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"We have used Edstrom products in the past and with their reputation, quality, and service – it was an easy decision when it was time to choose a partner for this project."
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Dr. Nabil Hatoum, President
Experimur Inc.

Drinking Valve Care

Resources

Recommended Care of Your Edstrom Drinking Valves

The following care methods are recommendations for the proper sanitizing, sterilizing, and storage of Edstrom drinking valves to retain their integrity. The downloadable PDF version of this information is available in the Valves chapter of the document Sanitizing, Sterilizing, and Storage Procedures, located here.

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Sanitizing
This section contains instructions for sanitizing the valves in a tunnel washer or rack washer. Follow the applicable instructions for the cleaning equipment used in the facility.

Using a Tunnel Washer or Rack Washer
These are guidelines that should be followed to eliminate potential damage to stainless steel and silicone components when using a tunnel washer or rack washer. There are specific detergents recommended by tunnel/rack washer manufacturers that will safely and effectively clean an Edstrom drinking valve. Follow the tunnel/rack washer manufacturer’s standard operating procedures for the appropriate detergent or chemical to use.

The sanitizing process using a tunnel or rack washer is generally a final rinse cycle at a minimum temperature of 82° C
[180° F] for a minimum of three minutes. A chemical sanitizing process may be used or a combination of high-temperature rinse with a chemically-treated solution.

When a chlorine sanitizing process is used, the chlorination level of the sanitizing solution cannot exceed 20 ppm with a valve exposed to the chlorine for 30 to 45 minutes. When chlorination is used, a value of 5.0 pH or higher must be maintained to eliminate potential damage to the drinking valve seals. When a non-chlorine sanitizing process is used, the acidification level of the solution can be no lower than 2.6 pH.

Sanitizing Valves Integral to the Cage
The cage and integral drinking valves can be sanitized in a tunnel cage washer. Invert the cages and place them in the cage washer following the tunnel washer manufacturer’s operation instructions.

Sanitizing Removable Valves
Removable drinking valves can be sanitized in a tunnel or cabinet cage washer. When using a tunnel cage washer to sanitize valves, the recommended method is to use an Edstrom Valve Washing Tray.
ValveTray
Edstrom Valve Washing Tray

Using the tray ensures proper handling and a thorough cleaning of the valves from the top and bottom of the tray. Also, using the tray reduces the risk of the valves being damaged. Listed below are examples of how drinking valves can be damaged when they are sanitized or sterilized without using the Edstrom Valve Washing Tray.

  • Overexposure to sanitization agents
  • Overexposure to acidified water
  • Excess heat from valves packed tightly together
  • Impact damage from valves being poured out of a container from heights - the impact from falling can push in the valve stem far enough to damage the valve diaphragm
  • Damage from pressure buildup inside the rack (rack wash or autoclave)

 

Follow this procedure to properly clean removable valves:

1. Place the valves stem-side down in the slots of the Valve Washing Tray.
2. Place the tray in the tunnel/cabinet cage washer.
3. Store the sanitized trays/valves until the valves are to be sterilized or placed into service.

An alternate method is to place the valves in a single layer in a wire basket before placing them in the washer. Follow the tunnel cage washer manufacturer’s operation instructions.

 
CautionSign

CAUTION! Equipment damage. Do not stack the valves on top of each other. The impact of layering the valves can result in the valve stem being damaged and pushed through the diaphragm, which will render the valve inoperable. Valves that are layered may not be completely rinsed leaving a residue of cleaning solvents that may attack on the passivated surfaces of the valves which can cause rusting.

 

Sanitizing Valves Integral to the Manifold
Sanitize the manifold/integral valves according to the facility’s standard operating procedures for rack sanitizing and the rack washer manufacturer’s operation instructions.

CautionSign

CAUTION! Equipment damage. All manifold drain and vent valves must be opened before sanitizing. In the event water is retained in a manifold, and the drain and vent valves are closed during the sanitizing or autoclaving procedures, steam can be generated which creates pressure that may damage the manifold and drinking valve components.

Using an Autoclave to Sterilize Drinking Valves
An autoclave is a container used to sterilize drinking valves by subjecting them to high-pressure saturated steam for a specific period of time, depending on the size of the load and the contents. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your autoclave.

General Guidelines
Autoclaving procedures will vary depending on facility protocols and autoclaving equipment. Follow the autoclave manufacturer instructions and heed the caution messages below.

CautionSign

CAUTION! Burn risk. Very hot steam. Put on leather gloves and safety glasses before opening door.

CautionSign

CAUTION! Burn risk. Very hot steam. Open autoclave door slowly and keep all exposed body parts away from the opening.

CautionSign

CAUTION! Burn risk. Everything inside the autoclave will be extremely hot. If you are autoclaving cages, very hot steam will be caught inside the cages. Do not tip the cage bottom toward you. Any exposed skin will be burned by the hot steam.

CautionSign

CAUTION! Equipment damage. Do not exceed a sterilization temperature of 149° C [300° F]. Do not subject valves to a vacuum pull no less than -15 in. Hg. Failure to do so can result in damage to the silicone parts of the drinking valve.

Once the door is open, wait about 1 minute to allow steam to clear from the inside.

Autoclaving Drinking Valves
Follow these guidelines for autoclaving valves that are integral to the cage, removable valves, and valves integral to the manifold.

Valves Integral to the Cage
After sanitizing each cage and  the valve attached to it, follow these recommended autoclave cycles.

1. Perform 3 pulse cycles with a vacuum pull no less than -15 in Hg.
2. Perform sterilization cycle according to your facility protocol for time and temperature.

CautionSign

CAUTION! Equipment damage. For vacuum autoclaves, do not exceed a sterilization temperature of 149° C [300° F]. Do not subject valves to a vacuum pull less than -15 in. Hg. Failure to do so can result in damage to the silicone parts of the drinking valve.

3. Perform a dry cycle vacuum pull no less than -15 in Hg.

Removable Valves
After sanitizing the valves, follow this procedure to autoclave.

1. Place the valve tray with the valves in an autoclave bag for sterilization.
    NOTE: An alternate method is to place the valves in a single layer in a wire basket.
2. Perform 3 pulse cycles with a vacuum pull no less than -15 in. Hg.
3. Perform streilization cycle according to your facility protocol for time and temperature.

CautionSign

CAUTION! Equipment damage. Do not exceed a sterilization temperature of 149° C [300° F]. Do not subject valves to a vacuum pull no less than -15 in Hg. Failure to do so can result in damage to the silicone parts of the drinking valve.

4. Perform dry cycle vacuum pull no less than -15in. Hg.

Valves Integral to the Manifold

CautionSign

CAUTION! Equipment damage. All manifold drain and vent valves must be opened before autoclaving. In the event water is retained in a manifold, and the drain and vent valves are closed during the cleaning and/or autoclaving procedures, steam can be generated which creates pressure that may damage the manifold and/or drinking valve components.

IMPORTANT: Consult the rack manufacturer’s autoclaving specifications to determine that all rack components can be autoclaved at the cycles specified below. Do not autoclave any rack if the components cannot tolerate these autoclave cycles.

After sanitizing, follow these recommended autoclave cycles.
1. Perform 3 pulse cycles with a vacuum pull no less than -15 in Hg.
2. Perform sterilization cycle to your facility protocol for time and temperature.

CautionSign

CAUTION! Equipment damage. Do not exceed a sterilization temperature of 149° C [300° F]. Do not subject valves to a vacuum pull less than -15 in Hg. Failure to do so can result in damage to the silicone parts of the drinking valve.

3. Perform a dry cycle maximum vacuum pull no less than -15 in Hg.

Sterilization Using Gravity Autoclaving
Follow the gravity autoclave manufacturer’s instructions for autoclaving removable valves and valves integral to the cage.

CautionSign

CAUTION! Equipment damage. Do not exceed a sterilization temperature of 149° C [300° F].

Storing Clean Valves
Sanitized and sterilized drinking valves should be stored free of standing water in an appropriate isolation container that isolates the valves from any airborne contamination. Store the isolation container in an environmentally-controlled room with a temperature above 0° C [32° F].

If you have any questions or require assistance please contact us at 800-558-5913.