3 min read

What you need to know about High Volume Hydroblasting

Featured Image

Hydroblasting is a process that uses high pressured water to clean surfaces. High volume hydroblasting is a variation of the process that uses a high pressure water but with substantially increased flow rates than standard, conventional hydroblasting. This makes it ideal for larger scale projects where greater cleaning power and energy is needed.

If you're considering utilizing hydroblasting for your next project, here are some a few key elements you need to know about high volume hydroblasting.

HubSpot Video


What is Hydroblasting?

Hydroblasting is a process that incorporates high-pressure water to dislodge and remove unwanted deposits and fouling from a multitude of surfaces and bulk storage vessels. It is an ideal method for cleaning industrial equipment such as heat exchangers, boilers, reactors and tanks. The lower range of pressure and volume within this hydroblasting spectrum, often times used for cleaning buildings, vehicles and certain floor surfaces, is also known as pressure washing or power washing.

The high-pressure water used in hydroblasting can reach pressures of up to 40,000 psi (pounds per square inch). This pressure is created by a positive displacement (“plunger” type) hydroblasting machine, which discharges water through a hose to a specialized nozzle. The water exiting the nozzle strikes the surface to be cleaned with high energy forces to remove the build-up.

This water blasting cleaning technology removes unwanted fouling deposits that impair process equipment and production efficiency.

Custom Designed Equipment

Capable of cleaning applications where pressures of 10,000 to 40,000 psi are required, experienced personnel and proper pumps can get operating equipment back to full production and efficiency as quickly as possible. Custom-designed nozzles, tools and automated application equipment, combined with diesel-powered pumps, enable to provide unmatched speed, effectiveness, and safety.

What is High Volume Hydroblasting?

High Volume Hydroblasting, as its name describes, is a type of hydroblasting process that can deliver high-pressure in high volumes - this is done by using custom designed high volume pumps also known as "Big Pumps".

High volume pumps (to 2,250 HP, 1,200 GPM and 10,000 PSI each), coupled with talented personnel and automated equipment, can tackle the most demanding cleaning projects safely and efficiently to reduce costs and eliminate downtime.

What’s a Big Pump? 

The general classification of big pump-capacity equipment is the true power behind the strategic ability of companies to service their clients with this unprecedented cleaning method. These sizable units (typically transported on their own tractor-trailer bed) are capable of pumping up to 1,200 gallons of water per minute, with a pressure of up to 10,000 PSI.

As you can imagine, these pumps, typically with output >30X conventional rigs, are more than adequate to clean incredibly quickly. In addition to traditional, relatively straightforward jobs, though, the use of high volume hydroblasting via Big Pumps is also a process to remedy problems with plant equipment that present extremely difficult challenges.

Big Pumps are routinely coupled with automated application equipment that can readily withstand and harness the extreme thrust (back-pressure) of the high volume water stream to clean nearly inaccessible locations of equipment. Also of benefit is that the high energy Big Pump hydroblasting operation can fluidize solid waste and convert it to a pumpable slurry, thus facilitating its waste -handling to minimize cost while accomplishing within the client’s time frame and budget. 

New call-to-action


Big Pumps (high volume water blasting equipment) can be paired with hydraulically-driven hose reels for enhanced efficiency, productivity and safety. The reels provide for more thorough and productive cleaning of exceptionally long runs of large diameter pipe, removing bulk material and “impossible” to extract deposits that have repeatedly failed to be accomplished with nearly all other means.

This is achieved with the use of hydraulic-actuated, advance/retract and 360 degree rotation mechanisms, that eliminate the need for manual operation of the hose during cleaning. The result is optimum cleaning pressure/flow without manual exhaustion.


Some benefits of high volume hydroblasting include:

  • High volume - up to 1,200 GPM, 10,000 PSI with pumps to 2,250 HP
  • Maximized efficiency by harnessing volume + pressure + automation 
  • Compressed schedule due to substantial increase in productivity
  • Reduced hazard exposure by utilizing automation equipment
  • Nozzle placement & selection customized to each project and application parameters


High volume hydroblasting is ideal for:

  • Recovery Boiler Cleaning (we clean an average of 1 every 6 days)
  • Air PreHeater Cleaning
  • Non-Entry Vessel & Tank Cleaning
  • On-line Clinker Removal
  • Large Diameter Pipe & Sewer Cleaning
  • Boiler Gas Path Cleaning (Water walls, superheaters & economizers)

Safety. Productivity. Quality. Integrity

Thompson is your go-to provider for all your hydroblasting, vacuuming and other comprehensive industrial cleaning needs. We are committed to safety, which means we are committed to constantly automating our solutions wherever possible. Our hydroblasting and vacuuming services are highly customizable and Thompson’s trained personnel are ready to solve your biggest challenges 24 hours a day.

We serve pulp and paper mills, power plants, steel mills, chemical plants, bulk terminals, and other industrial facilities, by developing a strategy to meet your plant-specific needs. Let our experts engineer a custom job to eliminate down time and yield impressive results.

New call-to-action

Related Articles

Thompson Industrial: Your Chemical Cleaning Expert - When you need industrial cleaning services, there is no better option than Thompson Industrial Services.

About Thompson Industrial

Thompson Industrial specializes in safe, quality Lifecycle Industrial Cleaning Service Solutions. From critical path pre-commissioning & dependable on-site operations support, to productive outages, turnarounds, and decommissioning.

As part of the Hydroblast Vacuum + Big Pump branch, we offer Automated Hydroblasting, Wet + Dry Vacuuming, High Volume Big Pump, Vaccum Excavation and UHP Cutting + Hydrolazing.  When it comes to Chemical Cleaning and FINFOAM®® we are the experts.  

We also offer Specialty + Custom Solutions, including Pigging/Brushing, Combustible Dust Remediation, Dry Ice Blasting, Drone Inspections, In-Situ SCR Catalyst Cleaning, Tank Cleaning + Vapor Control, Sponge Blasting and EPIC™ HRSG Off-line Cleaning.

3 min read

Thompson Industrial: Your Chemical Cleaning Expert

When you need industrial cleaning services, there is no better option than Thompson Industrial Services. We’ve garnered invaluable skills and...

3 min read

What you need to know about High Volume Hydroblasting

Hydroblasting is a process that uses high pressured water to clean surfaces. High volume hydroblasting is a variation of the process that uses a high...

3 min read

Ultra-High Pressure Hydroblasting Cleans Up at Thompson Industrial

When most folks talk about high pressure cleaning, they are generally thinking about the portable pressure washers from the local home and garden...