By Amy Milshtein

Power to the People: DIY Cleaning Equipment Repair

Your cleaning staff is only as good as your cleaning equipment. Sadly, in any given facility 28% of equipment needs repair or is not working effectively. Even worse, 88% of all facilities have down equipment and most of the time the facility manager is not aware of the problem. This leads to poorly maintained surfaces today and costly, time consuming repairs down the road.


Facility managers could purchase planned maintenance programs along with their autoscrubbers and other machines. But there is a better way. Take back cleaning equipment repair by purchasing machines meant to be maintained easily in-house.


Advanced Cleaning from Advanced Technology

Cleaning machines have a lot of moving parts--squeegees, brushes, pads, drivers, and wheels--to get the job done. They also incorporate advanced technology like on-board computers, filter, solenoids and more. Ignore the routine maintenance of these components at your peril. Equipment like autoscrubbers are already expensive. It’s estimated that an unmaintained one will cost its original purchase price in emergency repairs over its lifetime. And that doesn’t include the inconvenience of being without it for weeks while the machine is in the shop.


Dirty Little Secrets

While many customers would like to maintain their equipment in-house, manufacturers often make machines that cannot be serviced using common tools and standard electrical and mechanical knowledge. The trend parallels the auto industry. Remember when it was easy to service a car? Even changing the oil is complicated today. Hence the planned maintenance program to provide routine service and repairs…at a price.


Choose A Better Way

If you’re in the market for a new floor machine consider equipment designed for easy, in-house maintenance and repair. This technology will reduce the overall cost of ownership by limiting both repair fees and down time. Parts like HEPA filters, squeegee blades, switches, valves, spray guns and pumps can be serviced or replaced in minutes with minimal training.


Major mechanical components will still be tricky to service in house by staff. However, there are systems, like Kaivac’s No-Touch Cleaning, that group all of the components into one self-contained, black box unit. Easily snapped on and off, the black box can be shipped back to the manufacturer for repair or replacement.


While the process is simple, there will still be downtime due to shipping. This may be unacceptable to high-volume cleaning contractors who service large facilities, like airports, every day. In that case, it is advisable to stock an extra black box.


Click here for more tips that make cleaning equipment repair quick and easy.

Amy Milshtein

Amy Milshtein

Amy Milshtein covers design, facility management and business topics for a variety of trade publications and consumer magazines. 

Her work has won several awards, most recently a regional silver Azbee Award of Excellence.

She lives in Portland, OR with her family and Clyde, a 15-lb tabby cat. Once an avid hiker, these days she finds herself on the less-challenging -but-still-exciting 'creaky knees' trails.

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