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View Poll Results: what cleans better upstream?downstream?

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  • up

    22 5.12%
  • down

    358 83.26%
  • dont know

    23 5.35%
  • dont care

    27 6.28%
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  1. #1
    Member Senior Undergraduate
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    upstream >> downstream ??

    What cleans better
    up or down????????
    Stay Clean and Dry!!

  • #2
    Member Graduate Student Bigboy's Avatar
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    Guess it depends on if your in the shower or on the potty but I put up in case it was a trick Q'tion.
    O......sorry didn't see dat upstream downstream thingy.

    I never could clean as good downstream as I can up stream,guess it depends really on how and if you want to learn either way.I have tried downstreaming several times but usually ended up upstreaming it also to get it cleaner,even tried the flo-jet to apply but still usually ended up upstreaming but hey guess what I don't have to chance my answer.
    Last edited by Bigboy; 10-29-2001 at 06:09 AM.

  • #3
    Hall of Fame Member Senior Undergraduate Larry Hinckley's Avatar
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    Chemical Application

    The following are excerpts from an article that I wrote for Cleaner Times a few years back. The article in its entirety is too long to post. If anyone would like the full article let me know and I will email it to you.

    The application of chemicals is one of the longest standing controversies in the power washing industry. There are just as many opinions on the correct method of doing so as there are chemical applicators. The one thing most contractors seem to agree on is that no single method will serve all circumstances efficiently. Of all the different methods, the three most often used are 1) down stream injection [after the pump], 2) chemical before the pump [through the pump], 3) and the chemical applicator pumps.

    Each of these methods has their benefits as well as their limitations. Down stream chemical injection is most often used on cold pressure washers because of low cost and the ability to turn the chemical on and off at the wand. Chemical injection before the pump is most often used on hot pressure washers because of the ability to apply chemicals with hot water, which makes them more effective. And chemical application pumps are used where the chemicals are not compatible with the pressure washer.
    Larry Hinckley
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  • #4
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    But if you are using a downstream with a hot water arent you then cleaning with hot soap?what about the chems going thru the pump? sure you can rince it out by pumping h20 but then you are wasting h20 ........ so with a good soap downstreaming is not as good as up?

    up will clean better..WHY?

    maybe b/c you are getting more soap with up-stream?

    then are you using more to do what downstream can do?

    how much more if any (soap) do you use compared to the two?

    please note im just curious here i always use down i have tried up but that was before i invested in the famous remote .now if i go to the up side i can control the soap........

    throw some more thoughts this way.............
    Stay Clean and Dry!!

  • #5
    Hall of Fame Member Senior Undergraduate Larry Hinckley's Avatar
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    Talking Chemical Appilcation

    Dan,
    As I stated in the opening sentence of the article this is a controversial subject. When you use downstream injection you are mixing the chemical with heated water. When you use upstream injection you are heating the chemical and the water simultaneously therefore the chemical is reaching a higher temprature.

    This article was intended to be an objective report and certainly not the final word on the subject of chemical application. I recommend that you read the entire article before drawing any conclusions and then doing further research on the subject.

    Some chemicals shouldn't be run through your system as they can cause immediate damage to the system as they pass through. For these types of chemicals you use downstream injection or another method of chemical application.

    In the theory of cleaning to remove the offending substance you use heat, chemical, abraison and water. The idea is to break the surface tension. surface tension is the force which binds the substance to the surface to be cleaned. Different substances require different types of force to acheive this. Chemical is typically the force which will make this removal easier with less effort on your part. Surfactants used in cleaning chemical tend to help break this surface tension. As the surface tension is broken the water is allowed to rinse the offending substance away. In some cases you may need to use heat and in others brushing {abrasion} may be needed.

    I hope this helps to answer your questions.



    Larry
    Larry Hinckley
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  • #6
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    Makes since Larry thanks......i kinda -sorta knew what the big dif. was but wanted more input on this ......i know the chem im using now is idea for my pump..... now i got to restric the h20 going into the p/wer b/c it's to big and wont draw.......what is the best way to do this ? i never had much luck with the up side b/c of draw Ibelieve i have a 3/4 hose into the p/wer now maybe 1''..............
    should i just go thru the top of tank so it can draw better? or reduce the size of hose?

    thanks im getting an education right here in my room.......
    Stay Clean and Dry!!

  • #7
    Hall of Fame Member Senior Undergraduate Larry Hinckley's Avatar
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    Smile Chemical Draw

    Install a 3/4" gate valve in the water line to your pump. Place your chemical line into the chemical and open your chemical metering valveall of the way then begin closing the gate valve until you start to draw chemical.

    Larry
    Larry Hinckley
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  • #8
    Member Graduate Student Bigboy's Avatar
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    Sometimes I wonder about you man,I have 3/4 in. supply line with 1/4 in. chemical line and mine draws great,they must have sold you a white el'ent.Although the gate valve Larry advised is alsome ifen you know what your doing,know what I mean.It forces it to draw more out of your chemical tanks,the more you close that valve the more it will draw out of the other hole.If you want you can plumb both supply line and chemical line 3/4 and when needing a big flo-jet just shut the water supply line off,wow careful it'll suck that sucker dry.
    Even though my draw rate is ok,mix rate great for cleaning dirty things I have a gate valve on my supply line at the pump,not every offen but sometimes I run into some really nasty nasty trucks and things,to get more cleaning power out of the chemical tanks I turn the gate valve on the supply line until I get the amount I need for the speed I need to clean it at the price I quoted.
    I like upstreaming chemicals with hotwater,I cann't or do not like washing without it,nomatter what I'm washing but know when to use just warm water on things.If you want to see me unhappy when washing just let my burner stop working,which it doesn't take me long before I have it smoking again before days end.
    Yel,I know but I don't brush either,love upstreaming hot soapy water for the speed it gaves a one man team.

  • #9
    Workin North of 60 Associate Professor Dave Olson's Avatar
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    There always has to be somebody that does it different! Thats me! We use a hose end sprayer.



    We can apply all of our detergents, acids and caustics. Has an adjustable setting right on the head. Adjustments can be made simply by changing the position of the bar on top. The head that we use the most has a range of 1-3 to 1-10. The picture shows a 1/2 gallon jug. We can also apply in a foam.

    Dave Olson
    David Olson, Tidy Powerwash Service, Inc. Catlin, Illinois
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  • #10
    Moderator Senior Undergraduate Biodude's Avatar
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    There are a variety of reasons why downstreaming is the way to go. The first has already been commented on and that is no damage to equipment. Running chemical thru your pump, coil, and hose drastically shortens the lifespan of each. Also, when chemical is run thru the coil it reacts when heated, either by sticking to the inside of the coil, and/or by attacking the coil material and eating it from the inside out. The same is true of your pressure line running out to your wash gun.

    Second, it prevents you from getting a clean rinse. Chemical residue sticks to the inside of the pump, coil, and hose and can take considerable time to flush out. This residue is left on the surface of the vehicle and has the potential to damage the finish which, if its owner were to find out that you caused it, you would be liable for. Trucks and trailers aren't cheap to repaint. At best, it lowers your quality which is not acceptable to me.

    Some confusion lies in the "you can run hot soap" comment. As Dan said, you run your clean rinse water thru your water heater and then inject your chemical downstream and WALA! you get hot soap. Larry said you can run your soap hotter by upstreaming compared to downstreaming. That amount would be marginal, usually a couple degrees which you would never notice the difference anyway. And how hot do you need the water anyway? The hotter the water, the quicker it evaporates and dries on the vehicle, the greater the chance of causing damage to the paint. We've found that ultra hot water doesn't gain you a whole lot unless you're degreasing, which you would only do with special circumstances involved. Ultra hot water brings me to the most important point of all, which I'm surprised that it hasn't even been mentioned, and that is....

    SAFETY!!!!! Upstreaming is very DANGEROUS! You are putting your ultra hot chemical under pressure. What happens when the hose that is now worn out blows? Boom! Chemical right in your eyes, or worse yet, depending on the pressure that you run, directly into your bloodstream. NOT GOOD! Some would say "Well that's the choice I made so I can wash better." Each person has the right to make choices in their life, so people make bad ones like smoking, overeating, overdrinking, drug use, etc...When these suffer the consequences of those we say "It was going to catch up to them sooner or later." But if a person hires an employee and expects them to use equipment with known dangers, the employer bears responsibility. That's the reason the Federal Government created OSHA to protect workers of potential dangers. All I can say is if a person is doing this and their employee is not wearing a full facemask and headgear, along with a full chemical resistance bodysuit, the business owner better have great liability insurance! Then try telling them to wear it in the summertime!
    Blaine Krugerud
    Bioclean Mobile Wash
    "Your Environmentally Safe Cleaning Solution"
    blaine@biocleansystems.com

  • #11
    Exterior Restoration Specialist 21000 PLUS POSTER Ron Musgraves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Olson View Post
    There always has to be somebody that does it different! Thats me! We use a hose end sprayer.



    We can apply all of our detergents, acids and caustics. Has an adjustable setting right on the head. Adjustments can be made simply by changing the position of the bar on top. The head that we use the most has a range of 1-3 to 1-10. The picture shows a 1/2 gallon jug. We can also apply in a foam.

    Dave Olson

    David was using foam 6 years ago, Why didnt you tell us about that stuff.

    Just kidding,

    Great post bioman. I agree its easier to down that up
    Ron Musgraves

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  • #12
    Dean 4000 PLUS POSTER Grant's Avatar
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    There is nothing new about foam it is just a delivery method for chemicals. Companies have been selling foaming units for many years. They are a lot better today then they were years ago. (but so are the chems)
    Grant Mogford


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  • #13
    Greaser of the Year Professor with Tenure HotShot_Anthony's Avatar
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    Grant is exactly right. There is nothing new about it, it's just been better-ized

    Daniel Koss is working on a new gel type chemical that may be out soon, it sounds like it's gonna be the bomb sheezy...I can't wait to try it. In theory, gel should be better than foam as far as giving longer dwell times. We'll see what happens....

    Great post and great info Blaine...

  • #14
    Exterior Restoration Specialist 21000 PLUS POSTER Ron Musgraves's Avatar
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    Blaine you have a nice site
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  • #15
    Member Freshman Undergraduate SUPERIORLLC's Avatar
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    Save your pump and your life!!

    Just thought I'd add my little part!! Nothing like HOT chems spraying onto your machine because of a faulty connector gasket and upstreaming!!
    Last edited by SUPERIORLLC; 02-08-2008 at 07:32 AM. Reason: typo
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  • #16
    Moderator Senior Undergraduate Biodude's Avatar
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    What are you talking about? I've seen all of those multi-colored paint jobs on those street rods. It's the IN THING! You've just done them a big favor and they should be THANKING YOU, right?

    Hey Amber, do you have to serve Gary, IN. area as well? That gets kinda scary down there, doesn't it?
    Blaine Krugerud
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    blaine@biocleansystems.com

  • #17
    2500 PLUS POSTER mbryan's Avatar
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    We use both, but I prefer the upstream. When we downstream its at the wand with a foamer.

  • #18
    Member Sophomore Undergraduate Joe M's Avatar
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    Wow, I guess I have always upstreamed. Never seen it done any other way. I've never experienced any problems with a bad rinse though. Yes, it is a little soapy for about five seconds but thats it. I can say though that heating the soap up makes it work better. It would be nice to be able to change from soap to rinse at the trigger, although I use triggerless guns. I must be old school.

  • #19
    2500 PLUS POSTER mbryan's Avatar
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    I agree, especially on the harder stuff like Chinese grease. A good hot mix, paired with the hot water from the machine and you can blast the toughest Chinese grease off no problem. It has definitely sped up a lot of our jobs not having to pre spray.

  • #20
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    In Fleet Washing We Use Upsteam To Apply Our 2 Step Chemicals .. The Reason For Doing It Upstream Is That Your Applying Your Chemicals To The Painted Surface .. The High Pressure Is Pushing Through The Dirt To Apply The Chemical To The Painted Surface... Our Pressure Is Set At 2100 Psi ...

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