Mobile Detailing Water Tank (in freezing temperatures) Question
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  1. #1
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    Question Mobile Detailing Water Tank (in freezing temperatures) Question

    Hi everyone,

    I'm not really sure where to ask this question, so I figured this may be the correct place.

    I am currently using a pickup truck with a covered bed for my mobile detailing business and have a plastic water tank in the bed of the truck. I live in Virginia where the temperatures drop below freezing most nights during December-February and am worried that the water will freeze at night if I don't drain it every afternoon when I get home.

    Does anyone else have a similar situation? If so, do you have problems with your water freezing and how do you keep it from freezing?

    I truly appreciate any advice/help/ideas on this.

    Cheers,
    John

  2. #2
    A Humble Detailing Man ca2kjet's Avatar
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    Re: Mobile Detailing Water Tank (in freezing temperatures) Question

    My father was a carpet and upholstery cleaner for over 30 years with a truck mount cleaning system. Living in New England meant super cold days and nights and with no garage to store the van, that meant every day he had to drain whatever remained in the tanks and purge the solution lines with an antifreeze. If the temp was going to get to below freezing for a brief moment during the night, say an hour, he could usually get away with not empty the tanks (100 gallon solution and recovery tanks). All sprayers, chemicals and cleaning tools were always brought inside to protect. On many occasion he ran a heater out to the truck if he couldn't prep it when temps suddenly free fell. He got used to filling his fresh water tank to only the amount he expected to use on that day, so he didn't have to empty say 50 gallons and waste water at the end of the day.

    Depending on the size of the water tank you're using, whether you keep it filled up or not, and how long freezing temps will be around will determine what you ultimately need to do. It's always wise to protect your equipment. Drain everything you need to and bring your cleaning chemicals indoors. Any tools that may have lingering water in them should be brought in as well. Hose shut off valves on your water tank are your worst enemy in freezing temps. They can quickly freeze up and get damaged. You could always try doing the electric heater approach. Always be extra cautious with where you place it and how you run your extension wires to prevent fires obviously. You don't need to bake your vehicle, just enough to maintain an above freezing temp.
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    Product & Training Specialist Nick Winn's Avatar
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    Re: Mobile Detailing Water Tank (in freezing temperatures) Question

    Quote Originally Posted by ca2kjet View Post
    My father was a carpet and upholstery cleaner for over 30 years with a truck mount cleaning system. Living in New England meant super cold days and nights and with no garage to store the van, that meant every day he had to drain whatever remained in the tanks and purge the solution lines with an antifreeze. If the temp was going to get to below freezing for a brief moment during the night, say an hour, he could usually get away with not empty the tanks (100 gallon solution and recovery tanks). All sprayers, chemicals and cleaning tools were always brought inside to protect. On many occasion he ran a heater out to the truck if he couldn't prep it when temps suddenly free fell. He got used to filling his fresh water tank to only the amount he expected to use on that day, so he didn't have to empty say 50 gallons and waste water at the end of the day.

    Depending on the size of the water tank you're using, whether you keep it filled up or not, and how long freezing temps will be around will determine what you ultimately need to do. It's always wise to protect your equipment. Drain everything you need to and bring your cleaning chemicals indoors. Any tools that may have lingering water in them should be brought in as well. Hose shut off valves on your water tank are your worst enemy in freezing temps. They can quickly freeze up and get damaged. You could always try doing the electric heater approach. Always be extra cautious with where you place it and how you run your extension wires to prevent fires obviously. You don't need to bake your vehicle, just enough to maintain an above freezing temp.
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    Re: Mobile Detailing Water Tank (in freezing temperatures) Question

    ca2kjet: Thanks for your reply and for the information. I truly appreciate it.

    Draining everything and bringing it in each day is what I have been doing so far and was just hoping that there was a simpler way. One day I am hoping to build a garage for the truck and then I can insulate that and should be fine, but until then it looks like I will just have to bite the bullet and use/drain/and repeat after each days work. LOL

    Thanks again for the info and quick response!

    Cheers,
    John



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    Re: Mobile Detailing Water Tank (in freezing temperatures) Question

    If you have access to power where you park you could just put in a microheater with a temperature guage or a couple of 100 watt lightbulbs( two in case one burns out) same as a 200 watt heater, If not i thinks you are snookered and will need to drain.

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    Re: Mobile Detailing Water Tank (in freezing temperatures) Question

    Thanks Sleper, That's a possibility. I actually have a small desktop heater that I could put in there. Since I have a cover on the bed of the truck I wouldn't have to worry about the electricity running to the heater.

    I also wonder if wrapping the water tank with the hot water insulation tank insulation would be enough to keep the water in the tank from freezing...

    I don't really mind taking the power washer, pump, etc. out of the truck each time I come home from a job, but draining the water tank and then filling it back up each day is just a hassle and waste of water.

    Thanks again for this idea!

    Cheers,
    John

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    Re: Mobile Detailing Water Tank (in freezing temperatures) Question

    Unless there is some sort of heat in the blanket like a battery blanket for a vehicle I do not think there would be enough heat in the water to keep it from freezing IMO sorry

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