Professional Carwashing & Detailing

Maintaining Your Vacuum

CarWash Collegeā„¢ Tip of the Month

July 31, 2013

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While on a conference call last week someone complained about the life, or lack of, they were getting from their vacuum system. I started to think about the vacuums I had seen come back to the factory for repair or rebuilding, and the reasons they failed. Ninety percent of the units I see have failed for the same reason; trash in the impellers. Once trash gets into the unit it can do two things. First it can simply cause the unit to lose suction or it throws the impeller completely out of balance, causing major internal damage that usually requires the unit to be repaired or replaced.

How does trash get into the impeller?

There are two common ways that trash gets into the impeller - filter bags not being installed properly or failure to check the filter bags on a daily basis. It doesn’t matter if your wash is a full-service, express or flex-service, the vacuum is a critical component of the services you offer. If you follow the simple maintenance instructions below, your vacuum should give you years of trouble-free operation.

DAILY
  1. Empty collected trash from the dirt canister.
    1. Turn power off to the vacuum. Open the door latches. Use care when opening or closing the door. A damaged door may cause damaging leaks to the vacuum.
    2. Remove and empty the dirt canister. Clean the compartment around the canister. Replace the empty canister in the storage compartment against the alignment flange.
    3. Close the access door. Press the center of the door before fastening the latches to assure a proper door gasket seal.
    4. Turn on the vacuum. Listen for any leaks around the door gasket. Re-seal if necessary.
       
  2. Clean the filter bag.
    1. Turn power off to the vacuum. Open the door latches. Use care when opening or closing the door. A damaged door may cause damaging leaks to the vacuum.
    2. If you have the Uni-Mount style frame, shake the filter bags with the handle on the side of the separator tank. If you have the Separate Mount style frame, manually shake the filter bags behind the upper door on the separator tank.
    3. Inspect filter bags for damage, wetness and proper seating, replacing damaged bags.
    4. Return filter bags to vacuum.
    5. Close the access door. Press the center of the door before fastening the latches to assure a proper door gasket seal.
    6. Turn on the vacuum. Listen for any leaks around the door gasket. Re-seal if necessary.
    7. Inspect vacuum hoses and tools for cuts, excessive wear, or trash blockage. Replace as necessary.
    8. Turn the vacuum on and check all hose drops for proper operation.
WEEKLY
  1. Inspect all filter bags for wetness or tears. Replace as necessary.
  2. Check vacuum piping for pinhole leaks, cracks, or loose fittings.
  3. Inspect dirt canister and filter access door gaskets for cuts, excessive wear, or leaks. Replace as necessary.
  4. Clean the separator tank and producer housings.
BI-WEEKLY

Grease impeller shaft bearings every 2 weeks. Do Not Over Grease!!!


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