Help....I Can't Figure Out This Winterizing Thing. 0
Winterizing.....seems to be a really hard thing to grasp. It's ok. I think we've all been there. So let's really break it down as simple as we can make it.
When you are looking at your machine, let's consider it in sections. You have your engine components, pump component and plumbing components.
Your engine really doesn't need much attention when it comes to freezing. Fill your tank to keep out water condensation. IF you are going to be storing your unit for the season, then we would recommend using something like Stabile in the gas. This is to keep the gas from becoming gummy or sticky. Engines and carburetors doesn't like goo running through them. They have tiny, tiny openings throughout the system and if any of these openings gets clogged, the system starts to fail. Take the time to prevent that with a little prevention.
Next component, is the pump. The pump is the heart of your system and really needs some extra love during the cold. We usually see 2 scenarios.....you are winterizing your system for a month or more OR you are in an area where there is a cold snap and you might be down a few days or a week. The process is really the same for both. The folks who have heated areas to keep their equipment, don't really have to worry about this process.
Let's talk to the folks who don't have any enclosed area to put their equipment.
Maybe your equipment is in the driveway or backyard. Your goal is to remove any water from your system. And that is also going to include your plumbing and hoses. But for now, let's stay on the pump. Your pump has a garden hose opening. Take some pink RV antifreeze and let that flow through your system. How? You can use a funnel and a piece of garden hose. You will need to pull your engine's pull cord slowly a few times to get the fluid to run through the pump. You are NOT trying to start your machine just merely trying to work the fluid through the system. CAT pump has a cool screw top that you can use on their pump antifreeze bottle...it's neat, clean and quick. I will find a link for that and insert it.
Now your hoses.....again your goal is to remove any water. Disconnect your hoses, lay them out FIRST and run some air through them to make sure they are fully drained. What if you can't blow air through them? Maybe you don't have an air compressor readily available. You could always run something like RV antifreeze through the entire pump and plumbing system. It's more expensive to do it this way because you are running the antifreeze through more of your system. Keep in mind, that when you are protecting your equipment, these fluids are SUPER important in avoiding downtime so don't think about the cost of protecting your equipment but rather the cost of fixing your equipment IF you don't protect it.
Now your tanks and plumbing need some care too. If your tank has water in it, drain as much as you can and then add RV antifreeze to it as well. You can also drain it dry and blow air through it's plumbing too. Remember the main goal is to remove UNTREATED water from the system.
Why is the same water that makes you so much money during the non-freezing days (good thing right?) such a detriment to your system on the freezing days? Because water expands when it freezes and when that expansion has nowhere to go....it will make a place for it to go. Burst hoses, cracked pumps and a lot more can occur when water freezes in small spaces. Want to see what water can do when it freezes? Hang on...think I have a cool video on that one too. Here it is...
Your systems are built tough. But they aren't indestructible.
Hope that helps a little bit and feel free to ask questions or comment below. Have a great evening!
- Kimberlee Handl
Believe It or Not, Your Supply Vendor CAN Be Your Friend....... 0Consider what is important to your business. Is customer service and knowledge of the industry worth the extra buck? Only time will tell and if it does....give us a call at 678.207.3487
Your Responsibilities as a Customer.... 0
Yes....just like you expect your customers to complete their pre-cleaning checklist ( water on, pets inside, access to water, windows closed, check in the mailbox, etc.), we expect you to complete your checklist so that we can assist you in the best possible way. Yes.....you do have to participate in this process if you want it to go smoothly.
What can you do to help us help you better?
1. Have the Basics.....
Our staff work with customers that are literally around the globe. It's important to know the basics about your equipment such as the equipment manufacturer, a model number, GPM and PSI. Usually with these pieces of information, we can locate any part associated with your equipment. Without the basic information, it can be a crap-shoot and that isn't beneficial to either of us.
Keep in mind, that some pressure wash systems, have pumps and parts that are private-labeled which actually makes finding the correct replacement part a little more challenging. But the more information you have, the easier it can make the process.
2. Name the Parts.....
Most pressure wash systems contain similar parts likes an engine or some power source, a pump, a pressure unloader, hoses, trigger gun, nozzles and a few others. It's not imperative that you are an equipment expert; it is extremely helpful to you and to us when you can at least identify the part as in many cases, this is half the battle. It's tough to determine if "that brass piece" refers to the nozzle, a fitting, a valve or something else.
3. Don't Assume.....
I went to Catholic school with the nuns and I can still remember the lesson about spelling the word "assuming"....something about making an ass out of you and me.
We don't make assumptions. We don't second-guess your choices when it comes to replacement parts. If you call with a part number and place an order, the order is processed. If you are unsure about your equipment, call and talk to a staff member so that we can ask questions to ensure you are ordering the correct part.
4. Check the Part.....
When you receive a part, check it BEFORE you install it. Are there any manufacturer defects that should be noted? Is it the correct part that you ordered? Many parts have manufacturer warranty periods so the sooner we can address an issue, the better chances we have to advocate on behalf of you.
Compare this to your business. You clean a property and the customer calls back 90 days later and says you missed a spot. What do you do?
5. Consider a Back-up Plan....
One of our core company values is Customer Service. We aim to become a part of your team making your life easier and certainly not harder. When your equipment is down, your business is down and that means a loss of revenue and income. As business owners, we have our experts that handle certain business functions that we don't want to or just can't handle like our computer and networking equipment. If those systems are down, it can be devastating for us which is why we have secondary and back-up systems. As your business grows, consider a back-up plan (like a rental) or a another unit.
6. Use Pictures and Video....
Because we deal with a global customer-base, we don't always have the luxury of having access to your machine. But with technology, we can do a lot of in-field trouble-shooting from pictures and video. Don't be afraid to use these tools. Help us help you better.
Thank you for the opportunities you give us daily to assist you. Every once in awhile, we encounter a customer who is unhappy. And while we want to solve problems, some aren't in our control. Our mission is to assist your company but we can't run it for you although we can be hired for on-site efficiency auditing!
Have a great day and remember that communication goes a long, long way. Never be afraid to ask questions....even the stupid ones...because at some point...all of us were new to the industry and had those same questions. It's important to remember that feeling and lend a helping hand when you can.
Let us know how we can assist you!
- Kimberlee Handl