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NewGuy401

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Hey! So I'm new to the car wash game, only about a month in. I'm working on improving the wash we bought. The IBA is a two arm Kondor and my current issue is with the presoak passes. The best way I can think of explaining it is the top line of nozzles spit and sputter. The coverage on the car is about 60%. I had a tech come out and he said a higher chemical concentration or foamy presoak would fix it. Well, we went from a light blue injector tip all the way to yellow before the spitting stopped. But now I get roughly 100 washes out of a 5 gal super concentrate jug. Tried the foamy presoak, but basically the same thing. Checked/cleaned out the nozzles so there shouldn't be any blockage. Currently running about 175psi on the water and 40psi on the air.

Any similar issues out there and how were they fixed? Do I have to run it with air or will it work with just the water? (I haven't found a good explanation why it even needs air) Any thoughts or tips would be greatly appreciated!
 

MEP001

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It needs air so the presoak will stick to the car, otherwise it will just run off.

I'm familiar with the Belanger Vector, not so much the Kondor. IMO you should start with ditching super concentrated presoak so you can clean cars. They're primarily foaming agents, dyes, and fragrance, and don't leave much room for cleaning. Try decreasing the air pressure or just turn it almost all the way down, then slowly increase it to see if there's a point where it goes from just liquid to an even foamy spray. It's possible the presoak injector is bad, as they don't draw chemical well when they fail.

To other "new guys" who come here who might read this, you should stop using user names like "NewGuyxxx" as it sounds like you're here to get your question answered and never come back. I'm certainly less inclined to spend a bunch of time troubleshooting a problem for someone who might not even come back to leave a thank-you.
 

JKWash

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I’m not familiar with that machine but have had similar issues. Try checking the foam generator. It could be partially clogged.
 

NewGuy401

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It needs air so the presoak will stick to the car, otherwise it will just run off.

I'm familiar with the Belanger Vector, not so much the Kondor. IMO you should start with ditching super concentrated presoak so you can clean cars. They're primarily foaming agents, dyes, and fragrance, and don't leave much room for cleaning. Try decreasing the air pressure or just turn it almost all the way down, then slowly increase it to see if there's a point where it goes from just liquid to an even foamy spray. It's possible the presoak injector is bad, as they don't draw chemical well when they fail.

To other "new guys" who come here who might read this, you should stop using user names like "NewGuyxxx" as it sounds like you're here to get your question answered and never come back. I'm certainly less inclined to spend a bunch of time troubleshooting a problem for someone who might not even come back to leave a thank-you.
Thanks, I'll keep that in mind and give the air pressure a try. Will let you know how it goes.
 

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I have a water wizard 2.0 that had the exact same symptoms as your machine is having. The foam generators on the water wizard are on the actual machine (gantry) in the bay. It’s basically just a piece of three-quarter inch PVC filled with steel wool or some other type of media plumbed directly onto the chemical line. It mixes the air and chemical to produce a better foam. Mine were partially clogged, which lowered the amount of liquid getting through. This caused my best mixture to be straight liquid out of my lowest spray tips, perfect foam out of mid level tips and mostly air out of the highest tips. I pulled my foam generators off and packed them with new media. Thousand percent better for a $5 fix!
 

NewGuy401

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I have a water wizard 2.0 that had the exact same symptoms as your machine is having. The foam generators on the water wizard are on the actual machine (gantry) in the bay. It’s basically just a piece of three-quarter inch PVC filled with steel wool or some other type of media plumbed directly onto the chemical line. It mixes the air and chemical to produce a better foam. Mine were partially clogged, which lowered the amount of liquid getting through. This caused my best mixture to be straight liquid out of my lowest spray tips, perfect foam out of mid level tips and mostly air out of the highest tips. I pulled my foam generators off and packed them with new media. Thousand percent better for a $5 fix!
Wow! That sounds just like my symptoms. I'll check that out. Thanks!
 

MEP001

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The Kondor won't have foam generators for the presoak. It uses the same line and nozzles for presoak and high pressure. You have a chemical and/or adjustment issue.
 

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The wall manifold on the Kondor has a screen and a foaming pad in it. Does it do it on both presoaks? I have seen them get clogged up and cause problems. What’s the pump speed at for the presoak? You may have to move it up a little. The injector may be bad. You may have to put a bigger injector on.
 

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I have a water wizard 2.0 that had the exact …..Thousand percent better for a $5 fix!
Let me warn you that on the water wizard there is an SMC solenoid that will eventually go bad and restrict flow. When this happens it will be the same symptoms. It’s located in the low pressure box drivers side of the gantry.
 

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Presoak can indeed be tricky on some units. You’ve got to have the proper concentration and the right amount of air. Too much air pressure in relation to fluid pressure can cause spitting and sputtering. Your chemical provider should be able to titrate your chemical or provide you with a titration kit. Using a Presoak without a titration kit is like flying a plane without instruments. It’s best to have them; and the people that are most able to use a Presoak without titration have a lot of experience. By titration you will know your Presoak is in the zone where it should exhibit the properties desired ( adequate cleaning and proper foam). Once you know you’re in the zone you can experiment with air to get the right mixture.

I like enough foam to make the presoak look like white paint , but try to keep it liquid enough where it is running off the sides of the car. I like a solid sheet of Presoak, any part of the car that does not get an even application will not come clean, as Presoak running down over that area will leave streaks. Presoak that is too foamy can also cause these problems on wizards as it just come out too thick to sheet properly and leaves a horizontal stripe down the car where the presoak didn’t cover. I’m not familiar with the condor but I don’t recall having a problem getting good coverage with its predecessor.
 

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Let me warn you that on the water wizard there is an SMC solenoid that will eventually go bad and restrict flow. When this happens it will be the same symptoms. It’s located in the low pressure box drivers side of the gantry.
Thank you much for the heads up!
 

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Thanks for all the info! So it's actually only happening across the span of three nozzles on the driver side, with the middle one being the worst. The passenger side spits a little bit, but leaves an even presoak coat. The driver side has like 70% coverage. I tried taking out the nozzles to clean them and running the high pressure pump to flush the lines. Even with the nozzles removed, the center one of the three has serious pressure loss. So now I'm guessing there's some kind of obstruction reducing the flow to that one nozzle. Haven't had time yet, but the next step is going to be breaking down that arm as far as I can and try to run something like a bore snake through it.

I'm attaching a pic of the pressure with those three nozzles removed for reference.
 

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NewGuy401

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The wall manifold on the Kondor has a screen and a foaming pad in it. Does it do it on both presoaks? I have seen them get clogged up and cause problems. What’s the pump speed at for the presoak? You may have to move it up a little. The injector may be bad. You may have to put a bigger injector on.
Yes, both presoaks, but the other chemicals seem to apply fine. I'll check for that screen.

The pump is running at 28. I tried upping it and that doesn't change anything. And actually around 35, the air cuts off and it doesn't inject any chemicals at all, but I get a perfect spray pattern of straight water. 🤷‍♂️
 
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Jsshac

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Yes, both presoaks, but the other chemicals seem to apply fine. I'll check for that screen.

The pump is running at 28. I tried upping it and that doesn't change anything. And actually around 35, the air cuts off and it doesn't inject any chemicals at all, but I get a perfect spray pattern of straight water. 🤷‍♂️
What is the gauge showing on the injection system it should be around 180-200 psi. I don’t think you have a clog in the arms if the other functions are working. The speed for the presoak is usually run around 14-18 for pump speed. I would start with taking off the 2 presoak check valves and check them, then I would check the screen and pad and clean them. What kind of soap are using? I have seen some that needed bigger injectors. What air pressure are you running on the presoak?
 

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Its also helpful to have a vacuum gauge to make sure you are drawing correctly. You can make one from parts from KR for less than $20. Inadequate vacuum means inadequate liquid flow (possibly too much air or flow restriction from something clogged up) I don't know much about injectors but this gauge is the first thing I pull out when something isn't right. You can take these three parts and a piece of 1/4' chemical tubing and make one.

 

NewGuy401

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What is the gauge showing on the injection system it should be around 180-200 psi. I don’t think you have a clog in the arms if the other functions are working. The speed for the presoak is usually run around 14-18 for pump speed. I would start with taking off the 2 presoak check valves and check them, then I would check the screen and pad and clean them. What kind of soap are using? I have seen some that needed bigger injectors. What air pressure are you running on the presoak?
So it doesn't look like my system has a screen for the presoaks.

The injection pressure is roughly 175psi and the air is running about 35psi. I've tried adjusting the air and the pump speed. It's really bothering me that this is only happening on one side... I feel like it's gotta be connected to the air somehow cause all the functions that don't use air work great.
 

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MEP001

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It's probably not the air. You can confirm this by turning the air down until you have only liquid, then slowly increase the air until you either get even spray or those same nozzles stop. It's more likely to be too little presoak, or your presoak isn't foamy enough to stay that way through the hoses and arms. If you've changed nothing and it went from working properly to what it's doing now, the injector may be bad. They do go bad.
 

NewGuy401

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It's probably not the air. You can confirm this by turning the air down until you have only liquid, then slowly increase the air until you either get even spray or those same nozzles stop. It's more likely to be too little presoak, or your presoak isn't foamy enough to stay that way through the hoses and arms. If you've changed nothing and it went from working properly to what it's doing now, the injector may be bad. They do go bad.
So when I turn the air all the way down without changing the pump speed, I get little, straight streams out of the left/driver side (the side with the spitting problem). There is nothing coming out of the right/passenger side. As I slowly increase the air, the passenger side doesn't start spraying until the air hits 20psi. Then both sides are spitting/pulsing, like a straight stream of presoak and then a burst of air. As I up the air pressure, the stream turns into a cone like it should, but the driver side is spitting mostly air and it's back to the problem I've had all along. It's been doing this since we bought the wash. We've switched to a foamy presoak and that didn't help. The best it has looked is when the tech had it draw the "presoak" out of an undiluted triple foam. That fixed the spray pattern. And the tech just charged us a bunch of money and apologized he couldn't figure it out.
 
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