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

Which Machine? Confused

Posted by heritagecleaning (heritagecleaning), 10 March 2004

I'm looking at various machines with a view to going into carpet & upholstery work (I presently do office cleaning). There are certainly a lot of machines out there which broadly, as I see it, fall into 2 types:

1.Those where you push the whole unit along the floor
2. Those with a hose and floor nozzle coming out of the main body of the machine.

So which is best / which is most suitable for what type of work?

I have the Express catalogue, plus there are also Ashbys and Extracta machines to consider. I have up to £2,000 I could spend if necessary.

So any recommendations as to type and brand of machine would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

Posted by Ivar_Haglund (Ivar_Haglund), 10 March 2004
cross american recoil 3

other machines are just portables.

Posted by Scots_cleaner (Scots_cleaner), 10 March 2004
Hi heritagecleaning,

It all depends on the use of the machine.

1. Commercail work only
2. Domestic work
3. Or both

Lots of the guys and suppliers will put up an argument for each of thier own machines so its up to you.

Go for a supplier thats close to you cos if it goes down you dont want to be without it for long.

Dont always go for the cheap and easy option.

Personally i have the powermax 2000 from prochem (with inline heater) for one reason they have a supplier 20 miles from our office.

We per-vac with the host Extrator vac.

We also Bonnet Buff with an Truvox Orbis

That my 2 pence worth

Barry Shocked Smiley
Posted by des (des), 10 March 2004
Hi owan
I would not go near one of the machine,s that you pull or push the whole machine .I have had two of them and they were no good The alltec advantage looks like a machine that if it goes wrong you could repair quickand they have a good name also the ninja from derek ashby also has a good name .A lot of carpet cleaners have them Also make sure it has a heater it helps with the cleaning   des at mister clean

Posted by Ken_Wainwright (Ken Wainwright), 10 March 2004
Hi Owen

As Barry has already said, What do you want your machine for? If it's for your existing offices, and they're low profile carpet or tiles, I'd go for a low moisture system such as bonnet cleaning, Dry Fusion, Texatherm etc. If you want to move into residential carpets, hotels, licensed premises etc. then  Hot Water Extraction with seperate hoses and wand would be the way to go. Or, of course, both.

If you are already involved with strip and seal of vinyl floors, then you may already have equipment suitable for generic bonnet buffing. Ask the questions, give us the details,  and we'll give you the answers.

Safe and happy cleaningSmiley
Posted by Lionel (Lionel), 10 March 2004
I have a  Prochem SteamPro Powerplus, this is an excellent and quiet machine. If you are going to buy then buy the best you also recv a free training course which is also excellent!!!
Posted by strakercleaning (strakercleaning), 10 March 2004
I have a Prochem Steemeasy 400 which is 15 years old and has the pump and vac replaced once Cheesy
I also have Ashbys Diamonback which is 3 years old and that has had pump and one vac replaced twice and the other vac replaced once Shocked
You make an informed choice Roll Eyes
Posted by Lionel (Lionel), 10 March 2004
Why did you buy Ashbys when your Prochem machine serviced you so well?
Posted by strakercleaning (strakercleaning), 10 March 2004
Needed a bigger machine and at the time the Ashbys one would be available quicker at the specifications i wanted. Martin Ashby was very energetic showing me machines and prices.........shame he ran out of steam when i had any problems Lips Sealed
I know better than to rush in now Undecided
Just waiting for 31st March to get a demo on Recoil 3, looks like it may be the next big thing Cool
Posted by Lionel (Lionel), 10 March 2004
Dont you worry about the power leads on the Recoil! Also who will service the machines when they go wrong, if I was you I'd give it 6 months and see how they go.
Posted by Mike_Boxall (Mike_Boxall), 10 March 2004
Hi Owen
Glad you eventually got the catalogue.
I'll send you a private message as well but as this is a question that gets asked a lot I post my response here too.
One of the main purposes of setting up this site was to help people like yourself get good advice from people who actually use the equipment day in and day out. Whichever supplier you talk to you there's always a chance they'll try and supply you with something that fits their criteria not yours.
The downside to asking members which machine they should choose is exactly as has happened here - you get lots of differing opinions which can often cause more confusion than there was to begin with.
We clearly sell the Prochem range and do so with every confidence that you'll a good reliable machine that will do what you want and provide good value for money. We often look at other manufacturers but have yet to find a comprehensive range as good as Prochem. They do both wet and dry systems  and anyone who's done one of their training courses will testify that they are as valuable to non-Prochem users as they are to those that have their equipment.

There is one particular machine that we supply to more start-ups than any other - the Steempro 2000 (which 2 people here have already said they use). Perhaps I could let you have details of some of our customers who have bought these machines from us so you can have their opinion (Lionel, did you buy yours from us?).

We're happy to fight the Prochem corner because we have every confidence in them. Yes there are cheaper machines and yes there are new suppliers cropping up all the time but you won't get many people who have had Prochem machines and weren't impressed.

Can I suggest that before you do anything else you book a Prochem course with us and we'll refund the cost if/when you buy a machine from us. If you dont buy a Prochem machine you'll still have had a valuable days training and can be confident you've made an informed decision.

Thats my advice - invest the £90 so you can make your own decision!



Posted by lenpg (Len Gribble), 10 March 2004

LOL ďCome on you guyís get out of the Stone Age, the worlds not flat!  Lets to put the record strait on machines, there can be only one!!!! The George vapour steamĒ LOL. Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin


Now for the serious bit all the machines quoted here are very good, the problem arises if/when they break down and Customer care support which you receive from the agent/manufacture but saying that the owner has a part to play in this do they follow the manufactures servicing/operating instructions, but thatís another question for the forum.  Even Rolls Royce/Mercs have problems.

If you can get the day off 31st March it may be worth your while going to Watford you not just looking at whatís being sold/demonstrated you will be able to talk too cc.

Itís worth taking Kenís & Markís advice.


Posted by BeeClean (BeeClean), 11 March 2004
on 03/10/04 at 18:46:43, Mike_Boxall wrote:
yes there are new suppliers cropping up all the time

so what do you think about this new american machine mike Huh sounds like it could cause problems with your prochem sales Undecided

len who is mark Huh
Posted by Ed_Valentine (Ed Valentine), 11 March 2004
First, I want to sincerely thank those above who have given thumbs up on the unique RECOIL-3HP System.

And, yes (Thank the good Lord above) there are a few "new" suppliers cropping up from time to time; however, I would only like to clarify that in our case.

Our product may be "new" to the UK (The Recoil-3HP and Power Booster System)  has been in use and has been tested in your country since approx. Nov. 2003 with terrific results. But, most importantly, our company, Cross-American Corp has been manufacturing equipment for 28 years (which probably proves that we have done something right), so the Recoil system really is nothing new to us here. Nor, is the CFM/High-Airflow concept we developed either.

No, there will not be a problem plugging in and/or blowing circuits which should be most unacceptable to anyone in this industry.

Servicing the equipment will never be a problem, nor should it ever be because we do have in place a very superb distributor in place. This was (extremely) well thought out gentlemen for many, many years.

I also want to comment and say that Mike , although he does not represent the Cross-American line of equipment, above is one professional and one true gentleman. And, I do consider him our friend.

Good Fortune to all.
"Your Silent Partner";
Ed Valentine
cross-american corp.

Posted by lenpg (Len Gribble), 11 March 2004

My apologises, it should have been Kenís and Mikeís advise.

I will have to stop hitting the keyboard with the wand and start using the upholstery tool instead.


Posted by Happyeater (Happyeater), 11 March 2004
It may be that despite the apparent success of the Recoil machine, the price may well push it out of the reach of many operators here in the UK.

The price difference between retail in the USA and here is enourmous.
Posted by Scots_cleaner (Scots_cleaner), 11 March 2004
I prefer the prochem due to its looks.

The usa thing may be powerfull but looks arent ,with all the capital that went into machine they could have made it look a bit better.

Nothing personal ment by this post...

Posted by Mike_Boxall (Mike_Boxall), 11 March 2004
on 03/11/04 at 12:26:03, BeeClean wrote:
so what do you think about this new american machine mike Huh sounds like it could cause problems with your prochem sales

New machines come along all the time - 6 months ago the 'must have' machine was the CFR for example. The CFR is a good machine that works on a great principle but, in use, its just not as 'portable' as other portables.
I can't really comment on Ed's machine because I haven't seen it but there are of number of things I'd be concerned about.

I understand there are only one or two machines(?) currently being used over here and only since November at that. The other machines that have been mentioned here have been around for some time and any possible 'teething' problems have long been resolved.

The electric supply is an issue thats been mentioned more than once and that's something I'd be interested in finding more about. The advantage, I'm told, is that the machine is considerably more powerful than other machines. I'm not an electrician but I do understand that there is only so much power you can get from a 13amp socket. I'd have to see it to believe it I'm afraid.

The other issue, at the moment at least, is the service backup and spares availability. I don't doubt A & M's customer service at all (in fact several members highly recommend them) but there isn't yet a national network of dealers and / or service engineers who carry a good range of parts to support the machines in all areas of the UK.

It may well be an excellent machine that, in time, gives Prochem a run for their money and it may well be an option for those CC's that understand machines inside and out and have an alternative machine to use if there was a problem. However, I'd want more views from more owners before I was happy to buy one just at the moment - particularly if  was about to set up a new business which relied on it day in and day out.



Posted by rob_s (rob_s), 11 March 2004
Hi Mike,
              13amps x 240 volts= 3120 watts

      Regards   rob-s  Grin Grin
Posted by Derek (Derek Bolton), 11 March 2004

To digress little.... the current drawn by a machine is becoming more important with the extremely sensitive boxes being installed in homes.

Posted by rob_s (rob_s), 11 March 2004
 If your flex is long enough,plug it in at the kitchen as this is protected by a 30amp circuit.This means you are less likely to blow at the consumer unit.

Regards  rob-s
Posted by mark_roberts (mark_roberts), 11 March 2004
Don't worry about servicing with portables as there is none.  When it breaks you replace the part.  Only four parts- two vacs, pump and heater element.  Lots of secondhand portables out there at good money if you can't stretch a few grand.

£2500 for the recoil is nothing when you consider the money it COULD make you.  You'll only be saving a few pound after carriage taxs etc by importing yourself.

The question I'm asking is should I buy the recoil with the add ons or a truckmount.  Hopefully I'll make my mind up on 31st at Watford.

Mark Roberts
Posted by Dynafoam (Dynafoam), 11 March 2004

Nothing wrong with your maths - but we only get 230 volts these days.

Seems that that lot over the chanel only had 220 volts, so they nicked 10 of ours †Grin

† †In theory we could draw 230 x 13 = 2990 watts

† † In practice a 13 amp fuse will survive nearly 13 amps for about a second, 11 amps for several minutes and 10 amps for a prolonged period.

Real world result.......... 230 x 10 = 2300 watts is about the maximum that is practical.


Posted by Christal_Clean (Bryan H), 11 March 2004
The maths seem logical, - so how do I manage to run my 3 kilowatt heater without blowing the fuse ??

I admit  I know more about carpet cleaning than I do about electrics !

Posted by Dynafoam (Dynafoam), 11 March 2004

It must be the lepracorns  Grin or maybe you have a 2kW heater.

Fuse wire works like a heating element - the metal and gauge of wire is selected to melt at  a specific temperature/amperage this is the reason that an amperage below the rated 'blow' level will still cause meltdown due to the accumulated heat stress on the wire.

Posted by Dynafoam (Dynafoam), 11 March 2004
on 03/11/04 at 19:57:31, Derek Bolton wrote:

To digress little.... the current drawn by a machine is becoming more important with the extremely sensitive boxes being installed in homes.



I run a 4 vac unit on two leads, normaly without problems except on consumer units which have problems with two vacs.

The two things which cause these curcuit breakers to trip are earth leaks and surges.

The former is indicative of faulty equipment (often water shorting) and the latter can be overcome by progressive switching, allowing each motor to gain speed before switching on the next.

One thing which does cause tripping is worn-out motor brushes, which arc, causing  back-EMF surges to be generated within the field coils of the motor.

Posted by Derek (Derek Bolton), 12 March 2004

I take your point...the scenario I had in mind was a job I went to do a couple of years ago...every piece of equipment I tried tripped the system...I ended up using next doors power source with no problems.

Whilst doing the job...eventually...the customer spoke to the supplier of the equipment who said..." if you boil a kettle of water that's fine but if you refill the kettle for a second boiling the moisture present from the first kettle full would be sufficient to trip the circuits"  Shocked

Posted by Dynafoam (Dynafoam), 12 March 2004
Hi Derek,

I have had two jobs where even my vacuum cleaner intermittantly tripped the CB.

I probably did not express myself with sufficient clarity but the main thrust of the post was that, on the units that caused a problem, it would have occured with a lesser machine.

The majority of 'trips' can be avoided with most modern consumer units.



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