Amalgam Separator User Manual Breakdown: SolmeteX Hg5® – Part 2 Inspection and Troubleshooting

Today we will be continuing part two of the SolmeteX brand of amalgam separators. Part 1 of this blog highlighted the recommendations for the installation of the many different SolmeteX amalgam separators on the market.

New Units

Thank you for following us on this journey to learning how to read the User Manuals of the top six amalgam separators sold in North America. Our first segment started with the amalgam separator that requires the least amount of work, maintenance or inspection, the M.A.R.S LibertyBOSS.

no maintenance

We will be covering the required inspection of the SolmeteX units and the recommended troubleshooting solutions to resolve any experiences with their systems.

Inspection

The inspection schedule of the SolmeteX brand of amalgam separators is often found to be confusing and eluding as it is rarely mentioned by distributors of the brand. In recent user manuals, SolmeteX has added an inspection log at the end of each of their user manuals, to help ensure their customers keep compliant with the EPA Regulation. Each of the inspection logs for the; Hg5® NXT, Hg5® Mini, Hg5® Mini NXT, Hg5® HV, Hg5® HV NXT, all require WEEKLY inspections, where the Hg5® is requiring a monthly examination.

Where the inspection of the Hg5® can become even more confusing, the same Hg5® user manual with the inspection log that requires monthly inspections has required inspections of the filter to be weekly.

Hg5 inspection

In 2015, the user manual of the Hg5® stated that it requires a weekly inspection. It is recommended that any office with an Hg5® err on the side of caution and perform a weekly check. It is safer to assume that the inspection log requiring monthly inspection is a typo since all other Hg5®brands of amalgam separators need weekly inspections, and the old user manual of the original system required weekly inspection (see below).

The Purpose of Weekly Inspections

The design of many filter based amalgam separators reduces the flow of material through the system down to a ¾” hole. The reduction of flow has been known to cause a blockage of material in the upper chamber, preventing sediment from entering the filter and sending the system into by-pass.

SolmeteX

A WEEKLY inspection of the system will allow the user to catch any blockage in the upper chamber while it is still relatively easy to correct. If the system is neglected, it could result in the system in having to be replaced entirely, according to the Troubleshooting section of the SolmeteX User Manuals.

SolmeteX

Troubleshooting

As you saw in the Inspection section of this blog, the Hg5® is known to clog and cause the system to enter into by-pass. The following section will provide troubleshooting answers to solve the issues you come across during your WEEKLY inspections of the SolmeteX amalgam separators.

Troubleshooting

The above photo is page 6 (Troubleshooting page) of the SolmeteX NXT Hg5® user manual. The troubleshooting page of the SolmeteX brand amalgam separators is generally the same. We have highlighted a couple of common issues with the SolmeteX systems, each system has been color-coded and will be addressed below.

Grey – Cracks or Breaks in the System

If your office is experiencing suction loss or a reduction in suction, check the SolmeteX system for cracks and sections of the unit separating. In some cases, the failure of the system can only be observed while the pump is turned off, as the suction will hold the unit together while under vacuum.

Cracks

Green – Water in the Upper Chamber

Having water in the air/water separator of an amalgam separator will eventually cause suction issues, as the water will block the path of the air trying to make its way to the suction pump. Eventually, when the air’s path is blocked to the pump, the dental practice will experience suction loss or reduction.

Ensuring that the amalgam separator’s inspection and maintenance are kept up to manufacturer’s specifications will help keep the system functioning as it was designed.

Red – Top Chamber has some Solids

If the SolmeteX is regularly inspected, a clog in the upper chamber can be caught early. If an office can catch the clog before it becomes too significant, the system can be saved by performing the recommendations highlighted in red. Alternatively, this procedure is demonstrated in the preventative maintenance video below.

If the clog is not caught in time, the whole system is sent into by-pass. Please see yellow below.

Yellow – Top Chamber is full of Solids

If your system has been neglected, missing the WEEKLY inspection and not performing the required filter changes, it can result in the whole system requiring to be recycled and replaced.

The image below is from a Dental Practice in Florida who was told by SolmeteX that their whole system had to be replaced and recycled because they were misinformed by their Service company about the maintenance and inspection required by SolmeteX.

clogged 4 month system

Next Blog

Due to the complexity and variety of the SolmeteX systems, this blog will be extended to three different segments.

Our last blog was about the Installation of the SolmeteX units; we just completed the Inspection and Troubleshooting portion. The final segment of this blog will discuss Maintenance, Disposal and Notes on the SolmeteX amalgam separators.