Carpet extractors are an invaluable piece of floor equipment for any commercial cleaning company. There are three main types of carpet extractors, self contained extractors, tank extractors and truck mount extractors. All three of these types of extractors work on the principle of using high pressure to force water into carpet fibers and then sucking the water and any debris out of the carpet thus cleaning the carpet fibers. Most of these extraction units use a pump to pressurize the water and a vacuum motor to create suction. Over time these motors degrade and breakdown and at some point will need to be replaced. Replacing a vacuum motor yourself can save on downtime and money and in most cases are very easy to replace with some simple tools.
Some of the simplest ways to tell that a motor is failing is loss of suction from the carpet extractor, a grinding noise coming from the vacuum motor or a high-pitched sound when using the carpet extractor. The main reason these parts fail on extractors is that water can corrode the internal parts of the vacuum motor over time causing them to lose suction and power. A vacuum motor is an electrical component and electrical components do not mix well with water. On most carpet extractors this part is easy to get too and with only a few bolts holding them in most units are easy to replace. To find out if you are vacuum motor is easy to replace consult your operation manual and parts diagram for your extractor.
When changing out a vacuum motor there are usually two different options to pick from. The first of these options is to purchase an OEM vacuum motor from the manufacturer that built your machine. These motors are usually the easiest to find and can be found in any floor equipment dealer and most are willing to help you look up parts numbers and acquire the model you are looking for. The second way to obtain one of these motors is to go through an aftermarket company that has a comparable motor that will fit in your unit. When choosing an aftermarket vacuum motor is important that you find one that is the same size and design as the unit currently installed in your carpet extractor. Some of these motors run on different voltages and different amps so it is important to find an exact match to your existing floor equipment. The two main types of vac motors for carpet cleaning floor equipment are Ametek Lamb motors and G2K motors. The only difference between these two motors is that Ametek motors have a metal Armature cover and G2K motors have a plastic Armature cover. In some instances a plastic cover has more venting and the vac motor will run cooler making them last longer.
Vac motors in carpet extractors are extremely easy to replace in most cases. Usually the vac motor is held down by 2 to 3 bolts or even a restraining strap which can easily be taken out to free the vacuum motor from its holder. The electrical connection to the vacuum motor is usually connected with a simple plastic electrical connector that can be snapped apart in order to remove the unit. The only other part to look at when replacing a motor is the gasket that is in between the carpet extractor and the vacuum motor itself. If this gasket is ripped or is on bad repair it should be replaced when replacing the motor. Once you have removed the old unit from your machine, clean the immediate area and install your new motor in the reverse procedure that you used in taking out the old one.
Once you have your new motor installed there are many ways to prolong its life. The main way is to use a deforming chemical that is added to your recovery tank or hose to reduce the amount of foam that is created from your extraction detergent. If this is not used foam from your recovery tank can easily get into your vacuum motor causing premature wear, rusting and electrical failure. Another good way to prolong the life of your motor is to regularly clean out the hose that connects to the top side of the motor and remove any dirt, debris and moisture.