Apex Unlimited.com: Blog Posts
What exactly is a Flat Surface Cleaner?
It is basically a pressure washer accessory that uses the force of your pressure washer to clean flat surfaces like parking lots & driveways. It allows you to clean larger surface areas quickly and easily. View an up-close look at its components.
Why should I buy a Flat Surface Cleaner?Two words: Time & Energy:
- Time: because you can clean up to 60-80% faster than just using a wand.
- Energy: Instead of moving the wand back and forth for hours, you simply walk behind the pressure washer, much like walking behind a lawnmower. You clean faster, more evenly and avoid being fatigued.
How much faster will I clean an area vs. just using my standard pressure washer wand?Let take as an example a standard size driveway: 13 feet by 31 feet or about 400 square feet:
- If you were to use you standard pressure washer wand: at least 80 minutes
- If you use a flat surface cleaner: about 10 minutes
This doesn’t taking into consideration the fact that with a wand you use so much more energy.
Is it really that much faster? What do I already use that you can compare it to?
The difference is amazing.
- You might compare it to the difference between cutting the grass in you lawn using an old fashioned push mower vs. using a gas powered mower.
- Or to cleaning the floor of a large conference room with a just a mop vs. using a floor machine.
- Or to moving 12 inches of snow off your driveway by using just a shovel vs. using a snowblower.
- Or to sweeping dust and dirt off the carpet of a large lobby vs. using a vacuum.
- Or to raking all the leaves in a large yard vs. using a powerful leaf blower.
You get the idea-all of the above save you tons of time and they save you so much energy compared to how it used to be. The same idea has been applied in the pressure washing industry and the result-the flat surface cleaner!
What are some applications for a flat surface cleaner?
- Parking Lots, Driveways, Drive Thrus
- Warehouses, Concrete Floors, Roofs,
- Factory Floors, Pool Areas, Docks,
- Walkways, Patios & much more
I have seen a large price range in pressure washer surface cleaners-why is there such a difference?
Basically, the difference comes down to the quality components used. They are:
It is perhaps the most important of these because it converts the water from your pressure washer to the force that spins the spray bar. If the swivel is of high quality the bar will spin evenly at will not leak even after years of use. On cheaper surface cleaners, the swivel is often of cheap material, it does not last long and does not spin at a high RPM. We often tell our customers the last thing you want to happen to you is you are using a surface cleaner far from home or late at night and the swivel breaks down or starts leaking-this often lead to much frustration and loss of time and is a common occurrence with the cheaper surface cleaners on the market. We take pride in the quality swivels of our machines and do not carry the cheaper models for the above reasons-we wouldn’t want our surface cleaner breaking down at 1 in the morning and neither would you!
Swiss Engineered high-RPM swivel features reinforced self lubricated stainless steel ball bearing and dual spring based carbide seal sliding rings for long lasting operation under tough conditions.
Whisper Wash utilizes double row thrust bearings within the swivel system of each machine to facilitate the smooth rotation of the spray bar by water pressure. The bearing surface area is two to four times greater than most industry flat surface cleaners providing greater rotational power.
The swivel is long-lasting and dependable; and durable, lightweight aluminum or brass (depending on model) construction means long life.
Many surface cleaners have cheap plastic covers. Our do not. They are heavy duty covers made from the following materials:
Whisper Wash Models:
Classic: Xenoy plastic. This is the same type of material car bumpers are made of. However the Whisper Wash Classic cover is stronger with a rating of 350,000 PSI tensile strength.
The Big Guy: Powder coated aluminum with steel axle assembly.
Ultra Clean: High impact ABS plastic.
Ground Force: Powder coated aluminum with steel axle assembly.
Steel Eagle Models:
All are made of heavy duty lightweight aluminum
Mosmatic Surface Cleaners:
Heavy Duty Polished Stainless Steel Construction.
The Spray Bar:
The bar that attaches to the swivel and has the spray nozzles at the ends. It must be made of quality machined material and be proper balanced. The cheaper model surface cleaners out there often shake all over the place because of having a cheaply made spray bar.
Custom balanced and machined spray bars. The precise design and tested engineering built into every machined spray bar provides for longer bearing and seal life by eliminating unbalanced rotation. The spray tips are also always at the correct angle with the balanced rotation of the spray bar. It is superior to the pipe nipple and hydraulic spray bars provided by other manufacturers which are almost impossible to maintain a consistent balanced rotation over time.
Is there any over spray from a flat surface cleaner?
Unlike a pressure washer wand where you often get a lot of overspray, surface cleaners have either a nylon or rubber skirt around the edge of the cover to eliminate overspray. This results not having to clean up walls, etc. after you have cleaned the surface your working on. It also keeps you cleaner and happier, not getting overspray all over you.
How Maneuverable is a flat surface cleaner is-it hard to use?
Flat surface cleaners are very easy to use and all are extremely maneuverable, from the largest to the smallest models. Some use the force of your pressure washer to hover above the surface and others have caster wheels that also turn easily.
How close will a flat surface cleaner get to the walls or edges?
Most of our flat surface cleaners get within an inch or less. It is common practice to quickly cut in edges of the surface you are cleaning with your wand and then use your surface cleaner for all the rest of the area.
Does a surface cleaner use more or less water than just using a wand?
Definitely less water. The water is coming out of your pressure washer at the same rate as if you used a wand but there are two water saving features:
- It takes so much less time to pressure wash an area- 60-80% less time & the less time you pressure wash, the less water you use.
- There is no overspray so water is saved there
How much maintenance does a pressure washer surface cleaner need? What if the swivel ever or other parts ever need replacing or will I have to get rid of the entire surface cleaner?
The surface cleaners we sell are designed for years of worry free maintenance. They also have a minimum of moving parts. The manufacturers are well-known in the industry for standing behind the quality products they make. If you ever need to replace a swivel, they can be easily replaced. The same goes for the gun, spray bar, nozzles & other pieces.
I want to switch back and forth between my surface cleaner and wand to clean out corners-Is there an easy way to do this?
Absolutely! Don’t waste all of that time walking back and forth to your machine!
Basically you have two options:
- Some of our surface cleaners have the option of having a wand and holder mounted right on the surface cleaner. When you need to switch out to clean out corners, etc., the wand attaches to a removable gun on the surface cleaner. When you’re done, slip the wand back into its holder and attach the gun back to the surface cleaner-it takes seconds to switch!
- For all the other surface cleaners, we offer a high pressure ball valve click here to see it). This handy accessory quickly attaches to the end of your pressure washer hose. To switch between a surface cleaner and a wand simply turn the ball valve to stop the water flow switch to your wand and turn the water flow back on. No more running back and forth to your machine to turn it on and off! This accessory usually pays for itself the first time you use it.