Cage Washer - Skaggs 068

Last Review Date: November 6, 2020

I. Purpose
This standard operating procedure is designed to describe the proper use and maintenance of the cage washer in Skaggs Building 068, Getinge model 9100 series, in order to maintain the sanitation of animal cages.

II. Responsibility
It is the responsibility of all LAR Staff to know the proper use of the cage washer and to understand the different cycles, safety features, and routine maintenance procedures.

III. Protective Clothing

  • A lab coat and gloves must be worn when handling dirty animal contact materials.
    • Lab coats are located by the entrance to SB 068
    • Gloves are located above the sink and also below the COstation
  • When handling clean animal contact materials, wear scrubs and gloves.

IV. Procedure

  • Turn ON cage washer power located on the control panel on the left side of the cage washer.
    • The main power breaker is located on the wall on the right side of the cage washer.  The main power breaker should always be in the ON position 
  • Touch the screen and wait for the temperature green line to come just past the red line.
  • Press "Select" on the screen
    • Use up and down arrows to make a selection
    • 01-Rack: mouse boxes, hoppers, microisolator tops
  • Press "Open Door"
    • Must press once and then press and hold the 2nd time
    • When the cage washer door is fully open, a small metal bridge will slide out in order to remove the rack
  • Remove the rack from inside the cage washer
    • Use caution; do not hit the sensors on the inside of the cage washer
  • Load the dirty items on to the rack
    • Place lids on the top rack
    • Make certain the spinning sprinkler arms located on the underside of the rack are clear of hitting any dirty caging
    • For the first load of the day, be sure to tag the load with a temperature strip
  • Press "Start"
  • Record the load in the logbook which is located on the shelf above the sink
  • At end of the wash cycle, clean items are unloaded from the washer directly  into the cleanroom (SB067B) and then transferred into 067A (clean storage room)

V. Safety Features

  • Emergency STOP button on both doors of the cage washer.
  • Doors can be manually slid open from inside the washer by sliding either left or right
  • Emergency safety cable inside chamber near the wall can be pulled to automatically open door

VI. Monitoring Cage Washer Chemicals

  • Monitor chemical usage in 30-gallon drums per Sanitation Strategies via quarterly testing of pH, water hardness, and dosing; recorded in a notebook in HS009.
  • When changing the chemical drums, draw a line on the drum and write the date to indicate the liquid level.
  • Request administrative staff to reorder when chemical drums are 2/3 empty

VII. Sanitation Monitoring

  • SystemSURE (see SOP) - indicates that sanitation has occurred; use on the first Monday of the month.
  • Thermolabel Temperature Strips (see SOP) - indicates that temperature of 180°F was achieved; use one strip in the first cage wash load each day.

VIII. Troubleshooting

  • For specific cage washer problems, call Getinge Signature Services, (800) 950-9912.
  • For specific facilities problems, call UM Facilities Services, (406) 243-6091.