Automatic bathing systems are a great way to clean pets quickly and effectively, cut down on wasted water and shampoo, and save time around the shop.
A bathing system produces a pressurized stream of pre-mixed shampoo and water that can quickly break through the oily outer barrier of a pet's coat, which helps pets get cleaner faster.
A Venturi Bathing System is a non-electrical system that uses the principles of physics and water pressure to create an ideal blend of shampoo and water. With a Venturi system, the suction created by the pipe carrying water to the spray hose helps to draw shampoo up into the water stream via a connecting pipe.
A Recirculating Bathing System uses an electric motor to draw water up from the bottom of the tub and send it out through the spray hose in a steady stream.
Now that we have the names down, let's go into the details:
We currently offer two bathing systems that are operated by a Venturi valve system—the Master Equipment ProBather Ultimate Bathing System (pictured above), and the Hydrosurge Bath Pro 5.1 Bathing System.
To understand how a Venturi valve works, picture two pipes that are connected like a capital T. The water runs along the horizontal (top) end of the T. The shampoo hose is connected to the vertical end. As the water runs across the top of the T, it creates suction that draws the shampoo up from below.
The advantage of using the Venturi bathing system is that you are always using clean water. The Venturi system also operates without electricity, so there are no electrical parts to worry about burning out or being damaged by water. Plus, you'll still be able to use the bathing system if the power goes out.
The Venturi system also allows for quick and easy switching between shampoo types with click button control.
The Venturi system does require good water pressure in order to work effectively, however.
And while there are no electrical parts to worry about, it's important to make sure that the valves and washers are in good condition and the filters remain clean. Otherwise, the water flow may not create the suction that's needed for the system to function effectively.
Recirculating Bathing Systems
A recirculating bathing system like the Bathing Beauty Hydro Massage Bathing System (pictured above) operates on an electric motor that draws water from inside the tub and uses it to clean the pet.
To use this system, first add enough water to the bottom of the tub to reach the inake on the pump (about 2 to 3 gallons), and add a capful or two of shampoo. An intake valve will then draw the water out of the bottom of the tub, circulate it through the bathing system, and send it back out through the spray hose under pressure.
Much like the Venturi system, the high powered mix of shampoo and water will help to quickly saturate and clean pet coats, saving you time and money. It also keeps the dirt and oils in suspension in the water, so they don't redeposit onto the coat, making for faster rinsing with your clean water supply.
The two main advantages of the recirculating system is that it will save you on shampoo and money. Since you are cleaning a pet using a closed system of shampoo and water, you aren't seeing good suds or wasted water go sailing down the drain.
A recirculating system is usually priced less than a Venturi system, too. Whereas a Venturi-style bathing system can run from $600 to $1,000, the Bathing Beauty is only $499 at PetEdge.com.
The recirculating system does have its limitations, too. For one thing, if you are going to fill the bottom of your tub with water, you need to take into account the extra weight that this will add. If you are working on a particularly heavy dog, you could exceed the weight limit without realizing it.
And though a closed circuit bathing system can save you money on water and shampoo, it can also make cleaning more difficult, as you're essentially washing the pet with the same water over and over again. If the water gets dirty, it won't clean as well. On really dirty or greasy pets, the water may have to be changed or refilled to get the pet clean.
A Few Words About Shampoos
When using a bathing system, we recommend using the high concentrate shampoos and conditioners that are specifically designed to work with that bathing system.
Because the mixing of water and shampoo is done under pressure, bathing shampoos are highly diluted by the time they reach the coat.
A regular shampoo will often be too thick to work within a pressurized bathing system, and could end up clogging the pipes or creating a ton of suds in the tub.
Likewise, we don't recommend using a shampoo that's been diluted for a bathing system for traditional hand bathing. The highly diluted formulas are too thin to work effectively outside of the bathing system and you'll have a tough time getting the dog clean.
We also recommend that you consult the warranty on your bathing system before using a shampoo that is not specifically designed for the system. Many manufacturers' warranties will be voided if you use an "unapproved" shampoo.
Do you have experience using an automatic bathing system in your grooming shop? Any words of advice to share with our groomers? Post your comments here on on our facebook wall. We love to hear from you.
Thanks and happy grooming :)
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