continued from Choosing Your Pressure Washing Equipment for Business – Where to Start part 1

The Power of Water

Water is considered as the universal solvent because there is no other liquid that can match water in terms of its dissolving properties.  Adding certain properties to water makes it even more powerful as a cleaning agent.  For example, if you add pressure to water, you are able to lift, dissolve, and flush away any stubborn dirt.  If you add heat to water, you are able to handle oil-based and petrol-based stains as well as be able to sterilize what you’re trying to clean.  Add chemicals to water and it is able to intensify its cleaning properties.  If you combine all of these to water, along with correct application, then you practically have a very efficient cleaning machine that is capable of handling any dirt and stain adhered to surfaces.

Chemicals and Detergents

When choosing your pressure washing equipment for business, the ability to dispense chemicals and detergents is necessary because it helps to increase productivity as well as profits.  However, the quality of the chemicals and detergents you use should never be compromised as unregulated types of cleaning solutions may not only be harmful to the operator and to the environment, but it can also potentially damage your pressure washer unit due to its volatility or corrosive qualities.

Since cleaning chemicals and detergent are as essential as the pressure washer itself in the pressure washing business, it is safe to consider it already as part of the cleaning tools.  Whether you’re just cleaning concrete walls, walkways, pavements, sidewalks, garage, buildings, kitchens, commercial spaces, and other types of surfaces, the use of detergents and cleaning chemicals is often necessary for productivity purposes.

It is important to understand that certain chemicals are designed for particular cleaning applications.  For example, certain chemicals are designed to break down oil and petroleum-based residues, some are made to help fight against rust, some are made to soften water, while some are made simply to help remove stains.  When using chemicals though, it is important to identify the chemicals that are not designed to go through pressure washer units so that you don’t accidentally use them when using an upstream injector as these chemicals are designed purely for use with downstream injectors.  The damage they can do to your unit can be immense should you make that mistake.

Temperature Options

Pressure washers are available in three temperature options – cold water, hot water, and steam.  Basically, the temperature output of a pressure washer unit plays a big factor on how effective its cleaning capability is.

Cold Water Output – these units do not have any heating elements installed in them.  This makes them lighter and also more affordable, making them highly suitable for work on remote locations.  They are also the most common type of pressure washers.  Cold water pressure washers are ideal for most cleaning jobs that don’t require high temperature water output.  Since these units do not need to heat water, they are able to deliver higher pressure levels and flow rates.  Those who provide pressure washing services can greatly take advantage of these types of units basically because they are much more affordable than that of those with elevated temperature output.  Since these units cannot accomplish what hot water and steam pressure washers can do, operators often compensate through the use of cleaning solutions, chemicals, and detergents.

Hot Water Output – these are widely used cleaning equipments for both industrial and commercial sectors because the elevated water temperature they provide is perfect for dealing with oil, grease, and petrol-based muck and stains.  When using cold water on these materials, the cold temperature simply makes them harder making it more difficult to remove them.  If you use hot water on the other hand, they melt making them easier to flush away with the added water pressure.  If you cannot comprehend the effectiveness of hot water on these materials, think of it this way, imagine rinsing a greasy plate with cold water, the grease cannot be washed away easily without using any type of degreasing formula such as soap or dishwashing liquid.  Now imagine rinsing that greasy plate with hot water, the grease simply gets lifted and washed off the surface of the plate.  This is practically the effectiveness and cleaning power of hot water.

Steam Output – these are basically the daddy of all pressure washers as steam units have the highest temperature output which allows them to clean very easily and effectively.  These units are on high demand for use in cleaning commercial kitchens and food processing plants because they are able to easily get rid of any oil and grease residues.  Perhaps the only issue with them is that they are also the most expensive of the three.

Motor Power

The motor of pressure washers is responsible for turning the pressure pump which in turn generates the water pressure used for cleaning.  There are two types of motors used for turning the pressure pump – electric-powered motor and gas-powered combustion engine.  Each has its advantage over the other as well as significant disadvantages.

Electric-powered – since these units require electricity to run, their use is limited to the length of your extension cord as they need to constantly be connected to the grid.  This means they can only be used on locations where electricity is readily available.  For pressure washing businesses, often times you cannot dictate the location in which you need to clean as this will either be on outdoor locations or indoor locations.  For indoor locations, electric-powered pressure washers are the most suitable to use because they do not emit any fumes which can be poisonous if breathed in for prolonged periods.  In addition, electric units have a more silent operation which means they are ideal for cleaning near hospitals, hotels, nursing homes, and other locations where noise is an unwanted factor.

Gas-powered – these units can generate more power than electric units.  Since they operate using gas power, they can be used on remote locations such as parks, vehicle fleet parking, recreational areas, picnic grounds, and many more.  Due to the fumes they emit during operation, they cannot be used on indoor cleaning applications or areas with very poor ventilation.

to be continued on Choosing Your Pressure Washing Equipment for Business – Where to Start part 3