Running out of POD Outputs

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Short on outputs?  Here’s a few things to check and some easy fixes to keep your wash running!


Without making any sacrifices:

Verify the POD

The standard Tommy Car Wash Systems POD has a maximum of 35 functions, specifically 20 chemical/water functions and 15 auxiliary air functions. Most car washes are completed with fewer than 35 of these connections in use. In addition, due to the nature of the layout the the connectors used, you may have as many as 42 wires coming from the pod. Double check and make sure that all functions are in use, and that only active outputs are wired, generally 33 or fewer. (Your POD could be using as much as 9 extra outputs if an electrician lands unnecessary wires.)

Consolidate Triple Coat Outputs

Make sure your 3 triple coat functions are tied to a single output. You can do this 3 ways, 1. Use a single air line to feed all 3 solenoids, 2. Use a single wire to feed all 3 coils, or 3. (The most common method) make sure all 3 control wires are landed on one output. This third method saves 2 outputs when wired correctly. (Saves 2 outputs).

Use 2 Pole Relays for LED Light Bars

Any LED light bars (such as the Red Hot Lava, Hot Wax, Ice, and Slipstream) used to intensify soap application experience should be wired into the same output as their respective soap function. Since these are active from front bumper to back bumper and do not flash there is no need for the use of an additional output. Instead you will need a double pole relay fed with 24v to one and 110v for the other and land both on the same output. Controllers shipped after 3/1/16 come with double pole relay outputs included for up to 4 functions (this typically saves 4 outputs).

Set Entrance Module Defaults to “Please Drive Forward” Slide

Ensure you are not using an output for the “Please Drive Forward” slide. Instead there should be one output for each wash package. For instance, good, better, best. (Save 1 output.)

Chain Tension should not Use an Output

If your car wash uses a Chain and Roller conveyor, make sure your chain tension is not using an output. Chain tension is not a controller function so there is no need for an output. Roller up, however, does require the use of an output. Simply plumb to the normally open side of the solenoid or push and turn the red button to set chain tension to remain always on. Use the regulator to control pressure.  (Saves 1 output.)

Time Delay Relays on Blowers

A common practice at our corporate stores is to install time delay relays on the blowers. With the design of the Tommy blower system you have multiple blowers per arch. It’s critical they are set to never start at the same time, as this will save unnecessary demand load. This system allows you to use one output per arch (or two on arches with top and side blowers for truck bed functionality). When the output fires the time delay relays automatically fire the additional blowers on that arch, in a staggered pattern. You need only program one function per arch with a lower likelihood of two firing at once. In addition, every blower on a time delay does not require an output. In fact, if a Tommy representative knows you are tight on outputs we’ll automatically include time delay relays in your package. (Save up to 8 outputs!)

Water Pumps

The all in one pump station has a unique system that directs water to where it’s needed most. Through the 3 solenoids for the 3 high pressure functions we can also start the pumps in parallel. In this way when any solenoid is open, the pumps are running as well. This can be accomplished both through wiring or software. (Saves 2 outputs.)

 Relax / Go light

The Relax / Go light optimally runs on 2 outputs but instead can be run on a single output if you use a relay to leave the “Relax” light active at all times time unless an output is fired to trigger the “Go” light. (Saves 1 output.)

Heated Blowers

Because they are small motors, and inline with each other, overhead heated blowers can be started from a single output if you have 2 or 3 heated blowers. (Saves 1-2 outputs.)

Lighting Circuits

Check site lighting circuits. It is possible that circuits can be grouped differently to turn on and off at same time with the use of fewer outputs. Rooms with light switches, including the storage tower or dry backroom, do not need outputs.

Minimal sacrifices:

Service Lights

Service indicator lights or light strips can be linked to their respective soap function. The only shortcoming is that you won’t be able to flash the lights, they will be always on while the soap function is active.

Prep Gun Pump

Can be wired directly to the switch to relieve its one output. However, the danger in doing is that you eliminate the automatic time out function as well as the lockout while equipment is running safety function. Therefore we recommend avoiding this work around.

Rainbow Coat Pre-Rinse

This arch is normally run on every car to knock a little soap off the car before it’s reapplied. Previously we used to tie this rain bar function directly to the triple coat, therefore running the pre-rinse with and only with the Rainbow Coat application. Doing so saves an output, but you won’t be able to use that light rinse on every car.

Hot Wax

Consider doing the same for the Hot Wax pre-rinse rain bar, tying it directly to the Hot Wax output.

Wrap Module Foamers

To save one additional output in a crisis situation you can tie leg 1 and leg 2 foamers on a particular wrap module onto one output. The loss here is the timing will not be exact and the soap on leg 2 will activate a bit early and leg 1 a bit late because you’ll have to extend the on-time of the function. This can waste a soap in the long run.

Other Consolidations

Find any 2 items that activate and deactivate the same time and you can utilize a single output for them both, unless they are separated by wash package programming. For instance, a rocker blaster used on Leg 2 of a combo unit can be run in parallel with Leg 2 foamers as both activate on every vehicle, every wash package. Pumps and Blowers can also be looped together in a worst case scenario but you lose the savings of staggered start unless you install a time delay relay.

If none of these steps are suitable you may also buy additional outputs by an adding an output card or a remote I/o module.

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