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All sorts of vacuum cleaners

We are all familiar with vacuum cleaners in our homes and pretty much take them for granted as part of our everyday lives. They have been around since the early twentieth century and modern machines use a centrifugal fan to create a partial vacuum to suck up the dust and dirt from our carpets and upholstery. So far so simple, but I was thinking the other day after we sold a small battery operated vacuum cleaner to Alton Towers to collect water which had spilled out from a pool, that vacuum cleaners have actually come a long way from their origin as a merely domestic appliance. For example the wet and dry vacuum has been quite innovative to domestic and commercial users

Wet and Dry Vacuum

The original type of vacuum would not have been able to deal with liquids easily. It would have been dangerous as there was no separation between the electrics within the machine and the liquid being collected. It is generally known (I hope) that water and electricity are not compatible to say the least. In a wet and dry vacuum the collected materials never pass through any electrical or mechanical components and the motor is kept separate from the collection chamber. Commercially this type of vacuum is valuable in that whatever the situation in a warehouse or retail outlet for example, it can deal with all deposits without the need to use separate machines or in the worst case, a mop! It minimises any downtime and keeps floors clean which is better both from an aesthetic and health and safety point of view.

The vacuum cleaner has developed into a specialist cleaning machine far beyond the imagination of James Spangler who is credited with invented the vacuum cleaner. He ran out of money and sold the patent to a man called Hoover, the rest is history, sadly for Spangler. So there are more variations beyond the wet and dry version, which protect and enhance the environment. For example there is the HEPA vacuum.

HEPA Vacuum

The HEPA vacuum refers to the type of filter used in this machine. All vacuum cleaners remove dust, and some are better than others, but where the amount of dust removed is critical, for asthma sufferers for example then a HEPA vacuum cleaner is required. A genuine HEPA vacuum removes 99.97% of particles sized at 0.3 microns. The HEPA filter is basically a concertina filter made of a glass fibre material which traps the particles as they pass through the machine. This means that a powerful motor is needed to overcome the resistance of the special filter, making this type of vacuum cleaner more expensive to buy and run, however the benefits derived would far outweigh the cost for people where dust particles are an issue. Dust is not only a problem to allergy sufferers, in some industrial environments it can be potentially combustible, which means a specialist vacuum cleaner is necessary.

ATEX vacuum cleaners

This type of vacuum cleaner is compliant with ATEX directives and standards which relate to protection against the danger of explosion in an environment. Practically this means areas like flour mills, bakeries and oil and gas works, anywhere where the combination of dust and air or vapour has the possibility of igniting and causing an explosion.

As might be imagined the ATEX directive is quite specific and divides areas at risk into zones of varying degrees of potential hazard. This means that that vacuum cleaner is designed to match the hazard involved so that some machines may be electric powered and the dust can be collected and any vapour expelled from the machine, or in other cases the cleaner can use compressed air fed from outside the cleaning area so that there are no electrics in the vicinity which may cause ignition.

More vacuum cleaners

It is clear that the humble vacuum cleaner has become an innovative and sophisticated cleaning machine suitable for the most challenging cleaning applications. The technology involved in these machines is always evolving, for example, leading cleaning equipment brand Karcher have developed a vacuum cleaner which cleans its filters by automatically blasting air through the cleaning filter to remove debris and maintain cleaning efficiency.

Where technology will take the vacuum cleaner in years to come who knows, but it is clear that getting good advice from an experienced cleaning equipment company like B&G Cleaning helps to get a machine fit for purpose.

Give us a call, or see our full range of commercial vacuum cleaners here.