The following are questions that we are frequently asked about our products. If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact our technical support team.
Does Baker have a GSA Contract?
- Yes, Baker has two GSA Contracts for Class II BSCs as well as Clean Benches and Isolators.
When would it be appropriate to use exhaust transition on a Type A cabinet?
- This is appropriate when a unit is connected to an in-house exhaust system. Check with your institution's HVAC specialist for further information.
How many inches above a cabinet do I leave for air to exit the exhaust HEPA?
- It is important to leave approximately 4 inches. If the ceiling is this close or closer, an accurate measure of exhaust flow can be obtained only by using a proper direct intake flow method.
Do I have to duct my SterilGARD exhaust outdoors?
- The SterilGARD does not have to be connected to an exhaust duct to provide its rated level of performance; however, you or your safety officer may want to confirm that the installation meets all relevant local and state codes pertaining to your application. Obviously, it's important to consider carefully the agents you'll be working with to ensure the appropriate level of product, personnel and environmental protection. Again, your safety officer can be most helpful in meeting these concerns. If external ducting is indicated, your SterilGARD can be readily adapted. When not ducted, SterilGARD is classified as Class II Type A1. When ducted, it becomes a Class II Type A2.
I'm a facilities engineer and recently our safety office told me that two hoods in the Micro Lab need to be exhausted to the outdoors. Until now, I haven't had much contact with the hoods. Do you have any information on exhausting these cabinets?
- We have information that may have the answers you are looking for. Our Products Catalog can provide you information about each model of cabinet we sell and its exhausting requirements. The Baker Company has written two papers on this topic. Their titles are "Using Thimbles to Connect Biological Safety Cabinet to Variable Air Volume (VAV) Systems" (Acumen, Volume 2, No. 1) and "Using a Constant Air Volume Controller to Insulate a Class II Biosafety Cabinet from Negative Effects of a Variable Air Volume Exhaust System" (Acumen, Volume 2, No.2). To obtain your free copies and a storage binder, please contact us at www.bakerco.com or at (800) 992-2537.
There is a pipe plug on the front of my biological safety cabinet, what is the function?
- This plug allows access to the air damper which should only be adjusted by a certification specialist to balance the cabinet's airflow. On some models this plenum may be contaminated if the cabinet has been used, requiring decontamination before plug removal.
On what cabinets are the AFM standard?
- The NCB, SterilchemGARD, and BiochemGARD. The AFM is optional on other BSC's.
How much noise does the Baker product emit?
- The Baker product has a noise level below the NSF Standard of 67 dbA.
What are some possible adaptations to standard Class II cabinets?
- The adaptations may include: microscope setup; small clinical centrifuge; enclosure setup for extra large work area (i.e.: shaker bath, constant temperature bath). We have experience with a broad range of applications. Contact us to discuss your particular requirements.
I noticed that Baker uses safety plate glass in its cabinets rather than tempered glass. What's the reason for this?
- The advantages of both kinds of glass have been carefully evaluated by Baker engineers. Tempered glass tends to shatter, while safety glass will crack but typically does not shatter. Given the nature of the laboratory environment, it's our determination that this characteristic provides better safety protection for Baker users.
What is the function of the magnehelic gauge located on the front of my Baker BSC?
- The magnehelic gauge provides a "gross" or approximate indication of HEPA filter loading, i.e., the volume of particulate matter the filter has accumulated as the cabinet operates. It provides one indication of how rapidly the filter's capacity is being diminished. This is measured by reading either motor blower suction or pressure. For example, the SterilGARD measures suction in the motor blower compartment, whereas the BioGARD samples pressure in the plenum behind the HEPA filter.
How many petcocks (service supply valves, typically for gas or vacuum within the workspace) are standard with a biological safety cabinet?
- One petcock is standard on most cabinets; three apertures fitted with plugs are provided for the installation of additional service fittings as needed. [The SterilGARD is furnished with one petcocks as standard equipment, while the EdgeGARD does not include petcocks.] Refer to your Baker Catalog for this information on any particular cabinet.
What safety features are incorporated with the UV light in the SterilGARD?
- We've built in safety features to protect cabinet users and ensure that the light is used properly. The UV/germicidal light switch and cabinet lighting cannot be turned on simultaneously. A UV interlock switch assures that UV illumination occurs only when the sash is fully closed. To operate the UV light, leave the blower on, lower the sash until it's fully closed, turn off the fluorescent lights and then turn on the UV light.
What are the benefits of a combination sash on a fume hood?
- Three of the key advantages of a combination sash are that it provides multiple sash positions that are ergonomically helpful, it serves as a physical barrier to protect the user's breathing zone and it delivers energy efficiency by requiring less exhausted air to maintain 100 LFPM, but this merely scratches the surface.
My EdgeGARD was shipped with a 4' metal "T" bar; what is its function?
- This metal "T" wrench is used to release the rotolocks securing the HEPA filter inside the EdgeGARD®.
Can I get a StediVOLT for my old cabinet?
- Yes, if your cabinet originally had a stedivolt. If you have an older speed controller, those are also still available. Your local certifier can install either component.
What is the power cord configuration?
- The standard power cord on most units is the 115V, single phase 20 amp power cord (NEMA 5-20P); however, we supply the International market with power cords to meet their specific standards. Units exceeding 16 amp power load have a junction box for power cords.
Do all Baker cabinets have StediVOLT?
- No, Baker uses a variety of motor drive technologies to provide the safest and most efficient airflow.
What is the receptacle switch for?
- The receptacle switch activates the duplex electrical receptacles within the hood; it is on a separate circuit from the motor/blower.
Does a HEPA filter screen out viruses?
- Yes, it is at highest efficiency at particulates above and below 0.3 micrometers, thus filtering out viruses as well as viruses carried on larger particles.
Why does the SterilGARD e3's viewscreen alarm sometimes beep?
- This safety feature indicates that the viewscreen is not set at the proper height. Slowly adjust it to an 8" opening. When the viewscreen arrives at that height, the viewscreen alarm, which makes a beeping noise, will disengage. The alarm also disengages when the viewscreen is fully closed. Incidentally, the raised sash alarm can be overridden for a predetermined period so that the unit will not audibly alarm while equipment or experiments are being set up, although the visual alarm operates at all times.
Some older SterilGARD cabinets have an Air Pressure Monitor with an illuminated bar graph. What do the lights on the Air Pressure Monitor indicate?
- This instrument measures air pressure (suction to the blower) and may be found on some SGII models. The lights signal you if there's blockage of the front perforated grilles, if the viewscreen is not in the proper position or if the blower is not on. A steady green light on the Air Pressure Monitor about halfway up the bar graph means your blower is working. After you lower the sash to the fully closed position, you will notice the steady green light at the top of your Air Pressure Monitor has traveled to the top of the bar graph. The steady green light here means that the suction to the blower has increased. If the SG II's sash is closed, the blower is on, the unit is running safely. If you choose to turn off the blower, you will notice a steady red light at the bottom of the Air Pressure Monitor and will hear a beeping sound. Lower the sash to keep particles from migrating into the work area and to silence the alarm.
What is zoned airflow within the SterilGARD?
- A stainless steel air diffuser creates a faster airflow immediately behind the window and a slower airflow over the center. The result is a more impenetrable air barrier in the front of the cabinet creating more product and personnel protection.
What is NSF Standard #49?
- NSF is the National Sanitation Foundation, Standard No. 49 is the design, construction and testing document which establishes a minimum standard for Class II biological safety cabinets.
What is an AFM?
- The AFM (Airflow Monitor) is an audio-visual mass airflow alarm system which indicates when exhaust airflow drops below a set point. A warning light and buzzer are activated when exhaust airflow drops below a set point.
What is the "performance envelope"?
- The performance envelope is the operational airflow balance extremes within which a given cabinet design will pass the microbiological aerosol tracer test for personnel and product protection.
What is CSA?
- CSA is the Canadian Standard Association, is a testing agency for safety and electrical.
What is UL?
- UL is the Underwriters Laboratory, a testing agency for safety and electrical.
What is a petcock?
- A petcock is a service fixture with valve within the workspace for gas, air or vacuum.
What does HEPA filter stand for?
- HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance Filter. Its efficiency is rated at least 99.97% efficient on particles of 0.3 microns in size. Baker uses scan (probe) tested filters for leak-free assurance.
What is a StediVOLT?
- The StediVolt is a unique voltage compensation speed controller for maintaining air balance insuring product and personnel protection over a range of incoming voltage changes.
Installation / Certification
Does Baker certify my safety cabinet?
- No. Baker provides a comprehensive test report with every cabinet, but certification must be performed on-site, with the cabinet in place. Certifiers are independent testing agencies staffed by trained professionals. See the list of certifiers on our web site or speak with a Baker Customer Service Representative for those in your area.
Where is the best location within the laboratory for a biological safety cabinet?
- The ideal location is a dead-end corner of the laboratory, away from personnel traffic, vents, doors, windows and other sources of disruptive air currents.
How often should I have my biological safety cabinet certified?
- As a general rule, an annual certification is usually sufficient, although some institutions' protocols, require a more frequent schedule. If filters are changed, the unit is relocated or work that has been performed within the cabinet itself always needs re-certification regardless of when it took place. To be sure to follow your facility's guidelines, consult your safety officer.
When should my biological safety cabinet be checked by an experienced technician?
- This depends on the policy of your institution or advice of industrial hygienist, safety officer or other qualified person. It is suggested that testing be carried out at regular intervals, at least annually, as well as after relocation and filter change.
Who receives the cabinet and moves it into place?
- Baker ships the unit to the loading dock. Should you need an inside delivery, we can ship the unit via moving van or you can contact a local mover who will bill you directly. Your local Baker Sales Representative can help you in making these arrangements.
Does Baker have any audio-visual presentations?
- The Baker Company did collaborate on one video, "Introduction to Biological Safety Cabinets". This and other training videos are available through the Eagleson Institute, a nonprofit foundation (www.eagleson.org).
What happens if I lose the original test report which is shipped with the cabinet?
- If the test report is misplaced, simply contact Baker with the model number and serial number on the front name tag of the cabinet for a replacement and we will do our best to provide a duplicate.
I can't locate my operator's manual – what kind of warranty does Baker provide?
- Outstanding reliability and a long life cycle designed into all our products have made Baker the industry standard. We're proud to offer a 3-year warranty against defects in material or workmanship on our standard products and a 1-year warranty on our chemical Fume Hoods and Custom Products. (And by the way, we'll be glad to answer any specific warranty questions — just give us a call!)
What is the difference between a Class II Type A1 and a Class II Type A2 cabinet?
- They are similar; however, the A2 must have a minimum of 100 fpm intake velocity, must be ducted and contaminated plenums must be under negative pressure or surrounded by negative pressure.
Does Baker make a 3' biological safety cabinet?
- Yes, Baker offers a 3-foot SterilGARD e3I Advance Model 303.
Which cabinet should I buy for working with AIDS?
- Since Baker is not an expert on specific agents, we cannot answer this question. It will be helpful for you to contact your Biological Safety Officer, the Center of Disease Control or the appropriate national agency for answers to this question. Baker can recommend references for this use.
Where can I acquire a copy of USP-797?
- Copies of USP-797 are available from USP. You can access the USP Web site at www.usp.org/indes.html. Order USP 27-NF General Chapter 797 Pharmaceutical Compounding, Steril Preparations. For assistance, contact Baker.
Should I run the BSC continuously?
- The Baker Company recommends that this unit run continuously. If the unit is turned off, viewscreen should be closed completely. Allow unit to run for at least three minutes before loading.
When I finish working in a BSC, what should I do to prepare it for downtime?
- * After completing work, run BSC three minutes BEFORE unloading.
* Disinfect exterior of all containers BEFORE removing.
* Decontaminate interior work surfaces of BSC with disinfectant.
Are there any recommendations for work techniques in a BSC to minimize contamination?
- * Wash hands with germicidal soap before and after procedure.
* Wear sterile gloves and lab coat/gown; use aseptic technique.
* Avoid blocking front grille! Work only on or over solid surface, adjust chair so armpits are at elevation of lower window edge.
* Avoid RAPID movement during procedures, within BSC and room.
* Move hands and arms straight into and out of work area, never rotate hand/arm out of work area during procedure.
* Move laterally in work area.
What is the proper way to load the equipment into a BSC to minimize contamination?
- * Load only items needed for procedure.
* Do not block rear or front exhaust grilles.
* Disinfect exterior of all containers before commencing.
* Arrange materials to minimize movement within cabinet.
* Once cabinet is loaded, lower viewscreen, wait three minutes to purge contamination from work area.
* Non-sterile items should never be upstream of sterile items
Do you have any suggestions for starting up the BSC?
- * Turn on blower and fluorescent light, close drain valve.
* Check Grills for obstructions and disinfect all interior work surfaces.
* Place all materials and equipment needed in cabinet.
* Adjust viewscreen to proper position.
* NEVER use with viewscreen above factory set mark.
* Allow unit to run at least three minutes before loading.
* RESTRICT traffic in the BSC vicinity.
What do I use to clean and disinfect my biological safety cabinet?
- Consult your lab director or local safety officer on the appropriate disinfectant. When using the disinfectant you should clean well with detergent, then rinse with water. Do not use anything that may harm or corrode stainless steel.
How do I clean the window of a SterilGARD?
- It may be helpful to use a magnetic sponge or squeegee with the appropriate disinfectant.
How do I silence the sash alarm?
- For normal operation, the viewscreen must be placed to allow an opening of 8” or 10”. The sash alarm will be activated whenever the sash is raised or lowered from this level. To mute the audible alarm, press the alarm reset button. The indicator will continue to flash. After five minutes, the alarm will sound again to remind you to lower the viewscreen. You may press the alarm reset switch again to mute the alarm for another five minutes. The alarm will sound again if the viewscreen is not in the proper position.
I am a user of biological safety cabinet. I came into my lab and although I left my hood running when I left the lab last night, it isn't running now? What do I do?
- Most times a problem with your equipment needs the attention of a qualified Safety Professional who has been trained in biological safety cabinets or your certifier. There are few things, however, a user can try in order to troubleshoot the problem. You can use the information you obtain to relay to your Certifier if you need to call him/her. First, check the blower switch. Is it in the "on" position? If yes, check the plug. Is the hood plugged in? If yes, turn on the light switch. Do the lights come on? If none of this results in your hood blower working, call your building maintenance department. Perhaps there was a circuit breaker within your building that should be reset. If you still have no results, consult your Safety Professional or Certifier.
What should I use to clean and disinfect my biological safety cabinet?
- Consult your lab director or local safety officer on the appropriate disinfectant. Many people use liquid Lysol, isopropyl alcohol or a 10% bleach solution. However, when using any disinfectant, after using, then rinse thoroughly with water as soon as possible. Although chlorine bleach is a known corrosive on stainless steel, the thorough wash down will help to remove residue.
What is the life expectancy of the HEPA filter?
- The life of the filter is determined by how it is used and how often. Under normal laboratory conditions, you can expect anywhere from 5 to 10 years of use from a filter in a Baker cabinet. Misuse or heavy dust load within the cabinet will shorten any filter's lifetime.
Should I leave the ultraviolet light on at all times for optimal effectiveness?
- The ultraviolet light should be turned on only when no one is in the room and the viewscreen sash is completely lowered since eyes and skin should not be exposed to this harsh light. This ultraviolet light bulb loses effectiveness over time and should be replaced when intensity drops below optimal level.
When do I replace the HEPA filter?
- HEPA filters should be replaced if they are damaged or when in-house safety protocol requires filter replacement. Filter replacement occurs when motor/blower can no longer deliver the required airflow due to excessive filter load.
I have an ultraviolet light; do I still need to surface decontaminate?
- Ultraviolet light should not be relied upon as the sole decontaminating agent. Surface disinfection should be performed before and after every cabinet use.
Is the standard SterilGARD safely operated with the viewscreen at a height other than that suggested by Baker?
- The airflow is set at the factory for a specific viewscreen height. Other settings will not allow the cabinet to function at optimal efficiency or safety.