As the evenings get lighter and a little bit warmer, now is the perfect time to have a look at your van system and equipment and carry out some maintenance. Now we know it is not as exciting but spending some time on your van will be worth it - we promise. Our director, Darren, is on hand to help as he has pulled together a list of his top tips.   Wiring Now I know you have heard me go on about this many times in the past but nine times out of 10 if a problem develops it won’t be down to the pump or controller, it will be a fault in the wiring. A system may run trouble-free for many months, but due to the moist environment and movement of the van, faults may appear unless routine maintenance is carried out. Here are my top tips to nip any problems in the bud before they cause an issue:
  • Battery terminals – always try and get good battery terminals (ideally not crocodile clips). If they are rusty, it is best to replace them. With battery terminals you can tighten them with a spanner, which will ensure an incredibly good connection meaning the power cables to the controller are spot on.
  • Wire connectors – take a look at all the connections, gently take them apart to inspect them and make sure there is no rust. Make sure all the wires are inside the connectors (not loose, hanging out or joined with tape). If necessary, fit new connectors, I prefer male/female bullet connectors.
  • Fuse holder – check the fuse holder is free from rust and the correct size fuse is fitted (as per manufacturer instructions). Try not to use a bigger size fuse than recommended, as if there is a fault in the system a bigger fuse will not blow quickly enough.
  • Cables – check all the cables are in good condition with no damage.
We supply a handy kit with new wires, fuse holder and bullet connectors, which can be used if you need to replace any of the parts listed above. I did a short video to demonstrate how to fit the bullet connectors.   Pumps If a pump strainer is fitted, gently take this apart and clean out the mesh filter, but remember to turn the stop tap on the tank outlet off first! On some pumps there are two spade connectors on the pressure switch on the bottom of the pump, sometimes these can work themselves loose, so it is always good to check these are secure.   Poles Some suppliers recommend carrying out pole maintenance every two weeks to prolong the life of the pole but, I probably do it once a month. I take each section apart, clean it with soapy water, rinse the inside out with a hosepipe and replace any stop tape if necessary. I also apply dry lubricant to help the sections glide better. Check out this video demonstrating pole maintenance. You can also inspect the clamp levers to ensure they are still working nicely; the clamps do wear out over time. New clamps are available from most suppliers and a replacement set of clamps can prolong the life of your pole rather than having to replace the whole thing.   Inspect brushes Just like we are supposed to change our toothbrushes every so often, the same is true for window cleaning brushes. If the bristles are starting to fall out or are worn at the edges and starting to lose shape, it might be time to replace them. Sometimes leaving the brush in hot water for a few minutes can help to rejuvenate it.   Reels Reel the hose all the way out and check all the bolts on the reel are tight and replace any that are missing. It is also a good opportunity to check that all the hose connectors are in good condition as these can also become worn over time and start to leak. Exceed Innovations supply some great Slick-Connect connectors which offer many advantages to the standard rectus 21 and rectus 26 couplings.   Let me know your top tips for routine maintenance by sending a message.