How to Check the Quality of Your Dispensing

Dec 8, 2017 at 4:00 PM

quality_dispensingNow that we've covered your chemistry quality and your water quality, let's talk about how to check that your dispensing is working properly. Like chemistry and water, the quality of your dispensing system is equally important in delivering a superior wash.

How do I choose a system?

When it comes to dispensing systems, there are four different types:

1. Injector: This is when the product is pulled by a vacuum suction into a water stream traveling through a small device.

2. Injection pump (electric or water drive): This is when product is injected into a water stream from a pump.

3. Hydrominders: This is when your product is premixed into a "sump" chamber or tank, then "delivered" via pump (most commonly air-operated).

4. Pressurized direct injection: This system works similarly to a regular injector; however, it uses the Venturi effect to mix the chemical and the water and uses a "booster pump" to regulate water pressure consistently.

The accuracy of your dispensing system will have a large effect on  the quality of your wash. When considering dispensing accuracy, focus on dilution ratio as well as the consistency of the dosing. Pressurized direct injection is most likely to provide the most precise dilution ratios and consistent mixed solution volume. Water pressure can fluctuate, often during your high-volume wash periods; but a pressurized direct injection dispensing system will help control those fluctuations.

No matter which type of dispensing system you're using, you may find inconsistencies. It's important to regularly monitor dilution and application ratios – too much or too little chemistry can have a negative impact on your wash quality.

Let's take a look at some of the most common dispensing quality issues and how to resolve them:

1. Too Much or Too Little Chemical

If you are dispensing too much or too little chemical, it means that you are either wasting money or that your application will not be as effective. If your chemical usage is too low, your customers will not see the quality or show that they expect from their wash. This makes them less likely to purchase that wash package again, and they may go to a different wash altogether. Likewise, if your chemical usage is too high, you are ultimately wasting chemical . You can detect this problem by monitoring your overall average product usage. If you notice that you are dispensing too much or too little product, try recalculating your ratios for the adjusted water pressure. If that doesn't work. or your water pressure is inconsistent, it is time to invest in a more accurate dispensing system.

2. Inconsistent Dispensing

If your dispensing system is not mixing your chemical and your water consistently, it may be visible to customers in the color, foam, scent, or performance of the application. Inconsistent dispensing affects the perceived quality and value of the application by your customers. Inconsistent dispensing may look like you are running out of product, or that the customer is not getting the correct amount of chemical. Since perception is a large part of quality, you want to make sure that you are dispensing your chemical equally to avoid any rewashes or other customer satisfaction issues.

3. Dispensing No Product

If you have no product coming out of your dispensing system, fix this problem as soon as possible. If this is a dispensing problem (and not an inventory problem), it is likely that you have a clogged tip or foot valve.  If you have a clogged tip, this is an easy fix – clean out the clogged tip. If a foot valve is your problem, replace the bad foot valve with a new one. If you find that you are frequently encountering clogged tips, you may want to revisit your water quality and talk to your vehicle care specialist to find a solution.

For more great information about car wash quality assurance, click here to download Delivering Quality: How to Run Your Wash to Maximize Success:

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