6 Important Questions to Ask When Purchasing a Refurbished Autoclave
Purchasing a refurbished autoclave can be a smart investment — especially if you’re a fledgling laboratory or startup biotech company with limited funding. While going with a used autoclave may be less of an expenditure compared with a new purchase, selecting a refurbished autoclave should not be taken lightly.
For example, it’s important to ensure the autoclave has gone through the same strict safety testing and inspection protocols as a new sterilizer. In addition to safety, one should inquire about a variety of other factors as well.
This blog sums up the six most important questions to ask your vendor before purchasing a refurbished lab autoclave.
1. Is the vessel clean and free of pitting and corrosion?
Most autoclaves that come out of service are many years old and extremely dirty (i.e. have dried media on the chamber surface). When purchasing a refurbished autoclave, it’s critical that the chamber is cleaned and repolished to a high luster finish. Ask to see pictures and if the chamber is pitted in any way (small pits develop on stainless steel that has been corroded by chemicals, over time). If the chamber is pitted, DO NOT buy this product.
2. Do you perform hydrostatic testing on your refurbished autoclaves?
Once repolished, make sure the chamber in your refurbished autoclave has gone through hydrostatic testing — a process that involves filling the chamber with water and pressurizing it to many times the normal operating pressure per the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) guidelines. Also known as a “hydro test”, this process is crucial to checking the integrity of the chamber welds.
Additionally, verify that the chamber has an ASME nameplate and national board number. Older chambers may not possess this nameplate and should not be “reused” in the field. In almost all jurisdictions within the USA, it is illegal to install an autoclave without proper ASME certifications and paperwork. Additionally, most insurance companies will require it.
3. Does your refurbished autoclave come with a new control system?
The control system is incredibly important to the functionality of your sterilizer equipment and should be in good working order. Make sure to ask whether the refurbished autoclave you’re purchasing has a new control system. If it doesn’t, ask if the old control system has replacement parts that are readily available and inexpensive. It is strongly recommended to have a new control system on your refurbished autoclave.
4. Does the unit include new components?
Make sure the autoclave is equipped with new valves, plumbing, gaskets, and wiring. You do not want to inherit old components that might require replacement shortly after you purchase. In addition, ensure that any replacement parts (especially for the chamber door mechanism) be easily obtained.
5. Does your refurbished autoclave come with the latest options on water savings and cloud connectivity? Or is it easily upgradable?
Be sure to find out whether it comes with new technology or is easily upgradable to features such as cloud connectivity or other water saving systems. Even though the unit is refurbished, you should still expect it to last for many, many years and be upgradable as your needs grow.
6. Do you offer an extended warranty and local service?
It should go without saying that you will be best served by opting for a refurbished autoclave that comes with an extended warranty covering the chamber for several years as well as parts and labor. Buyers should be wary of autoclaves/sterilizers that are sold “as-is”. Furthermore, if service is needed, it should be provided by factory trained technicians and be available locally. Without local service, the equipment may be down for an extended period of time while waiting for a technician to travel.
Contact us today to learn more about our refurbished sterilizers. Our stock is updated monthly and refurbished sterilizers are available on a first come, first-served basis.
17 Questions to Ask Before Buying Your Next Autoclave
We created this 17-question eBook as a framework to help you explore and discover the exact type of autoclave best suited to your needs.