American Dental Tech Blog

Monthly Archives: December 2009

  • Tech Tips #17: Care & Feeding of your Statim Cassette

    Care & Feeding of your Statim® Cassette

    2000 & 5000 Series

    The Statim Cassette Autoclave is a very popular piece of equipment in the dental office of today. The dental staff can avoid many service calls on the Statim by proper maintenance and knowing how the Statim likes to be treated. Proper care of the cassette is imperative if you want the Statim to operate correctly.

    The ability of the cassette to seal completely is necessary for the Statim to sterilize. If steam is visible coming from the area of the front above the cassette, you have a steam leak. This must be corrected or you can damage other components and also compromise the sterilization cycle. If there is evidence of water leaking from underneath the unit, this also indicates a steam leak. Check underneath your Statim often for such a leak.

    Cassette Care

    You must keep the cassette clean and free of debris. Remove the bottom rack after every cycle and make sure no small objects (such as burs, ligature wires, etc.) have fallen down in the bottom of the cassette. Small items have been found in the exhaust solenoid where they have caused damage to the solenoid seal.

    To clean the cassette you need a cleaning pad such as a Scotch Brite pad and some non-chloride cleanser (Cameo, Bar Keeper’s Friend, Zud) to do a good job. Clean both the inside and outside of the cassette. Pay particular attention to the outer edge of the lower tray (you can see where the seal has made a bit of discoloration) to be sure there is no debris.

    Be very careful when you load the cassette that you do not overfill it or have an instrument hanging over the edge. Closing the lid in this case can permanently damage the cassette. We recommend having your instruments pre-loaded into sterilization boxes (such as Zirc compact cassettes- which are sized neatly to fit into the Statim cassette) and then load these boxes into the Statim cassette. Also be careful when loading the cassette that the steam inlet tube and probes are properly aligned and not damaged when the cassette is inserted. Always exercise caution when inserting the cassette.

    At least twice a week lubricate the cassette seal with liquid soap (make certain the soap is NOT antibacterial). Spread the soap liberally over the seal with your finger or a saturated scrap of paper towel. Rinse off and dry. Inspect the seal for tears or nicks. Inspect the top edge of the lower tray to make certain it is straight.

    If you see steam leaking during a cycle, follow these steps: Clean the cassette as described above. If you still have a leak, replace the seal. Instructions for changing the seal are on our website and are also included with the new seal. Be sure that the two indicator squares are visible in each corner cutout. It is not easy to slide an improperly installed seal into place. When installing a new cassette seal, be careful of sharp edges. It is best to put the four corners into place and then push the rest in afterwards.

    If cleaning and a new seal do not help, order a separate cassette top and bottom. This is cheaper than a complete cassette and you might not need a whole one. Try the new lower tray with your top. If this does not help, try the new top on your lower tray. Once you have found which part is worn, discard it. If you have used the new lower tray and cannot return it to your dealer, keep it. An extra lower tray is handy to have.

    Check under the Statim regularly for water or signs of water (i.e. water staining). Water under the sterilizer is also a sign of a steam leak. Steam leaks must be eliminated to prevent further damage.

    We will have more on trouble shooting steam leaks in a future issue of Tech Tips.

    The Statim Cassette Autoclave is the registered trademark of SciCan Corporation of Toronto, Canada.

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