The blog series on the user manuals of the top six amalgam separators in North America, as being the longest in M.A.R.S history. We have completed a total of eighteen blogs, including this one, providing simple explanations and highlighting important information in the user manuals of amalgam separators. Our end note is the maintenance and disposal of the R&D amalgam separators.
If you haven’t been following this series, 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. We have already reviewed the installation and general operation of the CE models of the R&D systems. Today we will be focusing on the Maintenance and Disposal of the R&D Amalgam Collectors.
Maintenance of the R&D Amalgam Collectors
The R&D amalgam separators have three major points of maintenance that should be considered; liquid level maintenance, controlling the biological build up and checking the waste level.
Liquid Level Maintenance
R&D Amalgam Collectors have two models for each system, the “Standard” and the “Enhanced.” The most common, “Standard” models are manual decanting systems. These are the least expensive systems but require the most work. The more expensive, “Enhanced” models offer an automatic decanting, though it is a hands-free option, the system should still be inspected to ensure it functions properly every time.
For the Standard Model (manual decanting valves):
When you first get the R&D Amalgam Collector, it is suggested that you inspect the water level daily, until you are able to get a good idea on how often the system fills completely with water. When the Amalgam Collector fills with water, which is when you will experience suction loss, as the air will be fighting to get past the water.
NOTE- THE AVERAGE DENTAL CHAIR PRODUCES 1 GALLON OF WATER PER DAY, EXCLUDING THE REQUIRED DAILY CLEANING OF SUCTION LINES. THE AVERAGE PRACTICE WILL HAVE TO DECANT THESE SYSTEMS ON A DAILY BASES.
When the system is ready to be decanted, you must wait a minimum of 8 hours to allow for sufficient settling of all the heavy material.
For the Enhanced Model (automatic decanting valve):
This upgrade provides for hands-free decanting every morning when the vacuum system is activated. It is important to consider the sludge level when having an automatic decanting, so regular inspections are still required.
Controlling the Biological Component
R&D only recommends using an evacuation line cleaner 1-2 times a week. We believe this recommendation was made without the consideration of the Center for Disease Control’s highest recommendation of performing a DAILY line cleaning to minimize cross-patient contamination.
The average line cleaner manufacturer requires 500 – 1,000 ml of the mixed solution down each chair. Releasing, on average 1,500-3,000 ml of water into The Amalgam Collectors. If you include the fluids released from regular days use, you will find that the Amalgam Collectors will often fill once a day.
Checking the Waste Level
The old versions of The Amalgam Collector had decanting tubes that can have their heights vary based on the sludge level. The newer models have fixed decanting tubes, taking one of the many inspections required on these systems. If you have an older model of The Amalgam Collector, it is suggested you raise the decanting tube 3” above the fill line. Permanently raising the tube will help alleviate the work required on these systems.
Once the sludge level has reached the fill line, it is due for changing.
Disposal of an R&D Amalgam Collector
The recycling of The Amalgam Collectors is a dirty job, but very straightforward. When the system is due for emptying, you contact your local recycling company for a mercury amalgam recycling bucket. You pour the contents of your amalgam separator into the bucket. Then follow the instructions from your recycler to have the material shipped to them.
Handling Toxic Material
As shown in the video, you should wear PPE when performing the recycling of the R&D. Mercury amalgam will form methylmercury inside an amalgam separator. When you open any amalgam separator, you are exposing yourself to the methylmercury. It is highly recommended to purchase a respirator rated for mercury vapors when servicing the R&D amalgam separators.
Now that the blog series on the user manual of the top six amalgam separators sold in North America is now officially over, we are expanding into other topics, such as;
* New Formulation of the CleanLINZ
* 15 Minute Installation of a LibertyBOSS with the M.A.R.S Upgrade Kit
* M.A.R.S Training Course on Amalgam Separators and the EPA Regulation