We all know the important role the autoclave plays in today’s Healthcare facilities. These units are vital to insure clean and sterile instruments and apparatus for surgeons, dentists and healthcare providers everywhere. This is why it is so important to properly maintain and service your autoclave to insure greater longevity and reliability.
The single, most important thing to always do routinely to insure the longevity of your sterilization unit is to ALWAYS use distilled water in the reservoir. NEVER use tap water. The minerals will wreak havoc on the internal components of the unit and you will undoubtedly begin to have problems with the sterilizer due to this. If you feel that buying distilled water is too much of a hassle, several companies now offer distillers that create distilled water for you. These units can be small tabletop units, or larger, plumbed in units that are wall or under counter mounted. Regardless of what you prefer, just use distilled water and your autoclave will last longer and require less maintenance.
Clean you autoclave regularly per manufacturer’s recommendation. There are both liquid and powder cleaners that are excellent at removing scale and cleaning the plumbing and chamber of your unit. Consult your operators manual, manufacturer or biomedical service technician for the proper cleaner for your make and model.
Make sure you have your autoclave serviced and preventative maintenance performed per manufacturers specifications at recommended intervals. Don’t wait until you have a problem. If you want to insure maximum uptime for your sterilizer, schedule your service as recommended. You can schedule service, but breakdowns are never “scheduled”. There is never an opportune time for a failure, so do your part so the autoclave can do its part.