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Home > Water, Fire & Disaster Restoration > Information Resources > Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs about Water Restoration Solutions

Frequently Asked Questions about Abatement Technologies® Equipment for Water Restoration Professionals

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When would you use a centrifugal air mover vs. an axial fan air mover?

The air outlet of a centrifugal air mover, such as Abatement Technologies’ RAPTOR Series Air Movers, is low and parallel to the floor so it places maximum air flow to where water has accumulated. An axial fan air mover moves large volumes of air and is used in vortex drying procedures.

Can you stack several RAPTOR™ Centrifugal Air Movers and daisy-chain them for operation off of a single electrical wall socket?

Yes, up to three RAPTOR Air Movers can be stacked and interlocked securely during operation or storage. Up to four units can be daisy-chained to operate on a single 15 amp circuit.

What is the purpose of using a moisture meter for water damage restoration?

Delmhorst Moisture Meters are used to measure, monitor and record moisture levels in a water-damaged structure as it goes through the drying process. Using a moisture meter is the only way to know with certainty if the structure is dry at the end of the drying process.

How can I control odors and smells created by water, flood and fire disasters?

Vaportek’s line of innovative odor-control products provides a safe and effective way for restoration contractors to neutralize odors. Vaportek products are ecologically-friendly and do not create ozone or contain dangerous chemicals.

How can I create a protective containment barrier that is easy to set-up and can be configured for various enclosure sizes?

The ZipWall Containment Barrier is an easy-to-use protective barrier system that goes up in minutes without the need for special tools. The versatile ZipWall system adapts to various ceiling heights using telescoping, twist-lock ZipWall poles and spring loaded ZipWall jacks.

Why is negative pressure important?

A negative pressure environment will help to contain the construction dust and contaminants within the construction space. A negative pressure space eliminates the possibility of contaminants passing outside of the construction area through leaks in the construction barriers.

Can I order PPE from Abatement Technologies along with all of my restoration equipment and chemicals?

Yes. Along with a complete offering of equipment, products and chemicals for water restoration contractors, you can order PPE to help keep workers safe against biohazards and contamination.

How do I create a negative pressure environment using Abatement PREDATOR® and HEPA-AIRE® Portable Air Scrubbers?

In order to create a negative pressure environment, more air must leave the space than enters it. First of all, the construction area must be walled off with Abatement Technologies Containment Barriers. Secondly, the Abatement Portable Air Scrubber(s) must be placed inside the construction area. Ductwork should be run from the system to somewhere outside of the construction area, preferably to the outside of the building. Since the air is HEPA filtered, it is not mandatory to exhaust air to the outdoors.

Which size Abatement Portable Air Scrubber is needed for my current project?

Six or more air changes per hour (ACH) are recommended for effective air cleaning during construction and renovation work. To determine the amount of airflow and the number of PREDATOR or HEPA-AIRE PAS units required for your project, view the air change calculator.

How is the amount of airflow that must be removed from the containment zone to maintain negative pressure calculated?

The general rule of thumb is that at least 10% more air must be exhausted from the area than is supplied to it. For example, if 500 CFM is coming in through the facility HVAC system, then at least 550 CFM must be filtered and exhausted by the PAS.

What are the differences between Abatement Portable Air Scrubbers and negative air machines?

We manufacture both types of products. Although they perform similar functions, they have distinctly different designs and markets. Big, boxy and heavy negative air machines with ‘no frills’ designs and hard casters are lower priced, but are best suited for large projects in unoccupied facilities. Abatement PAS have a much lighter weight, upright design that makes them much more portable and easy to roll into and maneuver through tight spaces with minimal disruption to an occupied facility. Higher performance motors, blowers and filtration systems substantially improve airflow output and filter life, and reduce operating costs. More elaborate controls and high tech stainless steel cabinets that look great and are easy to clean add to their ‘hospital friendliness’. Learn more about Abatement Technologies line of high-performance PREDATOR and HEPA-AIRE Series Portable Air Scrubbers.

How often do Abatement HEPA filters need to be changed?

The size and concentration of airborne contaminants, temperature, humidity conditions and duration of use determine how often filters need replacement. As the filters become loaded with particulate matter, the airflow capacity of the unit decreases and the static pressure differential across the filter increases.

Abatement Portable Air Scrubbers are equipped with easy-to-read filter change indicator lamps that illuminate when filters should be replaced. Unlike gauges, these lamps do not require operator interpretation or calculations. Average filter life (with continuous operation):

  • Primary filter: 1 day
  • Secondary filters: 3-7 days
  • HEPA filter: 800 hours
What Abatement accessories are needed for negative pressure applications?

PREDATOR, HEPA-AIRE and SAFEGUARD Portable Air Scrubbers include an exhaust collar. Additional accessories needed are locking clamp(s), lay flat and/or flex ducts, additional collars and duct hose joints.

What is the warranty of Abatement Portable Air Scrubbers?

All systems are covered by a comprehensive limited warranty to the original user against defects in materials and workmanship for a period of one year after date of purchase. This warranty excludes filters, which are consumable items that require ongoing replacement.

Does the MP3000 MEGA-PUMP™ provide HEPA efficiency?

No. The MP3000 MEGA-PUMP combines a high-capacity sump pump, vacuum system and a particle filtration system to separate solids into a stainless steel basket inside the 19 gallon stainless steel canister, while liquids are discharged through a standard 1.5” fire hose. Abatement Technologies does offer HEPA efficiency to remove hazardous particles from surfaces with the V8000WD Canister Style or V1300H Hip-Mounted HEPA Vacs.

FAQs about Product Safety Certification

You really emphasize the fact that Abatement products are tested and certified by ETL, a Nationally recognized testing Laboratory (NRTL). What are the requirements?

In the USA, OSHA safety standards for general industry and construction and the National Electrical Code require testing and listing (certification) of electrical products to applicable standards. It is important to note that this testing must be performed on an electrical device even if the individual electrical components used in that device are all listed or approved. Testing must be done by an OSHA-recognized NRTL, such as UL (Underwriters Laboratories), ETL (Environmental Testing Laboratories) or CSA (Canadian Standards Association). In Canada, The Standards Council of Canada has adopted standards for the Canadian Electrical Code developed on its behalf by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). Third party testing from a laboratory or other organization not NRTL-certified is not acceptable, even if such testing is done to applicable standards.

Why is NRTL certification so important?

Unless a unit is properly tested, users have no way of knowing whether it is properly and safely designed to meet the requirements of the applicable electrical codes. It is wise to require written vendor verification that the products you purchase are NRTL certified.

Aren't all air filtration products properly certified?

No. Unfortunately, many of the air filtration systems sold to and used by contractors, healthcare facilities and others are not certified, especially negative air machines.

FAQs about HEPA Filters

Commonly Asked Questions about HEPA Filter Performance & Testing Requirements

What does the term HEPA mean?

HEPA is an acronym for "High Efficiency Particulate Air" or "High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance." This acronym refers to a filter that is manufactured, tested and certified to meet Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology (IEST) construction, performance and certification standards as currently published in IEST RP-CC001.3.

How long have HEPA filters been in use?

The first HEPA filters were developed for the Atomic Energy Commission during World War II for use in facilities manufacturing components for the Manhattan Project (atomic bomb). These HEPA filters were originally designed to capture microscopic radioactive particles too small for effective removal by existing types of filters. HEPA filters used today are much more efficient and economical than the products made in the 1940's.

Where are HEPA filters used today?

HEPA filters are generally specified for applications where microscopic airborne particles or biopollutants could cause human health or product quality problems. Typical users include military, nuclear, pharmaceutical, electronics, biological and medical facilities.

What is it that makes HEPA filters so efficient?

The ultra-fine, glass-fiber medium captures microscopic particles that can easily pass through other filters by a combination of diffusion, interception and inertial impaction. To qualify as a Type A HEPA filter, the filter must capture at least 99.97% (9,997 out of 10,000) of particles 0.3 microns in size–about 300 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair, and 25 to 50 times smaller than we can see. To a HEPA filter, catching a one-micron particle (1/1,000,000 of a meter) is like stopping a cotton ball with a door screen.

Are filters this efficient really necessary for IAQ applications?

Laser particle counter measurements typically show that more than 99% of the particles suspended in indoor air are one micron (1/1,000,000 of a meter) or smaller in size. EPA calls these “lung-damaging” particles, because they can lodge deep in the lungs when inhaled. The ability of HEPA filters to capture particles this small is what sets them apart from other types of filters. Regulations developed by EPA, OSH A, CDC and other federal, state and local government agencies responsible for human health and IAQ issues specify HEPA filters for asbestos, lead and mold abatement, TB and SARS isolation rooms and healthcare renovation projects.

Are all filters made with HEPA filter media HEPA filters?

Manufacturing a filter with HEPA filter media does not mean that the filter itself meets true HEPA efficiency requirements. Serious filter leakage can go undetected if filters are not individually tested and certified at the end of the manufacturing process. Even the tiniest pinhole leaks in the media or breach of the seal between the media pack and the filter frame can cause the filter to fail IEST requirements. The testing requires very specific procedures using a thermally generated mono-dispersed aerosol and a laser particle counter. Some regulations also require field-testing by the user prior to going into service and periodically thereafter.

Why is the testing done with a 0.3-micron particle size test aerosol?

Filter efficiency studies have shown that 0.3-microns is the "Most Penetrating Particle Size (MPPS)" for HEPA filter media. Efficiency is typically greater than 99.97% against larger or smaller particle sizes. Particles larger than 0.3 microns are typically more easily trapped, or intercepted, by the media. Smaller particles often lack sufficient mass to penetrate the media.

Is a "HEPA-Type" filter the same as a HEPA filter?

No. In fact, the differences are huge. According to the American Lung Association, filters classified as "HEPA-type" filters may capture as little as 55% of 0.3-micron particles (5,500 out of 10,000). By this definition, the true HEPA filter could be more than 1,800 times as efficient as the "HEPA-type" filter.

Does HEPA filter efficiency decrease as the filter gets dirty?

No. Unlike electronic air cleaners and other air purification technologies that experience substantial loss of efficiency as they become dirty, exactly the opposite typically happens with HEPA filters. In fact, the dirtier a HEPA filter gets, the more efficient it can become.