Steam Testing Services

Steam System Consulting.

Steam Quality Testing

Training

Troubleshoting

Hospitals depend on sterile instruments. Wet steam can cause wet packs. We can help you eliminate wet packs… by eliminating wet steam.

Regulators and valves last longer when handling clean, dry steam. Ask for our articles on steam quality, or about a training class at your facility.

Articles

We are:

  • SBA – WBE – Woman Owned Business Enterprise
  • An SBA Small Business – NAICS Industry 541330 – Engineering Services
  • US SAM DUNS number 790978204
  • Professional Partner IAHCSMM

Thermo Diagnostics

Testing And Validation Standards For Steam Quality

For the Facility Manager or Validation Engineer
What are the steam quality testing standards?

For US healthcare facilites, we do steam quality testing according to ANSI/AAMI ST79, comprehensive guide to steam sterilization and sterility assurance in health care facilities (2010), for pharmaceutical firms and Canadian healthcare facilities we follow European Standard EN285 Sterilization. Steam sterilizers. Large sterilizers.

Sterilizers and autoclaves are critical components in health care, life sciences, institutional, and research facilities… but since they are open-ended steam users, poor steam quality (water in the line) can cause major problems.

Having seasonal problems with wet packs? Finding green or black specks on packs? Unsure how to locate a steam trap? These and other issues continue to perplex many sterile processing departments Read More

Test steam quality at access point, with a direct (dead weight) calorimeter. The test requires a sampling tube (we provide) inserted in the steam supply pipe. A few pounds of steam is condensed in a water reservoir. Weight and temperature changes allow the steam quality to be calculated (also called “dryness fraction” in the European standards.). Noncondensable gas (NCG) ratio to condensate, and superheat levels are also tested.

Sterilizers and autoclaves are critical components in health care, life sciences, institutional, and research facilities…

Differences:

  1. The major difference in the standards is the steam dryness or steam quality (also called dryness fraction in EN285). The EN285 standard allows 95% dryness for metal loads and 90% for porous or liquid loads. The ST79 standard requests 97% dryness.
  2. The other difference in the overall goal of each standard. ST79 deals with how to run a sterile processing DEPARTMENT, from equipment layout to wrapping and decontamination procedures. EN285 on the other hand deals with how to VALIDATE a large sterilizer, including the design of the installation, and ongoing maintenance tests (of which steam quality testing is part).

Healthcare Facilities Management – The April 2012 issue reviews the steam quality requirements of the new AAMI Standard ST-79, written from the facility engineers point of view. Read More

Thermo Diagnostics

Sterilizer Wet Pack Articles

Read some of our articles about sterilizer wet packs, stains, and steam quality:

What is steam quality and why is it important to the CS Department? The September 2008 issue of OR Today shows how steam is consumed by heating instruments and converted to liquid water. Read More

Healthcare Purchasing News- The December 2013 issue reviews troubleshooting steps to take when stains occur on instruments after steam sterilization. Read More

June 2007 issue of Materials Management in Healthcare – features questions and answers about steam quality, wet packs, and specks. Read More

How Is Steam Quality Testing Related To Wet Load Troubleshooting?

You rely on the steam system to deliver thermal energy that is clean, dry, and sterile…

The Steam Quality Test procedure develops data on the dryness, purity, and stability of the steam supply. ST-79 and EN-285 procedures develop the data, and we test according to those procedures. What makes us different is we ALSO test the valves, insulation and water supply that can impact steam quality.

You rely on the steam system to deliver thermal energy that is clean, dry, and sterile……how do you figure out what’s causing the problems? That’s our job.

Independent, Confidential, Experienced

We are not affiliated with any sterilizer or humidifier manufacturer. Our audit staff average 30 years experience with steam in hospitals and life sciences.

Thermo Diagnostics

Time Line

A typical solution involves:

  1. Request for proposal – We try to have a written quote** for you the same day as the RFP.
  2. Data acquisition – We need whatever pictures, log sheets, drawings, sketches, and problem statements you can offer.
  3. Steam Quality Testing – Typically a one-day site visit. We require a knowledgeable escort, since we start at the problem site, and work our way back to the steam source.
  4. Solution and resolution – We will review all findings before leaving the site, or as directed.

We will promptly (48-72 hours) deliver a written report documenting testing and inspection results. Corrective action steps and follow ups will be clearly spelled out.