5 Factors to Consider When Buying a Refurbished Autoclave Sterilizer

Statim 5000 autoclave

Autoclave Sterilizers are among the cutting-edge technology and foundations of the laboratory since the turn of the 20th century. These machines have been previously used to sterilize surgical instruments to discourage the growth of spores, fungi and inhibit the spread of bacteria and viruses.

More recently, autoclaves have been heavily utilized in laboratories to sterilize tools, equipment, and scientific instruments used for research. They are also used to sterilize infectious biohazardous waste before disposal. With their range of application, however, choosing whether to invest in a new or reconditioned autoclave sterilizer is still a concern for many.

Six factors to consider before purchasing a refurbished autoclave sterilizer.

Stain and corrosion free
After many years of service, most autoclaves chamber surface become stained, pitted and corroded. This is due to high pH surgical residues, tap water, and cleansers. The first thing to look at when buying a refurbished autoclave is the chamber surface. It should be cleaned and refinished in high gloss finishes. A majority of autoclave chambers are made of stainless steel. Therefore, it’s critical to check if the surface is pitted because even small pits can compromise the sterilization process.

Hydrostatic Testing
After repolishing the chamber, you want to make sure that your refurbished autoclave is working perfectly by conducting a hydrostatic test. This is a common procedure often used to determine and verify performance in pressure vessels. The chamber is filled with water and pressure is raised to the required test value, then it’s left undisturbed for a specified time. According to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the standard time for pressurizing water inside the chamber is 30 minutes.

The hydrostatic test will help determine the integrity of the chamber welds as well as checks for leaks. In addition to the test, check to see if the chamber has an ASME data plate stamping and national board number. To ensure that your refurbished autoclave is fit for insurance, you need proper ASME certifications and paperwork.

Replaceable components
A refurbished autoclave will most likely feature new components. One vital component of any sterilizer equipment is the control system. If the refurbished autoclave you are purchasing doesn’t have a new control system, then the replacement parts for the old system have to be available. To avoid additional costs in autoclave repair services, buy a sterilizer that has a new control system installed.

Alongside a new control system, you want a remodeled autoclave that features new components such as valves, gaskets, water level sensor, heating elements, pressure sesnsor, plumbing and wiring. You don’t want to invest in a machine that will cost you much in repairs.

Latest technology
When buying a refurbished autoclave, it’s important to ask the vendor whether it features the latest technology or is easily upgradable depending on changing needs. Some of the new technology include water saving systems and cloud-based connectivity.

Although not every vendor will offer a guarantee on their products, there’re some that offer an extended warranty on their refurbished autoclaves, and it covers everything from the chamber, replacement parts, and labor cost associated with autoclave maintenance service. Additionally, you want to purchase a sterilizer that can be repaired locally. Otherwise, having to wait for a factory trained technician to can cost you a great deal of money and resources.

While buying a refurbished autoclave isn’t an option for everybody, their presence in the market allows people, especially those with limited funding to get the equipment they need. Lastly, after buying the machine, regular testing and servicing are recommended at least once a week, according to the CDC.

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