The Quick Guide to Water Wash Spray Booths

The Quick Guide to Water Wash Spray Booths

The water wash spray booth disappeared from the scene for a few years, but it's making a comeback. This article will explain why and highlight the important things to consider when choosing this type of booth for your workshop.

What is a water wash spray booth?

A water wash booth prevents the overspray of materials like powder coatings and spray paints. Designed for high production finishers, it eliminates paint, dust and fumes from the air, creating a clean and safe working environment. When used and maintained correctly, this type of booth is durable, efficient and offers advantages over more commonly used dry filter systems.

How does it work?

A water wash booth uses water to collect and filtrate overspray. Using a series of baffles and reservoir, air forces the spray particles through multiple water curtains or scrubbers that trap and collect them. They are then passed through to a collection tank. Typically, water wash booths are made from stainless or galvanised steel components, making them resistant to corrosion. They often run a centrifuge or sludge removal system, allowing waste to be removed on a continual basis. The water is chemically treated so that it bonds with the spray particles. Using an ionization process, paint compounds will either float to the surface or sink and become a sludge. Floating compounds must be skimmed off and disposed of as hazardous waste and sludge must be shovelled out and disposed of in the same way.

What are the advantages of water system?

So, why are water spray booths increasing in popularity? Here are some of their notable advantages over dry filtration systems:
  • Can have lower operational costs - due to no filter purchase expense or labour costs associated with continually changing filters.
  • Clean and efficient collection - ideal for high production rates.
  • Maintains a constant and uniform airflow, while dry filters load with paint.
  • Can handle higher v
  • Compatible with a larger variety of paints, with a wider range of viscosities and drying speeds.
  • Favoured by all health, fire and building codes.

Are there any disadvantages?

As with any type of machinery, there are some disadvantages and important things to consider before choosing to install a water spray booth. These include:
  • Higher purchase and installation and maintenance costs compared to dry systems.
  • Needs some type of sludge removal system (manual or automatic).
  • The water must be consistently treated with chemicals, which can increase operating costs.

The importance of having a maintenance plan

Both wet and dry systems require regular maintenance to maintain booth performance, prevent costly down time and to maximise lifespan. However, the water in wet booths must also be chemically treated and well-maintained to comply with health and safety regulations. Employers must operate a maintenance plan to ensure that this happens.

The hazards of untreated water

Left untreated, paint sludge will build up in the system and this has the potential to create serious contamination and hygiene risks. A poorly maintained booth is an ideal breeding ground for bacterial and fungal growth that can cause: Legionnaires' disease - A form of bacterial pneumonia which is contracted by inhaling contaminated water droplets. Biological odours - these contribute to poor working conditions, low productivity, worker dissatisfaction and health concerns. Component failure and deficient performance - this compromises the booth's effectiveness in terms of maintaining a clean environment and reducing fumes and dust.

What should a maintenance plan include?

Bacterial and fungal growth can be prevented with a programme of chemical treatment, equipment maintenance and biocide application. Routine clean-up of hard to reach areas and locations where solids are prone to accumulating is essential.

What water treatment options are available?

Denaturants (detackifiers)

These are solutions that quickly reduce the tackiness of paint overspray, causing it to float or sink for easy removal with minimal stick. We recommend: The Gramos TAK kill Denaturant range.

Flotation additives

Flotation additives raise the denatured paint to the surface, helping to reduce waste disposal time and costs.  Use in conjunction with denaturants for optimal results. We recommend: Gramos TAK Kill Booth Additive PEL - D4702.

Biocide additives

Biocides provide complete microbiological protection of the water and eliminate odour-producing bacteria. We recommend: Gramos TAK Kill Biocide Additive BC1 - C8705. If you would like to install a water wash spray booth in your paint shop or discuss your water treatment requirements, call our technical helpline on 01302 571503, or email .

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