Years ago I was hunting for a good hot water extractor so that I could move from just shampooing carpet to deep cleaning with the ability to flush out grim and not just move it around. After some research I went with a Aztec Hot Rod. The thing is, I could not find any in depth reviews on the machine. I saw a few where pros said they liked it but not much else.
I can say after owning and working with one for 4+ years, it was a great choice.
At the time I purchased my AHR, I was doing car detailing all over Atlanta while working from a vehicle. Any professional detailer that works onsite can tell you how much equipment gets knocked around and even beat up. I now have a car detailing shop in Atlanta and equipment is not knocked around anymore. But I really believe if the AHR was not a solidly built machine, I would have broken it. If it’s any indication of how well built the AHR is and how much it got banged around, closely inspect the image I’ve included of my unit.
It’s built well … you get it. What’s it like to use?
After years of use, I can see how Aztec thought of just about everything in the way they designed the Hot Rod. Before using the water injection to get that deep cleaning you’re after, you need to fill up the water reservoir. The reservoir has a screen between the fill cap and the opening. This limits the size of debris that can find its way into the machine and the damage that it could cause.
You have a switch with three options; off, vacuum and heat. Once filled up, turn the switch to heat and it starts doing its thing heating the water. If you can locate hot tap water to fill the reservoir with, it will cut the heating time dramatically. Fully heating cold tap water can take upwards of 20~25 minutes. Until the water is fully heated, an orange indicator light will be illuminated. Once it’s fully heated, the light turns off and you know you’re ready to rock and roll.
Flipping the switch to vacuum turns off the heater. So if you plan to use it for a moment then set it aside, you should turn it back to heat and allow it to work if needed while it sits.
Using the machine with hot water is straight forward. Use the quick connect to plug in the pressure line and slide the vacuum line on the machine and you’re ready to work. Pull the trigger and hot water sprays out. A really nice aspect of the machine is the clear plastic vacuum nozzle. While using it you can view the color of the water being extracted. This comes in handy because otherwise you’d be working blind as to how clean the surface is. Just because carpet is showing a different color doesn’t mean it’s still dirty. Sometimes stains can deceive you into thinking you still have a dirty surface. If the water is coming out clean, it’s a good indication that you’ve probably got everything out. A clear nozzle will indicate where you are in that regard.
Now onto the clean up, yes it is just as easy as using the machine!
When the machine is holding the maximum amount of waste water, the suction will reduce on the vacuum. Emptying the waste water is as easy as unplugging the vacuum line and pressure line then dumping the water out the vacuum line intake port.
I wish I could provide more information on the Aztec Hot Rod but it’s a very straight forward machine with few moving parts and is easy to use. Knowing how much this machine has been used and the amount of abuse it’s seen, I can say I am happy I invested my money in the AHR. It’s easily paid for itself and more. As my business continues to grow at Detailed Designs Auto Spa, Inc. I know we will continue to put it to good use. If you’re in the market for a hot water extractor, I suggest you give strong consideration to this little beast!