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Decontamination Process Validation
Water Quality - What's the Problem?

Why Not Try Us for Your UKAS Water Testing?

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Bacteria in water is clearly a bad thing, but why do we worry about general water quality – hardness, supply temperature and so on? Do these really make a difference to the proper functioning of an instrument washer or an endoscope reprocessor?

Multi-Parameter Pocket Tester

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Eutech Ecoscan pH6+ pH Meter and Kit
High pH accuracy of ±0.01

Three point push-button calibration with auto-buffer recognition provides quick, easy calibration with no mistakes.

Switch between pH and Temperature readouts easily with the press of a button.

Part No: PHTK001 £325 +VAT

Kit Includes:

  • pH6 Meter with Batteries
  • Temperature Probe
  • pH Electrode
  • 60ml pH4 Buffer Solution
  • 60ml pH7 Buffer Solution
  • Robust Carry Case
Click Here to View in Our Engineer Shop

Temperature

Too hot: high temperatures (>45°C) during the initial cleaning/flushing stage can cause proteins to bind or ‘fix’ to the load, making washing more difficult (which is why blood stains on clothes should always be cleaned with warm, not hot water. Don’t ask me how I know this). Too high a temperature may also deactivate the enzymes in the detergent and reduce cleaning efficiency.

Too cold: many detergents are less effective outside their stated operating temperature, so if the water is not heated sufficiently the ability of the detergent to function correctly can be reduced. This is particularly relevant during winter, when the incoming mains supply may be substantially colder than normal, and the heaters may struggle to reach temperature as quickly – this may also cause cycle failures or put undue stress on components.

While most machines will regulate the temperature of the water coming into the chamber to reach disinfection temperatures, this is not always the case for other stages, and some machines may struggle to control significant variations in temperature.

Total Hardness Drop Test Kit

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Water Hardness Test Kit
Test Methodology as CaCO³ <50MG/L

Drop test kit for testing the Hardness level of final rinse water.

Switch between pH and Temperature readouts easily with the press of a button.

Part No: HARDKIT001 £105 +VAT

Kit Refills Available:

  • TH2 Part No: TH2065
  • TH3 Part No: TH3065
  • TH4/CH3 Part No: TH4065
  • TH5 Part No: TH5065
  • CH1P Part No: CH1P040
  • CH2 Part No: CH2065
Click Here to View in Our Engineer Shop

Hardness

Anyone who has lived in a hard water area will know that detergents and soap are far less efficient for washing up, showering etc., and detergents and disinfectants are similarly affected in a hospital environment. Dosing levels can be amended to suit, and a softening agent can be used if the hardness is consistent, but any intermittent variations can cause immediate issues.

Hard water is caused by the presence of dissolved metal salts (usually Calcium), which can be left as a mineral deposit, when the water evaporates. As well as the obvious impact of limescale causing blockages to pipework and fine spray nozzles, any mineral deposits can enhance/ support microbial growth on instruments, preventing adequate cleaning and sterilisation.

pH Meter & Kit

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Eutech Ecoscan pH6+ pH Meter and Kit
High pH accuracy of ±0.01

Three point push-button calibration with auto-buffer recognition provides quick, easy calibration with no mistakes.

Switch between pH and Temperature readouts easily with the press of a button.

Part No: PHTK001 £325 +VAT

Kit Includes:

  • pH6 Meter with Batteries
  • Temperature Probe
  • pH Electrode
  • 60ml pH4 Buffer Solution
  • 60ml pH7 Buffer Solution
  • Robust Carry Case
Click Here to View in Our Engineer Shop

Heavy Metals and Chlorine

Although stainless steel is generally resistant to corrosion, high levels of chlorine in water can cause issues, including pitting of the instruments. High levels of heavy metal ions (such as iron and magnesium) and silicates can also cause discolouration of surfaces showing as a blue, brown, or iridescent tarnish.

Total Dissolved Solids Meter & Kit

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Eutech Ecoscan TDS6 Meter and Kit
Up to +/- 1 % Full Scale Accuracy

Five point push button calibration with auto-buffer recognition provides quick, easy calibration with no mistakes.

Selectable automatic/manual temperature compensation. Features adjustable TDS factor for direct derivation of values.

Part No: TDSTK001 £329 +VAT

Kit Includes:

  • TDS6 Meter with Batteries
  • Conductivity Electrode
  • pH Electrode
  • 60ml Conductivity Solution 3,000ppm
  • Robust Carry Case
Click Here to View in Our Engineer Shop

Endotoxins and Bacteria

An in depth discussion of this is one for another day, but put simply incoming water at any stage should decrease not increase the level of soiling/bioburden. There is little point cleaning an instrument only to make it dirty again by rinsing it in contaminated water! This is particularly important for the final rinse of endoscope reprocessors, as this is generally the last stage before drying and use on a patient, and is why testing of the final rinse water for bacteria and endotoxins at a laboratory is critical.

More information on water quality requirements can be found in section 3 of HTM01-01 part D and section 6 of HTM01-06 for England, WHTM01-01 Part D and WHTM01-06 for Wales, SHTM01-01 Part D and SHTM01-06 for Scotland, and NI/HTM01-01 Part D and NI/HTM01-06 for Northern Ireland.

Conductivity Meter & Kit

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Eutech Ecoscan CON6 Conductivity Meter and Kit
Up to +/- 1% Full Scale Accuracy

Five point push button calibration with automatic buffer recognition providing quick, easy calibration with no mistakes.

Selectable automatic/manual temperature compensation. Features auto-ranging capability for Conductivity measurements.

Part No: CONDTK001 £336.50 +VAT

Kit Includes:

  • Con6 Meter with Batteries
  • Conductivitity Probe
  • 60ml 12.88mS @ 25°C Conductivity Solution
  • 60ml 84uS @ 25°C Conductivity Solution
  • 60ml 1413uS @ 25°C Conductivity Solution
  • 60ml Deionized Water
  • Robust Carry Case
Click Here to View in Our Engineer Shop