Cage Washer - Skaggs 031

Last updated: January 26, 2015


I. Purpose

This standard operating procedure is designed to describe the proper use and maintenance of the cage washer in Skaggs Building 031 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 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 wash room.
  • Turn ON cage washer Power located on 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 selection.
  • Press "Enter."
  • Make certain that all doors are secure.
  • Press "Start."
  • At end of wash cycle:
    • 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 notebook in HD 009.
  • Weekly, draw a line on the drum and write date to indicate liquid level.
  • Request administrative staff to reorder when chemicals are 2/3 empty

VII. Sanitation monitoring

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

VIII. Weekly maintenance at the end of each week

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

IX. Trouble shooting

  • 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