USUALLY… when you hear me talking about a side plate, I am referring to mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, mac n’ cheese, etc… (aka – side dishes). And when I say “tighten up”, I mean clean the plate off. Well not today! Today I am talking about the side plate on my 5973 mass spec. The owner’s manual explicitly states “(The front side plate screw should not be tightened, unless hazardous carrier or reagent gasses are being used).” Well… when my 5973 recently had a 28 to 69 m/z ratio around 7% I was able to sniff out a leak around the side plate. I knew my side plate o-ring was on its last leg, but it would be at least a couple of days for a new side plate o-ring to arrive, so I just tightened up on the side plate screws… and PRESTO!!! 2% on the 28 to 69 m/z ratio. I know I know… not what I am supposed to do, but desperate times call for desperate measures.