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Truckmount Winterizing

Time-Tested Tips for Winterizing Your Equipment
With Kyle Anderson and Scott Harlib

With winter around the corner, it’s a good time to prepare your valuable equipment for cold temperatures. For some time-tested tips on how to keep your dehumidifiers and truckmounts running at peak performance and safe from freeze damage, we sat down with industry experts, Kyle Anderson, Customer Service Supervisor, Sapphire Scientific; and
Scott Harlib, Service Manager for Dri-Eaz/ProRestore.

Kyle AndersonWhat’s the most important tip to care for dehumidifiers during cool weather?
Kyle: Make sure that there is no water left in the pump reservoir that can freeze and damage the pump. While you can remove water by hitting purge a few times, it’s important to remove the cover and clean the pump and pump basin so that the unit is ready for the next time it’s used. This preventive practice reduces the chance of the unit being damaged during freezing conditions.

What else can owners do to keep their dehumidifiers in good condition?
I’d recommend storing dehumidifiers in a heated storage area. We realize that you might have to keep equipment in an unheated warehouse or shop, but the environment doesn’t have to be kept warm – just comfortably above freezing. Temperatures in a space that average 50 degrees or above will help to reduce the risk of freezing.

Scott HarlibYou work with truckmount owners all over the country. What do you tell them about freeze protection for truckmounts?
Scott: We always recommend storing truckmounts in a heated garage. We know that is not always possible, but as Kyle noted for dehumidifiers, even keeping the truckmount unit indoors out of the wind and snow will help. I am often asked about using small heaters to protect units, but we strongly discourage this practice. First, a truckmount has gasoline running through it and any spark could ignite a fire that could badly damage or destroy it. Second, a heater depends on electrical power. Since power outages are common during cold weather, there is still a substantial risk of freeze. It is much better to protect truckmounts with antifreeze; just as we all do with our motor vehicles.

What specifically should owners do to keep their truckmounts in good condition during winter?
Scott: I recommend the following five steps to prepare a truckmount for potential exposure to freezing temperatures:

  1. Disconnect the unit’s water supply. If the truckmount has an on-board water supply, be sure to drain it completely.
  2. Run the unit to remove as much water as possible in the system, using the bypass valve or through hoses with an open-ended quick connect. I recommend using a hose whenever possible.
  3. Add one gallon of 100 percent glycol-based antifreeze to the water box. On pressurized systems remove the radiator cap. On float-type versions remove the brass 1½ inch plug. Mate a ¼ inch male quick connect to a 3/8 inch male quick connect. Owners can even get a winterizing hose assembly to do this – order 68-168 from a distributor.
  4. Connect all hoses to the water inlet, turn down the pressure regulator and start the unit. Then turn on the water pump and allow the coolant to run through the system.
  5. Circulate anti-freeze through the chemical system by putting the chemical hose into a gallon of 100 percent glycol-based antifreeze and prime the system.

Let the unit run for three minutes. The truckmount is now protected. Be sure to bring any cleaning tools – wands, rotary tools, etc. – inside to a heated area, or at least make sure to release the pressure in the water lines.

What about reversing this process when it's time to use the truckmount again?
Scott: To remove the antifreeze, hook up the water supply and drain it into an approved container until all the antifreeze is removed. Be sure to remove the antifreeze from the chemical system as well. When this is completed, the truckmount is ready to use.

Kyle and Scott, what are the benefits to following this winterizing advice?
Kyle and Scott: Freeze-damaged equipment can cause performance problems due to wear and stress on its parts, and may even void the warranty. Keep your equipment in good working condition during cold temperatures and you can count on extended service life and a higher, more consistent performance level.

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