The second part of this three-part article looks at floor care equipment and battery upkeep.

Autoscrubber and buffers come with a big price tag. They can run anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000, so it’s critical to think about preventative maintenance. A little maintenance goes a long way, and saves a lot of dollars.

“Make sure these systems are clean for the next day. Clean the machine at the end of the shift,” says Tishko. “You don’t want to try to clean the machine before you use it.”

Autoscrubbers use water, and standing water can build up a biofilm within the unit. Therefore, it’s important to empty out the system’s recovery tank and flush out the hoses after every use.

“Standing water that is left sitting in the machine becomes thicker and will gum up the filter where the water has to go through before it hits the solenoid to dispense the water,” Tishko says. “Stagnant water becomes thicker.”
Likewise, a biofilm can form on the sides of the tank and even grow mold.

“Then whenever you use the machine, the clean water you use will get dirty more quickly because of the residue left in the machine.”

To get full life out of the pads, brushes and squeegees on these systems, workers need to check them regularly, remove debris and change them as they get worn.

But according to Tishko, batteries are the mostly likely part to fail on these systems.

Autoscrubbers use one of three batteries: lead acid batteries, sealed batteries and lithium ion batteries. Lead acid batteries, most often used on autoscrubbers, need to be filled with distilled water while charging. Sealed batteries require less maintenance but have a shorter life. Lithium ion batteries are fairly new and are most commonly used in backpack vacuums, but they are making their way to the autoscrubber market, says Tishko.

The way most workers charge batteries can shorten their life, he says.

“Many people run these scrubbers an hour, then charge them all night long,” says Tishko.

But the batteries actually last up to four hours on a single charge, and should be run until they get low.

“Even though you ran the unit for an hour, you’re killing cells in the battery by charging it right away,” says Tishko. “It weakens the battery, and you’re not going to get the full life out of the battery in the long term.”

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Carpet, Floor Care Equipment Maintenance Saves Time, Money
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Avoid Costly Vacuum Repairs With Cord, Filter Upkeep