Hot water extraction (commonly known as steam cleaning) is the most popular choice for cleaning carpets. A solution or water is sprayed into the carpet and at the same time vacuumed out. Special jets make the solution, or steam, very fine for carpet cleaning. The pressure is made by a pump and on many professional machines it can be regulated or adjusted, according to the type of carpet. Delicate fibres, rugs and upholstery demand a lower pressure.
What Pressure is Suitable for Carpet Cleaning?
As I stated earlier it really depends on the type of carpet and how soiled it is. A wool carpet will soak up the water so one would normally lower the pressure. A dirty synthetic carpet can take high pressure and you can blast away – well, within reason). The stronger the vacuum the higher the pressure. Professional machines have multiple commercial vacuum motors and therefore have high pressure pumps. We steam at about 300 – 400 psi. The solution passes through a pump and into a regulator. It them passes through an inline heater and out the jets on the carpet cleaning wand. We use 3 vacuum motors to extract the dirty water and leave the carpets slightly damp. It is feasible to use cold water but I always think hot water cleans better.
Carpet Cleaning Pumps Wear Out
When you clean carpets “day in day out” your equipment takes a lot of punishment. Vacuum motors and pumps either wear out or just fail. Carpet cleaning pumps are not cheap. A pump motor and head can cost over £600. The head is what normally fails. The result is upset customers and loss of business.
Our Carpet Cleaning Pump System
Many professional carpet cleaning machines use pumps that are not unique to carpet cleaning. They are used in many other applications. We decided to make our own system because of the high failure rate and replacement cost.
We use a 900 psi pump that is regulated. A tank in our van feeds the pump, the water passes through a regulator system (made by us), the regulator sets the pressure by bypassing the excess water back into the water tank, the regulated water then passes through an inline heater and into the carpet cleaning wand. Result – high pressure steam cleaning! We can swap over a faulty pump in 1 minute and at a fraction of the cost. This is by far the best system we have ever used.