When many of you hear the product category “Steam Vac” you probably think of the steam vacs being sold everywhere that actually have no steam at all, but are really inexpensive extraction vacuums.
In this case, however, we are speaking of the hybridized systems that have a steam vapor system and vacuum incorporated into a single unit. As with most things where severe compromises are necessary, the end result is that the product does nothing very well.
A few years ago we purchased a boat that tried to be a sailboat and a powerboat. The resulting compromise meant that it failed at both. It was a lousy, slow and poor sailing boat and as a powerboat it couldn't get out its own way. In the end, the company failed and quit making such an abomination.
Advanced Vapor Technologies, the maker of the Ladybug, will not compromise and does not include these products in their product line. Our reasons for making this decision are discussed below.
Steam vacs were originally produced in Europe where their power is 220 volts. Here in North America our power is 110/120 volts with 15 to 20 amp circuit breakers.
Good vacuums require 10 to 12 amps and a good vapor system needs at least the same amount of amperage to run. Therefore, the total amps required are too high for both systems to operate systems at the same time.
While you are operating the vacuum the boiler cannot be heating. This means you are going to working with less than optimal heat when you go back to steam.
The Air Cools the Steam
Even if you could operate them together the air being drawn through the head also cools the steam. And because the steam with steam vacs is wetter, you absolutely need the vacuum because you are leaving more water.
Steam vacs are also big and bulky, as are the tools and the hose. Steam vacs are heavy and require much more maintenance, not to mention the dumping of that smelly and disgusting waste bucket.
Great Place for Bugs to Explode
With all the problems above, there are more. When you suck wet material into a hose and then storing the hose in the closet you are giving the bacteria you also vacuumed up a wonder place to breed and grow. This is just the thing we are trying to destroy.
A Bad Compromise
In our minds, steam vacs go against everything we are trying to accomplish. A good vapor system, used correctly, can accomplish more, faster and with better efficacy.