September 1, 2018
One of the most important responsibilities of maintaining an amalgam separator is keeping the vacuum line clean. With the requirement for nearly all practices to have an amalgam separation system, this is a process all clinicians should be familiar with.
Solmetex, manufacturer of these systems, is committed to providing customers with an end-to-end solution for amalgam separation, so be sure to look for the launch of its vacuum line cleaner later this year. In the meantime, you can refer to the step-by-step process below for cleaning your vacuum line.
Solmetex recommends completing the process below with a high concentration of solution and a long contact time for maximum results, although it does not guarantee that this process will work in all situations with all systems.
It’s worth noting before you start this process that cleaning your vacuum line may dislodge and fill up amalgam separator and traps. If you have a Solmetex amalgam separator system, and the process fills your container, just notify the company to ensure safe removal and disposal of the amalgam.
1. Your vacuum cleaning line solution should have a pH between six and eight. Refer to the safety data sheet to confirm.
2. Mix up vacuum solution per manufacturer directions.
3. If using a solution dispenser, follow the instructions. If you are using a cleaning pail, please ensure you are irrigating the high voltage (HV) and low voltage (LV) dispensers while sucking solution. To irrigate, introduce air in between slurps of solution.
4. Dispense solution normally with or without dispenser through HV/LV valves. No more than one liter of solution should be dispensed.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you reached the last operatory.
6. At the last operatory to be cleaned, with or without a dispenser, dispense solution through HV/LV valves.
7. Once two-thirds of the solution is dispensed, shut off power to the vacuum while still dispensing solution.
8. Do not turn vacuum power back on until the following morning. This will allow the solution to remain in a suspended state within the vacuum line and will give the solution more time to clean them.
9. The next morning, turn the vacuum system on and check the vacuum pressure with your hand to ensure successful operation. Also check your amalgam separator to ensure that it is also fully operational and not clogged with debris from the process.
10. At the end of the next day, repeat steps with another operatory. The number of operatories will determine the number of days needed to repeat procedure.
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