Power Head Solutions for Ultra Soft Carpets
Ultra-soft, microfiber carpeting, like Mohawk’s SmartStrand Silk and Caress by Shaw, is quickly dominating the carpet market. The luxuriously dense, soft fibers can range from ¼" to ½" thick, and can be very difficult to clean if using the wrong power head. An incompatible power head will lock down on carpet, be extremely difficult to maneuver and cause premature wear and damage. Many carpet companies link their warranties to the type of vacuum used. Several features to check for when selecting a central vacuum power head for ultra-soft carpet are extended height adjustment, suction relief and wide support wheels.
Extended height adjustment is extremely important when vacuuming on ultra-soft carpet. Power heads with "automatic" height adjustment or inadequate height sink into the carpet. This creates a seal between the carpet and vacuum, hampering the air flow and causing the vacuum to "suck down". The power head becomes nearly impossible to move. The carpet fibers can be damaged because of excessive abrasion from the roller brush
When using a power head with extended height adjustment, start at the highest height setting and lower it until the roller brush lightly grazes the carpet and the power head can be maneuvered easily across the carpet.
Suction relief features reduce the seal between the power head and the carpet. Depending on the brand, suction relief can be achieved in the power head, wand or hose handle. When achieved in the power head, increase air flow enables the power head to glide across the densest carpet.
Small wheels located outside the vacuum housing can cause the vacuum to settle into dense carpeting, contributing to the vacuum locking onto the carpet. Wider support wheels, preferably within the vacuum housing, help to prevent the vacuum from sinking into the carpet.
Power heads that perform on ultra-soft carpet are the Wessel-Werk EBK360 SoftClean™ and the Cen-Tec CT23QD. The EBK360 SoftClean allows air to pass through the front of the nozzle. This power head has 5-position height adjustment and large rear wheels that are on the just inside the rear housing. These features allow the EBK360 SoftClean power head to glide across ultra-soft carpet.
The Cen-Tec CT23QD has vents in the hood of the powerhead that provide self adjusting air relief to keep the powerhead from sealing to the carpet. The air channels down and under the agitator brush carry the dirt into the air stream. The result is that the CT23QD works as well on ultra soft carpets as it does on traditional carpeting.