Cage Washer - Skaggs 034

Last Review Date: December 15, 2020

I. Purpose

This standard operating procedure is designed to describe the proper use and maintenance of the cage washer in Skaggs Building 034 in order to maintain sanitation of animal caging.

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 dedicated lab coat and gloves must be worn when handling dirty animal contact materials.
  • When handling clean animal contact materials, wear scrubs and gloves.

IV. Procedure

  • Load dirty items into cage washer through south door in dirty cage washroom.
  • Place Thermolabel Temperature Strip on cage card holder on the bedframe or tree
  • Turn ON cage washer Power located on the control panel on left side of cage washer.
  • Press "Select" on the screen.
    • 01-Rack: mouse boxes, hoppers, microisolator tops
    • 06-Bed frame: bottles, hoppers, lixits, cage card holders
  • Use up and down arrows to make a selection.
  • Press "Enter."
  • Make certain that all doors are secure.
  • Press "Start."
  • Record the load in the logbook which is located on the shelf above the bottle filler
  • At end of wash cycle:
    • Remove Thermolabel Temperature Strip and log into cage wash book in dirty cage washroom
    • Unload clean items through north door located in hallway
    • Turn Power switch OFF

V. Safety features

  • Emergency STOP button on both doors of cage washer.
  • Emergency cable inside cage washer turns off all power to cage washer.

VI. Monitoring cage washer chemicals

  • Monitor chemical usage in 30-gallon drums per Sanitation Strategies quarterly testing of pH, water hardness, and dosing; recorded in a notebook in HS 009.
  • Write the change date on the drum.
  • Notify facility manager when drum inventory is low

VII. Sanitation monitorin

  • Thermolabel Temperature Strips (see SOP) - indicates that temperature of 180°F was achieved; use one strip in first cage wash load each day.
  • Hygiena SystemSURE Plus (see SOP) - indicates that sanitation has occurred; clean caging is tested quarterly.

VIII. Weekly maintenance at the end of each week

  • Clean grates by removing from cage washer and spraying off with water.
  • Clean debris from the drain under grates.

IX. Troubleshooting

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