A medical waste hospital autoclave is a necessity for many different types of medical establishments, including everyone from the biggest hospital in town to the smallest specialty clinics. Proper maintenance of a medical autoclave is essential to having it run correctly. Since the machines are typically considered to be a somewhat large investment, it pays to maintain them the right way.
In an autoclave, highly pressured steam enters into the chamber once the outside door has been sealed shut. If there is any air left in the chamber, it is forced out through the drain line, leaving only the steam in the unit. All air pockets must be eliminated during tis process, or else they can cause problems during the sterilization process, making it less effective. Once the cycle runs all the way through, all the bacteria, germs and other potentially harmful chemicals are essentially “heated” away.
When evaluating the condition of an autoclave, make sure that the drains and lines are clear. An autoclave has one drain for air and one drain for water, so be sure that they are checked regularly for clogs. Just one small air pocket and standing water in the lines can help create the perfect breeding ground for enthusiastic bacteria. It’s also important to check and clean the filters on a regular basis. Even high quality distilled water can result in filter build up over time. If there are clogs at the filter level, then you will experience problems regulating the pressure. The same goes for all seals and gaskets. If you start to notice cracks or wear in these smaller parts of an autoclave, you can replace them rather quickly in order to keep the autoclave running at it’s best.
The best thing to remember when maintaining a customized medical waste autoclave is that the machine itself isn’t all that complicated, and with some basic maintenance and care, you can get years of use out of it, depending on how much it’s used. When you’ve got a piece of equipment that provides an invaluable service to your business, it pays to have it inspected and maintained on a regular basis, which is something you should keep in mind if you are considering purchasing an autoclave or already have one installed at your place of business.