Despite a global pandemic with recorded job losses, the car wash industry is booming. According to a report by Grand View Research, the car wash market was valued at more than $33 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow 3.2% by 2025. This could perhaps be due to more car travel in the wake of Covid, but it is also simply an industry that is currently popular with investment bankers.
Scott McCurdy is a Manufacturer’ Representative for Wanner Engineering and has 35 years of experience selling pumps to the car wash industry. He says that while car wash technology has evolved during that time, one thing remains the same-Hydra-Cell’s seal-less positive displacement diaphragm pumps continue to be perfectly suited for car washes because of their dependability, low maintenance, and their forgiving ability to run dry.
Hydra-Cell pumps are used extensively in cleaning applications for high pressure water and were used initially in car washes because of their ability to pump reclaim water. Today, Hydra-Cell is the go-to pump in the industry whether it is for fresh or reclaim water.
“Reciprocating pumps are typically used for high pressure car wash applications,” McCurdy explains. “But what sets Hydra-Cell apart from the competition is that it does not have any cups, packing, or seals-which makes it more durable and less prone to wear and requires less maintenance.”
Hydra-Cell pumps have been used in car wash applications for more than 40 years and provide trouble-free service with no more than basic scheduled maintenance.
“A customer once said that his Hydra-Cells performed as advertised when they unintentionally ran their pumps dry for eight hours. When they discovered the problem, they fixed it by simply adding water to the tanks, and their Hydra-Cells ran just as efficiently as before.”
With no need for fine filtration, Hydra-Cell pumps can readily handle abrasives and particulates. Key to the Hydra-Cell’s seal-less design is there are no surfaces in the fluid end of the pump that ride on other surfaces that would otherwise be subjected to abrasive wear,” McCurdy says. “This is not the case for other types of high pressure pumps used in the industry.”
Pumps are used to power all type of car wash applications, including:
- Touchless arch systems
- High-pressure wheel cleaning
- Lance cleaning
- Side blast sprays
- Under carriage cleaning
- Metering foam/detergents/chemicals
A typical car wash will use a range of one to a bank of six or more pumps, depending on the size and architecture of the car wash. There have been different types of washes and different types of equipment added through the years as the car wash industry has evolved. The washes use high pressure to aid in the cleaning process. Years ago, the car wash process depended on touchless high pressure and chemicals. However, it was discovered that a more effective method would be incorporating a combination of friction and high pressure and chemicals to accelerate and improve the cleaning process.
Most of the industry uses tunnel washes, which are typically where the vehicle is pulled through the washing process. Some use rollover methods.
Hydra-Cell Seal-less Pumping Technology benefits car wash operators in many ways:
- Handles abrasives and particulates contained in reclaim water – no need for fine filtration
- Pumps non-lubricating fluids (e.g. water)
- Can run dry without damage to the pump
- Variety of corrosion-resistant materials of construction
- Energy efficient
- Seal-less design means minimal maintenance or downtime
- Compact size
For more information about Hydra-Cell Seal-less pumping technology for car wash facilities, please visit
www.hydra-cell.com and check out this video https://www.hydra-cell.co.uk/Hydracell-Media/Videos/9101-/Vehicle-Wash