Questions and answers from Ben’s Cleaner Sales in Seattle, WA
Frequently Asked Questions
What is pressure washing?
Pressure washing or power washing is the growing practice of cleaning using high pressure water spraying. The high pressure water spraying is achieved by specially designed pumps. This type of cleaning is many times more powerful than the pressure that comes out of a typical garden hose. If you choose to use on concrete it removes mold and mildew, bubble gum, and other dirt stains. Also, pressure washing can make wooden decks look like new. Pressure washers are also commonly used by homeowners to improve the appearance of aluminum or vinyl siding by removing pollution, mildew, and other signs of neglect.
Are there any benefits of using hot water pressure washers over a cold water pressure washer?
When choosing a pressure washer, your application will play a major factor in whether you need a hot or cold water pressure washer. Cold water pressure washers are ideal for removing dirt on most any surface. Additional accessories like, high pressure nozzles or rotating brushes, work with cold water pressure washers to increase the cleaning power and decrease your cleaning time.
However, if you are cleaning surfaces that have grease or oil on them, hot water is a must. You wouldn’t think of washing your greasy hands with cold water and the same applies to pressure washing. If you operate cold water equipment more than a few hours a week, you should consider the labor savings you could realize by switching to a hot water pressure washer.
Should I choose a belt driven pressure washer or direct drive?
Belt driven pressure washers are most commonly found on commercial/industrial style pressure washers. A belt driven pump is ideal for cleaning applications that require more than 20+ hours per week. On a belt driven unit, the high-pressure pump spins at a less RPM reducing the heat and vibration, which in turn, minimizes the wear and tear on the internal parts of the pump and leads to longer life.
If you will be using your pressure washer less than 20 hours a week, a direct drive may be better suited for your application. Direct drive units turn about twice the RPM as a belt driven unit. These units are usually more compact and easier to transport. They are also typically more cost effective.
How do I choose between a gas and electric powered pressure washer?
Gas or electric is completely up to the consumer. There are pros and cons to both.
Electric is safe to use indoors because you don’t have harmful fumes. Electric motors are usually quieter and require less maintenance than a gas engine. Also, with an electric motor you do not have to have gas on hand and you do not need to fight the rising cost of fuel prices.
With a gas pressure washer you have a couple of different choices when selecting an engine. Also, gas engines don’t require a power cord which in turn allows more portability.
Which is more important PSI or GPM?
PSI and GPM are both equally important when choosing a pressure washer. The PSI refers to the amount of pressure and GPM refers to the flow. You must have the correct combination of PSI and GPM to have the most ideal pressure washing system for your needs.
To clean effectively, a pressure washer must provide a “stripping” action to scrub off the dirt and “flow” to move the dirt away. Think of the pressure (PSI) as the stripping force that is applied to the surface you are cleaning and the flow (GPM) as the rinsing power that carries the dirt away.
PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) refers to the amount of cleaning pressure that the unit can produce.
GPM (Gallons per Minute) is the amount of water that is coming from the unit.
Cleaning Units (CU) is the result of multiplying the PSI by the GPM. Cleaning units gives the customer a measure of unit performance (efficiency) to compare one unit to another. Cleaning units is calculated by multiplying PSI and GPM.
- A pressure washer with 3000 PSI and 2.0 GPM has 6000 Cleaning Units
- A pressure washer with 2000 PSI and 3.0 GPM also has 6000 Cleaning Units but the rinsing power is greater than the stripping power.
GPM is usually more important to contractors than PSI. Since most contractors use cleaning chemicals to do all of the cleaning, their job becomes one primarily of rinsing the dirt away.
What accessories are available for my Mi-T-M pressure washer?
Rotary Surface Cleaners
Clean large, flat surfaces faster and easier than with a standard cleaning nozzle. The Mi-T-M rotary surface cleaners come in three different diameters, 18″, 20″ and 28″. Each is equipped with a heavy duty nylon brush to eliminate overspray and maintain the distance between the nozzles and the cleaning surface. This combination ensures a balanced and even cleaning pattern.
Rotating nozzles increase your cleaning power and decrease your cleaning time. Rotating nozzles offer 0° spray impact with 25° coverage. Mi-T-M Nozzles include a filter, to protect the nozzle from becoming clogged with debris, a quick connect and heavy-duty components for long life and reliability. Rotating nozzles can be used on sidewalks, driveways, track vehicles, muddy areas, old peeling paints and concrete surfaces.
Mi-T-M Detergents are environmentally friendly, can be used indoors, and are biodegradable. We offer 3 types of detergents: Deck & House Wash, All Purpose Cleaner, and Heavy-Duty Degreaser. All are available in 1 gallon, 5 gallon, and 55 gallon drums.
Hose reels are convenient for the storage of hoses and can be mounted directly on pressure washer frames or attached to a wall bracket. Several sizes are available.
Extended Reach Wands
Clean hard to reach places such as home exterior and gutters, farm equipment and multi-story buildings by using telescopic extended reach wands. Mi-T-M has several lengths to choose from.
Wet sand blasting is an efficient and dust free method in removing coatings from steel and concrete surfaces such as rust, paint, and graffiti.
Click here to see the more accessories
Depending on my water supply, are there certain pressure washers I should consider?
YES! If you plan to pull water from a regular garden hose connection you can use a direct drive pressure washer with a standard filter that comes with your pressure washer. If you plan to pull water from a tank we recommend that you use a belt driven pressure washer. The pump on a belt driven pressure washer has better suction capabilities than a direct drive pressure washer.
What creates the pressure on my pressure washer?
The nozzle is what creates pressure. If you have the incorrect nozzle size on your pressure washer you may not get the full potential out of the unit. Always make sure that your pressure washer nozzle is clean and free of debris.
Does Mi-T-M offer trailer mounted pressure washers?
YES! Mi-T-M custom builds trailers to suit the needs of our customers in either single or dual axle models. Add reliable Mi-T-M equipment to suit your application and you are ready for the next job! Trailer units are used by heavy construction contractors, factories, well drillers, mines, military bases, road builders, contract cleaners, shipyards, municipalities and food services.
How do I winterize my pressure washer?
The first option is to store your pressure washer in a heated area and not let it freeze. If the unit cannot be stored in a heated area you will need to run RV Anti- Freeze through the pump. To do this, take a short piece of garden hose with a male garden hose connector and attach to the pump. Attach a funnel to the other end of the hose and fill the funnel with the RV anti- freeze fluid and pull the engine over until you see the colored fluid exiting the pump. It is also very important to drain the high pressure hose and the gun/wand.
If you are unable to store your pressure washer in a heated area you can purchase a 6 oz container of Mi-T-M pump saver, which comes equipped with a male garden hose connector. Thread the connector onto the pump inlet, remove the pressure washer high pressure outlet hose, and spray the contents by pressing the center cap of the canister. By allowing the entire contents into the pump, the water should be pushed out through the discharge quick connect. The pump saver provides longer pump life, prevents harmful build up of hard water mineral deposits, preserves seals, pistons and protects against freezing.
What are the advantages of using compressed air vs. other power sources?
The advantages are many and are summarized in the following list:
- Safety is one of the biggest advantages. Electrical shock potential is greatly reduced.
- Typically, pneumatic tools will weigh less than electric tools and make the tools more ergonomically friendly.
- Compressed air has more flexibility than electrical tools because the compressor can be made to be mobile. Either in the case of engine driven units or wheeled portables that can be moved around at the job site.
- Compressed air can be regulated which permits varying pressure range uses within one piping system.
- In almost all cases, the air tool’s initial purchase cost is less than comparable electric or hydraulic tools.
- Compressed air distribution systems are easier and less costly to install than electrical grids and less demanding than hydraulic system lines. The compressed air system can be modified for multiple points of use.
- Air tools have less maintenance and down time than hydraulic tools. They also will not burn the air tool motor up like an electric tool could in low electrical voltage situations.
- Air tools run cooler because the expanded air dissipates the heat of operation as the air passes through the tool.
- Compressed air system leakage will not contaminate a work place.
Does a new compressor have to be broken in?
No, it does not. However after an install, you should power up the system from 0 to whatever the cut-off pressure is and check for any leaks that may be present.
What size of compressor do I need?
In order to determine what size compressor will meet your requirements you need to establish how it will be used. For example, if you will be using it to power air tools, then you need to determine the CFM of each tool. There are many applications for air compressors. If you need help deciding which size is best for you, please contact Mi-T-M at 800-563-9053 and we will be happy to assist you.
How much air pressure do I need?
Air pressure is determined by the highest minimum pressure requirement. For example, some tools consume more air than others. Tools such as pneumatic nail-guns and staplers consume smaller amounts of air, while air grinders and sprayers consume larger amounts. Most tools have an usage rating for CFM consumption at a recommended PSI. This can be found on the tool itself or in the owner’s manual supplied by the tool manufacturer. Click here to view our Air Equipment Estimating Guide Link to Air Equipment Estimating Guide
What is CFM and PSI and which is more important?
The notation CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) refers to a volume of air produced by the air compressor at a given pressure or PSI (Pound per Square Inch). The right size air compressor will meet your needs in two essential areas: air flow (CFM) and pressure (PSI). It’s important to get a compressor that meets your needs in both areas – otherwise you risk damage to both your tools and the compressor itself. Always use CFM and PSI specifications from the nameplate on the product.
What is the difference between single and two stage pumps?
On a single stage pump the air is compressed one time and stored in a receiver. A two stage pump compresses the air twice, once in the first cylinder and then a second time in a smaller cylinder which gives you a higher CFM.
Can I install the compressor anywhere in my facility?
A reciprocating compressor is a very flexible piece of equipment but some cautions must be taken for an installation site selection. Refer to the instruction manual that is supplied with each unit. Some things to consider:
- You need a level floor and vibration mounting pads are recommended
- The compressor should be installed in a well ventilated room.
- The compressor must have approximately a 24″ clearance from the walls to allow for the designed air flow. This will also allow sufficient room for workmen to do normal scheduled maintenance.
- The discharge line into the air system should not be smaller than the compressor discharge port size.
- The shipping skid should NOT be used as part of the mounting base.
Can I install an air compressor in an outside location?
No, this is not recommended as the compressor unit must not come in direct contact with the elements. The best practice is to either put a lean-to over the unit or install it in a small building. If installed under a lean-to, we recommend a TEFC motor and NEMA 12 electrical enclosures. Also, when necessary cold weather protection for the oil and other lubricants is recommended.
How do I use compressed air that is stored at a higher pressure for my lower air pressure needs?
Install a pressure regulator that can be set for the required air pressure of the tool.
Why does my compressor run when I am not working or using compressed air?
There are a couple of things that could cause this:
- The compressor may be running to pump the tank up to set the cut out air pressure rating. IE 175 PSIG.
- The compressor controls may be set for continuous run operation where the compressor will unload but not shut down. Change the switch control for a start stop operation cycle.
- The pressure switch may be bad and needs to be replaced, repaired or adjusted.
- There may be air system leaks that are creating an artificial demand for air and the air compressor is trying to overcome the air pressure loss caused by leaks.
Can you store more air at higher air pressures?
Yes, the higher air pressure will increase the amount of stored air. At 175 PSIG an 80 gallon tank will store 127 cu. ft. of air. The same 80 gallon tank at 100 PSIG will store only 73 cu. ft. of air.
Can I use PVC piping for my discharge air piping?
No, this is not up to the approved code for compressed air systems. The PVC is an oil based product and it does not react properly to heat, vibrations and oil vapor that is carried in the air compressor discharge air. The PVC is prone to bursting under the normal air pressure and unit operations. Consult your local building inspector for piping recommendations.
What type of oil should I use in the reciprocating compressor?
We recommend using non detergent oils that has been formulated for use in reciprocating compressors. DO NOT USE DETERGENT OILS in the compressor. The detergent oils will foam and cause excessive oil carryover past the piston rings and will not provide the required lubricity for the moving parts.
How do I automatically drain water out of my tank?
Install an automatic tank drain that is either air actuated, electronically actuated or timed sequence actuated.
How often should we change the oil?
For a Reciprocating air compressor, generally you would change the oil and the air filter approximately every 3 months. For a more accurate time frame, contact Mi-T-M at 800-553-9053 with your air compressor model number and we will help you find the recommended schedule for your compressor.
Can you tell me about the different options you offer for air compressors?
The starter is a magnetic device that induces electricity into the motor windings to energize them for work. The starter gets its signal from the pressure switch.
It measures the cut in and cut out pressure bands for the compressor start and stop settings and either turns the motor on or off as needed.
An after cooler is a device that uses air flow to cool the compressor discharge air temperature prior to being put into the tank for storage. This cooling function will drop out moisture that is in the compressed air.
What is the purpose of a Compressor/Generator?
This is a unique piece of equipment that was designed and engineered by Mi-T-M. A Mi-T-M compressor/generator can be an invaluable tool for any contractor because it combines two vital pieces of equipment – portable power and industrial air compression. The uses are endless for contractors, professional remodelers and do-it-yourselfers.
What application would a Compressor/Generator be used in?
The compressor/generator can be used in any application where you need an air compressor and/or a generator. Increase productivity by condensing two vital pieces of equipment into one versatile must-have machine! Professional remodelers and contractors appreciate the convenience of an air compressor with a built-in generator system. Ideal for every industrial application that requires both electrical power and air.
What’s the purpose of a Generator?
A portable generator is a gas or diesel-powered device which provides electrical power. The engine turns an alternator which creates usable electricity up to a certain level of wattage. Users can plug electrical appliances or tools directly into the generator’s outlets.
What are the differences between standard portable Generators versus a Generator with Inverter technology?
Mi-T-M inverters produce commercial quality AC power for sensitive electronic equipment. In addition, Mi-T-M inverter technology reduces size, weight, noise, and fuel consumption.
Note: Mi-T-M’s portable generators are designed to output the highest power quality available and are therefore, not recommended to operate sensitive electronic equipment.
How do I find the right size Generator for my needs?
To find the right size generator for your needs you will first need to determine the power requirements you are looking for. To determine the right size, add up the total watts of all lights, appliances, tools or other equipment to be connected to the generator. Check the nameplates to determine wattage. If wattage is not shown, but amps and volts are given, the following simplified formula may be used: Amps x Volts = Watts
Once the total # of watts are determined multiply that by 3. This will calculate the approximate start up wattage needed, sizing the generator for your needs.
Is it safe to run a Generator indoors?
NEVER use generators indoors, including homes, garages, basements, crawl spaces, and other enclosed or partially enclosed areas, even with ventilation. Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide build-up.
ONLY run generators outdoors and away from air intakes.
What accessories are available for my Generator?
Mi-T-M offers a variety of accessories to fit your needs ranging from RV adapters, wheel kits, puncture proof tires and lifting hooks.
Can my Generator be wired to my home?
Our recommendation is to contact a licensed electrician regarding this question.
Job Site Boxes
What gauge steel is used on the Mi-T-M Job Site Box?
The body of the Mi-T-M Job Site Box is made from 16-gauge, heavy duty solid steel construction with full arc welded seams. The reinforced support skids are made from 11-gauge steel for increased protection and ease in transporting.
What type of finish is on the Mi-T-M Job Site Boxes?
The finish in the Mi-T-M Job Site Box is a powder coat finish that is baked on for extreme durability.
Are locks included on the Mi-T-M Job Site Boxes?
The Mi-T-M Job Site boxes all have the “tamperproof armored locking system” for protection against break-ins; however the padlock is NOT included with the unit. Mi-T-M recommends No. 5 padlocks.
What accessories are available for the Mi-T-M Job Site Box?
There are tool trays available for the various sizes of Mi-T-M Job Site Boxes. In addition, the reinforced support skids have all been “pre-drilled” for various sizes of casters that are available. Click here to view
Can Mi-T-M heaters be used indoors?
Fuel burning portable heaters are intended to be used in a well ventilated area. Please refer to your operator’s manual for the fresh air requirements.
How do I size a space heater?
The most important factor when sizing a space heater is the amount of space you have to heat. A general rule of thumb is that you can heat approximately 25 square feet for every 1000 BTUs a heater puts out.
What type of heater is better, one that runs on Fuel Oil or LP?
All of the approved fuels for Mi-T-M portable heaters have great energy value and one doesn’t stand out over another. Your application and the fuel that you have available are going to determine which fuel to use.
What types of fuels are approved for “Oil Fired” Mi-T-M Portable Heaters?
The approved fuels are:
- No. 1 and No. 2 fuel oil
- No. 1 and No. 2 diesel fuel
- JP8/Jet A fuel
Do all portable heaters require electricity?
Mi-T-M portable heaters that have a blower motor or a fuel pump will require electricity to power those units. As an example, all of the Kerosene forced air, LP & Natural Gas forced air and the radiant portable heaters require electricity. The convection, outdoor patio heater and the tank top heaters do not require electricity.
How do I pick a system that best suits my application?
You can start sizing the system by asking these questions:
- How much water do you need to treat in 24 hrs?
- Do you discharge to sewer or will you recycle the water?
- What will you remove from the wastewater?
Mi-T-M offers several water treatment systems to meet your needs.
- Biological (BIO) Treatment Series can be used either as a discharge or closed loop system. Microbes consume constituents in the wastewater turning them into carbon dioxide and water.
- Mechanical Filtration (WLP & WCP) Series uses sand filtration to remove particulates down to 25 microns. A cartridge filter may be added to filter to 30 microns.
- Water/Oil Separator (WOS & WCL) Series uses oil attracting (oleophilic) media that separates the oil and floats it to the surface where an oil skimmer sends the oil to a decanter for easy removal.
- Electro-Coagulation Flocculation (ECF) uses aluminum rods along with electricity. The electricity passes between the rods and contaminates in the water are charged and coagulate with the free metal ions from a sacrificial anode, thus neutralizing the contaminates in the waste stream. This system is used in applications where metal removal is needed.
What do I need to do to comply with EPA standards?
If you have access to a sanitary sewer you have the option of using a discharge system. Our system is meant to remove constituents down to a reading that should be acceptable to local parameters. (Parameter settings are not the same everywhere. Check with your local municipality)
If you don’t have access to a sanitary sewer, you will then need a closed loop system that removes constituents so the water is recycled for pressure washing.
What is the maintenance involved in a water treatment system?
It all depends on the system. Water oil separators require the least amount of maintenance as only one pump is involved, whereas mechanical filtration requires more (additional pumps, media filters, slide valves, pH/orp meters, and timers). Biological treatment is also a low maintenance system. Standard pump maintenance and coalescing media cleaning, which is necessary in all systems except the ECF, is all that is required.
The ECF system does not require a great deal of maintenance either. The anodes are a replaceable part and pump servicing is the extent of the maintenance.
I have an odor problem in my wash bay, how do I solve it?
Odor can be handled a few different ways.
- Ozone is an efficient way of handling odor. It is a quick kill of live bacteria. We introduce ozone on our Biological Series through a pump via a Mazzei injector into the product tank. (Note: ozone is harmful to microbes so it needs to be introduced where they are not present, such as a product tank).
- Germicide is another option for odor problems. Safe 03 is a germicide used by Mi-T-M in our mechanical systems (WLP & WCP Series). It is injected through a peristaltic pump and the amount is based on readings obtained by an orp probe and meter.
- BPS-120M (Biological Pit System) is another method for treating odor problems. Generally used in an existing pit, two linear air pumps provide aeration to the pit where microbes can be injected. A germicide can also be injected into the pit by two peristaltic pumps.
Can a water treatment system treat anything I pour down my drains?
Remember, sometimes we rely on living bacteria to reclaim the water. There are many substances that will create problems or interfere with their ability to remove contamination. Acids or caustic materials shorten the systems operational life as well as kill the important microbes. In high volumes animal and vegetable derived fat, oil, and grease (cooking oil, fat poured off cooked meat, etc.) can cause problems. It can block your drains and also take the microbes a long time to “eat” this material.
What are the filtration levels of the Mi-T-M Wet/Dry Vacuum?
Filter efficiency of the Mi-T-M wet/dry vacuum is 99.5% to 1.0 micron (optional HEPA filter 99.77% efficient to 0.3 micron). Filtration efficiency ratings indicate the size of the particles which will be trapped by the filter thus preventing those particles to reach the motor or channeled out through the exhaust. Most paper filters found in homeowner wet/dry vacuums are not rated for micron efficiency, however, many are rated as high as 50 -100 micron. Most industrial filters will have micron ratings from 1 – 10 micron at 95 to 99.5% efficiency. In addition, HEPA filters are available as an optional accessory for many industrial vacuums. HEPA filters are designed for hazardous material such as asbestos and lead paint. These filters are rated at 99.97% efficiency to .3 micron.
Does it emit dust through the exhaust when in operation?
Because the Mi-T-M wet/dry vacuum has a filter efficiency rating of 99.5% to 1.0 micron, it virtually eliminates airborne particles through the exhaust.
What makes the Mi-T-M Wet/Dry Vacuum better than competitors’ products?
Tough dirt and spills require equally tough clean up. Mi-T-M wet/dry vacuums feature self-cooling motors that won’t burn up, a lifetime warranty on canisters, and professional grade power.
The Mi-T-M wet/dry vacuums are truly the best in their class. Designed for industrial and commercial applications, these vacuums will withstand the roughest environment and applications. Rated as one of the quietest wet/dry vacuums on the market, the low noise level is appreciated by everyone who uses them. The high impact polyurethane canister and power head make the Mi-T-M wet/dry vacuum virtually indestructible.
What accessories are available with the Mi-T-M Wet/Dry Vacuum?
Mi-T-M wet/dry vacuum accessories include filters, hose adapter kits and a wall mount bracket. Click here to view the accessories page.
Is the Mi-T-M Vacuum HEPA Rated?
Mi-T-M offers an optional HEPA filter 99.77% efficient to 0.3 micron.
Is filter conversion needed when going from a dry application to a wet application?
The filter on the Mi-T-M vacuum is unique because it works wet or dry and can be rinsed to clean.