10 Cents to Replace or 10 Days of Downtime?

How O-Rings Can Make or Break Your Operations

There’s nothing worse than having to shut down operations due to something completely preventable. While accidents happen or unexpected failures can occur, issues that arise from poor or improper maintenance are wholly preventable. Even worse is when those issues happen from something with a negligible cost, like replacing O-rings. 

O-Rings? Seriously?

Seriously. At WET, we know how important O-rings are and the critical role they play in practically any system that involves fluids. And in a pressure washer, there’s no shortage of liquids that need to be properly managed. Whether it’s fuel passing to the engine, detergents being drawn from a container, or the water being forced through a hose and nozzle, O-rings play an important part at each of these steps in the process.

If you’re experiencing spraying, leaking or low pressure from your washer, you could have a failing O-ring. If you’re having problems with water intake, it could be a bad O-ring. Worst of all, if dirt and gunk are accumulating on an O-ring, it could be causing your pressure washer to function at a less-than-optimal level or even allow some of this dirt to get inside the pressure pump where it can lead to internal damage. All of a sudden, a 10-cent part leads to major costs – lost work time, repair bills and possibly rental fees to get replacement equipment to stay on task.

The Most Infamous O-Ring Failure

While O-rings can fail from overuse, they can also fail as the result of environmental factors like use in low temperatures. This was the case in perhaps the most infamous O-ring failure – the destruction of the space shuttle Challenger.

In January 1986, Florida experienced one of the coldest nights it had ever seen, dropping to temperatures 20 degrees colder than the previous coldest-weather launch performed by NASA, as Space.com reports. In these brisk conditions, the rubber O-rings that separated fuel compartments in the solid-rocket boosters became stiff and brittle. As a result, they lost the elasticity and expansive properties that would normally allow them to fully seal the joints between chambers.

As the shuttle ascended, an exhaust plume was able to leak out of the booster, heating the exterior of the fuel tank until it ultimately weakened and ruptured. The booster partially separated from the overall launch assembly and burned the venting fuel, resulting in a cataclysmic fireball and sheer aerodynamic forces that caused the shuttle to veer dramatically off course, resulting in a complete and utter disaster. This dramatic failure of an O-ring led to the ultimate loss of the Challenger, the death of the seven astronauts aboard, and the grounding of the spaceflight program for almost three years.

Prevention Bests Reaction

A failed O-ring on terra firma may not be as explosive, but it could still lead to serious injuries. A leaky hose could spray scalding hot water or caustic chemicals, leading to injury. A dirty O-ring connection on a pump could allow dirt or air to seep in, causing mini explosions inside that degrade and destroy the engine. But replacing an O-ring takes just a few minutes at the cost of your change from lunch.

Make checking and replacing O-rings a part of your regular maintenance routine. Keeping this important connection in good shape will help with the overall performance of your pressure washer and keep you CLEAN – working efficiently, effectively and safely each and every time you wash.

Take the CLEAN Challenge

Need help keeping up on your maintenance? Want a comprehensive review of your operations? Let the team at WET help. Take the CLEAN Challenge and invite one of our techs to your site to review your equipment and operations and put together a CLEAN Accountability Plan that helps ensure you’re always working at peak performance. Call us today to get started.




Keep Bugs at Bay with Vital Oxide

Safe and effective sanitization for back to school

As summer winds down, the school year ramps back up, and with it comes an increased risk of sickness. As children congregate, common colds and flus are often transmitted throughout a class, with each student stricken in turn with a case of the sniffles – or worse. Maintaining a clean and sanitary environment helps, but it can seem difficult to manage when students are in and out all day, carrying germs with them throughout a school building.

With Vital Oxide, available from WET, it doesn’t have to be.

About Vital Oxide

Vital Oxide is an odorless and noncorrosive disinfection solution that is useful in a wide variety of settings. Due to its cleaning and sanitization properties, it’s a trusted solution in even the most sensitive of environments, like hospitals. Safe to use around people and animals, this solution is easy to mist or spray with a bottle, apply using a fogger or even used as a foaming solution. Plus, it is designed to naturally evaporate, leaving behind safe and sanitized surfaces

Not only is Vital Oxide odorless, but it helps eliminate odors. By attaching the bacteria and other substances that cause noxious smells, it removes the cause of the problem and makes unwanted odors a thing of the past. It’s also great at attacking molds, spores, fungi and other types of microbial life, eliminating these threats and creating a healthier environment.

What’s In Vital Oxide?

Unlike many cleaners that rely on harsh or caustic chemicals to clean, Vital Oxide is all natural. It is chlorine dioxide, and while it may sound like a chemical, it should not be confused with chlorine bleach. Instead, Vital Oxide stable and safe, and when sprayed or fogged onto a surface, it evaporates and leaves just a simple salt behind.

As an EPA-registered disinfectant, Vital Oxide is fully safe to use in a variety of situations to kill viral and bacterial contaminants while still being completely safe around people and animals. In fact, it is considered a category 4 disinfectant with no exposure warnings or risks with the exception of causing potential mild eye irritation.

How Does Vital Oxide Work?

As mentioned above, Vital Oxide is chlorine dioxide – a stable substance that, at a molecular level, wants to bond with other molecules with extra electrons, like bacteria, viruses and molds. When this happens, the resulting interaction attacks proteins like those that form cell walls, causing them to rupture and killing the cell.

Because it works as an oxidizer, this process also leaves behind just simple sodium chloride – the same stuff in table salt. Don’t let the “chlorine” scare you – the chemical process is sound, and has been studied numerous times by university and government researchers and found to be safe and effective. Learn more in Vital Oxide’s presentation.

Safe on Fabrics, Safe on Surfaces

One of the biggest benefits of Vital Oxide is that it’s not just safe to use on hard surfaces like metal or laminate countertops – it’s also perfectly safe to use on carpets or fabrics. In fact, it’s widely praised for its usefulness in cleaning, deodorizing and sanitizing these surfaces while not causing any issues with color fading or bleeding. This makes it exceptionally useful in homes with pets or smoke odors, while also attacking allergens, molds, dust mites and more.

In fact, Vital Oxide has received a Seal of Approval from The Carpet and Rug Institute. This seal is given to products that are tested for overall cleaning effectiveness, rate of resoiling, pH, surface texture change, use of optical brighteners and colorfastness, among other factors. 

Strong and Safe

Vital Oxide has a long history of use in hospitals and even public water supply sterilization, but it’s also seeing use in many public spaces, including schools. Because it is safe around humans, it’s a perfect solution for use in educational environments. Vital Oxide does not need to be diluted or mixed to use, so teachers can simply mist desks, tables and even carpets and backpacks between classes or at the end of the day to treat and eliminate bacteria and viruses that cause illness, helping everyone stay healthier and happier.

It’s also safe in food environments as well, meaning that it can be used to sanitize food counters and prep areas. This helps eliminate the risk of food-borne diseases and infections and helps make for safer places to cook, serve and dine for everyone. Vital Oxide is also popular in farming and animal handling businesses, allowing for the sterilization of animal stalls and feed containers, while also helping to control odors and reduce the risk of disease transmission or infection.

See for yourself how simple it is to apply and how safe it is to be around in this video.

A Powerful Partner to CLEAN

With all of Vital Oxide’s benefits, it’s easy to see why it’s one of the top-selling products here at WET. However, it’s only one part of CLEAN – our philosophy to drive efficiency, effectiveness and safety with your cleaning operations.

For something to be truly CLEAN, it needs to first be – well, cleaned! Vital Oxide is most effective on surfaces that are already free of caked on dirt, grime, grease and other substances. When these items are present, they interfere with Vital Oxide’s ability to contact the surface that needs to be cleaned. That means that dirt itself can interfere with its sanitizing power, limiting or even preventing the ability for surfaces to be sanitized.

With a CLEAN mentality, you can handle this with ease. For large projects, using a pressure washer to first remove the bulk of soils can leave a surface ready for treatment with Vital Oxide. In fact, you can even use Vital Oxide as a detergent and mix it with your existing steamer or pressure washer to apply it as part of your overall cleaning process. In smaller applications, using cleaning wipes and soaps can free debris and dirt from your surface and leave it ready for spraying, misting or fogging.

Deter Dirt with Detergent

How effective is your detergent at removing dirt? At removing grease? What about sanitizing? If you’re using the wrong solutions, you could be pouring money down the drain every time you clean.

At WET, we know CLEAN and that means we can help make sure that your operation is running not only effectively and efficiently, but safely – both for operators and for the surfaces being cleaned and sanitized. Our Chemical & Detergent PlayBook i is part of our on-site evaluation process that helps customers make the most of their detergent use and purchases.

Through our evaluation, we take a close look at the equipment you use, the different applications where you need detergents, how the quality of your water may impact operations, what safety concerns exist on job sites, the type of surfaces that need to be cleaned, and your current soap and detergent use.

By taking a holistic look at all these factors, the technicians at WET can help you determine if you’re using the right solution for your jobs or if you’re wasting money by using too much of a solution. We can also help you identify factors that may be impacting your cleaning operations, resulting in inefficient cleaning, or suggest new alternative detergents or accessories for your equipment that can help you work CLEAN – efficiently, effectively and safely – every day.

Stay CLEAN, Stay Sanitized with Vital Oxide

With the new school year now ramping up, now’s the time to make sure you’re ready to keep bugs at bay all throughout the year. We all remember how intense the flu season was last year, and with current concerns about the spread of hand, foot and mouth disease and the unknown severity of a new flu season yet to come, it’s best to be safe and prepared for anything.

Let WET help make sure you have everything you need to stay on top of CLEAN. Give us a call today at 865.525.1515 to schedule your complimentary on-site consultation.




CLEAN Is More Than a Word – It’s a Mindset

 

A CLEAN approach can help in every aspect of your work

At WET, we often use “CLEAN” in our conversations, emails, social media and other places. While keeping equipment, machinery and other surfaces clean is obviously a primary goal for many people using pressure washers, detergents and other gear, when we speak of CLEAN, we’re not just talking about how something looks or how sanitary a surface is.

CLEAN is a comprehensive approach and looks at your operation from start to finishing, helping you optimize performance and uptime while reducing costs and repair expenses. Working toward CLEAN should be a goal for your business, so let’s take an in-depth look at what CLEAN means and how you can work more efficiently, effectively and safely more of the time.

What Is CLEAN?

CLEAN is a whole philosophy that’s dedicated to helping your operations work smarter, not harder. There are many steps along the path to achieving CLEAN, but it revolves around three central points: Efficiency, Effectiveness and Safety.

Efficiency: Working to be at maximum productivity with a minimum of wasted time, effort or materials to keep costs managed.

 

Effectiveness: Making sure that your equipment and staff are working to achieve the best results on every job.

 

Safety: Ensuring that all your work is performed in a safe and practical manner, preventing harm to equipment or surfaces and injuries to workers.

 

What Stands in the Way of CLEAN?

So what’s stopping you and your operation from being CLEAN? Every day, equipment is assailed by a slew of potential problems – dirt, grime, grease, misuse, operator error, excessive wear and much more. These are the obstacles standing between you and improved operations, and most of them can be addressed with a more conscientious approach to your routine cleaning and preventative maintenance.

Dirt, Grime & Grease

Every day, you use your pressure washer to remove gunk and soils from your machinery, equipment, fleet vehicles and more. This helps keep everything looking great, but serves several additional purposes, too.

A CLEAN piece of equipment is not subject to the wear that dirt and grime can cause, as soiled surfaces can more quickly corrode or wear than regularly cleaned surfaces. In addition, by keeping your gear free of grime and grease, you can also have a clear look at your machinery or surfaces, allowing you to more easily identify any potential faults or failures like oil leaks or worn hoses, letting you make repairs or replace components before you have a critical failure.

Equipment Misuse & Operator Error

Many equipment failures or damages and employee injuries can be traced to improper use of equipment. This can mean either using the equipment in a way in wasn’t intended to operate or being used incorrectly or unsafely by the operator. Fortunately, training can help with this.

By enrolling in a regular training program or including refresher training at set intervals as part of your operations, you can make sure that every member of your team knows the correct ways to operate your equipment. This can help set the standards for use, including setup, usage, cleanup, storage and transportation, ensuring that equipment is properly handled whenever it is being used.

Having routine trainings also provides an opportunity to remind everyone about safe operation practices, including being aware of surroundings, the safety features built into the equipment and the proper procedures to follow before, during and after operating cleaning machinery.

CLEAN Results

When you adopt a CLEAN approach in your work, you’ll quickly see how this philosophy can improve your overall operations. CLEAN equipment looks nicer, which helps you and your team take away a greater sense of pride in your operations. It also can help with employee recruitment and retention, making your facilities and equipment more attractive and appealing.

A CLEAN facility also helps promote a safe working environment. Regularly cleaning machinery and surfaces removes grease and grime that can cause slippages or accidents. Routine cleaning also helps eliminate bacteria and other potentially hazardous materials, helping your team and any products you produce stay healthy and free of any contamination.

Keeping CLEAN also helps with promoting your business and your brand. If your operating facility, fleet vehicles and equipment are all well-maintained and kept free of dirt and grime, you’ll present a CLEAN image outward to current and prospective customers. In this way, CLEAN serves as an investment in your business, helping to keep everything looking and running great while also working as a form of marketing to promote your company to others.

‘If You Have Time to Lean, You Have Time to Clean’

We all have heard the old line from a boss that “if you have time to lean, you have time to clean.” With a CLEAN approach, you can work to eliminate that downtime entirely by always keeping your equipment maintained and running well.

The CLEAN approach allows you to more easily see issues on your equipment that might otherwise be obscured by dirt and grime caked on your machinery or working surfaces. This allows you to get ahead of repairs and downtime by seeing some issues early and working to correct them before failures occur.

Another major aspect of CLEAN is keeping up on your regular maintenance and upkeep. This means evaluating your equipment and setting a routine schedule to perform any necessary filter replacements, check hoses, fittings and other connections, and complete any needed tune-ups or system flushes to keep your gear in great operating condition. At WET, this is all part of what we look at when developing our CLEAN Accountability Plan.

The CLEAN Accountability Plan

The CLEAN Accountability Plan is put together by a WET technician during an on-site visit to see your operations. During this consultation, we’ll take a look at all of your current machinery and equipment that makes up your cleaning system and work to complete a comprehensive profile of your work. This includes:

• Reviewing how well your equipment is working for your applications and identifying tune-up needs

• Identifying the current accessories you use and identifying new accessories that could help improve work on your different types of jobs

• Examining your level of machine usage and compare to recommended service intervals for your machines

• Exploring the types of detergents you use, noting any implications that the chemicals may have for your hoses and accessories, and identifying alternate options or bulk pricing that may be more beneficial

• Looking at the water used in your regular cleaning jobs and examining how the pH of your supply may impact your cleaning

• Discussing operator and safety training practices and identifying any needs for new or ongoing education and support

Get Lean, Get CLEAN, Get Going

You want to optimize your facilities, equipment and operations and maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of your work. WET can help. Let our team visit your site and perform a comprehensive evaluation of your cleaning systems and equipment and put together your own CLEAN Accountability Plan to help streamline operations.

Call us today at 865.525.1515 to get started on the road to CLEAN by scheduling your complimentary on-site review.




Waving a Magic Wand to Clean

Using the right wand can make cleaning a breeze

Caked-on mud stuck beneath a truck. Engine grease and oil on the shop floor. Clogged gutters choked with leaves and dirt. These are just a few of the common sights for experienced pressure washers, and all of these cleaning situations can benefit from adding a little bit of magic to your cleaning arsenal – a magic wand.

OK, well, maybe there’s no real magic, but the improvement to cleaning power and performance when using the right wand with your pressure washer might make you think there is. There’s a lot to know about wands, so let’s take a look at how different wands can help with your operations.

Standard Wands

Most people are familiar with the standard hot-water or cold-water pressure washing wands. These are differentiated for an important reason – wand integrity. Hot-water wands use special seals that can withstand the heated water, ensuring the water ends up spraying out of the nozzle. If you use a cold-water wand with a hot-water washer, you could end up melting these seals, resulting in potentially dangerous leaks or damage.

There are also differences between wands used with electric washers and those used with gas or other combustion washers. Gas washers typically operate with higher pressures than electric washers, and as a result, the wands need to be stronger. Electric wands will often be made of plastic for that reason, while combustion-powered wands tend to use steel or heavy-duty aluminum instead.

Specialty Wands

Specialty wands is where the magic happens – so to speak. These wands are purpose-built to offer unique functionality for use in different working situations, helping make the cleaning process faster, more efficient and safer.

Push-Pull Wands

Ever wish you could spray around a corner to blast dirt and grime in tough to reach spots? With a push and pull wand, your wish is granted. These wands offer a unique design that allows you to push out the wand and change the angle at which water sprays. This allows you to turn the stream of water up to 90 degrees, great for cleaning the underside of vehicles or wheelwells.

Grip Handle Wands

Grip handle wands give users more control while spraying, which can be exceptionally important for precision jobs or when using extreme high pressures. This style of wand allows for easier two-handed control, making washing more comfortable and controlled. These wands are also often available with trigger handles, allowing for simple control of spraying.

Dual Lance Wands

If your washing jobs frequently require the use of detergents, the dual lance wand is perfect. This style of wand is literally two in one – both a detergent nozzle for applying soaps and chemical treatments and a spray wand for prewashing and rinsing. There’s no need to stop and swap connections – just connect and clean.

Telescoping Wands

Looking for some extra reach? A telescoping wand is the perfect choice. These wands can slide out and extend, with some wands capable of extending to 24 feet in length. This can give you more direct control of your wash, and allow you to reach hard-to-reach locations like beneath the eaves of a building or into a large containment vessel.

Gutter Attachments

Gutters are always a pain to clean, and all the more so if you can’t easily access the rooftop. Gutter wand attachments help by attaching to the wand and curving the stream of water so that you can stand below the gutters and spray directly down into the channels, making quick work of decaying leaves and dirt.  

Custom Wands

While these specialized wands can help in a variety of situations, there are also many instances where a custom solution may be needed. That’s where WET comes in. Our team specializes in crafting custom wands to meet specific needs for our customers. Need a wand that combines the reach of a telescoping wand with the combined function of a dual lance? No problem. Want a trigger grip paired with a gutter attachment? We can make it.

Using the right wand for your jobs can help you work CLEAN – efficiently, effectively and safely. Learn more by calling WET today at 865.525.1515.