Frequently Asked Questions

Facts and Myths

A lot of statements have been made about ultrasonic cleaners and cleaning. Some of these items are listed to help you better understand your ultrasonic cleaner.

The quieter the cleaner the better.

Myth - Quiet cleaners usually are either:

  • Not operating at all (if you can hear it)

  • A very weak cleaner

  • A cleaner operating at a very high frequency (which is usually a weak cleaner)

The louder the cleaner the better.

Myth/Fact - Loud cleaners usually indicate a stronger cleaner, however, the type of sound is more indicative of the strength of a cleaner. Loud, erratic or high pitched sounds usually indicate out-of-tune or defective generators or transducer malfunctions. A proper hiss or rustling like leaves usually indicate the stronger cleaner.

The solution is important.

Fact - Solutions are the most single influential variable in ultrasonic cleaning. Properties of the specific fluid interact greatly, that is, some fluids operate quite good at ambient (room) temperatures whil others operate better at 140-160 degrees farenheit. Some fluids require wetting agents (surfactants, detergents) to effectively transfer the ultrasonic energy into the solution. Water always requires a wetting agent and operates better at the higher temperatures. The solution supplied with each cleaner is specially formulated to enhance your cleaning.

A cleaner has X amount of cleaning power.

Myth - Manufacturers making this statement usually are not stating the whole fact. There is no industry recognized term for "cleaning power". Usually each manufacturer making a claim in this manner has his own standard or interpretation therefore what may be strong in his eyes may be weak when compared with another cleaner. The cleaning ability of a cleaner depends on many factors, such as actual electrical power input, solution, transducer, matching, physical construction and others. Health-Sonics uses average electrical power to compare cleaners because this is a measurable claim. Cleaners are then properly sized by applying industry standards of power level for cleaning levels, such as so many watts-per-square-inch of a tank bottom. Three to five watts for an average powered cleaner and five to seven watts for a high power cleaner are typical power levels.

Multiple cleaning frequencies are better.

Myth/Fact - This statement is both true and false. For a given cleaner the lower frequencies are much stronger. These lower frequencies probably contribute 80-90% of the cleaning in multiple frequency cleaners. Combining the attributes of both high and low frequencies in one cleaner usually results in compromises in the lower frequencies resulting in a lower overall cleaning ability. The high frequencies which are available do help clean smaller crevices better but contribute very little to the hard cleaning job. In other words, both high and low frequency cleaners have applications, but not usually in one cleaner. Furthermore, most of the lower frequency cleaners normally produce sufficient random high frequencies so these units could be described as multiple frequency cleaners. The Health-Sonics cleaners produce sufficient high frequencies in addition to the fundamental low frequency to provide a practical balance for general cleaning applications.

Fluid surface activity indicates strength of power of a cleaner.

Myth - Surface activity does not necessarily indicate strength. A highly active fluid surface can be caused by the fluid level, especially in those cleaners which have a high sensitivity to level - those which have a high standing wave ratio - those having dual generator units which are not properly frequency matched. Cleaners having strong surface activity sometimes completely die out whenever the least change occurs in the fluid level, or when a work load is placed in the tank.

Degasssing (driving out gas bubbles) affects cleaning.

Fact - A properly degassed tank of solution will provide a much stronger cleaning than one not degassed. A good cleaner will usually degas itself with the cleaner on for 3 to 15 minutes dependent on type of solution.