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From Diagnosis to Solution: The Anatomy of a Biomedical Tech Service Call

Today I traveled to a facility for a repair on a Steris 20" Amsco 400 Small Steam Sterilizer. This Autoclave is designed for quick and efficient steam sterilization of heat and moisture-stable materiels for proficient patient care.

When I arrived, I checked the machine and spoke with the SPD Tech, inspected the fittings and piping, and checked the lower manifold components to see that the CK6 and 4 have hard rubber and the seat imprint shows that the seal is not consistent. The CK6 and 4 were replaced with a new kit supplied by SPD, went over the rest of the troubleshooting with the SPD Tech, and checked on the boiler and water pressure coming to the unit. I ran a leak test and the pressure was down to 30.2, which is unusual, so I will calibrate the pressure transducer when I am completely finished.

The S1 check valve was also looked at and determined that the valve wasn't working properly a lot of the time. Steam was found in the center of the S1 valve indicating that it was a bad check valve so I swapped it on the bottom with a brand new one and a used one on the heat exchange exhaust.

I proceeded to calibrate the pressure transducer and ran another leak test after. A gauge was then installed on the water inlet and the pressure is fluctuating between 33-70 while in evacuate mode for dynamic pressure. The pressure level drops significantly during the evacuate phase, so I recommend that a booster pump be installed right behind the unit to help with that problem. I then followed up with a email with the link to the booster pump because this will effect the drying and speed at which the cycles got through.

I did a leak test and it showed a better leak rate and accurate pressure after calibration but still dropping unfortunately. A brush was used to seal up the fittings around the exhaust manifold and Upper piping.

At this time, I disassembled the lower manifold and inspected CK8. The valve itself is fine but the seat is covered with white sediment so I brushed and sanded it clean. The S3 seat was also looked at, wasn't bad but I still cleaned it for them.

Now everything is re-assembled and I proceeded to run one last leak test. The test came out great and is now 0.1 mmhg! I will have the facility start using the unit run their three and three testing if needed. And now all is complete! A day in the life as a Tech here at Pulse Biomedical.

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