General Operation: Principles and Procedures

The basic idea of The Amalgam Collector™ is to collect everything produced in the operatories, settle out the heavy solids, and release the excess (sediment free) liquid. Our weekly maintenance is so simple…it is too simple for us to even offer a maintenance contract.

The Four Basic Procedures Are:

1. Collection:

Collecting all materials produced during the chair-side procedures, but allowing air to continuously pass through the unit.

2. Observation:

Monitoring the level of the liquid and of the sediment. The liquid will, of course, build up much faster than the sediment. Our units are clear so you can observe the amounts you are collecting. After six months, you might have 1/2 inch of sediment. You can then start to see the sediment level. You will be able to continuously see the level of the liquid collected.

3. Sedimentation:

Allowing sufficient time (typically overnight) for the heavy metal particles (sludge and dust) to settle out of the liquid. We included information regarding the emptying of the canister for sludge removal or the purchasing of a “change out” canister and lid set in the owners manual. Purchasing a new canister is optional, as there is nothing wrong with emptying the sludge into an approved bucket and putting the original canister back into use.

Typically you will not need the sludge removed or a new canister for two to five years. We are just a phone call away if you need assistance or a review of the options when the time comes for sludge removal. There are several steps you can do yourself even with the disposal.

4. Decantation:

You will establish a routine for decanting the liquid that builds up much faster than the sediment. When needed, you can easily decant off the liquid. Most offices decant once a week. The procedure involves turning two external valves, takes less than a minute, and is performed by dental assistants in most offices. It is important to note that the canister is never opened for the routine maintenance. Your regular vacuum system will draw off the collected liquid. The Amalgam Collectors are rated at 99.98% removal efficiency as per 2003 ADA test results.

Further details on operating The Amalgam Collector™.

The general operation of The Amalgam Collector™ is to allow all materials entering the vacuum system in the operatories to enter into the canister. The solids and liquids will eventually be allowed to remain undisturbed for a period of time to allow settling. After this period the relatively clear liquid near the top of the unit is drawn off and allowed to pass on into the sanitary sewer system. In this way the solids (primarily heavy metals) will be trapped and prevented from contaminating the end-line sewage treatment system be that a treatment facility or a septic system.

For best results, the manufacturer recommends that the collected materials in The Amalgam Collector™ be allowed to stand for at least 24 hours undisturbed either by movement of the canister or by the stirring action of the active vacuum system. This allows nearly the maximum amount of sedimentation to take place. (A 12 hour period was also found to allow an acceptable amount of sedimentation.) After the quiescent period the supernatant liquid is drawn off with minimal disturbance of the sedimentation layer. To accomplish this one closes the valve in the tube for the outgoing air and opens the valve in the tube for the outgoing liquid (to take full advantage of the settling the outgoing air valve must be closed before the vacuum system is reactivated.)

The manufacturer also recommends that the valve setting for evacuation be done immediately after shutting off the vacuum system for the day or weekend so that the liquid is drawn off immediately when the vacuum system is reactivated the next working day. This minimizes the chances of accidentally stirring by someone prematurely activating the vacuum system not realizing or remembering that the liquid needs drawn off.

In addition to the overflow safety feature noted above, The Amalgam Collector™ is designed to allow proper function of the vacuum system even if the proper resetting of the valves is inadvertently overlooked for a period of time. Other common questions may be answered in the download listed Q&A above. Contact us for more information.