Most of us would never run our cars without changing the oil every 5,000 miles. The same care should apply to your professional carpet cleaning equipment. Regular maintenance and routine inspection can prevent downtime and ensure your equipment and cleaning crews deliver peak performance time after time.
Since vacuums are used often, they should go through regular inspection to identify parts or accessories that are worn or need cleaning. Be sure to inspect the following vacuum components as part of your routine maintenance plan:
Brushrolls. Ensure the brushroll of each vacuum is properly seated in its housing. Inspect the brushroll daily for worn bristle strips that can reduce cleaning performance. Also remove string, hair, or other obstructions that typically wrap around the brushroll. A brushroll will typically need replacing every two to three months.
Belts. Avoid picking up large items that can dislodge or damage the belt. Shut down the vacuum if you notice a difference in motor sound, such as roaring, or if you smell burning rubber. If either of these occur, reinstall or replace the belt.
Bags. Overfilling bags will reduce the vacuum’s airflow and prevent the machine from effectively removing soil from carpet. Check the bag daily and replace it when it is 75 percent full. If you are working at a job site that is away from your supply stock, be sure to bring extra bags to the site.
Filters. These accessories are important for preventing dust and allergens from becoming airborne. A clogged filter restricts airflow and limits a vacuum’s cleaning performance. Check filters daily for excessive soil. If you notice a washable filter is soiled, replace it with a clean filter and wash the soiled filter according to your manufacturer’s instructions. If the filter is disposable, replace it with a new one. Also check for obstructions in the vacuum’s clog ports or fan chambers.
Hoses. Make sure the hose on the vacuum is properly attached to the machine to ensure suction and cleaning performance. Routinely check the interior of the hose to determine whether it is heavily soiled or clogged, especially if you notice decreased vacuum performance or unusual smells.
Cords. Inspect the entire length of the cord for cuts or frayed wiring that may have occurred due to friction caused by contact with furnishings or wall corners, or by having been run over by the vacuum. Have an authorized repair shop fix/replace damaged cords.
Consider purchasing vacuums with quick-change pigtail cords to reduce downtime and repair costs. If the power cord is damaged, you can simply replace it with an off-the-shelf cord. Keep a spare extension cord on hand for quick replacements, if necessary.
Vacuum Exterior. Check for damage to the vacuum’s exterior. Cracked panels or broken latches could hamper operation and/or the proper positioning of the dirt collection bag or brushroll. A damaged vacuum should be repaired by an authorized service center; another option is to replace the machine.
Train your employees how to identify and respond to equipment maintenance issues or designate someone on your team to be responsible for equipment inspection and repairs. These efforts will pay for themselves by reducing costly repairs and downtime for your cleaning crews. Furthermore, they will help your team to deliver outstanding cleaning results.