In a previous issue of Practice Tips, we de-coded the Statim error codes. Additionally, you may notice problems that won’t always trigger an error code.
The following are errors that can be observed which will not necessarily yield a code:
- Clicking noise from rear of Statim with cassette removed. Or fails to click when cassette is inserted: This indicates that a microswitch in the unit has been damaged- likely by steam leaks. You should also check for leaks (see below and our issue on the Care & Feeding of Your Statim Cassette).
- Loud buzzing noise: Clogged solenoid. Clean or replace (see below).
- Steam is leaking from the fitting at the back of the Statim: Make certain the drain tube is fully seated into the push-in fitting. Check tube for cracks or holes. You may wish to replace the push-in fitting with an elbow if the tubing has become kinked or damaged from being bent.
- Water under Statim or leaking from the drain tube: Leak at the cassette. Change the cassette seal or check cassette for wear (see our issue on the Care & Feeding of Your Statim Cassette).
- Steam is coming out of the vent hole in the condenser bottle: Make certain the waste bottle is filled to the "MIN" line. The drain tube should be under water in the bottle.
As we discussed, a number of error codes (as well as non-coded problems you can observe) indicate problems in the Solenoid Valve and the Pump. We’ve included some additional information for the Pump and Solenoid below:On a regular basis, check the bubble level – the bubble in the level on the Statim should be at the 5 o’clock position.
Solenoid Valve Inspection and Repair
NOTE: When removing the Solenoid Valve stem, it is suggested by Sci Can to use a pair of pliers on the welded area of the valve stem (plunger tube). If done incorrectly, the pliers could collapse the hollow area of the valve stem, thus preventing the plunger from moving freely. However, we offer a spanner nut which provides an easier and safer way to remove and install the valve stem. By using the spanner nut with a wrench, the valve can be removed without disturbing the plunger.
STEP #1: Disconnect the power to the sterilizer by unplugging the power cord – as with all electrical devices, never rely on just the power switch. Disassembly of the solenoid valve with power on will cause valve coil damage, so it is imperative that you disconnect the power. Once disconnected from power, remove the nut, yoke, and coil.
STEP #2: Place the Spanner Nut over the valve stem (plunger tube) and align the Spanner Nut pins with the base of the valve stem (see figure 1).
STEP #3: Using a wrench on the Spanner Nut, loosen the valve stem to access the internal parts of the Solenoid Valve.
STEP #4: Remove any debris found in the valve body and blow air through all the orifices. Clean the plunger and ensure it slides smoothly in the plunger tube. Reassemble the solenoid valve.
Testing the Pump
You must use a special pump tester bottle, which is available through American Dental Accessories.
NOTE: The American Dental Accessories, Inc. tester bottle has a “swivel fitting” on the lid that allows you to control the position and balance of the bottle. In addition, we include 8” of tubing already connected to the swivel fitting which allows you to move the bottle a safer distance away from the machine during testing.
STEP #1: Disconnect the pump outlet flow gauge tubing (see Figure 2) from the boiler by using a 3/8” wrench on the compression nut while supporting the boiler fitting with a 7/16” wrench. Connect the Flow Gauge Tubing to the Pump Tester Bottle male connector and tighten.
STEP #2- Purge Cycle: Activate the pump for approximately 2-3 seconds to purge any trapped air from the tubing and to allow an even flow of water into the bottle. Empty the bottle of any water that may have entered it during the purge cycle. The bottle must be empty before proceeding with the test.
STEP #3- Test Cycle: Before activating the pump for the Test Cycle, have a stop watch or another timing device available for use during the cycle. Activate the pump and note the amount of time that it takes for the water level in the bottle to reach the minimum fill line. If the water level reaches the minimum fill line within 22-28 seconds, the pump does NOT need to be replaced and skip Steps #4 and #5. If the water level does not reach the minimum fill line within the specified time, check the inlet and outlet filters and proceed to the next step.
STEP #4- inlet & outlet filter cleaning (see Figure 3): Using hemostats or a tubing clamp, clamp off pump inlet tubing from the reservoir. (Note: It is important to crimp the tubing so that the reservoir does not drain.) Remove the flow gauge tubing from the pump outlet side using a 7/16” wrench. Remove the filtered elbow fitting and filtered barbed fitting from the pump. (Caution: Use a wrench on the pump body while removing filtered fittings.)
Clean the filter mesh of both the inlet and the outlet fittings by placing the fittings under running water, then blowing both ends out with an air hose. Reinstall filtered fittings using Teflon® tape.
Repeat Step #2- Purge Cycle and Step #3- Test Cycle.
STEP #5: If the water level does not reach the minimum fill line within the specified time, replace the pump.
The pump tester bottle and solenoid instructions above were taken from our Statim repair kit. This kit includes the pump tester bottle and the spanner nut as well as a number of other specialty tools and further instructions on Statim repair.
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