When you buy used or so called “refurbished” autoclave, how do you know what you are getting yourself into? Are you just going to end up with someone else’s junk or another problematic autoclave? Not always, there are some good sellers out there and usually the trusty used autoclave sellers don’t give their equipment away cheap.

To just go and buy a used sterilizer off eBay, you could be taking a gamble, but it is a gamble that often does not work out too well because autoclaves are temperamental machines and they often break and don’t always work the way you expect them to, especially if the unit in question gets a lot of use.

This leads us to a question we often get from our customers: should I repair my autoclave or just by another used one? Well the answer is simple. You should either buy new or repair your old one but NEVER BUY A USED AUTOCLAVE INSTEAD OF REPAIRING YOUR EXISTING ONE – that is unless you are able to upgrade to a newer model. If you are wondering why? Well read on…

Buying a New Autoclave:
If you can afford it and you had your older sterilizer looked at and the problem is not something simple to rectify and the repair is expensive then you may want to go for a new one. You get a factory warranty and hey it is new! You know what you are getting. Ask your sterilizer service tech which brand to buy but do NOT ask your sales man.

Don’t just jump at buying new if you haven’t had your old one looked at, the repair may be very simple and shoot even a new sterilizer if used over 5 times a week, will likely be in need of repair within two years’ time anyway.

Buying a Used or Refurbished Autoclave:
Be clear about what you are buying. A good sound autoclave should be worth at least 50% of new. Questions you should ask: Will all replacement parts be available for a while? How old is it? What is the serial number? (Call the manufacturer to get the sterilizer’s age) Has the unit been inspected, repaired and calibrated and what new parts does it contain?

We have discarded many autoclaves over the years that we were not comfortable with selling as used to our customers. Our reasons ranged from older units that we knew were no longer supported by the manufacturer. You may be familiar with the Pelton and Crane OCR and OCM autoclaves – keep in mind these units have not been manufactured since 1989. More often than not a so called “refurbished” autoclave you find off an equipment refinisher is likely over 20 years old.
Repairing your Broken Sterilizer:
85% of the time repairing is more economical than purchasing new and definitely better than buying used or preowned. Here is why:

If you purchase new: :
After the first day you use it, it will deprecate. Then by nature sterilizers boil water and contain many moving parts – these parts corrode and fail over time and bio-film starts to form inside the unit. This will happen to a new unit or an older unit. By nature an autoclave likely will break down every 2 to 3 years, if it gets used over 5 times a week.

A quality extensive repair usually costs ¼ of a new one. You add up what you will spend over 6 years for buying new with a repair in 3 years’ time – vs – the cost of two repairs within 6 year you will find repairing to be much more inexpensive. Also don’t fooled by the term “refurbished” at times it is just a nice way of saying: used and tested!

Repairing over against buying another preowned autoclave:
The answer is simple – of course it is better to repair because you know what you are starting with and most of the time you end up with more new parts installed inside a repaired sterilizer than a so called “refurbished” sterilizer that you do not know where has come from or its history of or how many new parts were installed inside it. With a Medicanix repair you get a warranty just as you would with a refurbished unit.

Either way Medicanix can provide you will all options, New Sterilizers, Used Sterilizers, Sterilizer Repairs, and Rental Sterilizers and loaner equipment while you decide! No matter what you decide or who your vendor is, we hope this article has helped you make the right choice that suits you best.

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