How can I test the efficacy of my ultrasonic tank?


There are 3 main ways of testing for ultrasonic agitation within the tank.  These are the protein residue test, foil test and the Brownes soil test.

The foil test involves suspending strips of foil in locations throughout the tank and turning the machine on for 2 minutes.  When the foil strips are removed there should be noticeable denting, pitting and even perforations of the foil. Refer to Health Service Technical 01-05 for further details. Walker Electronics Ltd advice that this test is unnecessary to comply with HTM0105 providing the load check strips test AND protein residue tests are performed weekly.

The Brownes soil test are plastic strips with have been contaminated to simulate the contamination found on surgical instruments.  Again the unit is operated but this time for a normal cycle length.  When the strips are removed from the tank there should be no or very little visible contamination present.

The protein residue test work by, as the name suggests, testing for residue of protein on a surface after it has been cleaned.  The dirty instrument is cleaned as normal (normal length of time and normal cleaning solution) in the ultrasonic cleaner.  After cleaning the instrument is rinsed thoroughly and swabbed with the special kit.  A colour change of the fluid contained within the test vile from green to purple or grey indicates the presence of protein.

Brownes soil test strips (load check stirps), protein residue test and standard HTM0105 test foil is available from Walker Electronics Ltd.