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A “Solution Tank” By Any Other Name, Is Still A Solution Tank

Monday, December 1, 2008

It is not unusual to discuss with customers scrubbing problems. Some of these problems are, for example, not enough solution/water applied to the surface. Another one is actually too much solution/water applied to the surface. Perhaps, one would be the solution not cleaning enough and sharing ideas about how to accomplish that problem. However, in every instance, people I have found call the solution tank by many different names. With this I would like to delve into the solution tank, its purpose, problems, maintenance, etc.

First, let me describe the scrubbing process that all scrubbers perform. When scrubbing, the water/cleaning solution is released from the solution tank, flows through a control valve and down to the scrub brushes. The brushes then scrub the surface. The machine equipped with a rear squeegee, squeegees the surface and the dirty water solution is then vacuumed into the recover (dirty water) tank.

With this being said let’s talk strictly about the solution tank. You know, a rose described by any other name, is still a rose. As well as the solution tank described by any other name is still a solution tank. Let’s see, I have heard a water tank, clean water tank, soap tank, detergent tank. I have even heard it called “the good tank” as if there is a “bad” tank.

The main purpose of the tank is to supply the scrubbing brushes with a cleaning liquid solution to help remove and clean debris from a surface. A solution tank is used on all scrubbers, from walk-behind to the largest of rider scrubbers. Access to inside of the tank is usually on the top of the tank. The access door is hinged which opens or is simply removed. Against most beliefs, the solution tank does need to be cleaned. Over time the bottom and sides get an alkali buildup and needs to be scrapped off. One can also steam clean the tank, however, check water temperature maximum in your machine manual. It is usually not higher than 120 degree. After 1995 all machines are equipped with a drain hose on the solution tank. It was not always that way. If you wanted to clean the tank, usually it had to be removed. The American Lincoln 7000’s tank was actually hinged so one could tilt it for cleaning. But, today you simply open the drain hose and clean the tank.

What I have described is the workings of an average scrubber: Solution tank and Recovery tank. There is one more aspect of the scrubber and that is a system called Recycling. A scrubber equipped with recycling acts at first just as a regular scrubber, putting down the solution and then vacuuming it back up. However, here is the difference. The recovery tank dirty solution is put through a filter or a series of filters and returned to the solution tank. The solution is, once again, introduced to the surface for cleaning.

Outside of extra hoses and filters, the tanks are basically the same, however, the recycling tanks need to be cleaned more often. The recycling system saves time and money, however, is less or not effective in severe environments.

If you have any questions or comments about this article or cleaning equipment in general you can e-mail me at or call me at 800/346-2319.

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