Wednesday, November 14, 2012

There are some limits

Not long ago I heard a long dissertation on how extraction cleaning works and the speaker insisted there must be at least 30 Hg (Inches of mercury) for vacuum, 800 PSI (Pounds per square inch) of water pressure and at least 250° (Fahrenheit) of heat in order to clean carpet. It's a good thing we're in the cleaning business or I'd have serious doubts about our ability.

I'm not too technical, but it's air velocity that moves water not vacuum. There is only so much room inside the hose to allow air movement. Add water and that space is reduced. As an example, 1 GPM (gallon per minute) requires about 12,000 LFPM (lineal feet per minute) of air movement through a 2" hose to remove at least 95% of the cleaning solution.

That amount of recovery ensures quick drying and prevents problems such as overwetting, browning and mildew. A machine that puts down 3 GPM of solution requires more than 21 Hg for recovery. Many truck-mounts pump up to 7 GPM and operate at 15 to 18 Hg of recovery. We've been at this business for more than 50 years and never came close to those numbers.

I'm glad our customers don't judge us on the numbers thing. According to the BBB, Angie's List®, a newspaper and three television stations that we have worked for on bait and switch consumer complaints over the years, there is no better record of customer satisfaction than that of our service company in Indianapolis. So who's right?

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