Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find answers to the most common questions about Hettich, our services, and our products.

Company FAQ

See below for the most common questions about Hettich.

How long has Hettich (Andreas Hettich GmbH & Co. K.G.) been manufacturing laboratory equipment?

Since 1904, Hettich has been one of the world’s leading laboratory equipment manufacturers. Today, Hettich is known for our vast array of quiet, reliable, and safe centrifugation products and our highly efficient, accurate, and space-saving incubators. We also manufacture and support quality equipment for sample preparation, climate control, and laboratory automation.

Where are Hettich products manufactured?

Hettich centrifuges and incubators are engineered and manufactured in Germany.

Where are Hettich products sold?

Hettich equipment is sold worldwide through our headquarters in Germany, and our subsidiaries in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, and the USA. Each is supported by our vast distribution network located throughout the world. Located in the U.S. or Canada? Contact Hettich | North America.

Are Hettich products manufactured in compliance with regulatory standards?

Absolutely. All Hettich products are manufactured and compliant with strict regulatory guidelines for product quality and safety. We are fully compliant with all relevant international standards and regulations.

Is Hettich FDA registered?

Yes, Hettich is an FDA-registered manufacturer.

Customer Service FAQ

See below for the most common customer service questions.

How do I place an order for Hettich products?

Contact us online or by phone, and we will guide you through the ordering process. 

How do I check the status of my order?

Contact us online or by phone, and we will check the status of your order. 

What is Hettich's return policy?

Customer satisfaction is our number one priority. Contact us online or by phone to process your return. Please refer to our return policy for additional information. 

Who is my local Hettich representative?

Hettich territory managers are located throughout the U.S. and Canada to assist you. Find your local rep or contact us, and we will connect you.

Technical Service FAQ

See below for the most common technical service questions.

What is Hettich's warranty?

Hettich branded products sold in the U.S. and Canada ship with a full Five (5) Year Warranty. Please check with your local Hettich representative for warranty information in other parts of the world.

Is my product still covered under warranty?

Contact technical service to check the status of your product’s warranty. 

How do I order spare parts?

Contact technical service to confirm the part I.D. and to order Hettich authorized spare parts.

What is the preventative maintenance schedule for my Hettich equipment?

Most facilities have a pre-determined maintenance schedule for different equipment categories. Hettich recommends cleaning and performing a visual inspection of the equipment and accessories regularly. For specific models (centrifuges, incubators), please search the resource section of our website or contact us for more information.

What detergents or disinfectants can I use on my equipment?

Before cleaning and disinfecting, you should remove contaminants or sample residues with cold water. Detergents and disinfectants must not be corrosive and should have a pH of between 5 and 8. We strongly advise against using any spray disinfectant. Also, please do not clean your device in your laboratory glassware washer.

Where is the serial number located on my Hettich equipment?

You can find the serial number of your centrifuge on the product nameplate located on the backside of the instrument. On larger centrifuges, the serial number is marked either on the nameplate or the left-hand hinge when the lid is open. You can find the serial number for HettCube incubators on the nameplate inside the door positioned under the control panel or on the nameplate on the back of the instrument.

Where do I find my product operator's manual?

You can find your Hettich operator’s manual online via our resource library or by contacting technical service.

Where do I find the product service manual?

Please contact our technical service team to request a service manual.

Resource Library

Search our resource library for the latest product documentation and support-related articles, instructional videos, and product manuals.

Centrifuge FAQ

See below for the most common centrifuge support questions.

What is a laboratory centrifuge?

A centrifuge is a piece of laboratory equipment that spins a vessel at high speeds applying centrifugal force to the contents inside. Laboratory centrifuges separate fluids of different densities (i.e., red cells & plasma in blood, cream from milk) or liquids from solids. Hettich centrifuges service many industries, including medical, biotech, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, agriculture, water/wastewater, petrochemical, dental, veterinary, and more.

I have unpacked my centrifuge, and it is sitting on the bench. What next?

First and foremost, read the documentation and operator’s manual shipped with your centrifuge for important safety and operating instructions. Then, remove the transport bolts. The documents that ship with the centrifuge indicate where you can find these bolts. Next, put a small amount of Hettich grease (supplied) on the motor shaft. The grease will help you easily remove the rotor and prevents the metal from binding after long-term use. Finally, install that rotor (if applicable). Use the 5 mm hex wrench (supplied) to tighten the nut in the center of the rotor that secures the rotor to the motor shaft*. *Does not pertain to quick-connect rotors.

RCF vs. RPM:

RCF (Relative Centrifugal Force) refers to the amount of force (g-force) applied to a sample during centrifugation. RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) refers to the speed or how fast the rotor spins within the centrifuge. The combination of speed (RPM) and the radius of the rotor will determine the amount of force (RCF) applied to the sample. These factors, in addition to the length of total spin time, contribute to the final separation results. Please refer to our RCF/RPM Calculator to determine your centrifugation cycle’s RCF or RPM value. If you need help determining the radius of your centrifuge configuration, contact us for further assistance.

What is the difference between G-force (g's) and RCF?

Nothing. RCF (Relative Centrifugal Force) and g’s are the same units of measure. They are interchangeable.

If my old centrifuge was set for 5,000 RPM and my new and larger centrifuge is set for the same speed, then why are my results different?

It has to do with the radius of the spin. If you spin a sample at 5000 RPM at 100 millimeters from the center of spin, you will imply a force of 2,795 RCF (g’s) onto the sample. Now, spin that sample in a larger centrifuge at the same speed (say 130 mm from the center), and suddenly you’re at 3,634 RCF (g’s). You raised the force by about 33% simply by using a larger centrifuge! So when you talk about protocols and spinning at a set speed, you need to know the radius of the spin to be sure you are still following your laboratory’s protocol. To calculate RPM or RCF for your new centrifuge, try the RCF / RPM calculator.

How do I know what size centrifuge I need?

There are many factors to consider when determining the best centrifuge for your application and laboratory workflow. Please reference our centrifuge product guide for more information or contact your local Hettich representative for further assistance.

What are transport bolts, and why must they be removed?

The transport bolts secure the motor to prevent damage during shipping. However, the transport bolts inhibit the centrifuge’s ability to run smoothly during operation. You must remove the transport bolts before operation. Consult the insert included with your centrifuge or your operator’s manual for removal instructions.

Why is my centrifuge not sitting flat on the bench or making a loud noise when running?

Hettich centrifuges ship with transport bolts to hold the motor in place, preventing unnecessary damage to your centrifuge. In some models, the transport bolts protrude from the bottom of the unit, causing the centrifuge to sit unevenly on the benchtop. Transport bolts on other models are located inside the centrifuge chamber and will cause a loud noise if not removed. Before you operate your centrifuge, you must remove the transport bolts for proper and safe operation. Please refer to your operator’s manual or technical contact for additional instructions.

What is the preventative maintenance schedule of my centrifuge?

Clean and lubricate your centrifuge regularly. Cleaning your equipment and proper maintenance is Good Laboratory Practice. Lubrication on the pivot points of the rotor (called the trunnions) and buckets will result in better and more consistent results. Lubrication also reduces vibration and wear and tear. Operators of centrifuges should check to ensure that the rotor is firmly attached and that the attaching nut is secured weekly. Inspect for any damage and wipe-clean the centrifuge chamber and accessories from condensation buildup. Wipe dry the chamber, rotor, and accessories to prevent corrosion. Depending on usage, you want to ensure that servicing and maintenance are adequate and consistent with its use. Light use (2-3 times per day) may require lubrication of the rotor pivot points every 2-3 weeks, whereas 24/7 use may require weekly attention. Some lid locks need greasing every six months. Consult your Hettich representative to determine what your model requires. Validation of the functionality of the centrifuge should be done once every 6-12 months. Reference your operator’s manual for more information on maintaining your equipment.

Why do I need to purchase four buckets when I only use two?

Safety is the key here. Using four buckets applies the g-force load on the rotor in all directions. Using only two across from each other applies a force that will stretch the rotor in a shape and manner of a football (albeit in an exaggerated way of speaking). This will cause the gaps between the rotor trunnions to change widths, rendering the rotor out of spec over time. Centrifuge rotors must always be loaded in the evenest manner possible, not just symmetrically. Consult your operator’s manual regarding even loading vs. symmetrical loading.

My centrifuge has a Tacho 1 error. How do I clear it?

The tachometer measures the speed of the rotor by counting its magnetic pulses. When a Tacho 1 occurs, the tachometer has missed an expected magnetic pulse. The magnets ring underneath the rotor may be unclean. Check for dirty magnets on the underside of the rotor. Open the centrifuge cover and turn off the mains (power) switch to clear the error. Wait ten seconds and then vigorously spin the rotor by hand. While the rotor is still turning, turn the mains switch back on.

My centrifuge has a Tacho 2 error. How do I clear it?

The tachometer measures the speed of the rotor by counting its magnetic pulses. When a Tacho 2 error occurs, the tachometer has not detected any magnetic pulses. The rotor may not have been tightened completely. Check the rotor. To clear, open the centrifuge cover and turn off the mains (power) switch. Wait ten seconds and then vigorously spin the rotor by hand. While the rotor is still turning, turn the mains switch back on.

My centrifuge has an imbalance error. What do I do?

The imbalance detection mechanism has been triggered. Check that the rotor is balanced correctly, and also ensure that the rotor is properly greased. If the trunnions of the rotor are not adequately lubricated, the buckets may have difficulty swinging out, causing an imbalance. After checking the rotor, to clear, close the lid and reattempt the centrifugation run.

My centrifuge experienced a Mains Interrupt error. What is it, and how do I clear it?

The centrifuge experienced a power failure during a run. An interruption in the power current may have caused it. To clear, open the lid and push the start button. Close the lid again, and reattempt centrifugation.

How do I determine the lifecycle(s) of my centrifuge components?

All metal parts, such as rotors and buckets, are subject to stress, which ultimately makes the part’s lifespan finite. It is essential to know (or be able to calculate) the number of cycles a rotor and its buckets have experienced. We can plan appropriate replacement steps for when the max cycle count has been reached. You can retrieve the control hours of some centrifuges at the control panel of the centrifuge, or the cycle count can be determined or estimated using a simple calculation. Consult the repair manual for your particular model or contact Hettich for further assistance. 

What is the warranty on Hettich centrifuges?

Hettich centrifuges come with a Five (5) Year Warranty when purchased in the USA and Canada.

HettCube Incubator FAQ

See below for the most common HettCube incubator support questions.

What should I know before choosing a refrigerator and incubator?
  • The type of application (certification requirements, vessel type, and quantity)
  • The precise temperature requirements for the application
  • The ambient temperature
  • Further information about the installation site (space available in the laboratory)
How do I know what size incubator I need?

There are many factors to consider when determining the best incubator for your application and laboratory workflow. Please reference our incubator product guide for more information or contact your local Hettich representative for further assistance.

When do I need a refrigerated incubator?

The refrigerated versions of the HettCube are always needed when samples require stable temperatures below 37°C. The cooling of refrigerated incubators creates optimum sample conditions in non-air-conditioned rooms or if the air-conditioning fails.

What is the difference between volume and usable space?

The interior volume refers to the volume of the refrigerator and incubator, measured, for example, in cubic meters. The “validated usable interior” is the space where you can be sure that the homogeneity of the temperature is guaranteed. The HettCube offers more validated usable space than comparable products, thus saving a lot of valuable floor space in the laboratory.

What is the temperature window for a non-refrigerated HettCube?

A non-refrigerated HettCube operates from 1°C above room temperature. Accordingly, the lower temperature limit of the HettCube varies with the room temperature in the laboratory. At a stable ambient room temperature of 21°C, the HettCube will be able to reliably operate at a temperature from 22°C to 65°C. So the non-refrigerated incubator is a more affordable option where- or whenever you can be certain of having a stable room temperature. You should opt for a refrigerated version if room temperatures fluctuate or incubation temperatures are low.

Which languages can be set for the HettCubes?

Our HettCubes allow you to choose between German, English, French, and Spanish.

How can I provide the best possible growth conditions for my samples, even while I'm away on vacation?

Hettich has developed a special “Holiday Mode” for the entire HettCube range, specifically for times when you’re away and unable to tend to the lab.

What is the Hettich Telescope System (HTS)? / What is the Hettich Telescope System (HTS) used for?

The sturdy telescopic rails of the Hettich Telescope System (HTS) can be extended horizontally by up to 70%. This allows the user to easily reach the samples in every corner.

Where can I find the serial number of my HettCube incubator?

You will find the serial number of your HettCube on the product nameplate affixed to the back of the device.

What is the warranty on HettCube incubators?

Hettich HettCube incubators come with a Five (5) Year Warranty when purchased in the USA and Canada.

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