Carpet Pro CPU2

March 25, 2016

Make: Carpet Pro   Model:CPU2

Upright: x     Cannister:

Weight: 20lbs     Cord Length: 40′

Uses:

Commercial: X     Residential: X     Heavy Duty:

cpu2

 

Have you ever gone to the vacuum store, looked at a few top quality machines, decided on one, only to change your mind when you learned the price. So instead you bought a cheap machine from a giant retail store and have regretted it ever since. If that sounds familiar the Carpet Pro CPU2 just may be the vacuum you’ve been looking for.
At a retail price of about $230 I knew that Carpet Pro had a good reputation for building tough reliable machines, but until I tried one for this review I had never had an opportunity to use one. The result; the CPU2 did not disappoint me. Ten amps of power, metal skid plate, metal roller bar, and an above average filtration system add up to a machine worthy of high praise.
Before writing this review I used the vacuum in ten different homes over four days on numerous different styles of carpet. It worked equally well on all of them, and was perfectly safe on the wool.
The machine I used was the very basic model with no on-board tools, or headlight, although both are available on other models. The power was great, it was very easy to push, and has a very low noise level. It has a 40’commercial cord so you can clean numerous rooms from one plug, wich is always handy. The push od a lever allows the handle to go all the way flat in order to get under the furniture. The cleaning head itself is fairly tall so it won’t go under most beds, but tables, chairs, chests and things like that were not a problem. The CPU2 did an acceptable job of getting right up close to the wall from both sides and the front of the machine, but as always, for that final touch though I like to use an edge tool (it’s rough being a perfectionist). The vacuum I used did not have built in attachments, but I keep all the tools I need on my carpet cleaning truck. I hooked up a 12′ hose and an edge attachment and again the CU2 had exceptional suction and did a great job.
In my world having a vacuum that works well on upholstery is also important. Once again I hooked up a 12′ hose, this time with an upholsterty attachment, and used it on three sofas and one recliner. Pet hair, food crumbs, lint, dust and any other debris were no match.
Getting a 12 – 15 foot extension hose is something I always recommend getting wehen you purchase a new vacuum. It is much easier to set the machine in one place and be able to do all the edges and upholstery without moving it. There was not an extension / attachment kit  available specifically for the Carpet Pro, but any vacuum shop can easily make one up for you.
As much as I liked the way the Carpet Pro performed there is one feature that I wish it had. It does not have a switch to turn off the brush bar and use suction only. This is an important feature when using attachments. You don’t want the bar spinning when the vacuum is sitting in one place because that can damage the carpet. So when using attachments I tipped the machine back against a chair, wall, sofa or whatever far enough to lift the brushed off the carpet. No big deal, but having a shut off switch would be nice. Hardly a reason to knock the machine, but hey, I call em like I see em.
So there you have it. My full stamp of approval al for a basic machine that is well built, works great, and is a huge bargain.

Update: As of a few days after this review the machine I used is now the very one on my carpet cleaning van.

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Kirby Sentria

January 31, 2013

vacuum referral art ready for blog

Make:

Kirby

Model:

Sentria

Upright:

x

Canister:

Weight:

23lbs

Cord length:

25’

Available at:

kirby.com

Sentria

Uses:

Residential: yes     Commercial: yes     Heavy Duty: yes

It’s probably been 15 years or more since I last used a Kirby vacuum cleaner so I was really interested to see what has changed in their machines. The first thing I noticed about the Sentria was that it is a machine that screams, I’m big, I’m tough, and I’m rough enough to take anything you can throw at me. At 23 pounds of practically indestructible metal construction I expected it to be very cumbersome and hard to push around. Well, thanks to a feature called TechDrive power assist that was not the case.  TechDrive power assist,  is sort of a self-propel system that comes standard. It is activated by a foot switch and when engaged it makes the Sentria considerably easier to push around than when not engaged.

Without a doubt Kirby has given this vacuum all the suction power you will ever need. You can actually see it lifting the carpet as you vacuum, which creates better air flow, thus allowing for a more thorough job. I used it on quite a few different carpet styles including commercial, and in wide open areas I really liked the way the Sentria performed. When I had to maneuver around furniture though, the machines bulk did become an issue. Vacuuming around desk legs, chairs, tables, and the like was quite a bit more difficult than with some lighter weight machines.

If you have ever read my reviews before you know I place high marks on how well the attachments on any vacuum cleaner work. On the Sentria I found the attachments to work far better than on most other vacuum cleaners. The downside here was hooking them up. I like to be able to just plug the attachment hose into the machine, maybe flip a switch, and go. With the Kirby it was not quite so easy. You have to go through 4 steps (none of which are hard) that took me probably 60- 90 seconds. So if you only have to do it once, no big deal. If however you are like me and use your machine multiple times a day, and hook up the attachments frequently each time, this gets to be an issue.

There are a whole bunch of other features to the Sentria that I didn’t use so I can’t comment on but they included: hardwood floor cleaner, blower (like in leaf), carpet shampooer, ability to fill up things like air mattresses. One feature I did try was using it to vacuum stairs. The handle comes off and the cleaning head becomes the perfect size for stairs. Again it was a simple process to remove the handle but it did take a minute or so to do.

So, as far as how well the Kirby Sentria picked the dirt up from the carpet, and the fact that it will pretty much never wear out I give it very high marks. On the issue of ease of use though, I’m not quite so impressed. If you only use your vacuum cleaner maybe every couple of weeks, you may find the inconveniences not worth worrying about; but if you use it daily,and ease of use is an important factor, I would recommend trying the Sentria out for a few days before purchasing it.


Recurring Spots

December 30, 2011

Few things in the carpet cleaning industry are as frustrating as those dreaded recurring spots. As cleaners we show up at your house, do what we think is a picture perfect cleaning job, only to have you call us back in a few days informing us that those pesky coffee, ink, wine, grease, etc spots are back. This is not a terribly frequent problem for the experienced technician, but it does happen and returning to solve the problem is what can really separate the true pro from the mere tyro.

As a professional who is concerned with his quality of work, and his reputation I seldom complain about these call backs (well, at least not out loud), but instead appreciate the chance to return and correctly finish what I started. It’s not always the fault of the cleaner and there are a number of reasons why those spots in your carpet can return:

  • The spot was not fully removed.
  • The spot was removed but the spotting agent used to remove it was not fully rinsed out.
  • The spot soaked beyond the surface into the carpet backing or pad and gradually wicked back up (almost always the case with pet stains).

These are a few of the most common causes and the first two are easily dealt with and only take a few minutes to correct.  In the third case though, once things soak down beyond the carpet surface they can be difficult to deal with. If the spot is small enough there are special tools that may remove it, but often the problem can’t be solved unless the carpet is pulled up, cleaned from the back, and new pad is installed. This creates a lot of extra work and expense and most of the time is not a viable option.

One thing that I have learned over the years is that knowledge often comes from experience. If the cleaning technician or whoever may have come to your house first, takes the time to carefully look at problem areas and then asks a few questions, they will often know right then if these are spots that are likely to return, and can then discuss the possible results. Now, he’s a professional who’s correctly telling you what to expect rather than a guy having to apologize for a lousy job. Big difference!

As the homeowner there are also a few steps you can take to help prevent undesirable cleaning results. We’ve talked about recurring spots but now let’s talk about its close cousin, resoiling. Resoiling would be a post cleaning substance that has been left on the carpet. Sometimes this is also the fault of the cleaner but not always. If the cleaner did not properly rinse the carpet, the soapy residue thats left behind can quickly attract more dirt. In just a few days it will look like the carpet was never cleaned.

What often also happens in the case of resoiling is not the fault of the cleaning company. Most professional cleaners will suggest that you stay off the carpet until it is dry. We can suggest this, but remember, we can’t tell you what to do in your house. If people don’t take the suggestion of the cleaner and proceed to walk around on the wet carpet, by the time it’s dry, it won’t look clean any longer. The wet carpet actually does a really good job of cleaning off the bottom of your shoes. Add to that any accidental food or drink spills and, well you get the picture.

So there you have a few reasons as to why those unwanted spots have a sneaky way of showing up again. In any case, if you are working with a reputable cleaning company, your phone call should always be welcomed, and a return visit should be done in a timely and courteous manner.

Thanks for reading and next time I will try to tackle the difficult question of what is “green cleaning”.

Remember, Avoid Uneducated, Uninformed, and Sometimes Downright Unscrupulous Carpet Cleaners!


Carpet Types

June 26, 2011

When buying new carpet most consumers have a hard time trying to figure out the difference between all the different fibers, and which one would be best for them. There are many different fibers available on the market today, but for this article I am going to stick with the most common types found at your local carpet stores. There are also many different variations of certain fibers and again I will try to keep this as non- technical as possible.

The majority of carpet today is made of one of four materials: wool, nylon, polypropylene (Olefin), or polyester.

Nylon

First discovered in 1938 by DuPont chemists, it is the most commonly used fiber in carpet today. Rated as one of the longest wearing fibers, it is also very cleanable, stain resistant, resists abrasion, moth proof, and non-allergenic. All of these pluses make for a very durable carpet. Nylon comes in two types, type 6, and type 6.6. Some retailers will swear 6.6 is better, but many studies have been done by chemical engineers and they find little overall performance difference between the two.

The leading brand names in nylon that you have probably heard of are; Invista (formerly DuPont) and Mohawk (formerly Solutia Wear Dated). Invista makes Stainmaster, and Mohawk makes Wear Dated. Both Invista and Mohawk have done a great job making their products stain and wear resistant; but buyers beware. Like anything else there are different qualities of each, and the better the quality the better the carpet. In Stainmaster there is Extra Body II, then Tactesse, then Luxerell Stainmaster as their top of the line.   A good salesperson will be able to show you examples of each which is why I always recommend a reputable retailer over a “big box” store.

When buying nylon carpet I personally recommend looking at the newer “soft nylons”. The manufactures did a pretty good job in making the fiber very soft in order to try to duplicate the feel of wool. They cost a little more but the quality is definitely better and most people are very happy with the choice.  Names to look for in soft nylon are Tactesse and Luxerell by Invista, DuraSoft by Mohawk, or Anso Caress by Shaw.  Here again is where you will need the help of a knowledgeable salesperson.

I clean more nylon than any other fiber type and with proper care it will  look and feel great for many years.

Wool

If you want the most luxurious feel and look possible wool carpet is still your best choice. It comes in pretty much every style and color, commercial or residential, with the best wools coming from New Zealand.

Appearance aside wool has many other advantages including:

  • Natural flame resistance (very important in commercial settings where smoking is permitted).
  • When the proper color is chosen for the environment it is excellent at hiding soil.
  • Wool is a very strong, yet still flexible and resilient so it springs back well.

Wool will stain much easier than synthetics so if you tend to spill a lot of coffee and red wine, or if you like to wear your boots in the house, and only vacuum on special occasions, then wool may not be for you.

Wool is not hard to maintain but when it comes time to clean it, I cannot emphasize enough, the importance of choosing a well trained, experienced carpet cleaner. With a little bit of care your carpet will always say; luxury and style live here.

Still my personal favorite.

 

Polyester

Polyester first entered the carpet industry in the 1960’s. Although it was a fairly durable fiber there were many other problems with it. So much so that many retailers stopped selling it and we really didn’t see much of it for quite a few years. Now jump forward to the mid 1990’s and we had the birth of the “new polyester”. The new polyester fiber is called PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate), and it is definitely not the polyester of old.  It is stronger, more abrasion resistant, and is very resistant to staining. I have cleaned it in many homes and very seldom come across a spot or stain that I can’t get out.

The fiber is partially made from recycled plastic containers, and this is what they’re talking about when people say their carpet was made from 7up bottles. Recycling does not affect the PET’s performance so it can be recycled over and over again.

When considering Polyester carpet you will also hear about a material called PTT. Although it is similar to PET, PTT is actually not considered polyester. It has been sold under various names, but currently it is called Triexta. It is a very soft fabric that kind of combines all the best qualities of nylon and polyester. If your carpet gets a lot of heavy use from kids, parties, pets, spills, etc. this may be a material you want to consider. Keep in mind though that since this is still a reasonably new fiber it will probably go through a few changes so you need a carpet professional who really stays on top of those changes. Again look for a reputable retailer.

Olefin (Polypropylene)

Anyone who knows me has heard me say that, just because something is not expensive and often gets a bad rap, doesn’t mean it does not have a place. Olefin is the most stain resistant fiber out there and tends to wear well when used in low pile carpet. The main problem with it occurs because they have to add oil to it during the manufacturing process. This oil stays in the fiber so after it’s installed in your home it will soil and mat down faster than other materials. The fact that it easily mats down is the reason you only want it in low pile styles. It is also a very heat sensitive fiber and melts easy. Even something as simple as dragging a piece of furniture on it can generate enough heat to leave a burn, and if you smoke this is not a good choice. On the other hand, if you only need new carpet to last a few years and it is going to take some heavy abuse, then take a look at Olefin. It costs less than the other materials and it may suit your purpose just fine.

I hope this bit of information will make your shopping a little less confusing. Remember to only buy from a reputable, educated and informed carpet store and your new carpet will be a happy purchase.

Next time we’ll talk upholstery.