8 Questions to Ask Before a Steam Sterilizer Installation

Arthur Trapotsis
Written by: Arthur Trapotsis

MS Biochemical Engineering, MBA, Consultant

At Consolidated Sterilizer Systems, we perform multiple sterilizer installations each week. There are a number of considerations to address on every installation. The following is a list of questions to ask prior to your sterilizer installation to ensure your facility is ready.

1. How am I going to get the sterilizer from the delivery truck to its final location?

Making sure there is a viable way to get the sterilizer off the truck, into your building, and through the building to where it is going to sit can sometimes prove to be one of the harder things to coordinate.  Before placing an order, have your sales or service representative literally walk the path that the sterilizer will travel to identify potential concerns.  Here are some items to keep an eye out for:

  1. Odd loading dock height  (standard height is 48”)
  2. Stairs
  3. Narrow doors and hallways
  4. Low ceilings
  5. Small elevators

2. How much space do I need around the sterilizer?

The ideal scenario is to have 18-24” on both sides and the back of the sterilizer to provide adequate service space and to allow the dissipation of heat that the unit produces.  That being said, if you have limited space, Consolidated is able to customize the sterilizer configuration to meet your specific space requirements.

3. How much power will the unit need?

All CSS sterilizers need a dedicated, 120 V single phase 20 amp (minimum) outlet located within 5’ of the sterilizer to power the controls of the unit.  Additionally, the unit may need any of the following:

  1. Generator Power Source – 208/240/380/480V, single or three phase
  2. Booster Pump – 120V, single phase, 20 amp circuit with disconnect
  3. Liquid Ring Pump – 208-240/480V three phase circuit with disconnect
  4. RO System – dedicated, 120 V single phase 15 amp(min) outlet

4. How much water will the unit need?

Sterilizers rely on water.  The amount of water your sterilizer will use varies greatly on the size and configuration of the unit.  For specific water consumption estimates, please refer to our Water Consumption table in our Product Specification Sheets (Table 2 Page 9).  Generally speaking, a minimum of a ¾” water line is required that is capable of providing 45psi dynamic pressure with a flow rate of 12 gallons/minute.

5. What kind of water does the autoclave need to use?

If your water quality meets our general water requirements, you may be able to use your domestic cold water supply to feed the sterilizer.  Otherwise, you will need to use a treated water source to either supply certain parts or the whole sterilizer.

6. Can I use the steam that my facility uses for the sterilizer?

Yes, IF the house steam at your facility operates at 50-80 psi dynamic, and is 97-100% saturated and is free of oil or other pollutants.  Some facilities use steam to heat that is not suitable to use for sterilization.  Also, some facilities do not run their steam plant all year.

7. If this unit is going to be placed into a wall (i.e. recessed mounted), what do I need to know?

If it is going into an existing opening, it is important to know that the opening may need to be increased in size to accept the sterilizer.  On the other hand, if the wall opening is slightly larger than the new sterilizer being installed, then trim panels will be provided to fill the gap in the existing opening.

Another important consideration is the thickness of the wall.  If the wall is thicker than 5”, this can affect the placement of sterilizer components and piping, therefore this information should be mentioned prior to fabrication of the sterilizer.

If the sterilizer is going into a BSL-3 laboratory, the specification of the wall construction is very important to relay to the factory.  For example, if the wall is concrete, the right type of wall anchors to attach to the Bioseal must be provided.

8. Which way will the sterilizer door swing open?

If you face the door of the sterilizer, the hinge-side location is how we determine door swing.  For example, a right hinged door has the hinge on the right side of the door, as you face it, and the door will swing open from left to right.

Have more questions about installing a sterilizer at your facility? Contact us today for more information.

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