We often determine that STATIM autoclave steam leaks are due to a bent cassette tray or lid.
They tend to occur because a user closes the cassette at an angle askew to the normal range of the hinge.
Make sure that every user slows down and closes the cassette with two hands, smoothly in alignment. When they get closed askew, it pushes the front wall of the tray in, and bows the top flange of the hinge up.
This is what the hinges should look like:
You can try to fix this yourself:
The only tool you will need is an adjustable wrench.
[Note: The photos above show adjustment of an old tray with the open side face up]
Separate the top from the bottom of the cassette and set both sides on a level surface with the open sides face down.
Look at the angle the slotted flange on the bottom tray forms with the counter.
- If it is sticking straight out, that would be a 90° angle.
- Ideally, it should be pointing about 15 – 20° above the 90° mark when the tray is face down.
Be careful not to break the welds. If a weld is broken, the cassette is not repairable and will have to be replaced.
With the open wrench, bend the tab (in the center) until it looks like it is 15 – 20° above the horizontal (105-110° with the counter).
Reassembled they should match the Figure 1 and 2 photos in the gallery above.
Test the cassette
- Re-insert the cassette and try another cycle.
- You should notice either a cessation or a change in the amount of steam escaping.
- If it is still leaking, adjust slightly and try again.
- If there is a decrease in the amount of steam escaping- continue to adjust the slotted flange of the tray upwards.
- If there is an increase in the amount of steam escaping, you went too far and need to bend the slotted flange of the tray down instead of up.
- You may have to perform this alignment a few times to get it “just right.”
- The tray handle may need to be adjusted upward as well.
Other common issues that can cause a leak:
A residue can build up underneath the seal in the groove, which must be cleaned completely weekly. If it has not been regularly cleaned, it will prevent even a new seal from working consistently. It will need to be scrubbed spotless with an abrasive pad [such as a ScotchBrite type safe for non-stick surfaces] and dish detergent.
If the cassette has to be held in place, try another cassette if there is one handy, or get a new one, or get individual parts such as the tray or lid from us here. We can replace any of the damaged parts: seal, cassette lid, or bottom tray if needed as the next step to solve the problem.
Test it out and let us know your results, we’ll be available online or by phone. 404-494-0378.