode. If it is more than one, try performing weekly maintenance and recalibrate again.

If the pump tubing assembly is more than 3 months old, try changing it and recalibrating.

Question:My ISE keeps saying that my Cal B bottle is empty, but it isn't. What might be causing this problem?
Answer: Calibrator B is the first fluid to prime when the ISE begins a function. Cal B empty errors are usually caused by a flow error - a leak or a clog. Refer to Troubleshooting Procedure B in your Operator's Manual to determine the cause of the flow error.

If the problem persists, please contact the Customer Solution Center.

Question:I am new to laboratory procedures and my doctors are starting a clinical laboratory. Where can I go to get the information I need to get started?
Answer: Two recommended websites to help you get started are and

Question:I keep getting probe errors. I've realigned my probe, but they keep coming back. What should I do?
Answer: Probe errors are usually contact or non-contact errors. Using a straight edge, make sure the probe is straight from the top to bottom before trying to align. Also ensure the top of the washplate (silver plate) is scraped and cleaned. Clean under the washplate and the tip of the probe.

Other possible reasons for probe errors include:
  • The diluent bottle could be empty
  • The cap could have a crack
  • The tubing may not be securely plugged in
  • The tubing may be crimped

Any of these can introduce bubbles and give false probe touch errors.

Look for bubbles in the blue line from the syringe. Bubbles in the red line are okay if they are minor. Look for bubbles in the yellow line going to the syringe.

If the problem persists, please contact the Customer Solution Center.

Question:I need to put new parameters into my system. How do I do this?
Answer: To put a new test into the system, you need to follow the parameter sheet. The first step is to create bottles under Setup/Bottles. The second step is to create the new test under Setup/Tests. To do this, you must press the Insert key and select Photometric on the screen. Then you can enter the information as stated on the parameter sheet. Also, please remember that a new test means new Quality Control, therefore means and standard deviations also need to be entered under Setup/Quality Control.

Question:My Quality Control will not come in range today. What can I do to resolve this problem?
Answer: Verify that the package insert instructions have been followed with regards to how the control was made, what it was made with, and how it has been handled and stored.

Determine if the problem is with a calibrated chemistry, a non-calibrated chemistry, or an electrolyte. Proper troubleshooting steps are:
  • Re-run the control from a fresh cup of material
  • Prepare new control and re-run
  • Recalibrate (if applicable) and re-run with new control
  • Replace the reagent and re-run with new control

Question:Why do I sometimes see a result and instead of the normal range, I have a question mark?
Answer: This occurs on any test that has multiple ranges (sometimes for sex distinction, sometimes for age). If you did not define sex or age, there is no way for the software to determine which range to use so the question mark is displayed.

For further questions or concerns, please contact our Customer Solution Center at toll-free (866) 419-ALFA (2532).