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First Winter - Antifreeze vs. Weep

Sselby

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Hello Everyone,

This is my first winter as a car wash owner. I’m located in Alabama and do have my weepmizer installed. I have triple foam and foam brush, and I’m not sure if I need to weep both or run antifreeze soap. Any insight would be appreciated!
 

Wash4Life

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I'm assuming you have the triple foam on a separate gun, which I feel would need to weep. With regard to foam brushes, I prefer having antifreeze soap. What's nice is the set-up where your antifreeze soap comes on at a temperature you set, and the brushes purge the lines of the summer soap.
 

Sselby

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Y
I'm assuming you have the triple foam on a separate gun, which I feel would need to weep. With regard to foam brushes, I prefer having antifreeze soap. What's nice is the set-up where your antifreeze soap comes on at a temperature you set, and the brushes purge the lines of the summer soap.
Yes, sorry for not clarifying. Triple foam is run through a splatter gun. Thanks for the response.
 

Earl Weiss

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Weep is for keeping lines from freezing but AF Soap helps not only wit that but in Chicago we can still have a busy day when it is 10 degrees outside (Don't know if you have that issue) and non AF soap on 10 degree metal will freeze almost instantly.
 

cantbreak80

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You can use winter formula to protect your brushes.

For triple foam guns to work properly in freezing conditions consider this:

Water weep will dilute the product. When the Weepmizer turns on the water the tri-foam product will be diluted and quality delivery to the active gun will be impacted. This is not too significant an issue IF the temperature is 34°F because the weep water is only on for 6 seconds every minute (assuming Weepmizer’s default programming.) However, if your customers are using the tri-foam system on a sunny 25°F day, the weep water will be flowing for 30 seconds every minute.

To resolve this “concern”, you’ll need to install a normally open solenoid or motorized ball valve on each weep line to the splatter gun. Wired parallel to the product solenoid valves, the NO valves will close, stopping water weep to the active tri-foam gun.
 

2Biz

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So many ways to skin this cat! Weeping FB and TF/PS hoses would have been too costly for me. Something to consider when weeping these services. My water/sewage cost is approaching $20 per thousand gallons. On my HP guns alone for a 4 bay at temps around 15, I can use 800-1000 gallons a day. 2500-3000 gallons total per day if weeping FB and TF/PS hoses. So not cost effective at all. 2nd best is to use methanol added to the soaps. I've tried it and it's also expensive. It's not issue free! I've had multiple freeze ups trying this method. Least expensive (in the long run) is an automated blow down washer fluid injection system. Last winter I used less than 50 gallons of washer fluid for 8 hoses. About $100 total for the winter. No freeze ups if installed correctly!
 

Earl Weiss

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To resolve this “concern”, you’ll need to install a normally open solenoid or motorized ball valve on each weep line to the splatter gun. Wired parallel to the product solenoid valves, the NO valves will close, stopping water weep to the active tri-foam gun.
This is how the weep for my Foam Brush is set up.
 

cbchevy4x4

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I have a 10 bay (10 bay is set up to weep) and an 8 bay that I run a similar system as 2Biz. I will be converting the 10 bay to the same system in the spring. I just took that one over and do not have enough time to build the system before it gets cold.

On the 8 Bay I have 2 FB delivery systems, 1 regular soap 1 Winter Blend, Regular soap has a master NC Solenoid and Winter Blend has a NO solenoid. Each soap and air is fed to the manifold in the heated trough.

All the following is controlled by a PLC.
Step 1 Temp hits 33.6 and must hold there or below for 5 minutes. If temp hits 33.6 and holds for 4 minutes then goes back to 34 then back to 33.6 the timer resets (the temp controller im using will actually read to the .1 degree).
Step 2 After hold time has passed at 33.6 Master Solenoids for Foam Brushes are deenergized to reach their normal state
Step 3 Foam brushes are purged with air only for approx 20 seconds per bay 2 bays at a time. This blows the main amount of regular soap from the bay hose.
Step 4 Each Bay turns on the Foam Brush (air and Winter Blend now) 2 bays at a time as if a customer were using it for approx 20 seconds per bay. This helps clean any remaining regular soap product from the bay hose.
Step 4 Each Bay repeats Step 3 blowing out each bay hose twice. It cycles through all bays 2 at a time once then all bays 2 at time a second time
System has now been converted from regular soap to Winter Blend and is sitting in a neutral state with winter blend soaps active. The system will switch back automatically to regular soap when the temperature rises back above 35 and holds that temperature for 10 minutes.

If a customer activates a foam brush for more than 5 seconds it will repeat the blow down (Step 4) 10 minutes after the bay timer has turned off

I also have manual ball valves in the main line to bypass the solenoids if i feel i need to manually override the system for 1 soap or the other, or during the summer i can turn all outputs off on the HMI Screen to a neutral state and feed regular soap bypassing the NC solenoid.

I have it set to not do all the bays at once due to allowing the main compressor to keep up as usually during the cycle for the Foam brushes the Blow down functions on my razor will probably activate at the same time. You have to allow the compressor sufficient recovery time or you will run out of air.

Its a very simple system after you learn how to use it.
 

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2Biz

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Cbchevy, looks nice! Is this your design or is it a commercial system?
 

Randy

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Hello Everyone,

This is my first winter as a car wash owner. I’m located in Alabama and do have my weepmizer installed. I have triple foam and foam brush, and I’m not sure if I need to weep both or run antifreeze soap. Any insight would be appreciated!
How many cold days or how cold does it get in your part of Alabama? We are done fighting the cold, when it gets real cold we shut down the car washes. I think we were shut down for 5 days last year.
 

cbchevy4x4

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Cbchevy, looks nice! Is this your design or is it a commercial system?
Mine, ive still got modifications and additions im going to make, i have a bunch of extra outputs and will probably use some of them with floor heat, trough heat, and break some stuff into zones to be able to save some $. Last year was the 1st year on the fb. I gradually adjusted the timers and programming to tighten it up. Ive still got room to go. Id rather play it conservative than have a freeze up. Last december at chrismas when the big freeze happened. I shut down early and was well protected. I was about the only one that was open the day after christmas most everyone else was froze up so all the $$$ came to me.
 

Greg Pack

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Where in Alabama? I’m in central Alabama and weep water. I shut down when a hard freeze is forecast. I don’t have floor heat and ice will form from overspray on concrete aprons when those few days where it’s super cold and create a slip hazard. It’s rarely cold for long so wash business really slows down anyway as the vast majority of my customers will just wait for it to warm back up in a couple days.

I probably shut down between five- ten days a year. If you’re near the Tennessee border you may need to alter your plan and might benefit from having a little antifreeze foam brush on hand.
 

Sselby

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Where in Alabama? I’m in central Alabama and weep water. I shut down when a hard freeze is forecast. I don’t have floor heat and ice will form from overspray on concrete aprons when those few days where it’s super cold and create a slip hazard. It’s rarely cold for long so wash business really slows down anyway as the vast majority of my customers will just wait for it to warm back up in a couple days.

I probably shut down between five- ten days a year. If you’re near the Tennessee border you may need to alter your plan and might benefit from having a little antifreeze foam brush on hand.
I’m right at the TN border
 

2Biz

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Mine, ive still got modifications and additions im going to make, i have a bunch of extra outputs and will probably use some of them with floor heat, trough heat, and break some stuff into zones to be able to save some $. Last year was the 1st year on the fb. I gradually adjusted the timers and programming to tighten it up. Ive still got room to go. Id rather play it conservative than have a freeze up. Last december at chrismas when the big freeze happened. I shut down early and was well protected. I was about the only one that was open the day after christmas most everyone else was froze up so all the $$$ came to me.
Your system is pretty complex, plus you still have the cost of methanol soaps. Did you consider using washerfluid and air to blow out the lines instead? I would think it would be a lot cheaper and more effective. I stay open till about 5 below zero with no doors. No problems with freeze ups. If its going to stay like that for days, I might close 2 bays down and keep 2 open...I have had people wash at 5 below! Last winter was pretty mild except for the Christmas time cold snap. I might have used $50 worth of washerfluid. Normal winters, maybe $100.
 

cbchevy4x4

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Your system is pretty complex, plus you still have the cost of methanol soaps. Did you consider using washerfluid and air to blow out the lines instead? I would think it would be a lot cheaper and more effective. I stay open till about 5 below zero with no doors. No problems with freeze ups. If its going to stay like that for days, I might close 2 bays down and keep 2 open...I have had people wash at 5 below! Last winter was pretty mild except for the Christmas time cold snap. I might have used $50 worth of washerfluid. Normal winters, maybe $100.
I did consider it, last winter was the first year with my system installed vs the old overcomplicated ways we did things. My methanol soap useage was at just over 15 total gallons last winter, that includes the actual customer useage and the soap used to purge. I know exactly how much soap was used to purge based on the programming and flow rates and it was just less than 2.7 gallons ($22 in cost) for the whole winter. Id say we had a less than average winter but i did start the year very conservative in my programming and probably used 1.5 gallons in the first 1/4 of the cold season. Years before we'd easily use 30 to 40 gallons per year. This year im projecting based on an average winter temps and average business probably using 15-20 gallons total. I liked purging with the methanol as its already to the manifold no more lines to run, its ready to go and by having the methanol you dont get the instant freeze of foam on cold metal so its a little easier for customers to wash off.
 

Sselby

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You can use winter formula to protect your brushes.

For triple foam guns to work properly in freezing conditions consider this:

Water weep will dilute the product. When the Weepmizer turns on the water the tri-foam product will be diluted and quality delivery to the active gun will be impacted. This is not too significant an issue IF the temperature is 34°F because the weep water is only on for 6 seconds every minute (assuming Weepmizer’s default programming.) However, if your customers are using the tri-foam system on a sunny 25°F day, the weep water will be flowing for 30 seconds every minute.

To resolve this “concern”, you’ll need to install a normally open solenoid or motorized ball valve on each weep line to the splatter gun. Wired parallel to the product solenoid valves, the NO valves will close, stopping water weep to the active tri-foam gun.
With the Ginsan system this is not an issue, when TF is selected a NO solenoid on the TF unit is energized turning off the weep. Those solenoids are fed by a main weep solenoid on the pump stand. Talked with Dan @ Ginsan about it today.
 
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