Decon Pete – the squat practice equipment you will need

decon peteDecon Pete shares the most important squat practice equipment to purchase, such as washer disinfectors and autoclaves.

This month I wanted to take a look at the exact equipment that you will require for your squat practice to be compliant.

Last month we started to look at things to consider when setting up a squat practice, particularly the need for a Local Decontamination Unit (LDU). Once you have chosen the room that you are going to use, it’s time to think about the equipment.

Washer disinfectors

The washer disinfector (WD) is the first piece of equipment to factor into the room.

Try to have an understanding of the treatment types and number of patients you typically see in a day. This is because an understanding of the number of instruments you are typically getting through will help with identifying the ideal washer.

Don’t fall into the trap of purchasing a washer that is too large for your requirements as you will have to wait a long time to fill it up. However, you also don’t want to purchase a WD that is too small for your requirements.

When considering which washer disinfector unit to purchase, it’s important that you have a discussion with someone that understands how they work. Speaking to someone who understands WD’s and the decontamination process will guide you in purchasing the unit that maximises throughput and efficiency.


You then need to purchase the autoclaves, with at least one being a vacuum.

For every washer that is purchased, the minimum number of autoclaves should be two. This is incase one goes down or is being serviced/validated, so you always have another that can be used.

In a decon room the bottle neck won’t happen at the washer disinfector stage, but rather the autoclave.

It’s important that you have autoclaves that can, at least, accommodate the same number of instruments processed through the washer.

There are three pieces of equipment that a surgery needs to be able to function – dental chair, compressor and autoclave.

If any of these are down, and no back ups available, then the practice can’t operate.

A flow from dirty to clean

The room that you design must have a flow that moves from dirty to clean to avoid any cross contamination.

A lot of people ask me, ‘where exactly does the dirty room finish and clean start?’

After the washer disinfector, there must be an illuminated Inspection lamp. This is the point that the dirty and clean cross, typically from left to right.

Either a water distiller or RO unit is the next piece of equipment that needs purchasing. They must both be placed on the clean side of the LDU.

I have discussed both of these in a previous article.

Finishing touches

The illuminated magnifying lamp is the final equipment purchase. It is necessary for checking the instruments after they are processed through the WD.

You need to perform a spot check of random instruments for any visible debris or damage. Damaged instruments must get thrown away. If visible debris is found, the full load needs to be re-processed.

Once you have your equipment, it’s also important to nominate yourself a decon lead to be responsible for overseeing full compliance within the Decontamination process. In a future article I plan to go through the roles and responsibilities of this incredibly important role.

Once you have the equipment it’s also important that you make sure you have the correct tests and selection of log books for storing.

Within England and Wales, HTM (Health Technical Memorandum) and WHTM (Welsh Health Technical Memorandum) talk about the ‘Best Practice’. As we are aware, there is currently no deadline date for achieving this standard. However, this becomes the exception when setting up a squat practice.

If you need any help or advice, please get in touch with me by email at [email protected] or 07581309835, or visit the website

Catch the previous Decon Pete columns:

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