Vacuum Q & A

  • My HVE doesn't fit in the holder well & the hose frequently gets in the way. What should I do?

    First, changing the type of tubing may be helpful for you. The various asepsis designs are usually smaller in outside diameter, so they will fit into the holder better, more so than a corrugated hose. The Silcryn tubing has a matte finish & is anti-static, so it won't cling to itself or other surfaces as easily & could be a better solution to your dilemma. If you don't switch the tubing, you will want to change your holder, so the tubing stays well away from it. If you have a long HVE (with the extension tip), you can hang the HVE in a 5/8" dia. holder using the extension and the tubing won't be in your way. If you have a short HVE (such as #03-03), you may want to replace it with a long HVE (like #03-04) & use the smaller holder.

  • My levers keep breaking. How can I stop this from happening?

    Replacing your valves with the valves that have metal levers is one solution. Metal is more resilient & won't break as easily as the plastic ones. However, levers will often break because they don't move (or don't move easily). The stress from pushing on a stuck lever can strain the plastic, causing it to break more quickly. Be sure to disassemble & lubricate your valves at least once a week to keep them working well. Practice Tip #52 has a video that demonstrates how to do this. All of our vacuum levers are autoclavable and can be heat sterilized, which is easier on them in the long run. Avoid using disinfectants on your valves by switching over to autoclavable valves & sterilizing.

  • I am constantly dealing with tangled tubing. What can I do?

    The Silcryn tubing was designed to address this concern. This advanced polymer has a matt finish, low memory, & is anti-static, so it won't cling to itself or other surfaces. It hangs straight & is light weight. Of course, make sure you have the correct length of tubing with all of your equipment as well. Hoses that are too long or too short can cause trouble. Always measure before replacing existing hoses. They are often longer than you may think. Typical length for most lines is five to seven feet.

  • I need an extra HVE for my nitrous scavenger. How can I get an extra HVE chairside?

    Most collection canisters (chairside traps) have two ports for the HVE, so you may not need to do much at all. Units are usually configured with only one HVE valve and one SE valve. The second port is typically plugged. Simply removing the plug & adding tubing, a holder, and a HVE valve might be all you need to do. If you don't have an open port on your collection canister, get a "Y" connector (#13-68) to split the HVE line for attaching the extra hose & valve.

  • There isn't much draw coming from my central vacuum. The volume has gradually decreased over time. What is going on?

    Check your lines for clogs. Build-up in the lines will impede vacuum flow. You should use a dedicated vacuum line cleaner every day. If you still have clogs, snake the lines with a plumbers snake. Make sure all of the collection canisters are securely closed. A loose lid can severely impede vacuum. Also, check the o-rings on your canister lids too. Worn o-rings can fail to seal, allowing the canister to leak & impede vacuum, just as much as if the lid was off. Lastly, check the main line filter at the central vacuum. This should be cleaned daily & changed regularly to prevent clogs & build-up on the filter.

  • I've noticed a few things around the office that need maintenance regularly. I have trouble with my vacuum valves needing replacement often. What should I be doing on a regular basis to prevent this from happening?

    We've had a number of monthly practice tip newsletters dedicated to routine maintenance. Practice Tips #34 is a comprehensive list of maintenance to perform on equipment throughout the office & Practice Tip #80 includes routine maintenance, along with other simple things you can do to keep all of your equipment running well. As for your HVE & SE valves, maintenance is discussed in Practice Tips #52.

  • I only have three spots on my vacuum arm (air/water, SE, & HVE). Is there a way to convert my SE to accept an HVE?

    There isn't. What you could do is step your suction down (HVE to SE), but you can't step it up because the SE lines and canister are too small to get the HVE out of them. As far as making room for another HVE valve, you can unplug the unused port on your canister and attach a standard HVE line and valve. You can always add another holder to your arm to hold the extra HVE.

  • The lever on my high volume suction valve gets stuck and won't open very easily. I'm assuming it is due to lack of maintenance. How should I be maintaining my HVE's?

    You are correct. There is a lack of routine maintenance. We suggest disassembling and cleaning the vacuum valves regularly (weekly). You will need a narrow cleaning brush & some lubricant. Autoclaving your HVE valves bakes on loose debris, so lubricating weekly will keep it from jamming up on you. If you need a visual guide, we have a helpful video on how to maintain them.

  • My Midmark central vacuum is really loud and disruptive to the dental office. What are some easy ways to reduce the noise?

    A first step would be to check the external exhaust. Make sure it is well insulated and is functioning properly, specifically making sure the end isn't obstructed by objects. You can also put your compressor and vacuum on rubber mats to reduce excess noise. Having acoustic tiles in the room would be beneficial too. If these quick fixes aren't working, contact the manufacturer or give us a call. One of our technicians might be able to help you.

  • I have a dry vacuum system that is getting back up and needing repairs. My contractor suggested an overhead lines, because that can be fixed easier. Is that a good idea?

    Overhead vacuum lines are a bad idea. There are some dental vac systems that can provide enough pull, but they work better when going with gravity. If the plumbing is above, it has to be done correctly with a specific set-up in order to provide proper flow. If possible, avoid overhead lines. There are better options that allow access to lines.

  • How do I determine which vacuum I need for my dental practice?

    To determine which vacuum to use, you will need to know how many open high-speed vacuums and saliva ejectors it will handle at one time. If you have one high volume evacuator (HVE) that will equal one user, one saliva ejector (SE) equals a half user, and a nitrous scavenger unit equals one user.

  • My AirStar 50 compressor makes a screeching noise when it is turned on. It doesn’t sound like it is coming from the motor. Where is the noise coming from and how do I fix it?

    One of the best things you can do to avoid big problems, is to remain alert to odd behavior. Strange sounds can be an early warning sign. In order to determine what component has failed, it’s best to simply take a closer look at your compressor to isolate the noise. Feel for vibrations that correspond with the noise and coat the fittings and valves with soapy water. Any air leaks will produce bubbles. This should allow you to pinpoint the source and then fix the problem.

  • What are the pros and cons of oil lubricated vs. oil free compressors?

    Generally speaking, oil lubricated compressors run quieter, have a lower purchase price, will last longer, and perform more reliably than an oil free compressor. Oil free compressors are low maintenance. A properly functioning oil lubricated compressor with appropriate filters will not introduce oil into your lines and oil will not affect bonding strength. See more info HERE.