A clear, dry finish is an important part of every carwash experience. Functional blowers ensure a clean rinse free from troublesome water spotting. But proper dryer operation prevents more than just spotting. Dry customer cars help operators avoid customer service problems, parking lot puddles, potential icing issues and slip-and-fall situations.
There are a number of upkeep and maintenance steps a carwash owner can take to guarantee both efficient blower operation and dry, spot-free cars. Below are the five most important dryer upkeep tips, and other considerations, from J.R. Klemmer, general manager of Proto-Vest Inc.
Tip 1: Inspect dryers every week.
Weekly inspections should be done to maximize the life and efficiency of a system.
Tip 2: Check for changes in operation.
Noises or vibrations are signs that a unit needs to be checked for bearing failure or an impellor is out of balance. If these issues go uncorrected, it will lead to expensive repairs and a potentially dangerous situation.
“It’s very important to inspect blower assemblies to ensure that the unit is running as intended by the manufacturer,” Klemmer notes.
Tip 3: Check for blockage near the blower motor intake.
Any item blocking the intake can lower the efficiency of the dryer. Take the time to clean this area as dirt and wax buildup can have an adverse effect on the dryer’s performance.
“Carefully inspect the intakes for obstruction and cleanliness,” Klemmer continues. “Any blockage to the intake will cause the dryer to have a loss of CFMs and pressure.”
Tip 4: Routinely look for damage to any nozzles or to the air delivery bag system.
Repair any tears or holes immediately as any leakage of air can be detrimental — not only to energy efficiency but also to proper drying. Whether you have a nozzle or bag-style dryer, there should be no leaks in the discharge side of the blower assembly.
Remember, many manufacturers carry new nozzle components, bags and may even offer discounts on items throughout the year, Klemmer states. Look for these sales, as it might be a good idea to purchase extra items. That way, the parts are available when needed and are bought at the best price possible.
Tip 5: Fix small problems now.
Small fixes are less expensive than waiting until something develops into a bigger problem later. As parts wear out, it is a good idea to replace them as soon as possible. Waiting could cause further damage to the dryer and even result in a more expensive fix in the future.
Cleaning and other considerations
Regularly cleaning the equipment is another important consideration. Klemmer states that dryers should be cleaned with recommended cleaning solutions or the cleaning products offered by the manufacturers themselves. Utilizing cleaners that are not recommended for the equipment may not clean the dryer properly and could even cause damage.
Finally, there is another major maintenance issue that can rob a dryer of its full performance. “Many times during a motor replacement, the maintenance personnel will set the impellor onto the shaft of a motor and not allow for an adequate overlapping of the inlet cone into the impellor,” Klemmer says. This mistake will “rob the unit” of its optimal performance.
“Keeping your dryer running as intended by the manufacturer will ensure you are operating at optimal energy efficiency,” Klemmer concludes.