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PDQ Tandem tripping HP Pump Breaker

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ScottV

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I have two Tandems at different locations. One is ~3yrs old, one is ~2yrs old. We started having a common issue with the LH Pump tripping the breaker on the back bridge. This pump mainly supports the solutions manifold as well as HP funtions in conjunction with the RH Pump. We have only been tripping the breaker for the LH pump. When it trips the breaker, no chemicals are applied on the vehicle and the customers call and let us know. Until we installed a relay, and hijacked a LP sensor function, the machine wouldn't send us an error message when the breaker tripped. Now it does.

After talking with PDQ, we changed the check valves from the both the LH and RH pumps that tie into the bottom of the HP manifold. That didn't solve the problem. Then we changed the DEMA solenoid valve that comes off the top of the HP manifold and feeds the LP chemical manifold. The thought was that it might not be opening quick enough and causing the pump to deadhead. That hasn't fixed the problem.

Its hard to believe it could be the pump or motor going bad since they are relatively "new" and different ages. Same with the contactor / breaker. I hate to start throwing expensive parts at the problem as a Hail Mary, but I really need to get these machines fixed and back to being reliable. They are the most popular IBA's I have and I'm losing business when they are down.

Has anyone ever had this issue with your Tandem, and can you offer some advice on where to go next?
 

BCWS

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Its hard to believe it could be the pump or motor going bad since they are relatively "new" and different ages. Same with the contactor / breaker. I hate to start throwing expensive parts at the problem as a Hail Mary, but I really need to get these machines fixed and back to being reliable. They are the most popular IBA's I have and I'm losing business when they are down.
Have you checked the electrical power at your site? Drop in voltage would increase amps when that pump turns on. I have seen power dips cause things like this. Check voltage and amps when that pump runs. If normal then what time of day does it trip? Late afternoon/early evening? Could also be a bad breaker?
 
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BBE

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The DEMA valve was my first thought as well. We haven't had this issue yet in our tandem...knock on wood. Maybe PDQ will jump in here and offer up some more suggetions. Please report back once you find out what the issue is and get it resolved. I'm curious to know, and it will let me know what to look for if we ever experience the same issue.
 

ScottV

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BCWS, we haven't checked the incoming power, but since this is happening at two different washes on opposite ends of town, I'd be skeptical. Also, the L360 Touch Free machines sitting at each site are running along with no issues.
 

BCWS

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BCWS, we haven't checked the incoming power, but since this is happening at two different washes on opposite ends of town, I'd be skeptical. Also, the L360 Touch Free machines sitting at each site are running along with no issues.
It would be worth it to check... you have two identical sites having the same problem that no one else seems to be having. I believe the back bridge has the higher power requirement (32 amps). Worse case is you eliminate that as a cause. You said now you are getting messaged when this happens... when you get messaged is there a particular time of day when it occurs?
 

ScottV

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BCWS,

Unfortunately I can't correlate the error messages to a specific time of day. If I had more data points I could but we've only had the relays installed for a week. I was tripping the breaker about every 20-30 cars at the worst point. Of course it's -10 deg F today, so we aren't washing anything. :-(
 

Waxman

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When I have things tripping a breaker I go looking for a short somewhere.

On a pump, I would: turn off power at breaker. open junction box on the pump/motor and inspect the wiring connections. Look for corrosion and moisture. If you find any, clean it out, strip back wires and re-connect. Next step is power back on and test.

With a wet and harsh environment like a car wash, electronics can get wet, even when they are protected by water proof covers, rubber gaskets, etc.

good luck!!!
 

BBE

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Also, what are you doing for heat inside the bay? Double doors and heater? Or are you just relying on the weep system?
 

ScottV

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BBE,

We have Airlift Arctic Polycarbonate doors on both ends, and the bay is heated with the floor heat system.
We may have stumbled on the cause, but are awaiting proof testing. The bay tripped the breaker yesterday on the first car of the day. It was sub zero out that night, and fortunately our PDQ wash tech was in the area working at a different location. He stopped over, ran some tests and noticed the pump was running very slow then as it warmed up the speed came up to normal. He asked about the oil that we use when we change the pumps. We use SAE30 weight non detergent and buy it at Tractor Supply. He thinks that could be the problem, and it makes sense since this has only been happening in the cold and at two separate locations where we have the same oil in the pumps. We swapped it out lastnight for NAPA SAE30 weight and are anxious to see if that was the fix. Unfortunately it isn't going to get over 10deg F today, so we keep everything shut down.

Test results to follow!
 
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wash4me

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Why did you use 30 weight oil again? Multigrade or lighter weight sae oil it seems would be the solution.
 

MEP001

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If it's a General pump, you can run ND 30WT oil, which is about the same as running General pump oil.
 

wash4me

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i have to agree. sounds silly they even suggested this.
Pdq company folks read this forum. They should consider installing monitoring equipment at a few sites if this is a known recurring problem. Voltage and phase loss at the service, amperage at the contactor, pressure on the output side of the pump, a motor protection device that will specify whether the trip was an overload or short circuit condition. The answer would be clear if they choose to commit the resources.
 
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