Carwash frozen

 

 Winterising your car wash

The first thing for all washes is lagging. Lagging is cheap and easy to fit. Fit it on all of your exposed pipe work to prevent freezing. The next thing I recommend is heater tracing. This is a cable that has little heater elements inside. You typically wrap any pipework or outdoor pumps in this and wire it up. It isn't that expensive to buy and is really cheap to run, it could save you a fortune on plumbers fees for split pipes and cracked water pumps! Lastly get a good stock of salt, you need it for the forecourt, and around the wash bay. This will prevent customer injury, machine damage and possible claims for personal injury or damage. It also shows you care and enables customers to still come to your site and safely use your facilities.


Jet Washes


Does your jet wash have either a manual blow down, or an automatic blow down. This would normally mean you have an internal compressor which operates to blow the liquid out of the gun and brush. If you have then make certain this is working. If it is manual, blow it down every night after the last wash! Hoses. If you have quick release fittings on your hoses then take them off each night and put them somewhere warm. If you don't have quick release fittings, then get a couple of spanners and take the hoses off! Lastly leave the power on. Most jet washes have internal heaters that need the power on them to operate. If you switch the wash off you lose this protection which can be very costly if the internal pump etc gets frozen!


Brush washes


Most brush washes are unable to operate below 2 degrees. This is due to the possibility of ice forming on the brushes and damaging vehicles. So although you cannot run the machine, you can make certain you have no damage. Firstly you need to check your winter blow down is operating. There should be a thermostat on your machine, which when it falls to 2 degrees will cause your compressor to blow out air through your pipes, no water, no split pipes! Next keep an eye on the forecast, if it looks like you will be getting a long  cold spell where you can't even operate in the day, it is worth taking out your chemicals and storing them in a non-freezing place!


Touch less washes


As you have no brushes you will be able to operate safely in minus temperatures. Check your winter wizard is operating correctly and keep an eye on the antifreeze levels as they circulate the wash gantry. Make certain the winter blow down is operating and emptying out the nozzles. Be sure the water supply is protected with lagging and heat trace. If their is a sustained period of minus temperatures then switch off the under chassis wash, as this will freeze and can cause problems. I have washed cars in -7 degrees with no real problems. The only thing I had to do was put salt on the bay and the tracks to stop the drive wheels from slipping!



Happy Car washing!