Which Machine is for Me?
When I get someone come in and tell me they want to buy a Pressure Cleaner I always ask five questions:
How often will you use it?
What will you be cleaning?
Where will you use it?
Electric, Petrol or Diesel Driven?
Hot or Cold Water?
It is important to consider how often you will be using your new machine because all machines fall into different categories depending on how often they will be used.
Domestic machines are the typical machines you will see at places like hardware or auto spare parts shops. They often have pumps with plastic or alloy heads, high rpm electric or petrol motors and are small, compact and easy to use. They are designed to be used infrequently to clean a car, bike or boat.
Commercial machines are what you would see farmers or plumbers using, they might be used 5 – 10 hrs a week and are usually the more expensive versions. They have things like brass heads, ceramic pistons, gearbox drives, plunger-style pumps etc. One thing you have to remember with these machines is they are a machine designed for moderate use and don’t feature some of the lasting parts industrial machines do.
Industrial Machines are common in Mine Sites, Engineering Workshops, Fabricators or anyone who would be cleaning up to 10hrs a day. They are built tough, and reliable and are designed to run long hours, they feature slow spinning premium pumps, heavy duty unloaders, stainless steel valves, brass or stainless steel heads and more. The most common place you would see a machine like this is at a car wash where they could be going all day non-stop.
WHAT WILL YOU BE CLEANING?
What you will be cleaning makes a major impact on what machine to buy. One of the most common things someone will want to clean is dirt, or mud whether it be in the car or on the house and the best solution is to use a cold water machine.
If you cleaning grease, mold, oil, etc then the best thing you can use would be Hot Water. Cold Water Machines would just push the grease, or oil around and still leave some of it behind, whereas a hot water machine would soften the bond and remove the residue left behind.
WHERE WILL YOU USE IT?
Where you use a machine is important to consider. For home users it is pretty straightforward a small electric machine with a 10amp plug or a small petrol machine would be perfect, but when you jump up to your commercial or industrial categories, you can get machines that are three phase, have a V-Twin Honda Engine or 15 amp plug so you have to start thinking about where it will be located and where will you use it.
ELECTRIC, PETROL, DIESEL?
For most people, it is Electric or Petrol machines that they want because of you either have a petrol lawn mower, boat or wiper snipper that uses petrol already, or you have power points located around your home or workshop.
There is another type you can get that most people overlook which is diesel. For home users, diesel engines are something that you probably wouldn’t want because there are more expensive to buy, whereas someone who will be going onto a mine site, diesel engines are the only thing you can use if you are going to be portable.
HOT OR COLD WATER?
One of the biggest decisions people machines is hot or cold water. A hot water machine will use diesel to heat water and requires the use of a boiler setup, which can add weight, increase the size and cost a fair bit more than a cold water machine.
Hot water will clean better and when cleaning grease and oil it will clean faster. Hot water is also limited to the flow of the machine. At typical C3 boiler setup that is used on our bigger machines has a maximum flow of 25 l/min. The reason is there is too much water for the coil in the boiler to heat, and if you want to achieve a higher flow then a double burner setup is needed.
It is important to consider all the points above when buying your machine to ensure you get the most out of your machine and the best value for money.