Recently I have been very stressed out about the accuracy of my experimental results. On any given day I am getting very precise data, but most days the data are not within error of each other. This started with a long assessment of the components of my experiment. For each key component, a check of purity, a recheck of concentration, and agony of the pH. Components were correct, but then I realized the pH meter was acting off. I worked on the probe and meter, and the meter was finally trustworthy. I eventually realized that my pipettes were the major problem.
We don’t have a specific schedule for the calibration of pipettes, which is unfortunate. But with some patience, an analytic scale, and some room temperature water, I determined my pipettes were off pretty badly. So then spent a few days working on them. I searched the internet for information regarding the procedure for re-calibrating the pipettes, and then worked around the necessity of specialized equipment.
I really spent too much time troubleshooting these things, but I was really focused and I didn’t think my boss would be so willing to send out the pipettes. I told him what I had been working on, and he immediately dismissed my efforts and told me to get them calibrated ASAP. Womp womp.
Anyways, so I managed to work out the calibration (before talking with my boss) so my pipettes were almost within the acceptable range, and I feel more confident in my results. The pipette calibrator is supposed to be coming today, and hopefully I can prove my data is finally accurate.