One of the most common questions we receive from customers is “how do I drain the water from my Tuttnauer sterilizer?” It’s a lot easier than you think and a smart way to help keep your sterilizer up and running efficiently.
Tuttnauer autoclave owners often do not realize that it is best practice to change the water in their sterilizer on a scheduled basis. We find many of our clients just adding new water into the unit’s reservoir, while instead they should be draining out the old water and replenishing it with fresh, new distilled water. Never or rarely draining your water in your autoclave causes the water to mineralize and create a biofilm buildup all throughout the unit’s valves, reservoir, and the chamber of your sterilizer; including mold. This reduces the unit’s lifespan and increases the frequency in costly repairs and malfunctions.
One of the problems is the sterilizer users or technicians does know how to do it drain the water. If you own a Tuttnauer we can tell you where the drain valve is located: by facing the front of the sterilizer, open the chamber door, you’ll find a shiny chrome knob to the bottom right or left side of the chamber. This knob is the drain valve. Simply twist the valve counterclockwise and water will exit out from the reservoir through the drain valve. It is best practice to have a drain tube connected to the barb that is attached to the valve which will make it easier to drain the water directly into a bucket. After draining the water, simply close the valves and replenish the water you’ve drained with fresh distilled water. You can purchase distilled water at any pharmacy or supermarket. By using distilled water, it decreases the mineral build up as you run each sterilization cycle. This will greatly increase the longevity of your sterilizer.
Another common problem is when drain valve opens but no water comes out of it. This is because the water hasn’t been drained frequently enough. This happens because residue builds up down the drain tube and turns into sediment that sits behind the valve clogging it. A simple fix you could try is attaching a hose or tube to the valve and blow air backward through the valve freeing up the sentiment that is clogging it. If that doesn’t work do not attempt to take the valve apart yourself, you’ll ruin its seals and the valve will not be able to reseal. At this point we would suggest calling Medicanix to come to service your sterilizer, it is highly likely that the unit is long over overdue for a cleaning and service in any case.
Another problematic thing that occurs while draining Tuttnauer sterilizers is the valve does not properly seal after the water is drained and it is closed. This happens because the seals inside the valve are either tattered or worn out. At this point, we would suggest having a repair tech rebuild your valves along with any other services that need doing to your sterilizers is, such as door seals and other moving parts that may also need periodic servicing.
We hope this article has helped you learn more about maintaining your Tuttnauer autoclave. Feel free to call us for any advice you may need regarding the maintenance of your sterilizer or the upkeep of any of your other medical, dental or veterinary equipment. We’re here to help Monday through Friday 7:00 to 5:00. Good luck and thank you for your interest!