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Sonny's-Carwash College™ Tip of the Month

Inspecting Hoses for Problems

CarWash College™ Preventive Maintenance Tip of the Month

November 24, 2008
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At CarWash College™ we teach preventive maintenance. This month we are going to talk about the importance of checking high pressure hoses and hydraulic lines for wear. The lines in the car wash serve an important function of moving fluid from the source out to the application, whether to a nozzle or a motor. By inspecting these hoses and finding potential problems that can be fixed, we further reduce the possibility of downtime at the car wash.

A hose can seem pretty simple. It is, but it’s usually not the hose itself that causes it to fail. The hose usually fails due to rubbing on a piece of metal on the pump station or power pack. Sometimes this happens when the line runs through a wall and rubs against it. The best way to find potential problems is to start at the source of the hose and follow the hose all the way out to the application. Along the way look for any areas where the hose might be pinched, rubbing on something, or is over-extended because the hose length is too short. This can be a time consuming task, since each hose should be checked individually. But the good news is that once the problems have been found, they can be checked on a frequent basis. If the hoses are not run in an orderly fashion in the back room or the tunnel itself, it might be worth the time to organize the hoses. As with any good inspection process, there needs to be documentation of the inspection results in a log for future use. Once the problem area or areas have been found, they need to be looked at to see what can be done to eliminate or reduce the risk of failure. Sometimes the fix might be to shield the hose by wrapping another hose around it at the point of contact and then monitoring and changing the shielding as needed. In some cases you might be able to add another cush-a-clamp to secure the hose and take away the rubbing altogether. In some cases if the problem is large, such as a bunch of hoses running through a cutout in a block wall, they might have to be removed to add a protective layer around the bare block. Whatever the case might be, taking the time to fix or eliminate the problems will be worth the time by preventing failure.

Finding and eliminating the problems with the hose can save downtime and damage to other equipment. To save money, when it comes time to fix the hoses, it is recommended that a Swage tool be purchased for the car wash, allowing hose connections to be made at the car wash. Simple yet effective checks are always worth the time and even something so simple as a hose is worth maintaining.

Robert Andre is the President of CarWash College™. Robert can be reached at RAndre@carwashcollege.com. For more information about CarWash College™ certification programs, visit www.carwashcollege.com or call the registrar's office at 1-866-492-7422.