The equipment throughout your car wash represents a significant investment. Be sure to properly prepare your wash for the winter season. This great article by Professional Carwashing & Detailing offers various tips on how to winterize equipment throughout your site, including your central vacuum system.
From the article: “Turning to other types of equipment in the carwash, Steve Lieneman, vice president of sales and marketing for Vacutech, states that an operator should notice little to no change in a vacuum system’s operation during cold weather. Cold weather will not significantly impact a central vacuum system, so there are no major steps specifically for winterization that an owner or manager needs to take.
Even so, after busy summer and fall seasons, it is a good idea to use a slower time period to perform routine maintenance on central vacuum systems. This will ensure a system’s optimal performance and longevity. Lieneman notes that an operator should always start by consulting the vacuum system’s specific instructions.
‘Late autumn is an ideal time to clean or replace your vacuum system’s filter bags,’ Lieneman reveals. ‘’Much like your own vacuum at home, using clean or new vacuum filters improves suction and system performance. Consult with your vacuum system provider about how to clean or replace filter bags.’
Generally, an operator should clean bags quarterly and install new ones annually, according to Lieneman. Carwashes with heavier traffic should clean and replace bags more often.
Next, an owner should check his or her vacuum system for leaks. Any issues with leaks can have a significant negative impact on system performance. Lieneman states that operators should pay particular attention to gaskets, pipe connections and tool holders, as these are the most common locations for leaks.
‘Listening for hissing and whistling sounds as you walk the entire length of the vacuum system is the best way to identify the source of any system leaks,’Lieneman explains. ‘Replacement of worn gaskets and a fresh application of silicone to pipe junctions may be all you need to address common system leaks.’
It is always a good idea to keep vacuum lines clear and free of debris as well. This is particularly important during winter when melted snow and ice are more commonly introduced into the vacuum system. This moisture mixed with normal dirt and debris can create mud in the vacuum piping, which may cause restrictions that affect system performance, Lieneman notes.
For his final two tips, Lieneman suggests that, if a vacuum turbine has serviceable bearings, one should be sure to grease them prior to winter. Lastly, operators should remember that PVC piping can become brittle in cold temperatures. If an owner or manager needs to work on PVC vacuum lines during cold weather, he or she should be sure to take extra care to prevent damage.”
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