Carpet Cleaning Machines - What Does PSI Mean?

by Matt Besley on 28-10-2016

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 Everyone will have a different opinion about PSI when it comes to choosing the right pump for your carpet cleaning machines. 

It is important to get the right pump pressure - but you don't need to go out and spend thousands of pounds on a 800psi pump pressure machine to get started cleaning carpets!

Sometimes there can be a certain amount of snob value when it comes to what size pump you have in your machine.  Yes, it plays a large part in your machine's performance, but at the same time there are other factors that affect how affective your machine is at cleaning carpets. 


Ultimately  a good carpet cleaning job relies on 3 things:


  •  User knowledge
  •  A good machine
  •  Good quality detergents


What Does PSI Mean?


PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) is a way of measuring the power of a pump.  You can get anything from 80-800psi on a portable carpet cleaning machine.


Does it Matter what PSI I have?


There are divided opinions in the carpet cleaning world of what is ‘necessary’.


You dont need to get 800psi with a portable machine.  If you are running metres ad metres of hose from a truck mount, then you definitely do, but with a portable machine somewhere between 120-250 will be perfectly good.  Again, there are exceptions to this rule like, where you have a powerful machine running in the back of the van, with hoses trailing into the property you are cleaning and it can almost act like a truck mount!


That said, the higher the PSI on the machine, the higher performance you will get out of it.  Also it will cope with larger distance of solution hose, which means you can leave the machine downstairs whilst you clean upstairs.


Lower pressure is better for upholstery jobs where you don't want to be flooding the carpets with water.  Look for something in the region of 30-120psi for a upholstery machine.


Also, it is important to note that on brush machines, you can get away with a lower pump pressure, because the brush is doing a lot of hard work by agitating the carpets (see our blog on the 3 core elements of cleaning).  Other factors, like using a heater, make a difference.

Remember that the pump does slightly affect the weight of the machine (check the weight first to make sure you can still lift the machine in and out of the van)!

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