Home' Inclean NZ : INCLEAN NZ Aug 2017 Contents 26 INCLEANNZ August 2017
CARPET & RESTORATION
Just what is the big deal about heat, and
when is 'hot' too 'hot' in relation to carpet
cleaning? It's certainly not misleading
to emphasise the important role of
temperature in relation to the principles of
soil suspension. The four commandments
(temperature, agitation, chemical and time)
we use as professional cleaners determine
how effciently soil suspension occurs.
In regard to temperature, the method
of achieving the maximum, consistent
temperature depends on the system
you employ and obviously something
approaching a truckmount califont or heat
exchanger system will be the ultimate in
terms of effciency.
Why a truckmount? Iranius' Law states
that for every 8ºC the molecular activity
of the solution as well as the fbre we are
cleaning will double until it reaches 121ºC
(steam). Simply stated this means heat makes
the molecules move faster and therefore
clean more quickly. The only way to sustain
solution temperature consistently, effciently
and safely in suffcient volume to be effective
is in a truck mounted system.
So, the hotter the better right?
Well, generally hotter is better, but caution
needs to be exercised when approaching
temperatures over 90ºC (most household
cylinders range between 50ºC -70ºC).
Excessively high temperatures will have
a detrimental effect on velvet, plush and
hard twist cutpiles (leading to pile distortion)
and some acid dyes (used on wool carpets)
leading to colour loss, and some ffth
generation fbres will void the Stainmaster
warranty. Excessive temperature can damage
carpet backing causing delamination. There
is always a balance in approaching any
method -- why risk going over 120ºC when
the solution will clean just as well at 119ºC
Remember, steam is generated not just
by temperature but by pressure. Our
solution is already vaporising at 90ºC and
300-400PSI (depending on altitude). Also,
excessive heat has a secondary effect on
many carpet cleaning solutions/detergents
and cheaper 'odour neutraliser' products,
causing them to damage pumps, clog jets
and 'streak' carpets.
Care also needs to be taken with hoses and
fttings ‘melting’ synthetic fbres such as heat
sensitive polypropylene (using plastic-encased
quick connects is a sensible precaution).
What is the best system
The question is not really what each
system can reach in maximum
temperature, but whether it is able to
stay at optimum operating temperature
consistently and economically.
Gas powered califonts can certainly
reach temperatures exceeding 120ºC easily,
however, they tend to 'peak' and 'trough'
according to the thermostatic ranges they
are set at. This means that temperature
fuctuations occur and temperature drops
over long periods, particularly when demand
Also LPG and Kerosene units are bulky,
dirty and create the potential for explosion
hazards. All the major truckmount brands
have moved away from these types of units.
Although a few still sell some models with
these types of heaters, their ineffciency
means most are dinosaurs.
Electric heat exchangers on the other hand
are clean and compact and work well in
demand situations on portables. They are,
however, impractical because of the large
amperage 'draw' required at the kind of
volume required by truckmounts.
This leaves catalytic heat exchangers which
are by far the most effective form of heating
for truckmounts. These units are compact,
low maintenance, clean and effective.
Catalytic heat exchangers work on the
principle of building 'heat' in stages from
the 'waste' (read economic) heat of the
machines components. This means while
heat is a little slower to kick in (two to three
minutes) when the machine frst starts in the
morning (the frst stage) once this is done
(because water is constantly recirculating
through the system and 'held' at different
heat stages) a consistent heat is achieved
even on demand. Just the same as your cars
radiator -- only in reverse.
So in summary, is heat best? It sure is -- but
keep within the optimum 90ºC - 100ºC
range. If you're buying a truckmount and
weighing up temperature -- ask yourself --
why do I need heat above 120ºC? Is
• Space saving?
*Paul Pritchard is immediate past president of
the Carpet Cleaners Association of New Zealand
Is the hotter the
better when it
comes to carpet
debated questions asked by
carpet cleaners and machine
Some like it hot:
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