Winter Conscience Chemical Dilution
Winter weather is upon us and for some car washes it is the busiest time of year and for others a slowdown. Nonetheless, monitoring chemicals is key during the upcoming months. Two great forces to consider: industry-standard increase of chemical concentrations and colder temperatures. Unfortunately, they do work against each other and it is important to understand how to maintain even flow and consistent applications for your customers.
Understanding the science
An increase in chemical concentrations means changing conditions for chemical delivery and greater risk of inconsistent delivery. Colder temperatures increase the viscosity of the chemical thickness due to lower than average kinetic energies and slower-moving chemical molecules. Together these forces create a much greater risk of clogging, causing owners to have to switch to larger tips and monitor flow rates more regularly. Often, if you keep the tip size in the colder temperature the more likely chance it will clog. However, if you want to keep the chemical dilution the same, you will have to go up in tip size.
On the flip side, anyone with an injection-based chemical delivery system understands that to keep up with the concentration of the chemical products you will need to switch to a smaller tip size. One of the challenges all owners face includes small tip orifices providing a limited range of dilution options not to mention greater risk in clogging. This will often cause one to have to move up multiple tip sizes not by choice but because of availability. With each tip increase, chemicals are wasted, control is sacrificed, and cost savings go down. A typical process for troubleshooting a clogged injector tip is to remove the tips, test for vacuum on the injector with the tip removed. Hold it up to the light to see if it is clogged and if so, blow it clear of debris and reinstall. Or install a new metering tip.
Alternative metering solution
However, proper dilution best practices can also come in the form of either a traditional metering tip vs. alternative metering solutions such as the new VersaDial released by Hydra-Flex, Inc. Investing in an updated technology like a dial with channels can provide an operator extra advantages to chemical consistency and save in chemical costs. These other solutions can also allow a balance between chemical dilution of viscosity, especially with slower or colder moving chemicals. The use of the alternative metering solutions grants a list of advantages for the measuring of chemicals:
- Increased process efficiencies - The chemical control disk utilizes a long, torturous channel – vs. a small orifice size found in current metering tips. This eliminates clogs, requiring less maintenance and replacements while providing a greater range inflows and more consistent delivery.
- More efficient process guidance - e.g. an alternative metering dial controller can also provide consistency from draw to draw, and from device to device.
- Increase safety processes - Leaking equipment and spills can also create contamination amongst products. Also providing greater safety for users by eliminating the need to interact directly with chemistry, all while eliminating the need to physically change tips or find colors, just rotate a dial control to your desired dilution.
- Cost-savings for metering-chemicals – A dial also provides consistency from draw to draw, and from device to device. The correct amount of chemistry is delivered, every time.
So, as the colder weather temperatures begin to set in consider checking your tips more often or switching to alternative metering solutions. A dial will allow you to be more conscious of increased dilution ranges and resolutions, will improve reliability and chemical consistency, and is easier and safer to use than metering tips. Overall you will want to be more vigilant about your usages and performance metrics to not increase your costs during an already busy time.
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If interested in more information or how to purchase, please reach out to our sales team at 952-808-3640.