History and Overview

A PRIMUS water quench system may be one of three systems.

The earliest water quench system consisted of a small volume of water mixing with the hot condensed steam when the sterilizer is turned on.

The second and current water quench configurations added a temperature-controlled system to supply a small volume of water only when the temperature of the liquid in the drain exceeds 110 degrees F.

If the configuration uses PRIMUS’ optional water conservation recirculation tank, the condensate will discharge into a reservoir tank that has a temperature switch controlling quench water for the tank.

In all cases, there exists enough volume of quench water to cool a normal discharge from the drain piping.

Basic Principle

The volume of steam and condensate discharged from a sterilizer varies with the operational state of the unit – in standby mode or in a sterilization cycle.

Sterilizer in Standby Mode

In standby, there is steam applied to the jacket and perhaps also to a gasket. There is a small amount of discharge from the gasket bleed if there is a sealed gasket, which is normal with double-door bio-seal units.

The jacket steam will turn to condensate and be released to the drain piping via the jacket steam trap. As the condensate is discharged, the trap will heat up and seal again due to the steam. This steam trap cycle will repeat several times per minute as long as steam is supplied to the jacket.

If steam is seen wafting from the drain piping in standby mode, either or both of these conditions exist.

  • There is a normal amount of hot discharge, but there is a deficiency of cooling water to quench the discharge
  • Or, there is an abnormally large amount of discharge that the normal supply of quench water cannot adequately cool

If there is not enough water to properly quench, troubleshooting involves checking
the proper functioning of the following:

  • Quench solenoid valve
  • Flow control needle valve
  • Temperature switch/relay control (if employed on the sterilizer) of the quench solenoid valve

If there is enough water and an abnormal amount of discharge exists, troubleshooting involves checking the functioning of the following:

  • Jacket steam trap
  • Gasket retract valve
  • Adjustment of the gasket bleed valve

During a Sterilization Cycle

The new items to be investigated during a cycle are as follows:

  • Chamber steam trap
  • Adjustment of the chamber and gasket bleed valves
  • Chamber drain valve

Disabling the water quench temporarily can be used as diagnostic method to see if there is a leaking trap, drain valve, gasket retract valve, etc. The water quench will disguise steam discharge. Therefore, stopping the water quench can help find a leaking component.

Have a question or having difficulties? Talk to Dave Schall, our PRIMUS sterilizer expert who is here to assist you anytime at 877.679.7800 extension 1212 or email at dschall@spire-is.com.

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