Feb 5, 2014

Review of Hydro-Force 15", 5-Jet Titanium Carpet Wand

The basics

The new Hydro-Force titanium carpet wand is a very lightweight and durable carpet-cleaning tool. Weighing in at just 9 lbs, it features a 15-inch, 5-jet head. The built-in Teflon glide helps the wand
Image from interlinksupply.com
slide over carpet easily, reducing back fatigue.

The 2-inch tubing should increase vacuum power by allowing more airflow all the way to the carpet wand tip. It is an S-bend wand, making it easier to reach under beds and furniture while cleaning.

The standard jets (called VeeJets) are stainless steel and include a strainer and check valve within each jet.

What we like

The durability and weight of this titanium carpet wand is fantastic. Our vans seem to always be at maximum capacity, running day and night at both residential and commercial jobs, and this wand has held up very well. The large head allows for large cleaning extraction passes, shortening job times, albeit very little. The difference in pushing this titanium wand with built-in glide vs. pushing a smaller, heavier carpet wand like the Prochem 4-jet is so drastic, even a stubborn carpet-cleaning veteran will admit its superiority.

To sum up what we like:
  • Lightweight
  • Large head
  • Built-in glide
  • Durability

What we don't like, and changed

The first week we had this wand we had many problems with streaking. If you're a seasoned carpet cleaner, you know that your body naturally adjusts to the repetitive back-and-forth carpet-cleaning strides, making it easier over time. The problem with this wand is that it wasn't allowing the technician to use it naturally like other carpet-cleaning wands. When you are making a carpet stride,
first going forward, then back, there was a gap between each jet, not allowing the jet spray to overlap when holding down the trigger. As a carpet cleaner, we know that when pushing the wand forward, we hold the wand with one hand in a semi-low position, making it easier to push forward. But when pushing forward with this wand in that same, semi-low stride, the jets were so close to the carpet that the spray from the jets were not overlapping. We also worried about carpet fiber distortion with the jets being so close to the carpet. So what we did for that first week was hold the wand much higher, at the handle, when pushing it forward and back. This raised up the jets from the carpet a few inches, allowing the jet spray to overlap and preventing streaking. But it made it harder pushing it forward, increasing fatigue, and it felt very uncomfortable doing so.

To fix the problem, we first tried to adjust the depth of the jets. Here is what Hydro-Force claims as a feature of the wand:

"A unique feature of the wand is the ability to adjust the depth of the jets. The jets can be moved closer to the carpet to reduce heat loss, or moved back for a wider coverage." – www.interlinksupply.com
Carpet wand head break-down
Maybe I should have cleaned it before taking a picture?
This doesn't really work as easily as they claim. Yes, you can try to adjust the depth by moving the manifold bracket up, but it doesn't really have anywhere to go, because any direction you move the manifold bracket, the manifold itself hits the tube on the S-bend. You can see in the picture that the manifold is already touching the tubing, so raising the manifold bracket is impossible – making this feature utterly useless. You can also see that you cannot lower the bracket manifold any more than it already is, because it's at its lowest position.

In my opinion the wand itself has a great design, but where Hydro-Force made a mistake was the design and functionality of the bracket manifold, or perhaps even the placement of the manifold itself. It seems they did not consider, or even try, to see how you can adjust it. Which is strange
because this is claimed to be one of its crowning features.

To sum up what we don't like:
  • Manifold & jets too close to carpet
  • Poor design and placement of manifold bracket

Solution

Without being able to move the manifold up and away from the carpet, the only other solution would be to replace the standard jets with a jet that sprays a wider angle. Now this wouldn't necessarily fix our concern of carpet distortion, because the jets would still be (too?) close to the carpet, but perhaps it would at least fix the streaking problem.

So we decided to replace the standard 80015 VeeJets, which have an 80-degree spray angle, with the 9501 VeeJets. The 9501 has a spray angle of 95 degrees, covering a wider margin of carpet. For the most part it fixed the problem. We can't really push the wand as low at the handle as we do with other wands, but it's not as high as we had to hold it before replacing the jets. It's now in a comfortable enough position to use without causing quick back fatigue. And we love the wand enough to deal with the slight adjustment.

Overall we really like this wand, but it seems to be made for a tall person. If they could somehow fix the bracket manifold issue, maybe by re-designing it and actually allowing adjustment, it would certainly improve the wand and its customization.

Resources used to create this review

Hydro-ForceTitanium Wand Product Manual

Listing onInterlink Supply website

Video of the Titaniumwand in action

Infoon the VeeJets for this wand

Listing onHydro-Force website