Your Carpet Cleaning System
With the winter months
comes the cold weather. Here are some
"winterizing" tips and procedures, to help protect your carpet cleaning
equipment from freeze damage.
Tip 1 -
Always pay attention to your daily local weather forecast.
Not winterizing your
equipment for only one forgetful night of below freezing temperatures
can cost you hundreds of dollars in freeze damage repairs and down time.
Tip 2 -
Keeping the pilot light lit on your water heater does not always produce
enough heat to guard against freezing.
By it's self, keeping
the pilot light lit with a window cracked to reduce moisture buildup
will not protect your water heater or the rest of your equipment from
Tip 3 -
Antifreeze or windshield washer fluid doesn't always do the trick.
Running antifreeze or
windshield washer fluid through your entire system every night and then
having to run it back out of your system every morning before your first
job, can be costly and time consuming. Besides, when the temperature
drops to the low twenties or teens, you can not always count on either
to always protect your equipment from freezing.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
Of course the easiest
and for sure way to protect against freezing is to park your van truck
or trailer in a heated garage or building.
Easier in a house than
an apartment and as long as the power stays on an electric heater can
work great. For the most part, depending on the size of the heater, it
will not keep your van toasty warm, but will keep it above freezing.
Placement is the key for an electric heater. Do not place it in the cab
of the vehicle, the back of the vehicle or on top of the fresh water or
recovery tank or system, because as we know heat rises and is only going
to be projected so far from the electric heater. The best location for
your electric heater is on the floor and in front or slightly to the
side of your system console. For heat exchange systems, try to aim the
heat flow at the system console heat exchangers and chemical metering.
For propane and kerosene systems, angle the heat flow between and
towards the water heater and system console.
If it is difficult to
run electricity to your system for an electric heater, or if you are
concerned about the power going out, you can also use propane heat. This
is accomplished with a propane tank, like the ones used on a barbeque
grill and a heating element that attaches to the top of the tank.
Heating elements can be purchased in different sizes from places like
Bass Pro Shops, Home Depot, etc. Just make sure you keep a sufficient
amount of propane in your tank and a window cracked to reduce moisture
Drain all water.
The option of draining
the water from your pump, chemical metering system and water heater or
heat exchangers is a sure way to avoid freezing, but considering the
time involved, this process is better for a system that will not be in
use for some time.
Wands, hand-tools and hoses.
Any closed mechanical
systems with water in them, such as wand valves, detail-tool valves,
hydro-force valves or hose ends will expand and break if they freeze.
One for sure way to protect your wands and hand tools, is to take them
inside at night. But, if you can’t take them inside, the other option is
to attach “quick disconnects” to them, making them open to allow air in
and water out. For example if you have a “male” quick disconnect on the
end of your solution hose, attach a “female” quick disconnect and make
sure you open the shut-off valve if present to allow water to flow
freely. The water in the hose may still freeze but the male quick
disconnect should be the safe. Repeat the same steps with the quick
disconnects attached to your wand, hand-tool and hydro-force valves.
Whichever you decide is
the best routine for you, the most important thing to remember is to
consistently winterize your system, because it only takes one night.
By: C. Stephen Smith