possible solution to water on slides

From:Wayne D H <whohn@lycos.com>

Hello Hazel Horn:

I had the same problem for a while late last fall, drove me nuts. It turned out that the water supply to our linear stainer was too cold. The water from the wash stations flows under the reagent baths and cools them to the water temperature. When the slides are lifted out of the cold alcohols between stations water vapor from the warm room air condenses. This water is removed at each step if the next bath is alcohol, if it's xylene, you'll get water droplets on the slides. 
I already had a mixing valve for the water supply so a simple adjustment solved the problem. A service tech had turned both hot and cold valves off and just twisted them back on without realizing temperature was important. I find 15 degrees C works best for us. Less than 12 and the Hematoxylin and Eosin both are pale, above 18 the Hematoxylin is "muddy" and the Eosin gets very pale. If the water gets really cold, like ours does - 2 C in winter - the hematoxylin will start to precipitate on the slides and the bottom  of the stain baths.

Wayne Hohn
Kootenay Lake Reg. Hosp.
Nelson, B.C.

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