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Application Spotlight: Car Wash

Spring is here and you know what that means: POLLEN! As allergy sufferers across the country brace for impact, it’s also likely that car washes will see increased usage. As more and more folks head to your car wash it’s important to have the right heating equipment in working order!

Did you know that Great Lakes Radiant & Industrials sells both fully and partially stainless-steel Re-Verber-Ray gas-fired tube heaters made by Detroit Radiant Products? Let’s explore some information for using these in a car wash application.

There are two primary choices for a stainless-steel system: the DX2 single-stage and the HL2 two-stage gas-fired low intensity infrared tube heaters. The difference between these two amounts to energy savings. Although both are extremely efficient, the HL2 infrared tube heater has a high-fire mode to kick things into gear and heat up quickly, as well as a low-fire mode that can cycle on and heat things up when the temperature drops slightly. This extra feature prevents the unit from running in high-fire consistently so it’s not blasting heat into the space when only a small temperature differential is detected.

The DX2 and HL2 come in two versions: full stainless (SS) or just a sealed burner box (SB). Because car washes are wet and the chemicals used create a harsh environment, Great Lakes Radiant always recommends a fully stainless system for this application. Fully stainless-steel systems are available in lengths of 20ft to 60ft. With a full stainless system you get:

  • Silicone sealed burner box to prevent water and chemicals from damaging the parts and components
  • 304 and 409 grade stainless-steel construction
  • Stainless-steel tubes, reflectors, clamps, hangers, and supports
  • Stainless-steel gas flex connector
  • Other stainless-steel accessories by request

If the environment isn’t extremely harsh, or the heater will be placed in an area where it will not be continuously assaulted with water and chemicals, it might be appropriate to choose a heater with just a sealed burner box (SB). In this instance, the burner box will be sealed with silicone to prevent damage. Systems with just a sealed burner box are available in lengths of 20ft to 80ft.

Most Re-Verber-Ray heaters can be upgraded to a fully stainless-steel system if requested. These upgrades mean the factory at Detroit Radiant Products will build your system with these extra tough components. If you find another heater model that interests you, ask our experts if it can be upgraded to a fully stainless-steel system.

Keep in mind that car washes are a special application, so unique considerations must be made when installing a low intensity infrared heater. Heaters are most often installed on a side wall of the car wash, out of the way of the washing equipment and any vehicles that pass through. All hoses, tubes, wiring, or other connective materials that keep the washing equipment running should be outside of the clearances to combustibles window for the unit. Fresh air should be taken from outside the space so water is not drawn into the burner box through the air inlet. Further, the unit should be exhausted out of the space to prevent moisture from entering through the exhaust end and to ensure exhaust gases are not lingering in the space.

At Great Lakes Radiant & Industrials, our experts can assist you with any questions you have including design, heat loss calculations, technical, installation and more! Feel free to give us a call and ask about our Re-Verbery-Ray low intensity gas-fired infrared heating options for your car wash. And, next time you are pulling into a car wash, look up! You might just see one of our Re-Verber-Ray brand heaters hanging overhead!

Call us at 888-501-0252 or email [email protected] for more information.