Winter Tips – nipping the freeze in the bud
It may have been one of the milder years here in the UK, but let’s not be fooled – Jack Frost has been showing his face, and snow’s been sighted on the high ground!
So, it’s worth bearing in mind that machines and accessories as well as chemicals left in un-garaged vans and out-buildings can be vulnerable to extreme cold.
In fact, given how pumps and brass valves are so prone to freezing and fracture during the cold weather, it is sound practice to bring your equipment under cover wherever possible.
The smallest amount of water can expand under freezing conditions and crack equipment, the consequent damage necessitating expensive repairs and equipment down time.
You can prevent water freezing inside your machine by adding an anti-freeze solution; just don’t forget to flush it out before you clean carpet or upholstery!
To avoid a blown heat exchanger, try adding anti-freeze to your truck mount unit or use a thermostatically-controlled heater inside the van. As with a portable, you would still need to flush the system before using the unit to clean.
Wands and hand tools are the most common items damaged by cold conditions. They are often left in vans their valves and pipework have very small diameter bores, so even the smallest amount of water will cause a lot of damage. Take them indoors, if possible.
And don’t forget, many chemical products are also sensitive to extremes of temperature.
Particular care should be taken to ensure that chemicals are not allowed to freeze in the back of your van or lock-up.
Freeze/thawing of chemical products can affect their stability and performance. At the end of the working day, store your chemicals indoors in a cool, dry location at a temperature above 5C, but below 30C.
You don’t want to find the following morning that your carpet cleaning solution is now an icy solid!
Anti-freeze protection for machines: our guide
Just as you use antifreeze to keep your van running through the winter, so you can protect truck-mounted extractors from freezing up.
To introduce the antifreeze, start up the truck-mount with the auxiliary pump turned off.
Now switch on the solution pump and then attach the open-ended hose and bleed off half of the water box volume. Next, disconnect the open ended hose and add 2 litres of antifreeze to the water box.
Run the engine for 10 minutes to allow the antifreeze solution to circulate. Finally, switch off the solution pump and turn off the unit.
To remove anti-freeze from your truck mount, start up the machine ensuring the auxiliary pump is turned off.
Switch on the solution pump, attach the open-ended hose and bleed off the system until the water box is empty (catch the antifreeze solution for re-use).
Now, switch on the auxiliary pump and flush the system until no antifreeze is present. Finally, switch off the solution pump, remove open ended hose and turn off the unit.