Electrostatic Sprayers, The Hype Vs. Reality

There has been a lot of resources investing in promoting electrostatic sprayers, the marketing has apparently been quite successful as we have many inquiries from customers regarding this type of sprayer.

Being that we are constantly on the lookout for new products that would benefit our customers, I would like to share with you the findings of my research.

The first thing one needs to clarify when possibly purchasing an electrostatic sprayer, is weather the item in question is actually an electrostatic sprayer. Many of the sprayers and foggers being marketed as electrostatic, are in fact, not electrostatic at all, rather they are non-electrostatic sprayers that are falsely marketed, and customers charged a premium, for a feature they do not have.

There are a few reputable companies that make electrostatic sprayers, in order to determine the benefit they bring, we would need to examine how they are intended to work. 

THE CLAIM

Electrostatic sprayers create a positive electric charge on the mist that it emits. The claim is that the positive charge causes the liquid that is discharged from the sprayer to bind to objects it is being sprayed on with a force more powerful than gravity.

Various marketing promos show an object sprayed by an electrostatic sprayer vs that sprayed by a standard sprayer, and the one sprayed with a standard sprayer seems to only have coverage on one side of it, whereas the one sprayed with an electrostatic sprayer is covered from all sides.

The concept is easy for people to understand, as everyone has experienced static electricity, the force that may cause peoples socks to stick together when they come out of the dryer, and in theory, electrostatic sprayers work the same way.

The Reality

 

The reality is not as compelling as the claim. Electrostatic sprayers create a discharge that is positively charged. Positively charged particles will naturally bind with items that are negatively charged. So far so good, but here is the catch, most objects are  electrically neutral, so a positively charged particle, will not be attracted  to it  

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Static_electricity#:~:text=Static%20electricity%20is%20an%20imbalance,electric%20current%20or%20electrical%20discharge.

Seemingly, this would negate any benefit that electrostatic sprayers would present to the majority of objects that are being sprayed.

It can't hurt, can it?

Even though you are now aware that electrostatic sprayers do not provide a benefit for most objects that you are targeting for spraying, you may still make the argument that for those objects that are naturally negatively charged, it provides a benefit, so assuming that price is not an issue, why not get an electrostatic sprayer, it can't hurt?

In fact, that is not necessarily the case. The electrostatic sprayers made by reputable companies, have a relatively weak spray and a small coverage area. At first, I had thought that this was just because the focus of these companies was on the electrostatic feature, and not on the performance as a fogger or sprayer.

The more I have looked into it, it appears that the weak spray of electrostatic sprayers is by design. The reason is that electrostatic pull, while stronger than gravity, is still a relatively weak force. If the sprayer or fogger would have a powerful motor propelling the discharge, it would negate the benefit of the electric pull. In order to prevent that these sprayers work by creating a spray with a very low force, in order to allow the electrical force to determine the area where the spray covers. 

The result is that even the most reputable (and expensive) electrostatic sprayers can not compete with the coverage area of our Liberty ULV Backpack Fogger. The tradeoff in performance may make sense for some, if the electrostatic feature would benefit all surfaces, but considering that it provides no benefit to the majority of surfaces, you would be paying a premium for a fogger that is far less capable than other standard foggers.

The Liberty ULV Backpack fogger has an effective range of over 20 feet, the leading Electrostatic Fogger, has a range of 5 feet. Unless one is only looking to disinfect a very small area, the superior performance of the Liberty Backpack Fogger would seemingly easily outweigh the questionable and limited benefit of the electrostatic sprayer.

 

Based on the above, one would be hard pressed to rationalize the purchase of an electrostatic sprayer as opposed to our ULV Backpack Fogger, particularly considering the premium price being charged for them

 

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