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Claudio pikielcl at UMDNJ.EDU
Wed Dec 23 13:37:09 EST 1998

>We have been having a long standing problem with our incubators that we are
>using for fly stocks.  Several have had problems with their heating/cooling
>systems.  This seems to be due to build up of some kind of residue on the
>heating/cooling(?) elements inside of the incubator.   We imagine that
>maybe something in our fly food recipe (possibly propionic acid) collects
>on and corrodes the metal elements.  Has anyone had similar problems?  any

We have had the same problem and heard the same explanations from the
repair guy.  Since we keep a tray of water in the incubator for humidity we
have recently started adding baking soda to that in the hope that it might
neutralize the acidity of the propionic acid.  I am not entirely convinced
of the propionic acid theory however since different parts have broken down
different times, including the compressor which is not in contact with the
inside of the incubator.  Since we got them new four years ago, our two
incubators have broken down several times each to a total cost of over
$5,000!  I have never had a refrigerator break down, even one that was
probably over 20
years old and I don't see why incubators should be that different.  I
suspect that there is a problem with the particular model/brand (both our
incubators are the same model). In fact I know at least
one other fly lab with the same model that has had the same type of
problem.  To top it all the company has been totally unhelpful, they have
not returned my calls, etc.  I would be interested to know whether other
people's problems with incubators concern the same model/brand.  Since I
can't be sure whether the problem is with the model/brand or with the
propionic acid or other fly food ingredient I don't want to name the
company in this forum.  If you want to know which model/brand I am talking
about, contact me directly.
Also, who is buddybear/Kacrejam?  Why the anonimity and bogus e-mail return

Claudio Pikielny
Dept of Neuroscience and Cell Biology
Robert Wood Johnson Med School/UMDNJ

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