WaterSense at Work: Best Management Practices for Commercial and Institutional Facilities
Wash-down sprayers are hoses used for a variety of cleaning purposes, including
washing countertops, floors, mats, and other kitchen areas. Wash-down sprayers use
large volumes of water to provide a high-pressure stream capable of cleaning dirt
and residue from surfaces.
A wash-down sprayer features a nozzle attached to a hose, which is connected to
the water supply. Wash-down sprayers typically deliver flow rates of 7.0 gallons per
while heavy-duty hoses can deliver higher flow rates from 9.0 to 20.0
Because wash-down sprayers use large volumes of water to perform cleaning tasks,
using another cleaning method could be a viable alternative. These alternative
cleaning methods (e.g., mopping, sweeping) are able to perform the same tasks, yet
require significantly less water or no water at all. If implementing new cleaning meth-
ods is not feasible, replacement options exist that use lower flow rates than wash-
down sprayers, including pressure washers and water brooms.
Operation, Maintenance, and User Education
For optimal wash-down sprayer efficiency, consider the following:
Only use wash-down sprayers to clean floors, countertops, and other surfaces.
Do not use wash-down sprayers to clean dishware, which should be cleaned with
pre-rinse spray valves.
If the wash-down sprayer does not have a self-closing nozzle, shut off the water
supply when the sprayer is not in use.
For floor washing applications, consider using a broom and dust pan to clean up
solid waste and/or using a mop and squeegee instead of a wash-down sprayer.
If a high-flowing wash-down sprayer hose is used without a nozzle, consider install-
ing a self-closing nozzle. This can reduce the flow rate of the wash-down sprayer
from up to 20.0 gpm down to 7.0 gpm and prevent water from being wasted when
the wash-down sprayer is not in use.
There are several replacement options for wash-down sprayers. For certain appli-
cations, wash-down sprayers can be replaced with mopping or sweeping, which
require little to no water use.
Food Service Technology Center (FSTC). 2010.
Water Conservation Measures for Commercial Food Service.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Energy Department’s (DOE’s) ENERGY STAR. Best Practices—How to Achieve the Most Efficient Use of Water
in Commercial Food Service Facilities.