Automatic Control Test: Ultrasonic Cleaner

HTM, WHTM and SDCEP requires that this test is carried out quarterly and annually.

What Is It?

This is an observational test that records the operation of the machine and demonstrates that the process is repeatable by comparing the results against previous tests. Key stages of the cleaning cycle are validated, such as cycle length, and that the temperature is as required by the manufacturer and also for the specific detergent used.

When Is It Performed?

HTM, WHTM and SDCEP requires that this test is carried out quarterly and annually.

Document Reference Periodic Testing
Automatic Control Test HTM 01-05 15.3






WHTM 01-05 15.3
SDCEP 6.2.1 Freq as manufacturer

D = Day | W =Weekly | Q = Quarterly | Y = Yearly | CP(D) = Competent Person (Decontamination) | ENG = Engineer

How is it Done?

Each individual stage is explained below:

Step 1

If the Ultrasonic Cleaner cannot show temperature, attach a waterproof thermometer

to the bath ready for the test.

Step 2

Start a routine cycle and stopwatch.

Step 3

At the mid-point of the cleaning cycle, note the length of time elapsed and the indicated temperature.

If temperature is not indicated, use a thermometer to obtain the temperature.

Step 4

Throughout the process ensure the temperature does not exceed 45°

Step 5

During the cycle if the Ultrasonic Cleaner has a lockable lid, make sure it can’t be opened.*

Step 6

During the cycle observe if there are any anomalies, mechanical or otherwise.


Step 7

Ensure the cycle complete notification is evident.

Step 8

The test is a pass if the following criteria are met:

  • The ultrasonic cleaner presented a cycle complete indication.
  • If all key parameters, such as time and temperature, are within the stated validation parameters as specified by the manufacturer.
  • The lid/door could not be opened during the cycle.
  • There were no observed anomalies or mechanical failures.

* With regards to being able to open the lid/door during the cycle.
The reason why this is important is to ensure that no instruments can be added to the load mid-cycle. This results in the instruments not being subjected to the appropriate cycle length.
Newer machines should have a lockable lid, however many older ultrasonic cleaners do not. 
If this is the case, ensure that staff are advised not to add instruments mid-cycle, and that this is openly documented clearly next to the machine.

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