Old steam sterilizers in labs, research facilities, and hospitals unnecessarily use water. You can save a lot of water and money by making some changes.

Why Steam Sterilizers Use So Much Water

  • Steam Generation: Autoclaves use water to create steam that sterilizes equipment.
  • Cooling Waste: Water cools the hot waste the autoclave produces.
  • Creating a Vacuum: Water helps remove air from the autoclave for proper sterilization.

The Problem

Older steam autoclaves, especially those with constant-bleed cooling systems, are significant sources of water waste. These older models can waste over 10 billion gallons of fresh water every year.

Single-pass cooling systems can easily lead to 1 lab using more than 13,000 gallons of water each year. Autoclaves can use as much as 60 gallons of water per cycle.

Why it Matters

Many labs and medical facilities have a mix of old and new autoclaves. Even a university can have over 100 autoclaves! Upgrading or implementing water-saving solutions for these autoclaves can lead to substantial water conservation.

Where to Start

Conduct a facility survey to identify your autoclave types. You can choose appropriate water conservation solutions based on the models and their water consumption methods.

Solutions

Using Chilled Water to Save Water

You can reduce autoclave water waste by rerouting hot waste through a chilled water system instead of draining it.

Does your building have chilled water or a chiller?

If you have a chiller, can it handle working with the sterilizer? Autoclaves put a strain on chillers. You’ll need to know its capacity—flow rate, pressure, temperature limits, etc.

Consider the PRI-Saver TRVPS.

The PRI-Saver TRVPS System can be ordered on all units with vacuum pumps that range in size from 2 – 15 HP. The system can also be retrofitted in the field on existing steam sterilizers. A facility must have a recirculated chilled water system for the TRVPS to function.

The PRI-Saver™ Water Conservation System is designed for medium and large sterilizer units. This system reduces vacuum pump water usage by 90%, allowing clinics, hospitals, and laboratories to operate an environmentally friendly facility while saving water and money.

However, good news…
the sterilizer heat exchanger will be plumbed for chilled water when you order a new steam sterilizer with the TRVPS package.

Turn It Off!

Laboratory sterilizers and healthcare sterilizers that are on 24/7 waste a lot of water. Turning them off at night or on weekends saves a lot. Some newer models have automatic on/off features.

Contact Spire Integrated Solutions

If you have questions about autoclave conservation or sterilizer water chilling, contact Dave Schall, PRIMUS Sterilizer expert, at 877 679 7800 x1212 or dschall@spire-is.com.

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