Steam cleaners can be classified by the applications they were designed for: domestic, commercial, and industrial. What is the difference among these options? Commercial and industrial applications simply require greater productivity. To understand the differences, one needs how steam cleaners work.
How Steam Cleaners Work
Steam cleaners convert water into high-temperature vapor steam. This conversion occurs in the boiler tank where water is heated to temperatures of up to 360°F, depending on the steam cleaner. Steam is emitted through a hose or tool onto the surface to be cleaned, where it is used to dissolve and soften dirt, stains and other residues. Some machines offer additional features like vacuum extraction to extract softened residues from the surface.
In the case of standard steam cleaners, when the boiler tank has been emptied of its super-heated water, the machine must be shut down to refill. Once refilled, the machine must be reheated. Suppose you have a heavy cleaning job in which you need to use a steam cleaner for several hours. One problem with traditional steam cleaners, in such instances, is refilling the tank.You can fill the tank once and use the tank for one stretch until all the water in the tank is used up. If cleaning is not over by that time, you will have to refill the tank and wait for it to reheat. This can be a time consuming process, reducing productivity for commercial and industrial users.
How to Overcome this Problem
The simplest and most effective innovation is the refill chamber. Machines with a refill chamber offer what is known continuous refill. The boiler of these steam cleaners works the same, in that it heats water to generate high-temperature steam. The water in the boiler tank remains super-heated. As the boiler tank empties, it draws water from the refill chamber. This water mixes with the super-heated water in the boiler, to ensure steam is always available.
The user can add water to the non-pressurized refill chamber as needed, without having to stop, refill, and reheat. Using this method, one can add water to the steam cleaners simultaneously while it carries out the cleaning job. This is particularly useful for increasing productivity in commercial applications.
Technologically advanced industrial steam cleaners can feature yet another solution: direct water feed. This enables a similar continuous refill function via connection to a hose line. This works similar to the continuous refill function discussed above, with the exception that the user is not required to add water to the refill chamber.
For residential cleaning purposes, continuous use commercial steam cleaners are not mandatory, though it is good to have them. However, for more rigorous commercial and industrial applications that can extend over a long period of time, continuous refill machines are essential.