The invention of high pressure washers by Alfred Kärcher in 1950 revolutionised the way in which we approach industrial cleaning and there has even been some valuable spin off that has helped to simplify the lives of domestic users too.
Evidence of the power of water is all around us. The Grand Canyon, for instance, is the result of erosion by millions of years of contact with a fast-flowing torrent. Nearer home, the world-famed Victoria Falls are retreating steadily northwards – again the result of erosion by water. Under sufficient compression and directed into a fine jet, water is able to cut through stone almost effortlessly.
The same principle is widely applied, although at far lower pressures, in these powerful and highly efficient modern cleaning machines.
Typically, a unit will consist of a water storage tank that doubles as a compression chamber. The actual compression is provided by a motor which may be powered by a battery or some version of the internal combustion engine.
Once the required pressure has been reached, the water may be directed onto the surface to be cleaned using a narrow-bore, hand-held tube, known in the trade as a wand. The pressurised water is released by activating a trigger. Interchangeable nozzles provide a narrow or wide jet depending on the surface or item that needs attention.
The jet dislodges any mud, dust or grit from all surfaces even with a cold water machine. However, where the dirt is more stubborn, some units are equipped with a heater for extra cleaning power. On very greasy or oily surfaces, the heat alone may still not always suffice. For these situations, specific detergents or solvents may be added to the water to improve its grease-cutting properties and some models are fitted with the means to feed these agents directly into the stream as and if required.
Compressed water is a highly effective tool that saves many hours when compared with conventional cleaning methods. ITS Africa can advise you on all industrial and domestic cleaning tools, and supply industry-leading high pressure washers.