Sanitation Video

Disinfectants in LAS
Three R's
Decreased Efficacy of Quats



The Three R’s of the Sump – Reuse, Refresh, Release

  Dean Kramer and Amy Ingraham , BA, RLATG


Abstract:

Cage washers fall into three groups: those that reuse the wash water and chemicals for each load; those that reuse part of the wash water and refresh the side tanks each load, and those that dump the wash waster and chemicals after each run.  

We will present the Pros and the Cons for all three types from a sanitation point of view.   This poster will not ‘sell’ the viewer on chemical for sanitation but will offer an unbiased viewpoint on what type of washer would fit best into your sanitation program.

General Concepts

There are as many different sumps as there are facilities, but generally sump sizes range from 40-50 gallons (Scientek, NorthStar, Lynx, Steris).  Most washers allow for a pre-wash cycle, a chemical treatment cycle (or two, acid and alkaline), neutralization, and rinsing cycles including a sanitation cycle of 180 degrees sustained on the cage surface.

 

REUSE
(washers that reuse the wash water and chemicals)

Washing machines that re-use the wash water (containing the wash chemicals) are called recirculating washers.  Large washers with side holding tanks and conveyor style washers (such as the one shown) with open recirculating sumps fit into this group

The PRO’s of a Recirculating washer:  

·         Because the wash chemicals are recirculated for each cycle, there are fewer choices for cycles, reducing operator error in selecting wash types. 

·         Regular maintenance of these machines by facilities is clearly noted by the manufacturer

·         Recirculating washers generally use less water (a real plus in drought areas or where municipal water restrictions are stringent), and thus fewer chemicals (since the chemicals are reused in each wash) (a recirculating washer can reduce water consumption from 240 gallons to 80 gallons) (Lynx washer info)

·         Less effluent produced per cage washed due to retention of wash water    

 

 

542LXI View1.jpg
(photo courtesy of Lynx Product Group, LLC)

The CONS of a Recirculating washer:

·         Recirculating washers generally require regular maintenance of the sump screens (usually performed by the washer operator).  Reduction in man power in facilities may also reduce the maintenance of these units

·         The holding tanks need to be dumped and cleaned periodically requiring dedicated facility man-hours.

·         Cage cleaning can not be tailored to the particular type of soils.  The machines use chemical cleaning agents on a set amount, regardless of soil load. Therefore the facility has to set the machine to the highest soil demands and chemical use. 

·         In washers with only one retaining tank, use of multiple chemicals is limited and side tanks have to be drained and refilled when changing from one product to another.

·         Because there is a set volume of wash chemicals saved for each cycle (a plus and a minus), the options for a variety of cleaning tasks is reduced.

 

REFRESH 
(washers that reuse the wash water but refresh the holding tanks)

   

These washers have a recirculating system that will replace a certain percent of the wash water in the sump every load.  Some washers refresh the entire side tank after a set amount of washes have been performed.

These machines usually have a holding tank on the side or under the wash sump compartment, and when the wash cycle is complete and the contents are returned to the holding tank, fresh water replaces a percentage of the contents of the holding tank.  

Refresh style washers generally require less maintenance by the operators than recirculating washers.  Because the holding tank chemicals are at a set volume, the operators have fewer wash options, thus reducing operator error.  And the refresh nature of these washers reduced the soil content in the holding tanks.  

Refresh washers still require maintenance of their sump screens, and periodically the holding tanks must be completely dumped and cleaned.  Refresh washers use more chemical amounts than the recirculating systems, but less than the release washers.

4650_comp2.jpg

(photo courtesy of Lynx Product Group, LLC)

 

The PRO’s of a Refresh washer:  

·         They use less water (a real plus in drought areas or where municipal water restrictions are stringent) over an 8-hour period of continual use than non-recirculating washers (reduction based on 240 gallons per load to 160 gallons per load).

·         They use fewer chemicals (since the chemicals are reused in each wash).

·         Because the wash chemicals are recirculated for each cycle, there are fewer choices for cycles, reducing operator error in selecting wash types. 

·         Regular maintenance of these machines by facilities is clearly noted by the manufacturer

·         Operator requirements to drain and clean the side tank is reduced, as machine does the work for the facility  

The CONS of a Refresh washer:

·         Refresh washers generally require regular maintenance of the sump screens (usually performed by the washer operator).  Reduction in man power in facilities may also reduce the maintenance of these units

·         The holding tanks need to be dumped and cleaned periodically requiring dedicated facility man-hours.

·         Cage cleaning can not be tailored to the particular type of soils.  The machines use chemical cleaning agents on a set amount, regardless of soil load. Therefore the facility has to set the machine to the highest soil demands and chemical use. 

·         In washers with only one retaining tank, use of multiple chemicals is limited and side tanks have to be drained and refilled when changing from one product to another.

·         Because there is a set volume of wash chemicals saved for each cycle (a plus and a minus), the options for a variety of cleaning tasks is reduced.

 
RELEASE
(washers that dump the wash water to drain every cycle)
 

Some washers take on a fresh fill of water to the sump with every load, and after performing a chemical wash, everything goes to the drain.

Release (dump) washers require little operator maintenance compared to the other two types of washers. They also allow for a variety of different chemical options and cycles.  Each wash is unique because it starts with fresh washer. 

The PRO’s of a Release washer:  

·         Each wash type can be independent of  the other cycles

·         Chemical use can be determined by type of soils being washed, not by requirement of side tank refresh use

·         Regular maintenance of these machines by facilities is clearly noted by the manufacturer

·         Multi-species facilities can tailor each wash to particular soil demand and load  

 

Model 310_04.jpg
(photo courtesy of Lynx Product Group, LLC)

The CONS of a Release washer:

·         Release washers generally require regular maintenance of the sump screens (usually performed by the washer operator).  Reduction in man power in facilities may also reduce the maintenance of these units

·         Washers tend to use more water per load

·         Operator error in choosing cycles can result in less desirable cage cleaning performance

 

 

RESULTS  

Water and chemical use are the biggest variables with the three sump types.  Operator choices vary based on washer sump types, with more operator choices available on release style washers than on retain styles.  Facility maintenance of screens, etc., is generally the same for all three styles.   

DISCUSSION  

In facilities where a variety of species are housed, or facilities that have a future potential to house a variety of species, release style washers will afford them the greatest variety of wash cycles based on soil loads.  Facilities in water restriction areas or in effluent control areas should consider retain style washers.  When manpower needs do not allow for designated cage wash personnel, the refresh style washer allows for some cleaning of the side tanks by nature of the refresh style.

 

References

Buxton Medical Products Inc. 2009 (http://www.buxtonmed.com/products.cfm)

IWT Tecniplast Company GP Cage and Rack Washers, 2009 (http://www.tecniplast.it/usa/products.php)

LYNX Product Group, 2009 (http://www.lynxpg.com/home.aspx)

Scientek Technology Corp, 2009 (http://www.scientek.net/lab1.htm)

Steris Corporation, 2009 (http://www.steris.com/products/list.cfm?category=Cage%20and%20Rack%20Washers)

 
The authors are affiliated with Pharmacal Research Laboratories, 562 Captain Neville Dr., Waterbury, CT 06705. Please send reprint requests to Ingraham at the above address, or email: aingraham@pharmacal.com.



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