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.
Today we will be continuing part two of the Crosstex brand of amalgam separators. Part 1 of this blog highlighted the recommendations for the installation of the many different private label copies of this amalgam separator.
The two most recognizable versions of this model are the original Apavia and the DentalEZ Private Label, the Amalgam HoG. Both of these models have been discontinued, with Crosstex recently purchasing the brand and now calling the system the Syclone. We will be covering the required inspection of the Crosstex units and the recommended troubleshooting solutions to resolve any experiences with their unit.
Similar to the inspection schedule of the all the SolmeteX systems, Crosstex brands are often found to be confusing and eluding as it is rarely mentioned by distributors of the brand. In recent user manuals, versions of the Crosstex brand 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; Ecostar and Syclone both list that they require WEEKLY inspections. The only version of this system that does not list needed inspection instructions or offer an inspection chart is the medentex amalsed Silver.
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 sediment in the upper chamber, preventing the sludge from entering the filter, ultimately sending the system into by-pass.
A WEEKLY inspection of the unit 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 Apavia, amalsed Silver and Syclone User Manuals.
Though it is not mentioned in the User Manuals of any of the many different private labels of this product, it has been recommended by DentalEZ Customer Service Technician that the inspection of the o-rings and filter pins should be added to the weekly inspection schedule.
Similar to the SolmeteX brand, the examination of the filter pins on a weekly bases is essential. Due to the raddling of the suction pump, the pins tend to slide along the channel until it eventually falls. If a pin falls during the day and it is not discovered, once the suction pump is turned off, it is only a matter of time before you have a toxic spill in your mechanical room.
During a filter change of the Crosstex Syclone, it is a possibility that an o-ring can be dislodged from its channel on the inlet or outlet port of the filter. According to a representative of Crosstex, they provide extra o-rings in case such an issue occurs.
Please read further for troubleshooting solutions for any issue that you may come across during your weekly inspections of this unit.
Similar to its predecessor, the Hg5®, the Syclone is prone to clogging, causing the whole system to enter into by-pass. The following section will provide troubleshooting answers to solve the issues you may come across during your WEEKLY inspections of the Crosstex amalgam separators.
The above photo is page 3 (Troubleshooting page) of the Crosstex Syclone user manual. The troubleshooting page of the Crosstex brand amalgam separators is generally the same across its different private labels. We have highlighted a couple of common issues with the Crosstex systems, each system has been color-coded and will be addressed below.
Grey – Cracks or Breaks in the System
Though the Apavia or Crosstex systems have not been in Dental Practices for long, one can look at the failure points of the system it was designed after, the SolmeteX Hg. There is one flaw that was fixed during the designing process of the Apavia AVTMax, the flat top of the upper chamber. With the new dome-like structure of the Syclone, this system will function better under vacuum than its predecessor.
That being said, if your office is experiencing suction loss or a reduction in suction, check the Crosstex 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.
Grey – O-rings
As mentioned during the inspection process, Crosstex provides extra o-rings for their filters as they are known to fall out of place. When a new filter is installed, there may be a chance that the o-ring could slip out of place, causing suction loss. If this occurs, leave the suction running, pull the pins on the filter, fix the o-ring, and then place the filter back.
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 clogged 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.
In the manual of the Crosstex system, and it’s private labels, it mentions if the upper chamber is clogged with material, forcing the system into by-pass, they recommend cleaning the transition between the air/water separator and the filter ”carefully.”
It is not recommended to “clean” these systems as it can result in exposure to methylmercury and/or a sizeable toxic spill. Instead, it is recommended to follow SolmeteX’s remedy to solve an upper chamber clog. Please view the video below to learn how to unclog a Crosstex Syclone safely.
Red – Top Chamber has some Solids
If the Crosstex is regularly inspected, a clog in the upper chamber can be caught early. If an office can find 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 provided above.
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 amalgam separator 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. This could happen similarly with the Crosstex system, as they are essentially the same product.
The photo below is of an Amalgam HoG, a private label of the Syclone dropped by DentalEZ. The system depicted below was utterly neglected, not looked at for a year until a M.A.R.S Certified Amalgam Separator Specialist was called in to assist the doctor with the spill and suction failure.
The filter and upper chamber were so full, sludge from the upper chamber was leaking from the transition part between the upper chamber and the filter. This system will be upgrading to a LibertyBOSS very shortly.
Due to the complexity and variety of the Crosstex 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 these amalgam separators.