Wet packs are the most difficult and complex technical issue to resolve in steam sterilization because of the numerous potential causes of excess condensation.
JMK’s experience, along with that of numerous other sterilization experts, has shown that poor steam quality accounts for >95% of all wet packs issues!
- Determine if excessive demand is being placed on the in-house boiler. Excess demand can cause carryover of water into the steam supply system
- Examine the steam supply system for potential areas of condensate formation such as dead legs or improperly trapped or insulated piping
- If the sterilizer is not physically close to the boiler, condensate will form and will need to be removed from the piping before the steam reaches the sterilizer. This is accomplished by properly located steam traps and filters along the route of the steam piping
- Insulating the steam piping will help rescue heat losses and in turn reduce condensate formation.
- Check the jacket steam trap and check valve at the drain port to ensure they are functioning properly.