Made in Indiana: Pressure washers by Aqua Blast Corp.

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About 90% of Aqua Blast Corp. power washers are custom built. (Photos courtesy of Aqua Blast Corp.)

History: Founded in Bluffton by Paul Gerber in 1962, Aqua Blast first sold pressure washers only to agricultural customers. Under new ownership in 1984, the company moved to the Adams County community of Decatur. Present owner David Tumbleson joined Aqua Blast’s sales staff in 1987. Tumbleson became a co-owner two years later, and he’s been the sole owner since buying out a partner in 2008.

Headquarters: Eleven Aqua Blast employees work in a 12,000-square-foot building where pressure washers are assembled. Tumbleson said 90% of the machines are custom-built. Aqua Blast sources components such as electric motors and gas and diesel engines from other companies.

Customer base: Farm operations now make up about 60% of the clientele for the company’s heavy-duty pressure washers. Lucas Oil Stadium is a customer, Tumbleson said, who added, “We have machines on ships all over the world.” It’s possible to order an Aqua Blast machine for around-the-house washing of sidewalks and decks, but Tumbleson said those sales aren’t a major part of the company’s business.

It’s hot: A quarterfinalist in this year’s “Coolest Thing Made in Indiana” competition overseen by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Aqua Blast sells more hot-water pressure washers than cold-water machines. Hot-water machines, which rely on LP gas, natural gas or propane, are more efficient, Tumbleson said.

Reasons to wash: On hog farms, pressure washing is a key practice for preventing the spread of disease in buildings that house animals. For a homeowner, blasting surfaces can bring a sense of satisfaction, Tumbleson said. “Why do you wash your car on Saturday afternoon? It makes you feel good. It makes you look good,” he said. “It’s the same for a clean sidewalk versus one that’s become mossy colored.”

Fun fact: At the top end of industrial-grade pressure washers, Aqua Blast has made 300 hp diesel machines. For comparison, 200 hp is the average among modern cars, according to data and analytics company J.D Power.

Website: aquablast.com

—Compiled by Dave Lindquist

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