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How To Wash Electrostatic Precipitator Cells

Most people think that it’s simple to wash electrostatic precipitator cells but there are some do’s and don’ts that will prolong the life of your cell and save money over the long run.

The first tip is never use a power washer on your cell. A power washer can damage the plates or ionizer wires which will require repair or replacement. Most washers have 2000 PSI or more pressure which is just too much. It’s not a great idea to use garden hose either. The cells really need hot water for effective cleaning.

The other mistake people make is using products like Simple Green. They are not formulated to clean aluminum effectively, and especially not effective on some contaminants like cigarette smoke residue, and oil mist. In addition some people use coil cleaners, which are effective but could damage the aluminum cell plates and in some cases are so caustic they can actually dissolve the aluminum if left in the solution too long.

The best cleaners for electrostatic precipitator cells are those formulated especially for cleaning hard contaminant off aluminum without hurting the aluminum. We have a variety of solutions, both liquid and powder that are formulated for the contaminants which are most often seen.

Our MistBuster Total Oil Cleaner works very effectively on the toughest coolants and cutting oils in CNC environments. And our Smokemaster® Cell Cleaner product is effective on cigarette smoke residue as well as a variety of other contaminants. We also sell Smokemaster® Industrial Cell Cleaner which works well for weld fume residue, especially oily weld fume, which can gum up the precipitator cell.

All of these are best when mixed according to the manufacturing instructions that are on the container.

Usually it’s best to have a container big enough to hold about 5 gallons of mixture for the small cells and a larger container for the bigger cells. We offer those containers as well.

Mix hot water with the detergent thoroughly and then immerse the precipitator cell in for 1-2 minutes. Take it out of the mixture and let it stand for 5-7 minutes or rinse immediately depending on the mix and instructions. One treatment should be enough for most applications, but sometimes for really tough contaminant or if it’s been a while between cleanings, another wash might be desired.

If you are having issues with getting some contaminant off the precipitator cell, a pre-treatment is also available. Our Cell Coat product will help release contaminant during the wash cycle.

When you are done, the mixture is non-hazardous and can be discarded through your normal sewer system drain. If you like, you can save the solution and re-use it, but if you can warm up the mixture, that works best. You can judge that for yourself.

Air Quality Engineering, Inc. electrostatic cell cleaning products are sold in gallons, 5 gallons and 55 gallons of liquid concentrate, and 32 oz and 4 oz packets of powder.

Be sure to contact your Air Quality Engineering, Inc. representative for the best products for your application. If you are looking to learn how to use our AUTOCLEAN® Electrostatic Precipitator, check out this video.