No Pressure

Low Or No Autoclave Pressure

This chapter covers autoclave pressure and how to determine why your unit is not building or maintaining pressure. Pressure is created & controlled in the first two phases of the Sterilization Cycle:

    YesFill Cycle
    YesSterilize Cycle

In order to have autoclave pressure these processes must occur:

    YesThe Right Amount Of Water has to be in the chamber.
    YesThe water has to be converted to steam
    YesAir has to be removed from chamber
    YesThe Chamber has to be completely sealed

All of these components are required to build and maintain autoclave pressure. If any are faulty, then the pressure process will not occur

Visual Inspection

Remove the Cover On Your Autoclave & Start a Cycle Like You Normally Would

Visually inspect the system for leaks. Any leak, no matter how small will keep the unit from developing and maintaining the autoclave pressure at the required level for sterilization to be completed.

Autoclave Pressure And The Fill & Sterilization Cycles

During the start up phase of the Autoclave Sterilization Cycle, the following process occur:

    Water Water enters the Autoclave chamber and fills to a predetermined level
    Seal The chamber is sealed & heated, turning the water into steam.
    Bleed Air is evacuated from inside the chamber in the early stages of the sterilization process.
    Heat Steam is the gaseous state of water and expands as it is heated - this creates the autoclave pressure
    Steam The heating elements turn off and on as needed to maintain the right temperature & pressure
    Vent At the end of the sterilization cycle, the heat is turned off and the water and steam are vented back into the reservoir.

Open the door to see if water is entering into the chamber and filling to it's recommended level (make sure the autoclave is level)

Autoclave Pressure & The Fill Cycle

If water is not entering the autoclave chamber, or if the water drips in slowly, examine the path the water takes to get into the chamber. If there is no (or not enough) water in the autoclave chamber, no autoclave pressure can be built up or maintained

    Reservoir The water is contained in a reservoir - Make sure the reservoir is full (to it's max level mark)
    Fill Valve In the fill cycle, the water flows through a tube into the main valve body
    Function Switch The Main Valve Body contains the Fill Valve which acts like a gate and is opened & closed by the Function Switch
    Water In Chamber In the Fill Cycle, the Function Switch opens the fill valve and allows water to pass through the main body and on to the inside of the autoclave chamber

Trace this route to determine where the water is stopping along its path between the reservoir and the chamber. Check for filters along the path and make sure they are allowing the water to pass through. Filters should be replaced on a regular basis.

Autoclave Pressure & Heat

If the right amount of water is entering the chamber, the next thing to look at for the loss of autoclave pressure is the heat. To build pressure, the water must be turned into its expanding, gaseous state (steam). The boiling point (212

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