Purchasing an Automatic Scrubber

AutoscrubberNo doubt the most common reason people invest in an automatic scrubber is to save money. In fact, the right equipment—the correct size machine, with the right features—can save thousands of dollars each year in labor costs.

An auto scrubber scrubs, squeegees, and dries the floor, all in one step, allowing the operator to complete the job quickly and efficiently. Typically, an auto scrubber includes two tanks—a solution tank to hold water and cleaning chemical, and a recovery tank to hold used water. While an auto scrubber does the same thing as a mop and bucket, the machine finishes the job in less time, and gets floors cleaner, because it always uses clean water.

Contact your NSS representative to help you determine which machine will fit your application, and the payback in cost savings that you can expect.

Questions You Should Ask About Any Automatic Scrubber

When you look for a carpet extractor, pay particular attention to:

  • How easy it is to fill and empty the machine.
  • How easy it is to change the pads or brushes.
  • How effectively the unit cleans.
  • How dry it leaves the floor.
  • How easy it is to maneuver.
  1. What are the machine's solution and recovery capacities?
    Always look at the machine's effective capacity, which is determined by the smaller of the two tanks -- the clean water tank or the waste water tank. The larger the effective capacity, the longer the machine will operate without being refilled. This translates into greater efficiency. Some automatic scrubbers recycle the waste water by filtering it and putting it down as cleaning solution. This allows the machine to operate longer before refilling. But, unless additional cleaning chemical is added after the solution has been recycled, the waste water will lose cleaning power. The result could be a lack of uniformity in the cleanliness of the floor.
  2. How is the vacuum motor protected against moisture?
    Many scrubbers' vac motors are vulnerable to moisture damage. Moisture leads to premature wear -- and sometimes even vac motor burnout. Look for a machine that has designed-in failsafe vac motor protection. For example, the recovery tank should be larger than the solution tank. Because the more full the recovery tank can get, the more the waste water can slosh into the vac motor. Also, beware of floating Styrofoam waste water shut-off levers. Foam floats can break off, and levers can become clogged with cleaning chemical. When the shut-off fails, water or foam can overflow into the vac motor, causing serious damage.
  3. What material are the squeegee blades made of?
    A worn squeegee blade can leave a floor wet or streaked -- which means your machine isn't much use. The most durable squeegee blades are made of urethane. Gum rubber blades wear out faster, and usually require more screws to hold them in place. So replacing them is more difficult. At NSS, we're still the only full-line equipment manufacturer to produce our own squeegee blades. This allows us complete control over quality, installation and testing over this critical -- but often overlooked -- component.
  4. How easy is it to access the motors?
    Even the best cared for machine will eventually need to have its motors replaced. So easy access to the motors can help reduce maintenance costs. Avoid an automatic scrubber you must turn on its side to gain access to its motors.
  5. Is the machine easy to maintain?
    A neglected machine is a breakdown waiting to happen. At NSS, we do everything possible to help you operate and maintain your auto scrubber properly. Our larger scrubbers arrive with Use & Care videos that cover operating and maintenance procedures for our larger scrubbers -- the 26's, 27's and 33's. We also have an 800 tech services line available to answer any questions you might have. And, perhaps most important of all, our nationwide network of NSS quality distributors and service centers is available to all our customers. In the U.S. or Canada, call our Support Services line at 1-800-677-1663 to find out the service center nearest you.