® More on Ultrasonic Cleaners

Crest AP1220-750, a very nice 6-gallon, 750 watt dual generator floor model with built in filtration and oil skimming. Units such as this are the workhorses of the powersports industry. Probably this one and the Omegasonics Pro are what shops seriously devoted to the technique are using.

I recently replaced my main cleaning unit with a brand new Crest system. Now that I have run ultrasonics for a number of years I can report on more that I have observed and learned. For my earlier articles go here and here.

Still the greatest way to clean just about anything. Everyone uses them. I learned recently that the folks specializing in the restoration of fire damaged homes and offices use ultrasonic cleaners to, get this, clean smoke-scarred computers and televisions! They dip them in whole! Isn't that a giggle, not to mention a testament to the process? And of course, ultrasonic is the method of choice for rebuilders of engines and transmissions, and has been for decades. Jay Leno recently traded in his unit (a 50-gallon Omegasonics floor model) for a replacement.

My new unit is slightly larger as well as higher powered than the old one, and I chose it after doing a bit of research, calling company reps, looking up facts, etc. I found out something new, and that is that the real effectiveness of an ultrasonic cleaner is in its watt-per-gallon ratio. I already new that wattage, after frequency, was important. What I learned though is that these huge tanks some companies list in their product lines can be deceiving if the wattage isn't there to support the volume of water. Another new fact is depth. Apparently shallow is better than deep. This is because most ultrasonic cleaners have their transducers mounted to the bottoms of their tanks, so that the waves' power is dissipated as the waves travel vertically. And what do many companies build? You got it. Largish volume tanks that get their volume from depths over 10", making them actually not as powerful. I also finally learned the real scoop on different frequencies, including that at least one manufacturer builds units having two different transducers, but about this I'll say more at another time.

I find it interesting that ultrasonic cleaner manufacturers universally warranty their electronics ("generators") for two years and the transducers mounted inside their tanks for 10 years (more specifically, the epoxy that bonds the transducer to the tank is guaranteed for 10 -- it is interesting to note that no one brazes the transducers any more; epoxy is thought to be good enough now, and even my 20 year old Ney is epoxied).

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