Cleaning Systems Inc.
Pennsylvania: (724) 625-3544
Ohio: (440) 838-8383
Serving Western Pennsylvania and Northeast Ohio with two convenient locations:
Mars (near Pittsburgh), PA
Brecksville (near Cleveland), OH

Frequently Asked Questions

answered by Cleaning Systems, Inc.

Which is better…a hot water or a cold-water pressure washer?
A hot water pressure washer is needed if the surfaces you are cleaning have a grease or oil residue. Cold-water pressure washers are ideal for removing dirt. If the surface to be cleaned has oil or grease then a cold-water pressure washer won’t clean well. It’s like washing a greasy plate in the sink. No matter how much soap you use, you’re just smearing around the grease. Add hot water, and it cuts through the grease and oil quickly. The exact same thing happens in a pressure washer application. If oil or grease is present in any form, then you will need a hot water pressure washer. The fact is, almost everything comes cleaner when using hot water.

Is 2000 PSI at 4 GPM better than 4000 PSI at 2 GPM?
The answer depends on your cleaning application. When you have heavy soils to wash, GPM (gallons per minute) can be most important. When you have stuck-on grime, PSI (pounds per square inch of pressure) can be most important. A little known secret is that there is more cleaning power in a pressure washer’s volume (gallons per minute) than in its pressure (pounds per square inch or PSI). A pressure washer with 2 GPM and 3000 PSI won’t clean as fast as a pressure washer with 4 GPM and 2000 PSI. The first pressure washer delivers 6,000 cleaning units (2 x 3000) as compared to the second pressure washer’s 8,000 cleaning units (4 x 2000).

Despite what you see in advertisements or on a product label, volume is the deciding factor and a quality pressure washer will provide the proper balance of volume and pressure. Your local cleaning consultant will come to your facility, perform a cleaning efficiency inspection, and work together with you to recommend a pressure washer to meet your needs. It’s a free service whether or not you end up buying from Cleaning Systems so take advantage of our expertise.

We will have multiple people using the pressure washer…how do I know which model to consider?
If your pressure washer will have multiple users then the odds of damage to the machine increases. Buying a more rugged machine as well as one with an automatic shutdown can reduce the risk of operator-caused damage to the machine. The number of hours you will use the pressure washer each week can impact the life, performance, and service intervals of the machine. You need a pressure washer that matches your usage. Cleaning Systems will recommend the most suitable pressure washer with optional accessories to speed your cleaning process.

How do I know if a pressure washer is engineered for safety?
When it comes to product safety, there are a number of reasons businesses will want to buy only equipment that has been certified to safety standards by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) such as UL (Underwriters Laboratories), OSHA-approved Intertek ETL Semko and CSA (Canadian Standards Association). Not all pressure washers have such approvals. These reasons include legal compliance, worker protection and liability protection. It’s legal to sell a pressure washer that is not certified to UL or CSA, but with today’s insurance rates and liability risk, it’s not a great idea to buy one.

Should I consider a maintenance program for my pressure washer?
The very nature of a pressure washer causes water to be run through the unit under intense pressure, which creates wear on equipment. Add to that the challenging environmental conditions these machines often operate in and maintenance becomes a necessity. You will need regular oil changes on the engine and the pump. Parts that wear down, such as belts, nozzles, and hoses need replacement when worn, and can also become a safety hazard if not replaced prior to failure.

If you use your pressure washer regularly it will need minor maintenance 2-3 times per year. Cleaning Systems, Inc. has been servicing machines for 20 – 30 years. Our service technicians come to you and have service trucks with an extensive parts inventory so that they can likely fix your pressure washer in one trip.

What type of optional equipment accessories should I consider and why?
For little cost, you can add pressure washer options and accessories to your cleaning process, resulting in faster cleaning, while also saving wear-and-tear on your pressure washer. For example, most people use way too much detergent with their pressure washer. People like to see a lot of suds, assuming that is means they are cleaning better, so they leave the detergent valve open all the way. A fixed orifice system can be installed to release the concentration of detergent needed to achieve maximum cleaning results while using the minimum amount of detergent.

An optional hose reel will help keep your pressure hose from lying on the ground where it can absorb oil and grease or be damaged by vehicles driving over the hose. A longer pressure hose makes it faster and easier to clean larger areas.

For cleaning flat surfaces, like driveways and sidewalks, a surface cleaner hooked to your pressure washer will much faster and more uniformly than with a pressure washer alone. Cleaning Systems, Inc. will perform a free Cleaning Efficiency Inspection to determine whether adding accessories may speed your cleaning, lower your cleaning costs and reduce machine wear-and-tear. Usually these improvements can be made to your existing pressure washer.

What is the value of a stationary pressure washer?
A stationary pressure washer can be a better value than a portable unit for a number of reasons – especially one that is permanently installed. First, the cost is often the same or less than you would pay for a portable machine, and they can be piped into natural gas if available. This is much more cost effective and doesn’t require refueling the burner system. The pressure washer can be located in a shed or room, with piping or hose out to the wash area. This protects the pressure washer from weather, from damage, and from operator abuse. A space-saving alternative is to mount a stationary pressure washer on an equipment stand, with detergent placed under the stand to conserve floor space.

What is the difference between a belt-drive pump and a direct-drive pump?
The high-pressure pump in a pressure washer doesn’t turn on its own, but is powered – or driven – by an engine or motor. Pumps generally turn at 1100-1500 RPM while gasoline engines turn at a rate of 3000-3600 RPM (1450-3450 RPM for electric motors). There are two predominant ways to connect the pump to an engine or motor: directly (direct-drive) or with a pulley and belt (belt-drive). Direct-drive pumps typically are more compact, helping to keep the weight and cost down. Today’s direct-drive pumps have been engineered to hold up very well, even under constant use. The weakness, of course, is that a pump turning at 3600 RPM will wear out faster than a pump that turns at 1500 RPM.

On the other hand, a belt-drive pump, configured with a pulley and belt, allows the pump to turn at the slower rate (usually 1500 RPM). The belt also dissipates the build up of heat and absorbs vibration from the engine. The ultimate benefit, of course, is that downtime is minimized and the pump’s life is extended saving you money in the long run.

How can I convert my existing cold-water pressure washer into a hot water model?
Cleaning Systems, Inc. offers a heating module from Hotsy called the 9400 Series that attaches to a cold water pressure washer. The pressurized water feeds through the heater to produce all the benefits of hot water cleaning. This gives customers the flexibility to convert a cold water pressure washer into a hot water unit.

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