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  1. #16

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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    Quote Originally Posted by bennylava View Post
    3. Ten 70 amp outlets on each side (having extra is good here)
    I`m presuming you meant 20 amp outlets. If you`re going to have 20 outlets in a relatively small area, you won`t want them all on the same circuit breaker, maybe 5 breakers, and you don`t want all the ones on the same breaker next to each other...or maybe you do, depending on how you think you`re going to plug things in. I had an electrician working at my house once and he had built his dream garage and had each outlet on it`s own breaker...but...he was an electrician. If you leave it to the builder he`ll put them all on the same breaker.
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  2. #17

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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    I kinda veered off into stuff that`s not *really* related to the washbay...sorry

    Yeah, agree completely..all about *convenience* and making it time/effort-efficient.

    The "point source" lighting I have in the shop is just a bunch of hanging incandescents (modern version would be LEDs), which work fine for me, BUT...you don`t want water to hit `em when they`re hot so they stay off during the actual wash. Note I also have fluorescents on the walls; I like, and need, a *LOT* of light and I`ve never had my shops "too bright" yet.

    And/but, yeah...have lots of separate circuits or you`ll be tripping breakers all the time (my builder`s original electrician [screwed] that up so badly, utterly deviating from my printed specs, that I tossed him off the property and brought in somebody else).

    For a single-car washbay the 30 x 36 would probably be fine. Hard to say since, without having that curtain, I can use as much of the (pretty big) shop as I want as long as I don`t get overspray on the other vehicles. ALthough...that 30" dimension, I dunno...that might be a little tight. Eh, I`m used to *LOTS* of elbow room, like...virtually unlimited...so I`m spoiled. Or at least I was until I,uhm...accumulated...a few too many vehicles

    Yeah, the curtain would go/protect any area where overspray would be an issue. For me that`d mean running it down the middle of the shop floor, but that`d depend on the actual building/layout. Those curtains can be pricey! And they require a cable/track/somesuch that might be a bit tricky to figure out just right the first time.

    I wouldn`t want shelving anywhere near where I`m actually working as I`d worry about overspray/etc. I just have bare walls (other than the lighting/etc.) with Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic for the lowermost 4`. I don`t need to store much Product around the washbay as I keep my every-wash-products on polypropylene carts (again, one on each side plus a third one for other stuff).

    Towels are in big Rubbermaid trashcans (color-coded) on casters. They`re not right there in my washbay, but they could be since they`re waterproof.

    The whole idea behind "what`s actually *in* the washbay area" is related to "would I care if it gets soaking wet?". IME, and I`m awfully careful, sooner or later some hose/etc. will fail, or user-error will rear its ugly head, and it *will* happen..everything soaked in a big way.

    No need for a heated pressure washer as running warm water through mine has always been sufficient. And I`m using the cheapest/weakest pressure washer from AR and it`s *plenty* for washing cars...and safe on the older ones where I could easily do damage.

    I just HVAC the whole building, with zones to direct what happens where.

    Hope the above cleared up anything that was fuzzy.

  3. #18
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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    Quote Originally Posted by Setec Astronomy View Post
    I had an electrician working at my house once and he had built his dream garage and had each outlet on it`s own breaker...but...he was an electrician. If you leave it to the builder he`ll put them all on the same breaker.
    Yes I had planned on that cause the shop I`ve got now just keeps flipping breakers. I always have to make a plan to run my heaters in the winter lol. So I guess this thing is going to have a very large breaker box. Maybe multiple small ones? Cause the wash bay is only part of the building. The rest will be an automotive workshop. I just need a wash bay attached cause I don`t like the way most places wash cars and pro detailers are too much to pay for frequently.

    Quote Originally Posted by Accumulator View Post
    The "point source" lighting I have in the shop is just a bunch of hanging incandescents (modern version would be LEDs), which work fine for me, BUT...you don`t want water to hit `em when they`re hot so they stay off during the actual wash. Note I also have fluorescents on the walls; I like, and need, a *LOT* of light and I`ve never had my shops "too bright" yet.
    Ok so various cool looking light bulbs hanging down from the ceiling at different lengths. And a huge white curtain that`s translucent, on a circular track. You park the car directly below this track and walk the curtain all around the car. I gotta get creative here. This area has to look cool. Why? I dunno.. I want it to! The truth is I love spending a lot of time in my shop, so it`s well worth the money to me if the place looks neato.

    So if you have any ideas that you think would make it look awesomer, I`d love to hear them! (I`m thinking about white subway tiles for walls in the wash bay)


    Quote Originally Posted by Accumulator View Post
    Although...that 30" dimension, I dunno...that might be a little tight. Eh, I`m used to *LOTS* of elbow room, like...virtually unlimited...so I`m spoiled. Or at least I was until I,uhm...accumulated...a few too many vehicles
    I can expand it if necessary. Not really a problem. What size would you save gives you the infinite elbow room? 45`x45`? Any extra space won`t go to waste, I`ll just put some necessary shelving there, or something. Although if it`s that big, perhaps this giant shower curtain idea isn`t really necessary. Although I`d still like to do the curtain just for fun. Maybe just use a larger curtain track.



    Quote Originally Posted by Accumulator View Post
    Towels are in big Rubbermaid trashcans (color-coded) on casters. They`re not right there in my washbay, but they could be since they`re waterproof.
    So one for washing towels, one for drying towels, one for dirty towels.. any other bins?


    Quote Originally Posted by Accumulator View Post
    The whole idea behind "what`s actually *in* the washbay area" is related to "would I care if it gets soaking wet?". IME, and I`m awfully careful, sooner or later some hose/etc. will fail, or user-error will rear its ugly head, and it *will* happen..everything soaked in a big way.
    I guess the only things you might have around that you`d want keep from getting wet are: Product, your towels, your detailing extractor, any other tools or shelving that might be around. I`m trying to get the design all set up in my mind for how to arrange this thing.

    I`m thinking the main thing is the curtain, cause you could just have everything else on the outside of the curtain. When you`re done washing, simply move the curtain. Now you can detail the rest of the car. And if you need anything during the wash, it`s all just right there on the other side of the curtain. Maybe the styling of the wash bay could be something like the early 1900`s. Low hanging light bulbs, white subway tiles, giant curtain, and a bay door on the end to drive out of.

    Quote Originally Posted by Accumulator View Post
    No need for a heated pressure washer as running warm water through mine has always been sufficient. And I`m using the cheapest/weakest pressure washer from AR and it`s *plenty* for washing cars...and safe on the older ones where I could easily do damage.
    I`m hoping for find a good electric power washer, that also works with a long swing arm. The less I deal with cables and hoses, the better. Currently all my air hoses and extension cords come out of the ceiling and roll back up there when I`m done. Huge time saver. I would like to continue that trend. How many PSI is your current power washer? I want to make sure I have plenty of pressure for washing cars, but not so much that I risk damaging the paint.

  4. #19

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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    Quote Originally Posted by bennylava View Post
    Yes I had planned on that cause the shop I`ve got now just keeps flipping breakers. I always have to make a plan to run my heaters in the winter lol. So I guess this thing is going to have a very large breaker box. Maybe multiple small ones? Cause the wash bay is only part of the building. The rest will be an automotive workshop. I just need a wash bay attached cause I don`t like the way most places wash cars and pro detailers are too much to pay for frequently.
    I don`t know about "very large" but from the sound of it you`d want a subpanel for this area. If you have electric heaters you`d probably want to run them on the higher voltage you have, probably 230 or 277 if it`s a newer building, rather than 120. You might want to look into a gas space heater if you`ve got natural gas at this location. I`m expecting Accumulator to chime in also on this electrical stuff.

  5. #20
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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    Quote Originally Posted by Setec Astronomy View Post
    It sounds like you are looking for a reason not to clean your wheels or wash your car. Don`t do it if you don`t want to.
    made my day! Lmao

  6. #21
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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    I don’t prefoam but I do soak a vehicle in APC or degreaser then blast car with pressure washer or hose to knock dirt off. Depending on how motivated I am to drag out my pressure washer.

  7. #22
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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    Quote Originally Posted by Setec Astronomy View Post
    I don`t know about "very large" but from the sound of it you`d want a subpanel for this area. If you have electric heaters you`d probably want to run them on the higher voltage you have, probably 230 or 277 if it`s a newer building, rather than 120. You might want to look into a gas space heater if you`ve got natural gas at this location. I`m expecting Accumulator to chime in also on this electrical stuff.
    Well I`m in Texas and I`m kind of hesitant to run the heater off natural gas. I think I`m just going to do a giant propane tank instead. Natural gas was the reason we had a power outage for 3 days. Seems like we`re liable to run out of gas again at some point, so from now on I`m just going to rely on having power on hand.

    Propane vs Gas kinda sounds like it makes no difference, but I like to mention these things just in case it does. It never fails someone always knows something I didn`t

  8. #23

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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    Propane is fine, when I said "if you`ve got natural gas at this location" I almost added something about propane. Usually gas (propane or natural) is considered a more efficient way to heat, of course going forward I guess a lot of this stuff may be going electric, so maybe your original plan is just as valid.

  9. #24
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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    Quote Originally Posted by Setec Astronomy View Post
    Propane is fine, when I said "if you`ve got natural gas at this location" I almost added something about propane. Usually gas (propane or natural) is considered a more efficient way to heat, of course going forward I guess a lot of this stuff may be going electric, so maybe your original plan is just as valid.
    I believe you`re right about gas being more efficient than electric for heat. Heating up a building with electric will drain the batteries in no time. I believe faster than anything else. I`m probably going to run it all off of solar if possible, except for the heat. I did the math and the batteries would last something like 7 hours running the heaters in the winter. When they may be needed to last several days.

  10. #25

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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    Batteries? Solar? You`d better have a huge array plus a huge battery bank to do the stuff you`re describing. And a lot of $$ for that.

  11. #26

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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    Quote Originally Posted by bennylava View Post
    Thank you for the reply! The reason I`m asking is because I`m actually going to build one about 8 months from now. And I`m not opposed to spending the necessary money to build a really nice one. For me, "nice" just means super convenient. Real easy to do a good wash job with minimal time spent doing it. And hopefully minimal mess. So I`d like to see all this in some form of a picture, to hand over to the builder. I can have someone make the picture/plans, but I`ll need a list to give them. So from your post, the list would look something like:

    1. Floor drain (with oil separator)
    2. Water and air hoses on both sides. Coming from the ceiling for convenience
    3. Ten 70 amp outlets on each side (having extra is good here)
    4. Florescent and point source lighting (point source means pole mounted lights I can move around?)
    5. Nonslip flooring
    6. Size... but how big? Maybe 30`x36` would be ideal? Or 40x40? I wonder how much space you really need if you`re gonna have the curtain.
    7. A huge shower curtain. (I love this idea. It just sort of closes around the car when you`re spraying stuff... correct?)
    8. Plenty of shelving along the walls for storage
    9. Heated power washer on a swing arm?
    10. Water heater (for power washer I assume?)
    11. Washer/dryer
    12. Buckets and shelving on both sides for all wash equipment like more buckets and towels, soap, etc
    13. Jacks and jackstands (yeah i prefer those too as opposed to lifts)
    14. HVAC - (will already have for the workshop area but this car wash may be a different room)
    15. Anything else anyone would add? To make the washes go as quickly as possible?
    Not being a builder or architect, nor am I familiar with the area of Texas that you live in, it would be difficult to access your list for its vehicle detailing correctness.
    1) What are are zoning laws and building codes for your area where you live? Building out in the middle of nowhere or largely rural area is MUCH different than a zoned residential area or a private estate community that may have covenant requirements as to what you can or can build.
    THAT assessment would be my first and most criteria for my detailing garage. That may dictate:
    A) Size of the garage
    b) Overall Height
    C) Ascetics (IE, architectural appearance, which may be cost-prohibitive if it needs to look like the home it is near or attatched to
    D) Meet weather-related codes or fire codes if attached to a home
    E) Building permits and building inspections
    F) Impact it may have on future property and/or building taxes (Very often overlooked!!)
    2) The oil separator for a floor drain may be a local building code AND subject to local or state natural resource department inspections, not to mention periodic cleaning and disposal cost. It`s NOT a cheap must-have. You may also be limited into a certain design style by those codes, especially one that is required to be accessible outside the garage area.
    3) Lighting should be LED. You can find some VERY good info on that within this forum.
    Garage Lighting - Looking for recommendations
    4) Plan on 220V-30Amp service. That Metro blow dryer you`ll want to add needs it
    5) Did you ever think about an enclosed area within this garage for the wash area with plastic walls, kind of like an over-sized shower?
    6) Info on Flooring ? See this thread:
    New floor in shop


    Let us know next year what you decide and any problems you may encounter. Work shops/garages designed specifically with detailing in mind are less talked about subject matter topics, but I think everyone has a specific area of concern or concerns about them for their own work area/garage.
    GB detailer

  12. #27
    dansautodetailing.com Stokdgs's Avatar
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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    Quote Originally Posted by bennylava View Post
    Well I`m in Texas and I`m kind of hesitant to run the heater off natural gas. I think I`m just going to do a giant propane tank instead. Natural gas was the reason we had a power outage for 3 days. Seems like we`re liable to run out of gas again at some point, so from now on I`m just going to rely on having power on hand.

    Propane vs Gas kinda sounds like it makes no difference, but I like to mention these things just in case it does. It never fails someone always knows something I didn`t
    Amigo -
    You are in Texas where all the Fracking is going on, and you have a natural gas shortage???
    How is this possible?
    And a power failure for 3 days because of natural gas???
    Huh???

    Regarding Electrical --

    You absolutely want a licensed Journeyman or above, Electrician, to look at the existing service and make recommendations, and knows the current Electrical Codes for your location today...

    NOT some kid you found on Craigslist, etc...

    You absolutely want minimum 12awg wires for all your 20 amp outlets, and of course, all New 20 amp breakers..
    And bigger wire, 10awg or bigger, for the big usage things like electrical heaters... Your Electrician should know about all this..

    If you decide on electrical heat which is way more expensive than natural gas, you want perhaps another Panel just for that 220/240v power, to run this..

    Your original electrical panel needs to be 100amp minimum and if it`s full , then expanded to a 200amp panel service..

    If its full already and this is a warehouse, etc., you need to have this guy trace all the breakers to where they go and why..

    You want to eliminate All possible weak points, problems, in your panel, AND at all the Plugs, before you start installing all your things..

    And lastly, you need to have whatever Electrical Panel/s used to be clearly Marked at each Breaker, where they are/or what they do...

    The size breaker is already marked on the breaker itself, i.e., 15amp, 20amp, etc.. You just want to know where it is, and/or what it powers at the plug in..

    Good luck with this..
    Dan F

  13. #28
    dansautodetailing.com Stokdgs's Avatar
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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    Quote Originally Posted by bennylava View Post
    Ok well I think that answers my question for the most part, but it does raise another one for me:

    Is there any real way to wash a car that doesn`t scratch the paint? It seems like a power washer is going to push some dirt particles into the clear coat before it blasts them off the car. And of course we all know that wiping a car just rubs dirt into the finish. These both clean the car, but they do some measure of damage to the clear coat.

    Is there any way this can be avoided? Seems like the answer is no, but I just thought I`d ask.

    I have never seen a pressure washer imbed dirt into the paintwork... In fact, if you hold it close enough it will be happy to Remove the paintwork..
    Dan F

  14. #29

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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    I`ve been offline due to Tech issues.....

    So if you have any ideas that you think would make it look awesomer, I`d love to hear them! (I`m thinking about white subway tiles for walls in the wash bay)
    I`d give thought to what walls/finishes will hold up given the application. Painted block works for me, no way I`d bother tiling it (that`s how I did the bathroom).

    ..although if it`s that big, perhaps this giant shower curtain idea isn`t really necessary. Although I`d still like to do the curtain just for fun. Maybe just use a larger curtain track.
    When you price it, you`ll forget about "just for fun" NOT CHEAP by any means.

    So one for washing towels, one for drying towels, one for dirty towels.. any other bins?
    Dirty/wet towels go into laundry tubs on each side of the washbay and from those directly into the shop`s washing machine and dryer. The bins are to keep the various towels separate/sorted/organized/clean and dry.

    I guess the only things you might have around that you`d want keep from getting wet are: Product, your towels, your detailing extractor, any other tools or shelving that might be around. I`m trying to get the design all set up in my mind for how to arrange this thing.
    If your towels are in bins/etc., and your tools/shelves are in the right place, you won`t have to worry about `em getting wet. I don`t care if the extractor gets wet...

    My view is that the washbay is almost always gonna be wet if I`m working there, so I don`t want to keep anything *there* that I need to keep dry.
    I`m thinking the main thing is the curtain, cause you could just have everything else on the outside of the curtain. When you`re done washing, simply move the curtain. Now you can detail the rest of the car.
    Heh heh, you`re making me wish I had that curtain!


    I`m hoping for find a good electric power washer, that also works with a long swing arm. The less I deal with cables and hoses, the better. Currently all my air hoses and extension cords come out of the ceiling and roll back up there when I`m done. Huge time saver. I would like to continue that trend. How many PSI is your current power washer? I want to make sure I have plenty of pressure for washing cars, but not so much that I risk damaging the paint.
    Swing arm? I just use a regular, *very low-end* pressure washer with a long hose. (Specifically, it`s the cheapest AR unit they made back when my wife bought it for me..$79 at Lowe`s) What I`d consider, and *might indeed do soon* , is get a second pressure washer so there`s one on each side of the bay like the redundant systems I have for everything else.

    I`ve found that the smallest/weakest/cheapest pressure washer if fine for washing vehicles, no matter how dirty they get. I`ve had much more powerful ones, but don`t miss `em a bit for this application. So IME you can do fine *for washing vehicles* with the lowest psi/gpm units available.

    I had cord reels hanging at my previous shop, but don`t use much that needs plugged it other than the pressure washer/AirWand/vacuum, and those stay plugged in all the time. I basically don`t do *anything* other than the Maintenance Washes any more, so that`s what the shops set up for. But that`s just how *I* use the shop so your plan oughta be great for how you use yours...sounds like you`ve given it lots of thought.

  15. #30
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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    Quote Originally Posted by Setec Astronomy View Post
    Propane is fine, when I said "if you`ve got natural gas at this location" I almost added something about propane. Usually gas (propane or natural) is considered a more efficient way to heat, of course going forward I guess a lot of this stuff may be going electric, so maybe your original plan is just as valid.
    I have propane in my work garage. For some reason it doesn`t feel warm like oil heat.

 

 
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