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Vacuum Surface Cleaners For Pressure Washers
Vacuum surface cleaners are expensive tools. As a manufacturer, you start out with a standard flat surface cleaner and modify it to attach to a vacuum and suck up the used wash water before it leaks out and runs down the drain. We sell and service several brands, which gives us a good feel for what is on the market and which company is on the leading edge of innovation.
If you start with a quality tool, the initial cost to purchase is a sizable chunk. Then, you take it apart and re-build it with modifications to make it a vacuum surface cleaner, there is a lot of labor and custom parts that go into the finished product. It is not unusual for theses vacuum surface cleaners to have price tags that approach $2000 each.
When someone like us sells equipment, we get to compare the differences between different brands and models.
As much as we have specialized in environmental cleaning equipment for the last five or six years, we have seen just about everything on the market.
When it comes to vacuum surface cleaners, we choose to recommend the Mosmatic for most contractors because we think they are the best - judged by design, performance, quality, and value.
Let’s look at design first. All designs have an inner pan that delivers vacuum to the outside edge of the body of the surface cleaner. The Mosmatic models (which start out as "Professional" which means they are height-adjustable) only have a single vacuum port. Other brands tend to have two, three, and four vacuum ports. An inexperienced person looks at models with a larger number of ports and thinks “It must be better because it is MORE!" That is not necessarily so.
Brands with multiple ports are made that way to deliver an equal amount of vacuum to the entire diameter of the body of the surface cleaner, which is exactly what you want. A single port used with a typical inner pan would not evenly distribute the power of the vacuum. Mosmatics have a very different inner pan design, however, which distributes vacuum only around the outside edge diameter - and not in the center area. Not only does this make the force of the vacuum more efficient, it does that with fewer parts and less weight. The result is performance.
Mosmatic’s unique ‘single-port-and-unique-inner-pan’ design allows you to use a slightly smaller vacuum to get the same result. Less weight, easier maneuverability, and gets more out of the vacuum.
Most contractors who make the investment in a waste water capture system expect perfection from their equipment. As cleaners, we strive for perfection in every aspect of our work.
Contractors would like nothing less than a completely dry surface after they are done passing over it with their vacuum surface cleaner. While a 100% pickup rate is the expectation (and a miserable 95% rate might be acceptable) no one ever actually achieves that kind of performance unless they go for one of those large gas-powered vacuums. Real-world results with lesser vacuums are often a lot closer to the 80% range, no matter what kind of promises are made.
In order to achieve 100% capture of the water used, a surface cleaner would have to achieve a perfect seal between the brush skirt and the pavement being cleaned. In that event, you would not be able to move the surface cleaner without incredible force. Considering that every paved surface is by nature uneven, this perfect seal is simply not physically possible.
In fact, in order to move the surface cleaner easily without dragging the brush skirt we adjust the height of the surface cleaner upwards (leaving a small gap). That gap and the uneven pavement is why we must accept performance around 80% - 90% in capturing wash water. Up to 1 out of 5 gallons might escape the vacuum.
Most of that last gallon will likely flow to our low point where we have set up a second capture point with oil socks & berms and a second vacuum hose. The rest will evaporate.
Mosmatic includes a thin plastic "shield" embedded on the inside of the brush skirt. That shield creates a better seal than an ordinary brush skirt and therefore provides a slightly better brush skirt for it's vacuum models.
From the quality standpoint, Mosmatic shines. The body is all stainless steel, and the spinner (the heart of any flat surface cleaner) is Swiss-made and extremely high quality. The bearing is sealed and never needs lubrication.
Finally, let’s look at value. A 21” Mosmatic goes for about $1200, compared to other makes that sell for hundreds more.
We have had contractors shy away from the Mosmatic models because of the single port design, but once we are able to show them the performance characteristics and show them the differences in design we almost always win the sale.
If you really appreciate the even suction that multiple ports provide, consider the Sirocco. This unit starts as a Mosmatic surface cleaner that is modified by the Sirocco team. What I like about it is that they provide a center-mounted holder for the hose that is very convenient. Their inner pan is molded fiberglass. When you couple that with a nice SGV gas vacuum, you have a great system.
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