Do we need water for the Van?

We do a truck mounted steam cleaning for all of our carpet cleanings. So that means that we use water to clean your carpets. So the question we get is do we need water? Most of the time we have a full tank of water and do not need to hook up for water. We clean six homes a day so there will be a time that we need to refill our water tank. Here is how we handle it. 

First off we ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS, ask permission to use your water. This is because sometimes exterior water faucets don’t work and the customer knows which one works. Every now and then people have a leaky faucet or one that they turned off because it drips. Very rarely a customer’s faucet doesn’t work and they DON’T know it. We have had times where we turned on the water and the faucet had a leak in the wall and it got the room wet while it was running. How does this happen? Outside faucets can be broken but only leak when turned on. The reason is that all outside faucets actually turn off inside the house. This is typically 9”-24” inside the wall and the outside handle is actually a long pole to the shutoff. From that shut off in the wall is a long pipe to the connections outside the house. If a hose is left on the faucet during cold weather it can have water held in it and it will freeze. This can cause it to split down the pipe after the shutoff in the wall. So once you open the shut off in the wall new water comes down that pipe and pours out that split in the pipe, thus pouring water into the wall until the faucet is turned back off. It’s even worse when the water can’t leave the hose, like when our tank is full and the water stops, because now all the pressure sprays through the split in the wall going back into the home.

So what are some ways that we can tell that the faucet is leaking? 

  1. First check if the water isn’t coming out of the faucet very fast, which would be because it’s draining into the wall.
  2. Second, is it filling the tank VERY slowly, because there is resistance as it goes through the hose and filters to fill the tank. It is relieving that pressure into the split in the wall. 
  3. When we go to clean the room on the other side of that faucet we could see wet carpet or hear the wand suck down on the wet carpet coming from the faucet.

So what should you do if you run into a faucet that leaks into the wall? Well first things first turn the water back off. Normally the break or crack in the faucet is after the shut off in the wall so just turning the handle off means the water stops again. This is why we always get permission before we use a faucet, because we didn’t break the faucet and don’t want to surprise the customer by using something that either they knew was broken. Or once we find out it’s leaking they will be on the same page as to what we can do. 

Next you need to suck up any water that got into the home. A shop vac comes in really handy here. You want to suck up any free standing water and potentially pull back the carpet to remove any wet padding so that it can all dry. 

Finally after it is all dry then have the carpets cleaned. Anytime carpet gets wet the water that got it wet comes from somewhere, and normally that brings with it anything it went through.