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Carpet Cleaning Issues - Carpet construction, upholstery cleaning, stain removal, equipment, events, etc.

New Machine (Prochem, CFR, Stimvak, etc)

Posted by Lionel (Lionel), 1 September 2003
Hi fellow carpet cleaners, I am considering buying a new machine my current Steemeasy is due for retirement. I have looked at the Steempro Powermax but I see Prochem have a new Steempro Powerplus which is only a 100 dearer, has anyone seen this machine and what do you recommend.
Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 2 September 2003
Lionel, I think all of prochems portables are over priced.
there are a lot better machines out thier at better prices.

If I was thinking of buying a new portable I'd look at these machines:

1) Alltecs new machine, I saw it at the cleaning show and it looked a nice machine.

2)Asbeys Ninja is a good machine and comes with a 400psi pump

3) hydramaster top of the range machine, 400psi, 2 inline heaters, my mate has one and loves it.


Ps Go to the NCCA show and you'll see all these machines
Posted by Mike_Boxall (Mike_Boxall), 2 September 2003
Hi Lionel
The Powermax is a great machine and, other than being more powerful, you'll notice how much quieter it is than the Steameasy. Unusually, we've just demonstrated both these machines at a single location and the difference in results was amazing. I need to defend the pricing issue Mike raised - Prochem machines can be extremely competitive if you buy them from the right dealer! ( Tel 01684 565552 Speak to myself or Chris Ralph)
Yes, there are cheaper machines but you get what you pay for!
Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 2 September 2003
most  machines are the same, a lump of plastic with usually a Shurflo pump and  1 or 2 Lamb Vac motor.

buy a machine with the biggest pump, 2 x 3 stage vac motors, and an immercion element in the tank.

don't be fooled be any waffle, if they have this spec' then it just comes down to price.

Also why pay for  a machine from the states, when you can buy British!


Ps:My advice is impartial, I'm not trying to sell you anything Wink

Posted by Mike_Boxall (Mike_Boxall), 2 September 2003
The Steampro is extremely well built and put together but there's more to it than just a powerful pump and motor. It's certainly one of the quiestest machines I've ever used, it's very easy to manouvre about (has 10" rear wheels - you'd notice a big difference versus the Steemeasy getting it up and down stairs etc), it weighs just 38kgs, the impact resistant high density polyethylene casing (OK a 'type' of plastic Angry) is guaranteed for 6 years, it has 12 months on-site warranty, you get a free Prochem training course, it is competitively priced, the inline heater produces almost instant hot water, it's easy to work on if you ever do have a problem and it looks the business! It's also the little things that make the difference like the quality of the hoses, wand and couplings - love them or hate them, the Yanks tend to over-engineer things (the castors are bolted on rather than riveted etc).
If there were machines we thought were genuinely better and / or cheaper we'd sell them. Until now however, the best package, we think, is Prochem.
Did I mention how you go about ordering one?  Smiley
Posted by Derek (Derek), 2 September 2003
Hi Lionel

I guess you have opened a can of worms with that one.  You have obviously been around a while to have a machine that is due for retirement.

Take Mike's advice and visit the show in Wolverhampton where there will be a wide variety of machines on view including the Prochem machines you asked about.

Talk to the cleaners who use them, they will all be there, and you will get a true picture.. warts and all.

Salemen sell...cleaners clean ... there's a world of difference.

Kind regards
Posted by Mike_Boxall (Mike_Boxall), 2 September 2003
So it's a showdown in Wolverhampton, eh?

Whos lump of plastic do you use, Mike?  Grin
Posted by Lionel (Lionel), 2 September 2003
Thanks for your advice guys!

     I would only buy a Prochem machine! I only buy the best. I have been to the shows and Prochem are the only company who have the complete system and seem professional granted I do use other companies but you cant beat the training, machines and chemicals.

I have opted to buy a Steempro Power plus it looks and sounds  fantastic!!! See you at the show Smiley
Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 2 September 2003
[/i]"looks and sounds fantastic"[i]   Lionel what are you going to do with it, clean carpets are audition it for Pop Idol Grin Grin

I Once thought as you that the sun shines out of prochems Ar=#s... oops I mean waste tank Wink

Prochem are a good company but you pay through the nose, the're better companies out there who charge reasonable prices.

Mike B, my lump of 'plastic' is made of metal stays in  the van, has a big chimney coming out ot the back, and you've neaver seen anything like it Cheesy its unique.


Posted by Derek (Derek), 3 September 2003
Hi Guys

So can I take it that its hand tools at ten paces then? Roll Eyes

Posted by Mike_Boxall (Mike_Boxall), 3 September 2003
Mike, I heard Prochem looked into coal powered truckmounts sometime ago but decided against them! Wink
Posted by woodman (woodman), 3 September 2003
SmileyShow my age now,

I have had a Stimvak (started with a stimvak junior contradiction in terms as there was nothing junior about it as some might remember) went onto a Prochem infact had several of these along the steameasy range with power brushes,load rubbish they were,the power brushes that is, the machines were fine.
Went on to an Ashcombes,then Hydramaster,Woodbridge Commercial (the southern guys will know about them,not very impressive at all)
Alltec,( Ashcombes in disgiuse) old designs don't like 'em

Somebody has mentioned the Ninja I have one of them now very good machine it is aswell.

It's down to personal preference there is something in what Mike says they do basically (I hate that word) have the same components its just the designs that move on and Prochem lead the way in my opinion and noise is definately becoming a factor.

I think I can see a question coming here Smiley go on Mike
ask it.
Posted by Mike_Boxall (Mike_Boxall), 3 September 2003
can I interest you in a truckmount?
Posted by woodman (woodman), 3 September 2003
I knew I had left my self open to that one Smiley

At the NCCA  exhibition I will be looking into the quick drying methods of cleaning ie  Dry-Fusion.

I have a market for that type of work and if the thing works as well as they say I will give it a go.
I once used the Host method for a while and it was a complete waste of time and money but this system has had great reviews and a massive potential market.

Portables for ever  Grin

Posted by Derek (Derek), 3 September 2003
Hi Mike / Woodman

I remember the Stimvak Junior well, one of the best made machines at the time

I started with Dominators in the 70's (They were marketed by Malcolm Beese of Systematic Cleaners, sadly Malcolm died a couple of years ago.)
I progressed onto the Prochem Super Extraction machine, since then a couple of Extracta Excels', an Alltec Professional Plus and recently the CFR (I still run an Excel, the Alltec as well as the CFR ...not all at once though)

So what about the CFR machine then?

It's a different concept that takes some getting your head around.
Drying times are reduced dramatically and it does the job... the getting your head around bit is the recycled water

This one should be at the show too

Posted by woodman (woodman), 4 September 2003
Hi Derek,

So you have a CFR, can I enquire as to how much you paid for this revolutionary piece of equipment .

Also I beleive it's psi goes up to 400, at what rate do you use it and how long before the recycled solution is unusable.
Posted by Derek (Derek), 4 September 2003
Hi Woodman

I feel awful referring to you by this name I would much sooner use your first name... Sorry.. its a 'me' thing I am very old fashioned.

The CFR machine pump is variable up to 400 psi and I use this pressure on most carpets. Furnishings I turn it down to around 200 psi.

You have to bear in mind that the design of the hand and floor tools is the key as the jet(s) are angled. (low moisture) Three jets to the floor tool with four interchangable jets for the hand tool (one at a time)...just a quick connect system.

Things to really get your head around....

It pumps water at up to 400psi

It has only 'one' two stage vacuum motor

It recycles water

Sound impossible that it can work and I thought so too.
I saw the system some four / five years ago and discounted it completely at the time.

You have to see the floor tool placed onto a Dhurrie rug on a concrete floor with the jets blasting at full throttle for a minute or so. Lift the rug and there is no wet patch on the floor. Seeing really is believing.

I have to admit I cheated though, I purchased the combi hand tool first and used it with a conventional extraction unit.
You certainly empty the tank at a fast rate of knots but the fabric was dryer quicker (due to the design) and boy did it move the dirt.
Brilliant on spots and stains (imagine hitting a spot with 400psi and no overwetting) and especially good on filtration marks.... the hand tool itself is the best piece of kit I have bought for years.  

The recycling bit.... I change the water (so easy) when I feel it is right to do so but they say (the manufacturers) that the water can be recycled up to seven times.
The advantages are that you don't have to keep filling up every five minutes.

I can run the machine with my 33 foot hose and 25 foot extension hose coupled together quite happily for the distance work.

The filtration system is unique and the water goes through a system of four different filtration units each time.
The amount of soil removed is incredible and the carpets are left (as one customer today said) 'springy'
Drying times are much less which is what drew me to the system.

Do look at the CFR machines at the show.


ps.  I do NOT sell any machines or chemicals or receive commissions etc. I am just an ordinary carpet cleaner who is rapidly reaching his I do enjoy the carpet / upholstery cleaning business.

Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 4 September 2003
I've always wondered about the CFR machine, does it have a heater?  if not, after the water has been recycled a couple of times it must start cleaning with cold water. is this so?

I almost bought a CFR  4 years ago, I was given some information on the Ozone generator that could be fitted to it, I thought it was a fantastic idea

Posted by Derek (Derek), 5 September 2003
Hi Mike

My particular model of  machine does not have a heater although you can get one built in with some of the models. The angled power of the jets seem to do the business.

As my post indicates, or at least I tried to make it so, the CFR machine is so different it took a long time to convince an 'old fogie' like me that it could work let alone does work
Even when I saw it I couldn't or wouldn't believe what I was seeing...I had to try it out to convince myself.

Tought me a valuable lesson...don't close your mind to new technology.

Enjoy your trip to LA and you could bring me back a stick of rock?

Posted by Northerclean (Alex), 12 September 2003
I'll take a look at these machines Derek, fingers crossed I hope to give a good deal at the show on 26th Roll Eyes

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