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Under Pressure

Picture this. You’re cleaning the carpet on the last job before a three day weekend. You’re ten feet from the door, and in your mind, you are already in your van headed home for some much needed rest and relaxation.

The 195 degree spray of water arcing from your hose toward the family portrait on the wall brings you back to earth, as do the screams of your horrified customer.

You turn off the truckmount, blot the portrait and walls, promising that you will pay for a painter to fix the walls. But what is the customer thinking as you drive away with promises to be right back to finish that last 100 square feet of her family room?   

Even if you use one of the industry’s top-line hoses, such as Goodyear Neptune or Parflex, they do not last forever. Consider the stresses placed on your hoses. High temperatures, high pressure, abrasion, chemical exposure, flexing, oxidation and even sunlight conspire to weaken your solution hose.

Eventually the flexible outer sheath becomes more brittle and begins to split. The inside lining begins to break down and allows the pressure and heat and chemicals to reach the steel or fiber braiding which starts to weaken. Connections at the fittings are strained by flexing and winding on the hose reel and at wand attachments.

Under these conditions, you can expect your hoses to remain dependable for 6-12 months.  After that? Every day the chances for failure increase. Yet, your hose is several years old and the braids are showing. Remember that burst hose at the beginning of this article? As bad as it sounded, it could have been worse had one of the people in that dripping portrait actually been standing in the line of fire. Can you say “lawsuit”? Sure you can.

You should rotate your hoses every 6 months. How can you do this without spending a fortune on new hoses? That depends on how your hoses are set up.

Let’s suppose you have 200 feet of hose in two 100-foot sections. Remove the lead hose and move it down to the second position. Remove the second hose and keep it for a backup.  Then use a new 100’ section as your lead hose. This way, the most dependable hose is in the house, attached to the wand. Which is good, because the lead hose is the one that takes the most abuse.

Your lead hose is also the one that your customer sees and is the one that is most likely to be close to you, your customer and her furnishings.

If you have a single solid solution hose, simply remove the hose form the reel and reverse it after 6 months. Then replace it after 6 more.

Either way, if you do this, you will never have a hose that is over a year old. Be proactive. Don’t wait for your hose to burst.

Article by Chan Parker-Service Director -Truckmounts & Cleaning Solutions, Inc.

 

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