It’s pretty common for people to buy used autoclaves that don’t come with any documentation or user’s manuals. So when those lights start flashing you have no idea what’s going on. Well, here’s what’s happening when your Tuttnauer autoclave starts flashing that Low Water error code, and what you can do to fix it.

What does the Low Water error code mean?

A Low Water error code will be displayed if your autoclave’s system, using a water electrode and safety thermostat, determines that there’s not enough water in the chamber to complete the cycle. If the power fails during the heat or sterilization phase of the cycle the autoclave will also check the water electrode to make sure there’s enough water in the chamber to complete the cycle. At any time, when these checks are made, if there’s not enough water the Low Water error code will be displayed and the Cycle Fail indicator light will also come one.

What can you do to fix it?

That Low Water alarm means the water in the chamber is too low and that can be cause by a number of different factors:

  • Check to make sure your autoclave is level If it’s a counter top unit, make sure the surface it’s resting on is also firm and level.
  • Look for dirty or shorted water sensing electrodes.
  • Make sure the water pump isn’t clogged
  • Check all water and drain lines to make sure there’s not clogging or leaks
  • Look to see if the air outlet valve is stuck in the closed position
  • It may be that, for some reason, the power to your autoclave went down. When that happens your machine will automatically try to resume the cycle when the power comes back up. But if the power was down long enough the water in the chamber may have evaporated or drained out. Or the tip of the water sensing electrode is dry. You’ll have to make sure you have enough water in the reservoir and start a new cycle.
  • Finally, you’ll need to check all seals, valves and gaskets for leaks. Door gaskets need to be replaced occasionally anyway because they just naturally wear out. But you’ll want to make sure all valves are fitting securely to prevent steam from escaping when it’s not supposed to be.

Now, what if you should find a problem with one of the valves or the solenoid or the gasket or a sensor? Why, repair it yourself, of course. When you send your autoclave out for repair those ‘technicians’ aren’t going to do anything that you can’t do yourself. They don’t use special equipment or have any kind of special training. They just have really ‘special’ fees.

If you can handle a screwdriver or a wrench all you need to do is track down the parts and you can easily make most of the repairs to your Tuttnauer autoclave yourself. So don’t worry the next time you see one of those error codes. You can fix it!

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