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Looking for info on Rotovac CFX

charlieworton

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May 16, 2018
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Hi - new guy here. Considering purchase of Rotovac CFX 3 stage vac with 360i, and external stand alone heater. Will plug heater into 20 amp 110V circuit on stove, and two lines on rotovac to different circuits. The idea here is to come as close to truckmount performance as possible, while maintaining portability to handle highrise apartments.

I'd like to get some feedback on how well this rig would work for me, and whether there are better approaches or different equipment that might work better.

And, apparently the CFX doesn't have any included method to inject cleaning solution into the mix; the factory recommended method is to prespray the carpet with cleaning solution, wait about ten minutes, and then use the Rotovac with clear water. Wondering if this will even work, and wondering how I might get some soap into the mix. Is there an injection system that will meter some concentrated cleaner into the high pressure line to the Rotovac 360i?

Thanks for any clarity you can provide - Charlie
 

ACP

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CFX is a great tool, we keep one on 1 truck, bought it right when it came out years ago. Suction is really good at about 50ft of hose and I like it because you can easily carry it in one hand so you never need to go backwards up stairs etc.

but to be honest I wouldnt run one with a 360 unless you downsize the jet flow, I wouldnt go more than 4.5 flow total on the 3 jet 360 head otherwise youll be overwetting.

instead of even bothering with the 20amp electric heater I would just buy a CRB so you can pre scrub really well, then heat wont matter as much... youll still have hot tap water.


The one downfall of this set up is if your area has hard water.

you can make me an offer on a 360 and a CFX used, both are in great working order. pm me
 

charlieworton

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May 16, 2018
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Thanks, ACP - water hardness in this area is about 9.9 grains (moderately hard). I was thinking about downjetting the 360i in any case, in order to decrease water usage. Most residential homes have a 40 gallon hot water tank, but by the time you've used 25 or 30 gallons you're no where near 120F; hence the desire to use an inline heater, in order to get some of the heat back. Realistically, I'm thinking a 20 Amp heater is going to get me 30 - 40F gain, which is definitely worth having when your water supply temp has dropped to 80F. Regarding a CRB: The 360i has a carpet brush head; I'm thinking I could spin that on and use it for agitation, without the vacuum or solution injection running. The head is $500, and CRBs are 4 - 5 times that.

Was just chatting with the guy at rotovac, and he was suggesting they could set up a hydro force sprayer unit inline on the solution line going to the 360i. It has a metering valve that would allow me to run the solution ratio up or down, according to the overall soil level; when I'm done cleaning, I can remove the inline unit and finish with a clear water rinse to get any residual soap out.

I'm probably going to buy my unit new, so I don't think I'd be interested in used equipment. But I do thank you for the offer.

Thanks for your response! I appreciate it. >Charlie
 

jmp

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Oct 14, 2016
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Where is the hydro force sprayer going to sit while you are cleaning?

Also a lot of this depends on your long term goals. I see a lot of guys that want the "truckmount cleaning experience" that chase that for months until they finally just wind up getting a truckmount. Sometimes it is worth it to just pony up and get the TM from the beginning (a used decent TM will run laps around a porty all day and can be found for close to what you will pay for your new portable setup.)

The Mytee t-rex comes with a super aggressive brush head - stock, I'd get that before I purposefully bought 2 different cleaning heads for a 360i. Just my 2 cents.

I think you will find over time you will hate finagling with that electrical set up on every job.
 

charlieworton

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May 16, 2018
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Hi, JMP! Thanks for your input!

The hydroforce sprayer would sit somewhere between the CFX solution out line, and the 360i rotary wand. I think pretty close to the CFX, just to keep all the equipment in the same area.

Re truckmounts: I actually would like to get a truck mount, but here's the deal. I'm a new business. (Actually, a not yet born new business; I think I'm somewhere around the second trimester). If I get a truckmount, that means I need to buy a van; used $10,000, new $30,000. We regularly get freezing temperatures around here, so I need to rent a heated bay to hold the van - roughly $2,000 a month triple net (I pay for everything additional, like taxes, property maintenance, and all utilities). And then there's the cost of the truckmount unit itself; $20,000 new, perhaps $10,000 used. Total cost, with used equipment: $20,000, and a space lease of about $2500 a month. If I want new stuff, the equipment price jumps to $50,000. And then, there's the cost of equipment operation, and insurance; vans don't get great mileage, and commercial insurance on a second vehicle is several hundred dollars a month.

However, if I go with the CFX unit, the price with all new equipment is just $5,000. And I can carry it into my home to prevent it from freezing, so I don't need a heated space. And it's small enough that I don't need to buy a van; I can use my existing vehicle.

So by using the CFX, I eliminate the cost of the truckmount, the additional vehicle, and a commercial location. It saves me around $4500 a month, depending on what I buy. That's a tremendous advantage to a new business. That's 45 hundred dollar jobs I don't have to find every month. Or, if I do find them, that's $4500 in my bank account.

So now, the question is: how close can I come to truck mount performance? The CFX with a 3 stage vacuum and a Mytee Hot Turbo heater is the closest I can manage. And I absolutely agree, it's not going to match a truck mount. Not even close. Probably not even in the same ball park. But, as portables go, it should be pretty good.

So, why would a client choose me, when there are lots of cleaning companies with truck mounts? When a client can't use a truck mount; and a good example is apartments. Once you're at the third story or higher, a truck mount just can't do the job. The other thing that apartment managers want, is a good price; and a portable unit is much cheaper to run. That lets me be very competitive on price, while maintaining decent profitability. And the equipment package I've chosen should outclean most, perhaps all, portables. Particularly when the superior cleaning performance of the 360i rotary wand is factored in.

So, that's the rationale behind starting with a portable, and developing the business to the point that I can add a truck, get a retail location, and hire employees.

So... what's the word on using a CFX unit, or a 360i rotary wand? ACP suggested that I downjet the 360i to prevent overwetting, and I think I might have to do that. I do anticipate getting the occasional residential client, and I think a standard 360i would empty a 40 gallon hot water heater pretty quickly.

Is my equipment choice reasonable? Is my business approach sound?

Annyhoo, I shall stop blathering. All comments on my general approach are gratefully appreciated!

Thanks, all - Charlie
 

charlieworton

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May 16, 2018
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Oh, man. I just got through watching the rotovac CFX training video, and what I saw shook me up so much I went to the service manual and looked at the exploded drawings.

The damned thing doesn't have a water pressure pump. At all. It's relying on whatever water pressure the municipality is able to provide; typically in the 40-60 psi range.

I've cleaned using portable extractors with 60 PSI pumps, and it's pure hell. You might as well use a pump up sprayer tank, and just skip the water spray altogether.

It never occurred to me that someone would sell an extractor without a water pressure pump. It's a little like selling a house without electrical wiring. There are some things that you just assume are there.

But apparently, not on the CFX.

So, let's see. We're relying on municipality pressure. We're not using any soap. And the only heat is coming from the clients 120 degree hot water tank (which will be exhausted about 15 minutes into the job).

What kind of a job is that likely to yield?

I think the CFX just got tossed into the scrap heap.

>Charlie
 

Fedri

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Hi charlieworton, I have used the cfx for years it is my winter machine which is easy to carry in and out on harsh winter days.

Currently my friend is selling one with 15gal tank dual 3 stage and almost brand new 360i with the 200psi Ranger. If you are interested please message me, we are in Canada and it would be a bonus if you are closer to the borderline of Toronto.
 

Art Kelley

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I highly recommend the dual 3 stage CFX. I’ve used one now for about five years, the first year was the original small tank version ( 5gallon recovery), but I went to the large 15 gallon recovery tank because the small CFX tended to blow waste water through the vac motors (and kill them). Hook the 360i to the customer sink faucet and clean for hours nonstop. No need to downsize the spray jets as the recovery is excellent. Great backup unit for your TM. This is a picture of the small machine. Make sure to use an inline vacuum filter such as a Mytee Lint Hog or similar to keep the machine clean and the APO working properly.
BC426147-91EF-4F52-A299-A4CF62C68068.jpeg
 
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ACP

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CFXs are great little units super reliable..

but yes no pressure pump.

Ours is great because it allows us to dual wand with the TNT if we want.

Your pricing out of everything in regards to the truckmount is well over exaggerated tbh.

I can show you where to get a bullet proof awsome 45 blower truckmount for under 10k, brand new.

put it in just about any van. When its cold in the winter youll need to run a heater in the van to prevent freeze damage, if your area gets really cold then you winterize the unit just like you would with an RV.
 

Fedri

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I highly recommend the dual 3 stage CFX. I’ve used one now for about five years, the first year was the original small tank version ( 5gallon recovery), but I went to the large 15 gallon recovery tank because the small CFX tended to blow waste water through the vac motors (and kill them). Hook the 360i to the customer sink faucet and clean for hours nonstop. No need to downsize the spray jets as the recovery is excellent. Great backup unit for your TM. This is a picture of the small machine. Make sure to use an inline vacuum filter such as a Mytee Lint Hog or similar to keep the machine clean and the APO working properly.View attachment 77840
I agree, I also had the small 5 gallon and caused trouble water going through the vac motors, but upgrading to the large 15 gallon tank had no issues. So don't buy the 5 gallon, get the 15 gallon highly recommend. If you are interested I have an extra one that my friend asked me to sell it for him. As soon as I pick it up from him I will post pictures. Also the almost brand new 360i.
 

Art Kelley

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Here’s the 15 gallon version. I like to keep the machine outside to pump the waste onto the lawn or the foundation plantings
0142E221-5972-4A25-A34B-1C52384114D2.jpeg
and keep the noise and stank and humidity outside.
 
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John LaBarbera

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Where is the hydro force sprayer going to sit while you are cleaning?

Also a lot of this depends on your long term goals. I see a lot of guys that want the "truckmount cleaning experience" that chase that for months until they finally just wind up getting a truckmount. Sometimes it is worth it to just pony up and get the TM from the beginning (a used decent TM will run laps around a porty all day and can be found for close to what you will pay for your new portable setup.)

The Mytee t-rex comes with a super aggressive brush head - stock, I'd get that before I purposefully bought 2 different cleaning heads for a 360i. Just my 2 cents.

I think you will find over time you will hate finagling with that electrical set up on every job.
https://www.mytee.com/products/7303lx-vacuum-booster/
 
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ACP

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idk the CFX isnt great if you use foamy products, the small tank cant handle a ton of foam.

honestly using a portable for anything more than a light rinse on a carpet after putting in a lot more work encapping and scrubbing is kind of a dated way of cleaning.

If I was set on not using a truckmount, (which idk why you would be you can get into a brand new one for what youll make in a month) I would focus more on encap and have something small for dealing with the areas that really need to be rinsed.

at least you have an angle with the really fast dry times
 

keep it clean

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Oh, man. I just got through watching the rotovac CFX training video, and what I saw shook me up so much I went to the service manual and looked at the exploded drawings.

The damned thing doesn't have a water pressure pump. At all. It's relying on whatever water pressure the municipality is able to provide; typically in the 40-60 psi range.

I've cleaned using portable extractors with 60 PSI pumps, and it's pure hell. You might as well use a pump up sprayer tank, and just skip the water spray altogether.

It never occurred to me that someone would sell an extractor without a water pressure pump. It's a little like selling a house without electrical wiring. There are some things that you just assume are there.

But apparently, not on the CFX.

So, let's see. We're relying on municipality pressure. We're not using any soap. And the only heat is coming from the clients 120 degree hot water tank (which will be exhausted about 15 minutes into the job).

What kind of a job is that likely to yield?

I think the CFX just got tossed into the scrap heap.

>Charlie
House pressure is not something to rely on. It could be 80psi at this house then 50psi at next. And if on well? Then you are at the mercy of that well pump. Ide concentrate on a portable with 2 cords absolutely no heater no heater noooo heater, 500 psi minimum for the pump, auto fill/dump. You only have so many amps available on 2 cords. And they’re best used on the vacs and pressure pump. The electric heater 2000 watt will never keep up with the high flow that you want for rinsing. If you want heat use customers hot water. I doubt you will suck down a water heater. Maybe a electric one. But a gas water heater should recover quickly.
I think mytee had or has a injector for the auto fill that adds your chem rinse to the solution tank.
 

Nick M.

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I have a steamin demon I’m willing to sell if price is right. It’s same concepts as cfx as far as hooking up to sink. It’s great for urine but anything foamy will bog down motor. Need to sprinkle powder defoamer on carpets before extraction.
 

RotoRoy

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Thanks, ACP - water hardness in this area is about 9.9 grains (moderately hard). I was thinking about downjetting the 360i in any case, in order to decrease water usage. Most residential homes have a 40 gallon hot water tank, but by the time you've used 25 or 30 gallons you're no where near 120F; hence the desire to use an inline heater, in order to get some of the heat back. Realistically, I'm thinking a 20 Amp heater is going to get me 30 - 40F gain, which is definitely worth having when your water supply temp has dropped to 80F. Regarding a CRB: The 360i has a carpet brush head; I'm thinking I could spin that on and use it for agitation, without the vacuum or solution injection running. The head is $500, and CRBs are 4 - 5 times that.

Was just chatting with the guy at rotovac, and he was suggesting they could set up a hydro force sprayer unit inline on the solution line going to the 360i. It has a metering valve that would allow me to run the solution ratio up or down, according to the overall soil level; when I'm done cleaning, I can remove the inline unit and finish with a clear water rinse to get any residual soap out.

I'm probably going to buy my unit new, so I don't think I'd be interested in used equipment. But I do thank you for the offer.

Thanks for your response! I appreciate it. >Charlie
I have a rotovac cfx, with a mytee turbo heater, and a water otter.
It took a while to get efficient set up and tear down times.
But I can do a job solo pretty quick now.

I often run 85’ 2” hose, with a 1.5” hose from there to a 12” evolution wand, with 4 jet conversion kit from wanders.

Alternatively, I run 2” hose straight into my rotary 360i.

For rinse solution:

I usually prespray the detergent and rinse. Alternatively, I use a hudroforce presprayer inline right after my water heater, and meter in my chemical of choice.

fo fresh water, i gave up trying to positive connect to faucets and such....
I just set a small pale into a sink, pet the faucet drizzle into it, and drop the inlet hose of my compressor draw from the pale.
(no risk of leaking water spray, and any (if any) overflow just trickles down the drain.

i sometimes use an inline filter to catch debri before it reaches my cfx, because every once in a while- on an incredibly bad job,a pice of sand or something could jamb my autopump Float and cause waste water to go through the vac motors.

I installed a drain cock on the cfx for quick-draining into toilet at end of job.

I set my cfx into the bathrub when ever possible, so if by some small chance- a leak, or a waste water overflow should happen, everything is safe.

Ive had the opportunity to help another carpet company recently- running off of their Butler truck mount system....

It’s an amazing truck mount system....!!!

I did not notice much any difference tho- at my point of wand contact with the carpet.

and my cfx system gets it about as dry about the same....it felt.



i keep a 7000 running watt generator in my van-just in case Im struggling to easily get enough power at a residence- (every once in a while)

Heres a definite caveat:
no point a portable if you want to run 2 wands.

for me-I have no current plans to grow my business to have a team of wand operators.

for my residential and small commercial jobs- this little cfx kit gets me about on par in about the same amount of time as a starter truck mount, fora fraction of the cost——
Cold winter time-
I just set my porto equipment in the living room at home- I dont need a head garage or otherwise to try to keep all my stuff from freezing.

So- in the end- is my business actually
More profitable than a solo operator truckmount? I really wonder——

with the auto pump out into the toilet, and the passive faucet line connection into the soolution pump, I NEVER have to stop and empty the extractor and refill fresh water.- I cam run nonstop for hours if needed.
Oh, man. I just got through watching the rotovac CFX training video, and what I saw shook me up so much I went to the service manual and looked at the exploded drawings.

The damned thing doesn't have a water pressure pump. At all. It's relying on whatever water pressure the municipality is able to provide; typically in the 40-60 psi range.

I've cleaned using portable extractors with 60 PSI pumps, and it's pure hell. You might as well use a pump up sprayer tank, and just skip the water spray altogether.

It never occurred to me that someone would sell an extractor without a water pressure pump. It's a little like selling a house without electrical wiring. There are some things that you just assume are there.

But apparently, not on the CFX.

So, let's see. We're relying on municipality pressure. We're not using any soap. And the only heat is coming from the clients 120 degree hot water tank (which will be exhausted about 15 minutes into the job).

What kind of a job is that likely to yield?

I think the CFX just got tossed into the scrap heap.

>Charlie
The cfx is only an extractor.

Many of us- set up a water otter pump or something similar- with an inline heater- to run the solution line to the wand.
 

RotoRoy

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Nov 28, 2019
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Here’s the 15 gallon version. I like to keep the machine outside to pump the waste onto the lawn or the foundation plantings View attachment 77842and keep the noise and stank and humidity outside.
One issue with that pic-
The waste water is illegal to dump out like that-
It must be emptied into a waste water facility, or proper drain, like a toilet.
It’s a huge fine for us if we get caught doing it.