Why is my cassette leaking?
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.
Prevent this from happening
Make sure that every user slows down and closes the cassette with two hands, smoothly in alignment.
When a cassette gets closed askew, it pushes the front wall of the tray in, and bows the top flange of the hinge upward.
This is what the hinges of a new cassette should look like:
1) This is what your hinges should look like when correctly maintained. Make sure to avoid bending the hinges accidentally when you close the cassette.
2) If your hinges do not look like this, adjust as described to correct them. Note the slight downward angle and gap when assembled.
Compare to yours, and check for straightness. Then correct the warp or bend by hand.
You can try to fix this yourself:
An adjustable wrench (metal holding pliers or canvas pliers with a wide flat front can facilitate)
4) This photo shows adjustment of the tray with the open side *face up* and the slotted flange at a correct downward angle.
5) Flatten the length of the hinge if curved upward. This photo shows adjustment of the tray with the open side *face up* and the slotted flange at a correct downward angle.
6) For the tray, bend the slotted flange downwards if the open side is face up.
[Note: The photos above show adjustment of a used tray with the open side face up]
Do NOT adjust the tab on the lid unless visibly damaged
Adjust the slotted flange of the hinge and straighten the walls and handle if necessary
Fine adjustment steps:
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.
Bend as needed to straighten
With the open wrench, bend the tab (in the center) until it looks like it is 15 – 20° above the horizontal.
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.
What if my cassette is new and or the metal all seems aligned?
Other common issues that can cause a leak:
A dry seal will twist and rotate in the groove, and must be lubricated and aligned, even for a brand new cassette.
StatDri or mineral oil can be used for lubrication of the silicone seal.
How to clean your SciCan Statim Autoclave cassette to remedy leaks
Residue can build 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. The metal surfaces will need to be scrubbed spotless with dish detergent and an abrasive pad, such as a Scotch-Brite type safe for non-stick surfaces.
How to clean your SciCan Statim Autoclave cassette video
How to replace your SciCan Statim Autoclave cassette seal video
Manufacturers instructions for STATIM Cassette use
New Recessed Thermocouple available!
We can upgrade your Statim G4 or Classic to a probe bracket with a recessed thermocouple to avoid breakage.
Old version had the chamber thermocouple protruding at a slight upward angle, on the steam exhaust port
New version has a thinner chamber thermocouple set flush with the end of the probe tube of the steam exhaust port
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 individually replace any of the damaged parts: seal, cassette lid, or bottom tray if needed as the next step to solve the problem.