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Nifty Information

Dema & Hydrominder Dilution Ratio Charts
Calculating Soap Usage and Cost
pH Testing vs. Alkalinity Titration Testing
Switching from SuperSat™ to KleenBrite™
Soft Water - What's So Hard About It?
Troubleshooting Cleaning and Show Issues
Spray Nozzle Maintenance - Click To Download PDF Guide
Dema Inner Tube Dilution Assembly Set Up - Click To Download PDF
Hydrominder Inner Tube Assembly Set Up - Click To Download PDF

We hope the following information is helpful to you! If you have some 'Nifty Info' that you think could be helpful to others, contact us and we'll post it here!

Dema & Hydrominder Dilution Ratio Chart

DEMA Proportioners Dilution Ratio Chart
Models 151,153,167 (4.5 GPM)

 

Hydrominder Dilution
Ratio Chart
Models 506/511

TIP COLOR
Oz./Gal.
APPRX. RATIO
NO TIP
12.0
10:1
GRAY
10.0
12:1
PURPLE
6.40
20:1
BLACK
4.00
32:1
YELLOW
3.20
40:1
BLUE
2.00
64:1
GREEN
1.75
73:1
WHITE
1.50
85:1
RED
1.25
102:1
BROWN
1.00
128:1
LIGHT BLUE
0.75
171:1
PINK
0.63
205:1
TURQ
0.50
256:1
ORANGE
0.33
384:1
 

TIP COLOR

ORIFICE SIZE

APPRX. RATIO

NO TIP

.187

4:1

GRAY

.128

5:1

BLACK

.098

6:1

BEIGE

.070

8:1

RED

.052

17:1

WHITE

.043

23:1

BLUE

.040

25:1

TAN

.035

36:1

GREEN

.028

48:1

ORANGE

.025

64:1

BROWN

.023

75:1

YELLOW

.020

90:1

PURPLE

.014

120:1

PINK

.010

240:1

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Formula For Calculating Soap Usage and Cost Per Wash Cycle

Volume of a Mix Tank
Rectangle: Length x Width x .5542 = ounces per inch.
Cylinder: Diameter x Diameter x .4366 = ounces per inch.

How to Find Usage and Cost per Cycle For Hydrominder Systems
  1. Determine how many ounces per inch of diluted product are in the mix tank (see formula above).
  2. Turn off water supply, run an average size vehicle (or, for hand bays, run for one minute) to determine inches of drop in product level by measuring with a ruler.
  3. Multiply the drop in inches times the ounces per inch to get the ounces of diluted product used per cycle (minute).
  4. Divide the ounces of diluted product used per cycle by 128 to get the gallons of diluted product used per cycle.
  5. Multiply the gallons of diluted product used per cycle times the cost per gallon for the dilution tip (see chart below) equals
 

 

Example:

12" x 12" x .5542 = 79.8 oz. per inch.
79.8 oz. per inch x 6 inches of soap
drop per cycle = 478.8 oz. ÷ 128 oz.
per gallon = 3.74 gallons per cycle x
$.10 (64:1) per gallon = $.374 per wash cycle

 

SOAP COST PER GALLON

*Calculate gals. soap used/car (see above) then multiply by the tip color cost per

 

Hydrominder Dilution Ratio Chart
Models 506/511

TIP COLOR

ORIFICE SIZE

APPRX. RATIO

COST/g @$7.00/g

NO TIP

.187

4:1

$1.40

GRAY

.128

5:1

$1.16

BLACK

.098

6:1

$1.00

BEIGE

.070

8:1

$.78

RED

.052

17:1

$.39

WHITE

.043

23:1

$.29

BLUE

.040

25:1

$.27

TAN

.035

36:1

$.19

GREEN

.028

48:1

$.14

ORANGE

.025

64:1

$.11

BROWN

.023

75:1

$.09

YELLOW

.020

90:1

$.07

PURPLE

.014

120:1

$.06

PINK

.010

240:1

$.029

pH Testing vs. Alkalinity Titration Testing

One of the most misunderstood concepts in the car wash industry is this: You can measure cleaning power and concentration of chemical by checking the pH with a simple test strip. Here is some information that will give you a better understanding of pH testing, and describe a more accurate way to measure soap cleaning power.

pH Testing

The pH test is a measurement of the "chemical heat" of a solution. When measuring pH, you are measuring the positive or negative charge of the mixture. Is the liquid an "acid" or "alkaline", and where is it on the scale? The scale for measurement of pH is from "0" - the acid or positive charge ends of the scale to "14" - the alkali or negative end of the scale. Both extremes of this scale are considered "hot". The middle of the scale "7", is the neutral of the scale. At "7" the solution is neither acid nor alkali.

Soap is applied to the surface of the vehicle in order to aid in removing dirt. However, you do not want to harm the finish of the vehicle. Most of us are aware that acid "eats" things, but caustic (base) alkaline does too. For example, high alkalinity will damage the plastic headlight covers many cars use today. They become cloudy and reduce the ability of the headlight to project light far enough ahead for the driver to see properly. These parts are very expensive to replace. So, accurately measuring the strength of a soap solution is very important.

Measuring the pH of a solution is accomplished by inserting a pH test strip into the solution and comparing the color of the strip to the color scale on the strip container. What you are measuring is the 'chemical heat'. Think of it like measuring the temperature of a lit match. If you light two or more matches at the same time, the temperature of the flame is the same. So, it is easy to see why the pH of a soap solution does not change significantly with the addition of more powder or concentrate liquid. The difference between one measure on the pH scale, say from 8 to 9, will show 10 times as much alkaline charge! To get that much change, you would have to add several measures of product (liquid or powder). All surfaces have an optimum range of pH that they can tolerate before damage occurs. Some materials such as plastic and paint have a very narrow range, before permanent damage happens. You need to stay as close to the optimum as possible for these materials. But as you can see, measuring pH and then depending on this measurement as an indication of what is a safe reference point is ludicrous. There simply are not enough reference points to accurately determine what a 'safe' level is.

Titration Testing

Measuring the strength of alkalinity in a solution is called the "titration of the solution". Remember the 'match' example above? Testing a soap solution's strength by conducting a titration test is like measuring the overall heat output as each additional match is added. So Titration is like measuring the BTU output of a combusting source, not the temperature (pH). The more matches we burn at one time, the more BTU output (titration) we get from the combustion. This is why it is best to measure titration instead of pH. By measuring titration it is possible to find that specific reference point of soap strength that is optimum for your operation.

So, if you add more product into a soap solution, you will get more 'power" from the soap. But remember, this may not change the pH of that solution by any measurable amount. The output is calculated by measuring a specified amount of a solution, coloring the solution with a marker, and then adding drops of acid to change the color of the solution. Titration of the solution is measured by the number of drops it requires to change the color of the sample. If it takes 10 drops to change the color, you then have a reference point to work with. How do other solutions measure to the one you have?

Your mission is to find out where your car wash performs the best and make sure you maintain that reference point. It is important to test your soap solution mixture on a regular basis. Over time, several factors can come into play which can affect the titration level of a mixture: Powder or super-concentrated liquid not being mixed correctly, metering devices may malfunction or become clogged, foot valves can fail, solenoids can fail or settings may be changed, and even failure of the water softener.

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Switching Your Operation From SuperSat™ to KleenBrite™ Liquid Soap

If you are currently using SuperSat™ soap, you know that it has a liquid surfactant and a powder mix which is blended together to make soap. There is a simple change you need to make when you switch to DynaBrite™, or any liquid or standard powder soap.

Due to the fact that the brown colored dual venturi eductors that the metering tips are pressed into, have a flow rate of 2.25 gallons per minute, while the black venturis have a flow rate of 4.50 gallons per minute, the brown venturis will need to be replaced. If you don't change out the venturi, the soap mixture will be weak because you are only pulling half the water into the venture compared to the metering device you are using. Here's how to do it. Remove the 'T' connector and use just one black eductor, which you can be purchased for under $5 from any equipment supplier. The brown eductors used by the SuperSat™ system pulls half the amount of product. Since you will be utilizing only one product for your soap mixture, you will need to use the larger capacity black eductor. You won't use more product; it's just that you are only pulling from one source. If you have more questions, contact Donovan Trana, and he will walk you through the process. It's very simple, and it only takes about 5 minutes to accomplish.

Soft Water - What's So Hard About It?

M ost car wash owners will agree that using soft water to make presoak is a good idea. Everyone knows that soft water reduces the amount of soap needed for any clean-up project, thereby saving money. But ask the same car wash owner if he or she uses soft water to rinse, many times you'll get a flat, 'No'. Why is this? Usually, the answer is that soft water is "too expensive.all that salt costs money". If car wash owners do the math, they'll find that softening rinse water is very inexpensive compared to losing their customer base. As more and more carwashes are built, competition for a reducing number of customers raises the ante for decisions that 'tip the scales' in favor of the competition. Most car wash operations do not have the equipment capacity to soften high pressure rinse water, therefore they have never experienced the cleaning results of softened rinse water. But guess what? Their customers have.. at the car wash down the street! These customers may not know why one car wash cleans better than another..they just know it does! While it is true that chemical and equipment can make a difference, many times a soft water rinse can be the difference that sets one car wash apart from another.

Imagine this: Everyone knows the difference in hard and soft water when you take a shower. Soft water makes your soap lather and rinse clean, leaving your skin 'slick' - which means you're feeling your skin. If you use hard water to take a shower, it's tough to get a lather, and when you do rinse off, your skin feels 'grabby'..that's the soap still on your skin.and what is worse, the dirt is trapped in that soap! Now imagine taking a shower like this: You turn on one shower head with soft water to soap your body down, then turn that shower head off and turn on another shower head with hard water to 'rinse' off the soap..you guessed it, the soap will 'stick' to your skin - the dirt stays on your

skin. Now, why are car washes set up this way? Because the equipment supplier cut corners to get the bid and the first thing to go was the softener system .happens all the time.

The solution? Simply call your local CulliganT man and have him set up a suitable system on a lease plan. You'll be surprised to see how inexpensive a lease is, and salt is a commodity - cheap. Be sure to work with your installer to make sure you calculate your salt usage and system cycle so that you don't run out of soft water before it cycles again. Test your water hardness with a HachT water hardness test kit every couple of days until you are sure you have the system set correctly. If you aren't convinced it made a difference, you can always take it out.

But before you install the softener, benchmark your cleaning level by using a white towel and wipe a 2 foot 'swipe' on the side of your customers cars as they exit the wash. After the system is installed, repeat this test and compare results. You'll find that you can reduce your soap usage and cost by 10 - 100 %! For every grain of hardness in your water, you need 4% more detergent to overcome the hardness! If you have 15 grains of hardness, that means you need 60% more soap! In the Midwest , it is not uncommon to encounter 28+ grains of hardness..that would require 112% more soap! NOW you're cleaning cars...what's so hard about that?

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Troubleshooting Cleaning and Show Issues

If cleaning performance or "show" is not satisfactory, trouble shoot in the following order - assuming equipment is operating correctly:

Is the water soft? Hard water dramatically affects 'show' and performance especially at high dilution rates.

Has there been a change in the temperature of the soap mixture? Cold water reduces the effectiveness of soap.

Is the dilution tip or foot valve plugged?

Is the Hydrominder or metering device functioning properly?

Did the operator mix the soap properly? (test the concentrate by taking a small sample and dilute it to the proper dilution and titrating it - compare with what is in the drum)

Rinse Cycle PSI - pump issue or plugged nozzles on automatic?

Is there a problem with the consistency of the water pressure in the line feeding the hydrominder? Low water pressure will dramatically increase the dilution, decreasing the concentration of the soap mixture.

Has the operator changed the length of the tube running from the source drum to the metering device? - an increase in distance creates more resistance which increases dilution, weakening the soap mixture.

Did the operator change the settings on solenoids or restricting valves? Less product on the vehicle or flow rate volume on a hand wand will affect cleaning.

Has the temperature of the equipment room lowered significantly? - if the floor is cold, the viscosity of the concentrate will become thicker causing more resistance which increases dilution and thereby weakens the soap mixture.

For automatics, did the dwell time for the presoak get changed?

Soil Type Issue - warm rains after winter or drought?

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