I’m not getting water out of my scrubber
This is part 2 of a 5 part series on common problems that can occur with your automatic floor scrubber. If you missed part 1 then you can access it here.
When automatic floor scrubbers were first invented some 60 years ago or so the dispensing of water was pretty simple. There was a hand operated lever near the dashboard of the machine that controlled a cable that opened and closed a solution ball valve near the top of the scrub brushes. The ball valve was gravity fed with water combined with cleaning chemicals from a tank that was positioned above the valve. Open the valve and water came out. Close the valve and the water stopped. Simple process to operate and fairly simple to repair or replace if it broke.
This mechanical system has been replaced on many current production scrubbers. On some models there is an electric pump that pumps water onto the floor or sprays the brushes with chemical solution that is used to wet the floor surface. Machines use filters to clean the water before it hits the floor. They use solenoids that control the water flow and chemical metering systems that pre-mix cleaning chemicals with water. These devices are all controlled through a computer board that regulates the process. This adds to service issues and things that might go wrong over time but these additions make the operator’s job easier and the scrubber more productive and efficient.
Since there are now more things to possibly go wrong this means there is a need for more routine maintenance and the possibility that the cleaning solution just isn’t hitting the floor.
Check these areas first:
- Check to make sure there is actually water in the solution tank. Believe it or not I have made service calls for customers claiming no water is coming out when in fact no one has filled the solution tank.
- Make sure there are no obstructions in the clean water solution tank. I have seen automatic scrubbers parked in back rooms of buildings with the tank lids open so the tanks can air out. This is a good routine to have. In reality I have seen these clean water tanks being used as receptacles for cigarette butts, candy wrappers, banana peels and other assorted trash. Keep the obstructions out of the tanks.
- If the scrubber has a pump and it is not pumping check to make sure the pump is getting power from the batteries. If the pump is bad you will probably need to replace it. These types of pumps are generally not repairable.
- Most machines today have water filters in the solution line to make sure the water is clean before it continues through the system. This protects the solution control valve and solenoid from damage. These filters accumulate sediment and chemical buildup over time and can prohibit the flow of water. They need to be cleaned regularly.
- Solenoids are used to regulate the flow of solution onto the floor. This uses less water and is more efficient. Solenoids need power to operate so check to make sure it is getting power from the batteries. If the solenoid is bad simply replace it.
- The water flow on most machines is controlled by a switch on the dashboard. Check to make sure the switch is operating correctly.
- The computer board may be bad as well. Check to see if the board is operating correctly. If it isn’t it may be the reason the solenoid, pump or switch isn’t working.
You can see there are many possible elements that exist today on current production models that didn’t exist years ago. They all require routine maintenance. They make these newer automatic scrubbers more efficient and productive and more operator friendly but they also add to your daily routine maintenance checklist.
For more information on your auto scrubber please contact us at our service and PM page. We are here to answer your questions, address your concerns and solve your problems.
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