Today we begin the user manual breakdown of the last amalgam separator on our list, the R&D Amalgam Collector. R&D is an amalgam separator manufacturer out of Seattle, created by Dr. Ross Fraker and Deanna Borden in the mid-90s. Currently, R&D has three models of amalgam separators to accommodate different sized Dental Practices.
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.
The R&D brand of amalgam separators is one of the least expensive systems on the market, the only catch; you have to be willing to work for the savings. Like M.A.R.S, R&D is one of the only amalgam separator manufacturers that are completely upfront about the maintenance, service life and costs of their system.
Installation of the R&D Amalgam Collector
The R&D systems, like most amalgam separators, is a centralized system. They are made to be installed on the inlet of your suction pump in the mechanical room.
Choosing a Location
R&D, like many manufacturers, instruct that the amalgam separator is to be installed before a wet or dry vacuum pump, never behind. If you are installing the system on a wet-vacuum pump, ensure you install the solids collector after the Amalgam Collector, never before. If you have a solids collector installed before your amalgam separator, it is considered toxic waste and will be required to be handled and disposed of as such. Please see the image below, illustrating the proper installation of an amalgam separator.
Ensure it is Accessible
For the R&D systems to function correctly, they require regular inspection and decanting. As it is with any amalgam separator that requires maintenance, it is important to be able to access the systems to perform the regular maintenance easily.
The Amalgam Collectors can range in height from 12” to 24”, be sure to choose a location that can also accommodate the height of the system. The average overhead space required for the Amalgam Collector is between 30” to 36”.
The maintenance segment of this series will explain why it is important to be able to access the ball valves on the top of the units.
The R&D Amalgam Collector is an inexpensive amalgam separator, but as mentioned above, the savings comes with work. R&D provides for procedures required to keep their systems functioning correctly.
The easiest of the tasks is simply allow the material from your operatories enter into the Amalgam Collector. As long as the regular maintenance is completed on the R&D systems, your suction will function uninterrupted.
The Amalgam Collectors are essentially collection containers that hold the entire days of waste. When you first get these systems, it is recommended to inspect the water levels daily. The purpose for the daily inspections is to ensure you have a good understanding of how often you will be required to perform the decanting process, to allow room for another day’s waste. If the decanting of the systems are not done regularly, the systems will fill completely with water, not allowing air flow through the system, causing a strain on your suction pump.
Once you have an understanding of how often your system fills, you can adjust your inspections to that time frame.
After you have completed the observation/inspection process for these systems, you will have a good idea on how often the system will require to be decanted. Before every time you decant, the material will need to rest, without suction, for at least 8 hours. The eight hour wait time allows all the heavy material rest at the bottom of the system. The next morning, before turning your suction on, you will perform the draining process.
ONLY after you have allowed the material to settle for a minimum of 8 hours, is it safe to decant the water from the R&D amalgam separator. If the settling period isn’t allowed, the efficiency in which the system can operate will likely drop below the required the minimum 95% separation rate.
EPA Regulation Reminder
According to the EPA Regulation, if your amalgam separator requires maintenance or inspections, you are required to keep a log of each process completed. It is recommended to keep a detailed log of every inspection, decanting, and recycling completed on the R&D systems.
Friday, October 5, 2018, will be the release date of the last segment of the Blog Series on the Amalgam Separator User Manual Breakdown. The last blog will cover how to perform the maintenance and disposal of the R&D amalgam separators.