View Cart (0 items)

Equipment Maintenance
Tip of the Month:

November 20, 2006
/ Print / Reprints /
| Share More
/ Text Size+

At CarWash College™, we frequently get the question: "How do I get my vacuums to work stronger?" Vacuums are important to all models in the car wash industry. In a full service car wash it will save you time and yield a better product if your vacuums work to their full potential. In an express exterior car wash, you want the same efficiency to give your customers a quality product. Following are some steps to save you time and money.

Let's start with the basics. First, make sure your separators are being cleaned out at night. You can accumulate large amounts of trash inside that can cause poor suction. Make sure all the filter bags inside are seated and are free of any debris and there are no tears that can allow trash to pass through. You can also add a grate to the inside of the separator to cover the intakes to stop the flow of small trash into your producer that can cause the impellers to fill and reduce power. Also, at this time, inspect the seals on your doors and make sure they are in good condition. Any leaks in the seal will lead to an air leak resulting in a loss of power.

To add the grates to the inside of the separator you will need these parts. Start by buying a roll of chicken wire ½" x ½", eight 1 ¼" fender washers, a small tube of clear calking and eight 1" self-tapping metal screws. Open the door to the top of the producer and find the air intakes located on either side, measure and cut the chicken wire to cover them leaving about 1 ½" of extra wire on all four corners. Place the grate over the hole, and install the self-tapping screw using the fender washer to secure the wire. Do this on all four sides. After this is done on the sides you might find a small amount of the self-taping screw on the outside of the producer. Take a die grinder and remove the excess screw. Calk around the area to seal for any air leaks. Now you will stop all trash that might make it through the bags. Clean the wire nightly.

Try these tips and you should be at your best in no time. This will save you time and money. If you are at a full service car wash, having better vacuum power can easily save you one minute per car. At a 300 cars per day, that would save 35 hours per week or about 1820 hours per year. At an average pay rate of $7.00 per hour that's $12,740.00 per year.

Robert Andre is a Training Instructor for CarWash College™. Robert can be reached at For more information about CarWash College™ certification programs, visit, or call the registrar's office at 1-866-492-7422.