Simoniz’s Jake Collison has spent over two decades in car washes. In this episode, Jake dives into the evolution of car wash products, Simoniz’s commitment to quality and innovation, and how Simoniz collaborates with car wash operators to meet their specific needs and challenges.
3 Helpful Tips For Chemical Delivery Systems
Chemical delivery systems like the dispenseIT aren’t just a component of your car wash; they’re the backbone that determines the quality of the wash and the operational efficiency.
A well-functioning chemical delivery system is crucial for providing a high-quality car wash experience to customers while keeping the operational costs in check.
It helps in reducing the cost per car by ensuring that the exact amount of chemical is used, eliminating waste and ensuring cost efficiency.
However, these systems can sometimes encounter issues that can impact their performance.
Let’s take a deep dive into three tips for common issues that operators face with their chemical delivery systems: back pressure, chemical dilution, and inconsistent chemical application
Tip 1: Check Back Pressure
Occasionally after installing a chemical delivery system, operators will find that their chemical tubing applicators (CTA) only draw chemicals for a couple of seconds and then stop.
The primary cause of this problem is excessive back pressure, where too much liquid is trying to be pushed through the applicator.
The Role of the Venturi
To understand how to resolve this issue, it’s essential to know what the Venturi effect is and how it functions in chemical delivery systems.
A Venturi is a device that utilizes the principle of fluid dynamics to create a pressure drop between the inlet and outlet.
In a chemical delivery system, a Venturi is used to generate suction, which is necessary for drawing chemical concentrate out of the storage drum. It occurs when water flowing through a pipe or tube is forced into a narrow section. The result is an increase in velocity and a decrease in pressure, which creates a vacuum.
For the system to work effectively, there needs to be a roughly 50% pressure drop from the inlet to the outlet.
This pressure drop creates the Venturi effect, which in turn generates the suction needed to pull the chemical concentrate into the system.
Fig. 1 – Venturi Effect drawing in chemical
Resolving Back Pressure Issues
According to Jake Collison of Simoniz, there are a few potential causes for excessive back pressure.
“If an operator experiences momentary suction followed by a sudden stop, it could be due to an oversized injector or a restriction down the line. The restriction could be caused by a clogged foam generator, a faulty check valve, or a pinched line.”
So how can you address this problem?
“To resolve this issue, one we recommend reducing the injector size by one level and then retest the system. By doing so, the operator can alleviate the excessive back pressure and ensure that the Venturi effect is produced correctly, allowing the system to draw the chemical concentrate effectively.”
Tip 2: Verify Chemical Dilution
Another common issue that operators may encounter after installing a chemical delivery system is the production of either runny or thick foam applications.
This problem is related to the dilution of the chemicals being used.
Adjusting Air Pressure and Concentration
If the air pressure is too low, it could result in low foam production. On the other hand, if the air pressure is too high, it could cause a sputtering effect.
Jake suggests a couple of simple and common fixes for this issue: adjusting air pressure and verifying chemical concentration.
“The first thing I would do is go to my regulator that corresponds to my water valve and make sure the air pressure is adjusted properly. The second thing I would inspect is whether my chemical concentration is correct by taking a metering sample.”
Ensuring that the chemical concentration is correct is crucial for achieving the desired foam consistency.
Tip 3: Chemical Application Consistency
Operators also face the issue of inconsistent chemical application across different areas of the car. This can result in uneven cleaning and a less-than-satisfactory customer experience.
Checking and Maintaining Equipment
The first step to resolving this issue is to check the equipment for any signs of wear and tear. Nozzles, hoses, and other components of the chemical delivery system should be inspected regularly and replaced if necessary.
Calibrating the System
In addition to maintaining the equipment, it’s important to calibrate the chemical delivery system regularly. Flow rates should be adjusted to ensure that the correct amount of chemical is being applied to each section of the car.
Calibrating or “dialing in” the system can help to achieve a consistent and even application of chemicals, resulting in a better cleaning outcome.
Understanding how to adjust injector sizes, air pressure, and calibrate your chemical delivery system are vital for maintaining optimal system performance and providing the best possible cleaning results.
Have any questions about chemical delivery systems or other technical car wash questions? Click here to submit.
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Simoniz Northeast Sales Director Al West joins the Modern Car Wash Podcast to provide some insights on how operators can get the most out of the chemicals in their washes. With over 3 decades of experience in the car wash business and 25 years with Simoniz, Al is truly a chemical guru committed to getting operators dialed in.