DIY: Spot free car wash setup

Discussion in 'DIY Instructables' started by joebush44, May 18, 2017.

  1. joebush44
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    joebush44 Well-Known Member

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    Instead of derailing another semi-related car washing thread, I figured I'd create a new one for this topic, specifically.

    I'm going to take a stab at a DYI "spot free" filtration setup for my car washing. There are several "purpose built" de-ionozation/filtration systems out there, but they are expensive ($350+). This DIY kit won't DI the water, but should at least filter sediments, calcium, chlorine, etc...and in theory, it should at least improve my water spotting situation. I figure for ~$50 it's worth a shot.

    The last time I washed my car, it had started drying (water spotting) before I could even get the car halfway dried. I use a leaf blower to dry my car due to the soft Subaru clearcoat that seems to scratch/swirl/haze if you even look at it the wrong way. Besides, the leaf blower gets the water out of all the jams, grill, mirrors, and such to minimize excess water drippage. I'm sure my neighbors are annoyed by it and think I'm crazy, but it works great, especially on a freshly waxed car.

    Here's a thread describing basically what I'm looking to throw together:
    http://www.moddedmustangs.com/forum...sh-diy-screw-you-mr-clean-i-ll-do-myself.html

    Thoughts? Anyone currently using their own DIY filter/spot free setup similar to this one?
     
  2. '15 WRX
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    '15 WRX Member

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    I have been trying to piece together my own filtration kit. I have narrowed it down to two 10" filter housings. One will use a cation resin cartridge to reduce the hardness of the water, and one with a deionization filter cartridge. I have not bit the bullet yet, but that is my plan of attack.

    Filter housing
    http://www.discountfilterstore.com/water-filter-whole-house-pentek-hfpp-pr10.html

    Softening cartridge
    http://www.purewaterproducts.com/products/fc305

    Deionization cartridge
    http://www.discountfilterstore.com/replacement-de-ionization-cartridge-hydrologic-22017.html
     
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  3. joebush44
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    joebush44 Well-Known Member

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    Nice! That's a bit more than I was looking to spend, but I'm sure the effectiveness of the system correlates with dollars spent to a certain extent. The DI cartridge would be a nice addition to just the softener/filter. I was also only looking at products that I can get locally at Home Depot or something, but maybe I really should shop around online...
     
  4. xsmooth69x
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    xsmooth69x Member

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    What I did was use a whole house water filter but got a refillable cartridge

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JFB0CF8/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Then I refill it with my own DI/RO resin

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000X92KOC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Those really expensive CR spotless systems, you have to refill those with DI/RO resin. Obviously they have a huge tank and some have like a digital readout and all that crap but you need to use DI/RO resin.

    Im not a huge fan of the water softener... you just exchanging calcium (what makes hard water) with sodium. So unless you have huge hard water issues this set would just add to the DI/RO resin and wearing it down faster. You could get a sediment filter but my house already runs one so everything is picked up before it hits my DI/RO filter on my pressure washer when I flip it over to hit the car with spot free rinse.

    My setup goes like this

    House> hose> Y valve (flip between regular or filter)> Depending what is flipped, filter or bypass hose>Y connection > small hose> pressure washer

    I have everything mounted on my pressure washer so I just have to screw in 1 hose
     
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  5. xsmooth69x
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    xsmooth69x Member

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    This is how I justified my purchase. $100 upfront cost... or 14-15 carwashs a year.... and I need to save that money during the winter when I have to wash my car off all the god damn time

    My driveway is in direct sunlight, So I would have to speed clean my car then I would quickly drive it down the street to my gas station and pay $7 for a carwash to get the spot free (because Im lazy as ****). But honestly I cant dry the entire car off before it would start spotting (unless I was it at the crack of dawn or when the sun is setting). There are other things that can help if you dont want to have a big upfront cost. You can use additives you spray on the car while its wet (essentially I believe its like a polymer that makes the water bead up and then slip off) to help dry the car off faster.

    Im not going to lie to you everything above is not "spot free" its more like "less spots" unless the water is 0 ppm or below 30 ppm you cant really just wash and forget about it. I still dry and quick wax the car. I just gives me a lot of breathing room to dry the car off and not have spots etching into my paint while I get around to drying the car off.

    Also to combat the car drying when I actually wash the car with soap.... Foam gun! Keeps the car all soaped up and it doesn't dry as fast and give you a nice buffer of time as well. You dont have to keep wetting the car as often.
     
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  6. Krazylegz1485
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    Krazylegz1485 Well-Known Member

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    This sounds pretty magical. Total investment? Pics?
     
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  7. joebush44
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    joebush44 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a nice setup! I suppose I could add another canister (pre-DI/RO) with a sediment filter in it to filter it before it goes onto the resin filter.

    So roughly how many washes do you get out of one full resin canister before you're having to change the resin out? It looks like one of those bags for $35 will fill a 10" canister approx 4 times.

    Do you use a pressure washer when you have the water running through the filter or just regular hose? Just wondering how restrictive it is.

    Also interested :)
     
  8. xsmooth69x
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    xsmooth69x Member

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    Havent hand washed the car yet... I need to drag the pressure washer out of the basement. Shes not elegant mostly everything is suspended on a bungee cord because I didn't want to drill into the plastic on the pressure washer or take time to make some fancy bracket :p

    Honestly I havent really counted on how many washes. I should.... the resin changes colors so you know when to change it out. Depending on how bad/good your water is will really depend on the life.

    The CR-120 spotless car system $240 runs about 7lbs of resin ($45 refill cost) gets around ~150 gallons (there resin isnt that good either)

    Now how bad your water is and how many gallons you use to "less spot free" rinse your car is up to you.

    I even restrict the water slightly that comes out of the filter to the pressure washer to give it more time to do its magic. Since its a whole house water filter and not a tank where the water can have time to do its business its slightly less efficient. Thats why those CR spotless car systems are so large. They only use a 20" cartridge with 7lbs of resin so it has enough extra room that probably a gallons or 2 of water gets to sit around before its discharged.
     
  9. xsmooth69x
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    xsmooth69x Member

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    ~$32 filter housing with integrated bypass valve ( I didnt know how stiff the valve was so i regret the purchase but instead would opt for a cheaper one without) also make sure it has metal threads (cheap ones are all plastic, so its just another point of ailure)

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000E78XH6/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    ~$12 for the refillable cartridge
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JFB0CF8/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    ~$35 for the resin (cheapest online but you can pick it up locally at most fish stores but would probably be expensive)
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000X92KOC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    2x ~$12 ($24 total) for the value pack valves (probably could find it cheaper
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0154EEUNE/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    ~$8-15 3ft leader hose (can get this anywhere)
    *Now what I did was cut the leader hose into 4 parts (not equal lengths but whatever fit)

    3x ~$3-7 (total $9-21) Female hose clamp connector (I used the clamp style)

    ~$3-7 Male hose clamp connector (I used the clamp style)

    2x ~$3-7 (total $6-14) 3/4 npt male to "X" (depending on your leader hose it could be; standard 5/8 but could be 3/8, 1/2, 3/4)

    Total build cost on the low end ~$120

    My layout----

    Bypass -
    1x Hose assembly; preexisting Female hose end --- clamp Female hose end

    Garden hose from house> 2 way splitter > leader hose with Female end> clamped another Female end > the last 2 way splitter

    Filter -
    2x Hose assembly; clamped Female hose end --- 3/4 npt Male
    Other side of the 2 way splitter > (1x) clamped Female end onto hose other side clamped 3/4 npt Male> filter> (1x) 3/4 npt Male onto hose other side clamped Female hose> the other side of the last 2 way splitter

    Last 2 way splitter to pressure washer
    1x Hose assembly; preexisting Male ---- clamp Male hose end
    Last section of 2 way splitter> pressure washer

    Remember its not "spot free" its "spot less" Everyone's millage will very depending on how bad your water is
     
  10. joebush44
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    joebush44 Well-Known Member

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    Holy crap, thanks for laying it all out, much appreciated! It seems that having a setup with the RO/DI capabilities is basically a requirement. Like I said, I'd probably have to change it up a bit for myself to incorporate a pre-filter of some kind before going into the RO/DI canister. This will definitely be something I'm going to look into more and at the top of my to-do list.
     
  11. xsmooth69x
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    xsmooth69x Member

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    How bad is your water? My house has a whole house water filter (which was nice that the one I bought came with 2 free cartridges so I didnt have to buy ones for the house) which filters the water that goes outside as well. Then specific lines get the water softener.

    If you have a house might as well buy 2 but then have one connected to your house and get those benefits. Then all you have to worry about is the filter you use for the car
     
  12. joebush44
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    joebush44 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it's terrible, but it's bad enough to leave little white spots on my car if I don't dry it off quickly enough! I live in town, but I don't have a softener, filter, nothing fancy, that's preexisting in the house. That's probably not a bad idea to look into as well.
     
  13. xsmooth69x
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