Carpet Cleaning Truck Fires - Do's and Don'ts

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Oct 31, 2012
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Thomas
#81
It seems to me that oil fired would be the best of both worlds. Is there a suitable oil fired heater that would work with our industry? One that runs off diesel or kero?
Hey Robb, can we open this 5 year old thread again.
What are your feeling about diesel units now? I don't know if I was misinformed, but I was told your new unit does not have one... I know you had an El diablo / Diesel fired unit in the past.. Is your current unit diesel fired, LP or HX?
I had a Northstar diesel unit before, but I found the raw steel coils to let out black water daily... I had to de-lime the unit every few weeks. Every morning I had to spend 10-20 minutes flushing out the black rust
Unless someone could afford an all stainless coil, I suppose Diesel would be nice again... My Northstar unit used to spike up 290-300 and then get cold.. Fluctuation.

I really feel the culprit of most of the fires you mentioned in the Thread were due to HX systems exploding or Gasoline being poured onto the fire by the fuel pump.
Because if you took a blow torch and tried to light your TM on fire? it would be difficult... There is nothing to burn.. But if you had a petrol fuel leak and the pump continued to pour out more gas feeding the fire or pouring fuel on the red hot exhaust.? it would melt everything inside the van, and eventually exploding the LP tank.... The only proof is a bystander reporting an explosion... No investigative conclusion as to what fuel source really started the fire on these vans you mentioned..... But I do understand you concerns about having careless employee's run the LP systems. But for an owner/operator LP is a very good choice in my opinion.

The reason I am asking is because I am going LP little Giant. But my unit will be on an open air trailer.. so no chance of fume accumulation explosion...

I got the 4HT-HP Little Giant, and will be pairing it up with Mytee Escape ...
This will be a great set-up in my opinion. Truck Mount power in a Portable and unlimited Steam from the LG.
 

Bob Savage

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Mar 6, 2007
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Bob Savage
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#83
Hey Bob, wanted to get you in on this because I would like to see your version of the LP heater? and what upgrades do you have for my Little Giant? 4Ht-HP
Hey Thomas-

I believe a propane fired unit is quite safe as long as you do not try to defeat any of the safety features on the unit.

The LP heater that we use in both of our truckmounts is specifically set up for carpet cleaning. A lot of the pressure washing (PW) fuel fired heaters are designed for high pressure washing and not carpet cleaning. The PW heaters are used to being on solid while pressure washing. That is not the case when you are cleaning carpets. The wand is ON and OFF at the trigger quite a bit.

Our units are automatically piloted when they are turned ON, and the pilot goes OFF when you turm the switch off. This way you do not need to light any pilot, nor do you have to turn any pilot off at the end of the job.

There is an auto re-lighter if wind ever blows out the pilot, that will re-light the pilot 6 times if necessary before shutting it down.

The burner is fired by using my patented invention of a flow fired ON/delay unit that heats more evenly, and provides more heat by using less LP overall. There are no spikes or cool issues during cleaning.

These units (240,000 BTU's) have enough heat for 2 wands at 260º all day long without having to turn them all the way up.

The LG 4-HT should work well without any upgrades from what I've heard. Make sure yo use a belly mount tank and at least a 2-stage LP regulator on your tank (which should come with it).
 

jeffk734

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Jun 2, 2011
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Jeff King
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#84
ImageUploadedByTMF Forums1406493012.387267.jpg

Hydramaster Boxxer 318 1 month after engine was replaced. No LP or kerosene used. Unit had a HX.


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Dec 10, 2013
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Scott Turknett
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#86
Hey Robb, can we open this 5 year old thread again.
What are your feeling about diesel units now? I don't know if I was misinformed, but I was told your new unit does not have one... I know you had an El diablo / Diesel fired unit in the past.. Is your current unit diesel fired, LP or HX?
I had a Northstar diesel unit before, but I found the raw steel coils to let out black water daily... I had to de-lime the unit every few weeks. Every morning I had to spend 10-20 minutes flushing out the black rust
Unless someone could afford an all stainless coil, I suppose Diesel would be nice again... My Northstar unit used to spike up 290-300 and then get cold.. Fluctuation.

I really feel the culprit of most of the fires you mentioned in the Thread were due to HX systems exploding or Gasoline being poured onto the fire by the fuel pump.
Because if you took a blow torch and tried to light your TM on fire? it would be difficult... There is nothing to burn.. But if you had a petrol fuel leak and the pump continued to pour out more gas feeding the fire or pouring fuel on the red hot exhaust.? it would melt everything inside the van, and eventually exploding the LP tank.... The only proof is a bystander reporting an explosion... No investigative conclusion as to what fuel source really started the fire on these vans you mentioned..... But I do understand you concerns about having careless employee's run the LP systems. But for an owner/operator LP is a very good choice in my opinion.

The reason I am asking is because I am going LP little Giant. But my unit will be on an open air trailer.. so no chance of fume accumulation explosion...

I got the 4HT-HP Little Giant, and will be pairing it up with Mytee Escape ...
This will be a great set-up in my opinion. Truck Mount power in a Portable and unlimited Steam from the LG.
The only diesel fired heat exchanger I have ever used had stainless lines. It was from wang enterprises about 12 years ago or so. I have never seen the " Black Death".


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Jose Rodriguez

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May 28, 2012
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Jose Rodriguez
#90
I have been using my propane for three years and no problems, I always make sure I check the lines and heater for any leaking of gas every 3 days, my propane is under my van and I don't put any boxes or other stuff around my heater.


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Brian Jones

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Jul 17, 2013
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Brian Jones
#92
I picked up an old old lg 3ht. Had a busted coil so repaired that but still haven't been confident enough to run it in the van unattended. I plan to use a vertical tank for now. Tank would be attached at the job site with the tank on the ground outside of the van. Would you guys recommend I have someone with experience look over the setup?

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the organic cleaner

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Apr 16, 2014
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Glenn Stewart
#93
I picked up an old old lg 3ht. Had a busted coil so repaired that but still haven't been confident enough to run it in the van unattended. I plan to use a vertical tank for now. Tank would be attached at the job site with the tank on the ground outside of the van. Would you guys recommend I have someone with experience look over the setup?

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Brian, you should be good on the repair unless it was a really bad hole on that original coil. Any repairs must be done with silver solder.
But, If you'd like to upgrade the Coil and pressure Regulator, I have both New in the box. 1,300 psi coil and regulator.


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Brian Jones

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Jul 17, 2013
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Brian Jones
#94
Coil is good I've only ran it up to 400 but no leaks. Just worried about the burner and everything functioning properly I also dont have a pressure releif valve on it yet either

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Dec 3, 2012
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#95
Careful with propane. Explosions are serious. I would always check connections with soapy water in a spray bottle. Or you could pick up a gas sniffer which would beep in presence of gas. And if it were me I would keep tank on ground outside of truck.
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Red green

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Jun 26, 2014
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Red Green
#96
In my quest for a new slide-in I checked with my primary carrier (State Farm) as well as my catastrophic carrier about different fuel configurations.

An underbody, permanent mount, all propane set up gave the lowest rates as they fell into the lowest risk category by having the lowest percentage of claims, which counters the notion that LP is more dangerious. The highest risk was placed on vehicles where the motor was fed by a fuel tap from the vehicles tank (regardless of LP, diesel, or HX heat), neither would carry a vehicle with any sort of portable/removable tank inside the van.
 
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Red green

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Jun 26, 2014
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Red Green
#97
I read that roach coach tank didn't actually explode in that incident, the tank/regulator had been previously damaged, ghetto repaired, and improperly installed INSIDE the van. The mother & daughter who were killed apparently knew the tank was damaged and leaking, but never had it emptied or repaired, they just used the other tank. The regulator ruptured and released the gas which then ignited from the burners inside.

Propane wasn't the issue here, it was damaged equipment, improper installation, ignorance, and rejection of common sense.


Careful with propane. Explosions are serious. I would always check connections with soapy water in a spray bottle. Or you could pick up a gas sniffer which would beep in presence of gas. And if it were me I would keep tank on ground outside of truck.

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Dec 3, 2012
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#98
I read that roach coach tank didn't actually explode in that incident, the tank/regulator had been previously damaged, ghetto repaired, and improperly installed INSIDE the van. The mother & daughter who were killed apparently knew the tank was damaged and leaking, but never had it emptied or repaired, they just used the other tank. The regulator ruptured and released the gas which then ignited from the burners inside.

Propane wasn't the issue here, it was damaged equipment, improper installation, ignorance, and rejection of common sense.
This is true. Shotty equip. The bottles rarely explode it's the build up of gas in and around area. It just needs a spark. i just wanted to show what can happen if you neglect or use rigged equipment. You don't get a second chance. But propane is safe as long as you keep check on your gas hoses and connections. make sure if you bought it used nobody eliminated any of the safety features on the heater. I would still leave it outside on the ground this way if there is a leak it won't build up in the van with the ignition source.

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Allied

Life is good!
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Jun 18, 2013
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#99
Our units are automatically piloted when they are turned ON, and the pilot goes OFF when you turm the switch off. This way you do not need to light any pilot, nor do you have to turn any pilot off at the end of the job.

There is an auto re-lighter if wind ever blows out the pilot, that will re-light the pilot 6 times if necessary before shutting it down.

The burner is fired by using my patented invention of a flow fired ON/delay unit that heats more evenly, and provides more heat by using less LP overall. There are no spikes or cool issues during cleaning.

These units (240,000 BTU's) have enough heat for 2 wands at 260º all day long without having to turn them all the way up.
Bob, can you please either link or PM me info on your auto system and where it can be purchased...i am about to add a LG to my TM and this sounds very promising.

Thank you
 

Red green

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Jun 26, 2014
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Call Little-Giant, ask for Scott.
They are launching their new 12v Automatic Ignitor/Re-Ignitor for all new and existing LG Heaters. It uses a tried and true system from the RV industry, it should make startup a breeze, and will automatically relight if your pilot goes out making it safer and more productive (no stopping to relight if blown out on a windy day).

Bob, can you please either link or PM me info on your auto system and where it can be purchased...i am about to add a LG to my TM and this sounds very promising.

Thank you