Tips and Tricks for Your Inline Washer

Get the most from your cleaning process!
–Eric Bromley

You mentioned many areas to check for fluid losses, how much does bath temperature contribute to losses?
In an in-line machine it can make a difference especially if you have the machine turned on, but not being used all day. You will notice that as you let it sit heated, the water will actually evaporate faster than the chemistry. This is because of the boiling point. The concentration will actually go up and the bath level will go down. There is a loss there and that is probably the biggest area of temperature related lost.

I don’t have an inline cleaner. We’re currently using a smaller batch spray-in-air cleaning system. Where are some of the areas I could check for losses in this type of system?
Well, with a batch machine being a single chamber process, meaning that the wash, rinse, and dry are all done in the same chamber, there is a little bit of loss with the chemistry after each cycle. At the end of the wash cycle there will be some chemistry on the walls of the chamber, on the rack itself, and on the boards that will get washed away after the first rinse. It’s a very small amount and it is part of the process. You could get excess loss through the exhaust on the machine if it’s set too high. As the machine is running and it is being atomized and sprayed in the chamber, the exhaust can draw it out of the chamber, and it is lost. Also, if you have a transfer valve or mixing valve that could be hung up, it could be draining out that way as well. However, it is mostly exhausts set too high and then it would be one of the valves that are hung open.

You talked about the importance of balancing the system exhaust, is there a quick way to tell if the exhaust is balanced in my in-line?
It is important that when you check the exhaust balance on the machine, you have the entire machine turned on. Usually, the blower will pressurize the inside of the machine and it will change the flow of the exhaust. Once the machine is all turned on and everything is running, you should be able to move back the entrance and curtain just a little to see the moisture or the mist kind of rolling right inside that area. You should see very little coming out of the entrance end. Another area to check and it kind of takes a trained eye, or if you have strong flashlight, when the machine is running you should be able to see the exhaust and the moisture within the system. It will be flowing towards the entrance and that’s what you want. As I said earlier, it is better to have any moisture or mist from the rinse section travel into the wash rather than have the wash or mist travel towards the rinses. If it follows the rinses, you don’t want that. Those are probably the two easiest ways to check.