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Hot water heater 100% required?

20874Guy

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Hello all. New here, and starting myself off in this industry so please don't kill me if this is a stupid question.

I am in the process of leasing a 5 bay self serve car wash on the east coast (Delaware), where our winters are decently mild. The car wash used to have an oil fueled boiler, however it is non-functional and was removed when the wash was shut down. The wash has floor heat, but there is a leak under one of the bays and I will not be utilizing it. Since there is no gas service to the car wash (and no natural gas in the area), I will be getting a propane tank installed.

When trying to figure out what I need to get for a water heater, I am trying to figure out what my utilization needs will be, and what all will be using it. Since I am basically starting with a shell of a place, I have a lot of things I'm working to prioritize and this is one of the things that I am wondering if I need to put as a priority or if it is something that I can add later on in the season prior to winter. I'd like to go tankless, but am confused as to if a 199KBTU Rheem like Kleen Rite is selling would be sufficient alone (or if I would need to supplement with a tank, or if a tankless is even my best bet)?

Especially given that I will be trying to control propane usage, I am hoping someone might have some advice for me.
 

kentadel

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1 tankless will handle all your bay needs. I would suggest finding and repairing the floor heat loop leak. Do a search on this site for floor heat, heat exchanger, heating self service functions, etc. You will gain a lot of valuable info and it will allow you to ask and get specific answers as you go forward.
Good luck!
 

TMoliver

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I would contact Huron Valley- www.huronvalleysales.com -for information. When it comes to on demand heaters they are not all alike. Sizing will depend on your system set up. You may need a storage tank with a circulating pump, and you may need 2 heaters plumbed together.

When it comes to floor heat check out the leak and try to fix it. You do not want any insurance clams because the floor heat is not working.

Good Luck
 

20874Guy

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1 tankless will handle all your bay needs. I would suggest finding and repairing the floor heat loop leak. Do a search on this site for floor heat, heat exchanger, heating self service functions, etc. You will gain a lot of valuable info and it will allow you to ask and get specific answers as you go forward.
Good luck!
Appreciate it! I'll start doing some digging on that now.

The person I was speaking with with the propane company regarding tank sizing was pretty adamant that I needed a lot more than 1 199,999 BTU tankless for my setup... of course you can never tell if they are selling you or being honest.

They know where the leak is, but it's apparently bad enough that it would require redoing the slab across multiple bays and under a wall. Given that I'll be on an NNN, I might take a year or so of running to build up the funds to put it back in to do the needed concrete work.
 

Dan kamsickas

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Don't ignore the floor heat if you ever have freezing temps. One slip and fall will be far more expensive than fixing it.

The need for heated water for chemicals and high pressure rinse is always a debated topic but customer perception matters also. When it's cold out and a customer is washing with heated water/chemicals they notice.
 

20874Guy

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I would contact Huron Valley- www.huronvalleysales.com -for information. When it comes to on demand heaters they are not all alike. Sizing will depend on your system set up. You may need a storage tank with a circulating pump, and you may need 2 heaters plumbed together.

When it comes to floor heat check out the leak and try to fix it. You do not want any insurance clams because the floor heat is not working.

Good Luck
Thank you! I have reached out to them as well as someone at carwashboilers.com

I'm trying to get more details on the leak and the past repair appraisals and such.
 

kentadel

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Appreciate it! I'll start doing some digging on that now.

The person I was speaking with with the propane company regarding tank sizing was pretty adamant that I needed a lot more than 1 199,999 BTU tankless for my setup... of course you can never tell if they are selling you or being honest.

They know where the leak is, but it's apparently bad enough that it would require redoing the slab across multiple bays and under a wall. Given that I'll be on an NNN, I might take a year or so of running to build up the funds to put it back in to do the needed concrete work.
I have 1 199k takagi for the floor heat of 2 16X42 automatic bays and 2 16X28 self service bays, plus 2 approaches and a 3ft sidewalk in front. It works well for me. I heat all required soaps with 1 other 199k unit. How is your equipment room heated?
 
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20874Guy

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I have 1 199k takagi for the floor heat of 2 16X42 automatic bays and 2 16X28 self service bays, plus 2 approaches and a 3ft sidewalk in front. It works well for me. I heat all required soaps with 1 other 199k unit. How is your equipment room heated?
The room is currently not heated. They have a propane gas garage style heater for it, but it is not installed.

Formerly, there was a waste oil fueled boiler in there - but it was removed when the wash was shut down. I'm looking at either installing the garage style heater, have thought about doing a mini split heat pump, or have looked at electrics. I'm really trying not to rely heavily on gas where I do not have to since it is propane and I don't want to rely on constant trips from the servicer refilling.
 

kentadel

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Dan K and TMoliver are correct on the floor heat. Don't take the risk without it. Sounds like the previous owner neglected this wash. Do all the bay functions work? I would be weary of a lease if wherever you turn there are repairs required. Costs add up fast. Of course, that may or may not be the case here.
 

20874Guy

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I would say the previous owner had this wash as a bit of an afterthought to their adjacent business which is their cash cow. When the equipment reached end of life, rather than revising it - they closed it down. At this time, it has not been operational for several years. Part of my standing it up will be rebranding and heavily advertising as a new wash, and not a rehashing of the old space which has so-so ratings (it's on a road with 62K cars a day, so I can get the word out quickly).

The previous equipment is all CustomKraft, and it is the setup where they send everything through either the wand or foam brush (they are all 10 function rotary knobs).

My intent is to strip the existing CustomKraft stuff out of the coinboxes, put in Dixmor LED7 timers, reuse the existing IDX coin acceptors and add Crypto to the bays. I want High Pressure, Foam brushes, separate wheel and tire brushes, separate presoak splatter guns, and eventually Air Shamees.

Originally, I was left under the impression that the equipment room was empty... there are Cat 310s in there on stands (likely in need of rebuild), a sizable and recently maintained air compressor, and all of the plumbing is roughed in. I'd be doing a lot of 24v rewiring and such to get the functions going. I'm basically looking at this carwash as an empty box for me to put equipment into - my investment will be my equipment and my time (I'm an engineer by trade - the overwhelming majority of the work I will be doing myself).
 

kentadel

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Sounds like you have a plan!
There are a lot of good self service experts on this forum to help you if needed.
 

20874Guy

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Correct, AADT of 62K cars. Should have no issues getting bay traffic once up and running!
 

20874Guy

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Sounds like you have a plan!
There are a lot of good self service experts on this forum to help you if needed.
I hope so. Trying to come at this in as much of an educated fashion as I can. My ultimate goal is to build out a couple of places and get out of my job in corporate America... leave the desk and engineering management for something that I can see the fruits of my labor and get my hands dirty again. 20 years working for other people is enough for me.

This place has been great so far!
 

HeyVern

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I'd be very careful about repairing or replacing leased equipment. Landlord typically get to retain any leasehold improvements at termination of the lease. Even if you retain the equipment, what are you going to do with it if they take back the building?
 

2Biz

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I agree with HeyVern! Maybe you could approach the owner with a lease to buy contract or outright purchase...You might be able to pick it up reasonably cheap.

I was in manufacturing for 43 years, starting out as a machinist. The last 17 years I spent in Engineering with Project Management added to to my overflowing hat the last 7 years. I felt the same as you, wanting out of the Rat Race and giving "The Man" all my ideas...But keeping the day job made it a lot easier to do upgrades so I didn't have to wait on the CW income to support it (and Me). What the CW income did do, it allowed me to max out 401K and other investments that allowed me to retire comfortably at 62! It was a lot to work full time, take care of the CW, and do all the maintenance/upgrades....But well worth it in the end. Make sure you think everything through...Without my day job, me/my family, or my 4 bay would have never made it!
 
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