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Do you know your local water?

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Do you know your local water?

Post by milspec6 on Sun May 07, 2017 12:14 am

As some of you may recall, I used to be water purification chemist for the military and I remain a bit of a "water weenie" as a result. Tonight I was reading the water reports for all the cities in my service area and discovered some interesting things that were of value to a cleaner like myself.

You are aware that water is normally around a neutral (6.5-7.5) ph and that the soils / oils that we are removing are mostly on the acidic side. That is why we use a pre-spray that is alkaline to push that acidic condition towards neutral. The greater the soil content, the more acidic the carpet might be and thus the higher the alkaline pre-spray is needed to push the ph back towards neutral. Most high powered pre-sprays are above a 10 ph and some even 13-14 ph! We might even rinse with an acid to neutralize some of that pre-spray if we moved the scale too far from neutral.

Okay, we all know that stuff, but have you considered the ph of that water you are using to flush the carpets? Even without using an extraction agent, the ph in my largest city area ranges from 9 - 9.5 ph....that is a pretty alkaline water and almost as much so as some of the pre-sprays. That would give a cleaner a stronger punch, but will also likely mean that the carpet will be left in an alkaline state unless an acid rinse is used. How many cleaners in the area do you think have considered that?

In the smallest city in my area, the water ph range is 6.7-7.8 ph, a neutral condition. If I was a cleaner from the big city using an acid rinse, I might end up leaving the carpet too acidic thinking I was compensating for the higher ph water that I was used too.

My point to all of this is that the water we are using is an important part of the puzzle...maybe even more so than the chemicals that we select. It is important to know if you need to soften the water or if you need to consider an acid rinse or not. For those of us that use the customers water, it might also be good to know if they have any iron issues before we start spraying rust all over that nice white nylon....especially if your service area includes private wells.

The more I thought about it, the more I like carrying my own water. I can make it a known variable that way when I select chems and processes I plan to utilize on the customer's fabrics. This might not interest you at all, but if you are a water weenie, you will understand the significance of what I am saying.
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Re: Do you know your local water?

Post by Matt; My carpet cleaner on Sun May 07, 2017 8:37 pm

Hmmmmmmmm.....

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Re: Do you know your local water?

Post by dp1 on Mon May 08, 2017 8:53 pm

Unfortunately I'm not a water weenie Bob laughing
I'm just a dork cleaner Rocking Chair
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Re: Do you know your local water?

Post by milspec6 on Mon May 08, 2017 8:54 pm

I know....it is a failing of mine.
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Re: Do you know your local water?

Post by theecoguy on Tue May 09, 2017 2:05 pm

We tend to have limescale problems in the UK,we certain areas anyway, high levels of limescale can be a pain in the ass for truck-mounts as you probably know.

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Re: Do you know your local water?

Post by milspec6 on Tue May 09, 2017 2:50 pm

Indeed I do, what are you guys using for softeners? On the truck or just loading up the tank at the shop?
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Re: Do you know your local water?

Post by theecoguy on Wed May 10, 2017 1:40 pm

We load up at our lock-up (garage)

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Re: Do you know your local water?

Post by milspec6 on Wed May 10, 2017 9:36 pm

I plan to go back to that approach as well. On the far away jobs or ones that require more water than I can carry, I will suffer with the manual softener tank.
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Re: Do you know your local water?

Post by theecoguy on Thu May 11, 2017 8:35 am

In the UK we mostly have soft water anyway, I'm originally from Scotland but now live in England, Scottish water is very Soft and classed as A+ drinking water straight from the tap, the only place where the water is hard is the south and east coasts of England.

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Re: Do you know your local water?

Post by Mo on Thu May 11, 2017 6:39 pm

Lucky you don't live in Michigan where they have plenty of lead in the water
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Re: Do you know your local water?

Post by milspec6 on Thu May 11, 2017 10:06 pm

You guys are bigger water weenies than you let on. See how diverse the water is by region and yet most cleaners don't even think about it. They can play mad chemist all day long, but ask them about the water that they use and you get a blind stare.
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Re: Do you know your local water?

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