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Business Operations

A surge of extra protection

October 11, 2010
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Millions of dollars are wasted each year on equipment repairs, replacements and operation down time due to damages caused by surges. Down time at a carwash can be very detrimental to the company’s bottom line due to the immediate loss of revenue that occurs and the negative ripple effect of customers looking elsewhere for service.

In order to prevent these unnecessary expenses, more and more businesses are utilizing surge protection at their locations.

Understanding the culprit
While most people are familiar with surges that originate outside of a facility, many do not realize that internally generated surges are more common and occur more frequently.

Approximately 80 percent of all surges are caused by an internal source within the building. This can be a shocking discovery for some since most people identify surges exclusively with thunderstorms and lightning.

Carwashes are faced with a significantly higher number of internally generated surges than most other commercial facilities. This increase in surge activity is due to the number of pumps, motors and compressors that are typically used in a carwash facility. Each time this equipment turns on and off it generates internal surges that propagate throughout the electrical system. The cumulative effect of these repeated surges may cause undesirable equipment operation at best and complete device failure at worst.

Staying safe
Surge protection devices are designed to divert surges away from the protected equipment, which in turn would keep your carwash facility safe and operational.

Surge protection can be installed in either new or existing facilities. The ideal scenario would be to incorporate surge protection during the initial install of your equipment. This would be the best way to ensure that your equipment is protected from the very beginning.

Covering all the bases
In today’s technologically advanced world, more and more equipment is being designed to communicate for remote monitoring. PLCs (programmable logic controllers) are networked with communication systems in order to provide real time information about the status of the carwash operation. This monitoring method is very beneficial for locations that continue to operate outside of the personnel working hours.

Unfortunately, these types of sensitive electronic devices add another avenue for surges to gain entry to your facility through the communication lines, plus they are very vulnerable targets themselves. It is for this reason that communication line protection is just as important as AC power protection.

An ounce of prevention
Surge protection can help carwash owners increase uptime through risk minimization and loss prevention. Proactive owners can purchase a quality protector at an affordable price that will lengthen the life of their equipment and lessen future expenses by preventing premature replacement.

Contact your equipment manufacturer or local distributor in order to find out what surge protection products are available.

April Skony is a key accounts manager for Meter-Treater, Inc. of Lake Park, FL, a company that manufactures surge protection devices for residential, commercial and industrial applications. Skony can be reached via e-mail at or by calling 800-638-3788.