How a Pump Helped Revolutionize the Restroom Cleaning Industry
Shawn Glover, VP of Sales, Oct 27, 2020
You’ve likely been there, winding your way through a busy airport terminal searching for your gate and a desperately needed restroom. Depending on which airport you’re at, you’ll get mixed reviews on the cleanliness of its bathroom facilities.
Keeping large, public restroom facilities clean is a major challenge for airports, arenas, event halls, and other public venues, both large and small. Not only do public restrooms contribute to the spreading of bacteria and disease, studies confirm that they can be a breeding ground for biohazardous contamination that can spread beyond the walls and stalls into other areas of the building.
Kaivac, an industry-leading supplier of cleaning equipment for high-traffic public restrooms and other facilities, set out to change all that, and also wanted to find ways to uphold the dignity of the dedicated individuals who perform the job of cleaning restrooms and other bacteria-laden areas.
The Dangers of Public Restrooms
There are telltale signs that a restroom is not properly cleaned and sanitized, including obvious odors, debris, and visible grime. It’s often the unseen bacteria and particulates that can cause the most harm, however, such as Hepatitis A, E. coli, and various viruses that are airborne or live on surfaces.
While unappetizing, to say the least, bacteria thrives in the residue in urine that surrounds toilets and urinals. Recent concern has been heightened regarding the powerful flushing action of many toilets and their ability to aerolize the contents within the bowl, sending a fine, undetectable mist into the air. Notably, improper cleaning of a restroom facility can be a liability issue when it results in slip-and-fall accidents.
The health and safety of those who are charged with cleaning the restroom facility’s toilets, urinals, flooring, sinks, and walls may be even more concerning. In addition to the previously mentioned health concerns, the strong cleaning chemicals used to eliminate pathogens and bacteria hold their own risks.
Innovative Company Tackles a Dirty Job, Hands-Free
Kaivac designed a patented contact-free, portable restroom cleaner that was discreet, efficient, and effective, one that didn’t require service technicians to handle chemicals and reach inside toilets with a brush and gloves multiple times daily. Half of the machines can be simply plugged into a 120V outlet, and half of the machines are battery-operated. They provide a deep clean using a freshwater tank to clean and rinse, a separate container for dispensing cleaning chemicals, and a vacuum to extract dirt and grime into a wastewater recovery tank.
They developed the innovative idea of installing a pump as part of the cleaning equipment’s plumbing that would inject water into each toilet. The challenge came in ensuring that the pump used in this application was compact enough to fit in the confines of the plumbing surrounds and remain portable. It also had to maintain consistent flow and accurate dilution of cleaning chemicals through the Venturi effect to properly kill pathogens. Too little spray and the area would remain unsanitary; too much would be costly and could cause irritation or harm to operators.
The cleaning compounds themselves also posed a challenge due to their corrosive nature and ability to deteriorate pump components, meaning any equipment used needed to withstand potentially harsh chemicals. Kaivac knew their solution was unconventional at the time, but also knew that if they could bring their design idea to fruition that it could revolutionize the commercial cleaning industry.
Partnership with Pump Experts Brings Concept to Reality
After looking for pump options, Kaivac soon discovered that conventional pumps wouldn’t fit needs. They were either too large, not durable enough, or couldn’t provide the consistent performance they needed to ensure safety. Knowing they needed a custom solution to power their innovative idea, Kaivac turned to the pump experts at Pumptec.
After collaborating with a Pumptec engineer to determine proper flow rates, PSI, and elastomers, a bigger challenge was addressed. Unique to Kaivac’s design was the need for a compact pump featuring a custom port with a specially placed manifold. The configurations found on most standard pumps didn’t satisfy specific plumbing needs for their design.
To truly be considered hands-free, the pump system required compact installation with precise chemical injections through the main pressure lines. To fine tune the flow rate to create enough pressure to get the cleaning job done, the teams collaborated to calculate line loss to ensure an accurate mixture of the chemicals based on the amount of water being pumped.
Pumptec’s powerful pump and integrated chemical injection system made possible Kaivac’s vision of a system that would allow the operator to successfully perform “no-touch” restroom and bathroom fixture cleaning, as well as flooring, hard surfaces, sinks, and other areas. The results help them achieve their motto of “stop the mop” and, more importantly, helps ensure a surface with little to no biological leftovers to transmit disease.
A True Partnership Delivers Results
The most effective solution is a result of the right kind of partnership, not just the right kind of products. The long-standing relationship between Kaivac and Pumptec has resulted in multiple innovative solutions in the commercial cleaning industry.
If you need a cost-effective, compact solution to your pump dilemma, whether for a cleaning system or other high-pressure application, contact the pump experts at Pumptec for a free consultation. You’ll find an innovative spirit and attention to detail that’s unrivaled in the industry. Also check out our Guide to Proper Pump GPM and PSI below to identify proper ratings for your intended application.