53 Items Every Autoclave Maintenance Plan Should Include

53 Items Every Autoclave Maintenance Plan Should Include [+ Free Log Sheet!]

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Written by: Mike Peters

Here at Consolidated Sterilizer Systems, we’re of the mind that the importance of routine preventative autoclave maintenance really can’t be understated. After all, preventative maintenance reduces system downtime, improves processing performance, eliminates the need for costly repairs, and ensures workplace safety — and that’s only the start of it.

Bearing that in mind, we’ve put together this autoclave maintenance checklist, as well as a free sterilizer maintenance log sheet. These will help you understand which items need to be routinely inspected, tested, and verified so you can keep your steam sterilizer in working order for years to come.

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How to Approach Autoclave Maintenance

Before we get to our checklist, let’s take a moment to talk about how you should approach autoclave maintenance. Start by checking to see whether the sterilizer is leaking any water or steam. If it isn’t, run a quick test cycle and listen for any unusual noises. Next, evaluate the condition of visible items, such as the drain strainer and the door gasket.

Best practice stipulates that sterilizers parts should be evaluated and replaced either once per year, or every 300 cycles — whichever comes first. That said, certain components, such as valves or the steam generator, have higher wear than others and may require more frequent maintenance.


When performing preventative maintenance on your autoclave, pay special attention to the following:

  • Valves: Different valves wear at different rates — for example, steam valves typically wear faster than valves used for other applications, such as air and water. Automatic and manual valves should be carefully monitored for damage and replaced as needed.
  • Heating Coils: Poor water quality can degrade your steam generator and reduce the lifespan of your autoclave chamber, so it’s important that you blowdown your generator on a regular basis depending on the type of water you use.
  • Contactors: Contactors sustain a great deal of wear and tear from high voltage connections, so they should be frequently inspected for signs of pitting and heat damage and replaced as needed.
  • Steam Traps: An autoclave relies on steam traps to to provide the saturated steam environment that is necessary for proper sterilization. Therefore, it’s vital that you implement a steam trap inspection program to ensure peak autoclave performance and proper sterilization.
  • Safety Valves: Inspect safety valves for signs of leaking and replace as necessary.  The working conditions of the safety valves should also be inspected, tested and verified according to the manufacturer’s recommendations on a consistent basis.
  • Controls: Although controls are intended to last the lifetime of the device, they must be regularly checked for excessive heat, humidity, and electrical surges. Backup batteries should be replaced every three to five years in order to prevent program or memory loss.
  • Vacuum Pump: Hard water buildup can decrease vacuum pump efficiency, and debris can lead to impeller imbalance, so it’s important to clean the pump head and replace worn components on a regular basis.
  • Utilities: Water and steam quality play a large role in the longevity of your sterilizer and its parts!  Addressing the problem at the source will reduce service requirements.

Autoclave Maintenance Checklist

Listed below are the items every autoclave maintenance log should include, grouped by category:

Plumbing — Pressure

Manual valves

Automatic valves



Air filter

Safety valves

Water Eco


Effluent decontamination filter

Electrical — Voltage/Amperage






Electronics/Controls — Function/Condition




Ethernet Connections


Battery (PLC and display)




Control wiring

Audible alarm

Vessel — Condition



Loading equipment

Drain strainer

Bio seal


Door — Condition

Door handles

Door lock rod

Door lock assembly

Door gasket

Radial arms

Vertical door


Power operation

Electric locks

Generator (If Applicable)

Check for leaks

Safety valve

Sight glass

Condition of contactors

Voltages at boiler

Amperage of heaters

Pump operation

Manual valves

Clean level probes or check float

Check flange gasket for leaks

Check HI limit switch

Pressure gauge

Check water feed solenoid

Proper autoclave maintenance requires a combination of self-service and professional service. To find the right balance between the two, consider downloading our free guide to proper autoclave maintenance, or contacting the professionals at Consolidated Sterilizer Systems today for more information.

Free Autoclave Maintenance Log Sheet Template

The key to a high-performing autoclave is routine preventative maintenance. Bearing that in mind, we’ve put together this free sterilizer maintenance log sheet to help!

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Free Autoclave Maintenance Log Sheet Template