ICS Magazine

Hose Gadgets Galore

November 11, 2004
Safe Connect

Connector Sleeve
Some 25 years ago, (I hate to show my age this way) I was contracted to clean the large office space in a furniture company's warehouse.

It was a time for celebration because I had just purchased a new truckmount capable of producing high solution temperatures. This resulted in better and faster cleaning than our previous system. Anything that saves labor and sweat is always worth celebrating.

As I worked my way through this building, pulling the hoses with me as I went, I began to notice a few spots where it looked like the color was gone from the carpet. I looked more closely and, sure enough, there were a few small marks where the tan carpet was now white. It took me a few minutes to realize that, in the areas where my brass quick connects were touching wet carpet, the carpet was loosing its color!

Some combination of high temperature, the brass quicks, moist carpet and whatever else, was creating a real issue that was making me sick to my stomach. In order to prevent further damage, I grabbed some cotton towels and wrapped them around the quick connects. This resolved the issue of removing any more dye and my handy crayon set (a story for another day) resolved the color-less spots.

QD Wrap
So what are the problems associated with quick connects on solution hoses, and what do we need to solve them? Quick connects transfer heat very efficiently, and with the high temperatures generated by truckmounts they present a danger to:
  • The carpet and other surfaces.
  • The customer (we never want a 2-year-old to grab a hot quick).
  • You (handling the hose should not result in a quick-connect burn).
  • Quick connects are rough and can damage walls and floors.
  • Quick connects are expensive and they get damaged as they are pulled over cement sidewalks and driveways.

    One of the most popular quick-connect protection devices is the safe connect. The safe connect incorporates the female quick connect into a molded plastic cover (the tough plastic could be hard on corners, so be careful) and allows cleaners to couple and uncouple their quick connects without burning their hands. Sort of a "bulletproof vest" protecting the professional carpet cleaner from the quick connects. You will find more and more truckmounts have the safe connect as standard equipment on their solution connections. Changing from your floor tool to your stair tool no longer has to be accomplished at the same pain level as walking on red hot coals - something I find as desirable as jumping off a bridge with a long rubber band tied to my ankles.

    QD wraps - as they are described in the industry - are insulated and simply wrap around the coupled quick connects and fasten with Velcro. They are available in either a gold Cordura nylon fabric or a bright orange plasticized fabric.

    Also on the market is a product called a connector sleeve. It accomplishes the same basic purpose as the QD wraps, and is made of a two-piece soft plastic material that is fitted over the connectors.

    I hope providing a look at some of the hose gadgets on the market has been helpful, and I look forward to profiling other helpful innovations in articles to come. To what end, you ask? To make your cleaning and restoration life easier, safer, and just more fun.