Commercial Cleaning Pump Systems: How Much GPM Do I Really Need?
Jonathan Walsh, Senior Engineer, Sep 14, 2023
While many homeowners and businesses opt for hard-surface flooring, there are still billions of square feet of residential and commercial carpet installed each year. As such, the commercial carpet cleaning and floor care industry continues to grow.
Companies offering commercial cleaning services are often represented by small, local businesses or independent contractors. As such, there are a lot of inconsistencies between them in regards to commercial cleaning equipment.
There is one standard, however, that many commercial cleaning companies will need to adopt in coming years, and that is the move to electric equipment. This is raising concern among technicians who are worried they won't be able to get enough GPM or PSI out of an electric plunger pump versus the gas-powered equipment they’ve used in the past, or sustain power long enough to get the job done.
We’re here to set the record straight.
Gas-Powered vs. Electric Pump Equipment
Currently, it’s not unusual for professional carpet cleaners to lug long hoses from their truck-mounted pump all the way into a home or business to get the job done. The problem is, many gas engines that power those carpet extractors are being banned in some states.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is banning small off-road engines (SORE) less than 25 horsepower (HP), and other states are considering similar emission standards. To comply, technicians will either need to convert to electric-powered equipment or bump up their horsepower to above 25 HP, only adding to their carbon footprint and defeating the law’s intent.
The truth is, nearly all truck-mount pump equipment is overkill for commercial cleaning. Gas-powered equipment typically produces about 3–4 GPM, oversaturating carpet fibers with expensive cleaning solutions and requiring longer dry times. Such a high flow rate rivals that of a garden hose and poses a risk of resoiling and wicking.
Furthermore, at 3,000 PSI, the impact of the stream from gas-powered carpet extractors and cleaners can actually damage carpet fibers and reduce the flooring’s lifespan. To mitigate these risks, technicians often install regulators to significantly limit the flow and pressure.
So, it begs the question…
If you’re already using a regulator and switching nozzles to lower the flow of your pump equipment, why not opt for a commercial cleaning pump system that delivers the optimal flow and pressure you need in the first place?
Electric 12V pump systems for commercial cleaning are not only CARB-compliant, they can deliver optimal flow and pressure. For example, the Pumptec 356U Series is a high-performance electric pump that is highly efficient, allowing it to operate using a 12V battery without running out of juice prematurely. It has up to 3 GPM and, when paired with an 04 jet nozzle, it runs at an optimal 700 PSI. Our 350U Series pump delivers similar flow and 500 PSI with 02 or 04 jets, drawing only 30 amps.
We encourage you to read our Go-To Guide for Proper Pump GPM and PSI to learn more about the importance of using a pump that’s properly sized for your application and why using too much GPM and PSI can be detrimental to your bottom line.
Additional Benefits of Electric Commercial Cleaning Pump Equipment
Doing your part to help save the environment is reason enough to transition to an electric plunger pump system, but doing so can also help your bottom line.
First of all, promoting your business as eco-friendly and CARB-compliant can give you a competitive advantage over other carpet cleaning businesses, and appeal to the increasing number of consumers who prioritize sustainability.
Pumptec’s 350U and 356U plunger pumps are constructed of chemical-resistant aircraft-grade aluminum bodies with stainless steel plungers. They stand up to harsh cleaning chemicals and produce less friction, making them one of the most durable pumps on the market and allowing them to run for years on end.
Electric plunger pumps are also significantly quieter than gas-powered pumps, allowing technicians to operate them anywhere and at any time. This alone convinces some operators to switch to electric because it allows them to conduct business in residential areas with noise ordinances.
A plunger pump’s simpler design also means less labor and maintenance costs, with additional savings coming from not having to purchase fuel. When using proper flow rates and pressure, technicians also reduce wear and tear on surfaces and use fewer chemicals. When factoring in reduced labor, maintenance, downtime, materials, liability, and fuel costs, an electric plunger pump’s total cost of ownership over time can bring significant savings and far fewer headaches.
It’s important to note that not all electric pumps are created equal. Pumptec’s 12V DC pumps are among the most efficient yet powerful commercial cleaning pumps on the market. Not only do our plunger pumps conserve battery life, they also get the job done faster with better cleaning results due to their optimal GPM and PSI.
Our engineering team will work with you to tailor a pump to your needs, and also recommend proper nozzles, regulators, hoses, and other accessories based on your applications. Connect with our team today, and don’t forget to download our Go-To Guide for Proper Pump GPM and PSI to learn more about the importance of right-sizing your pump.