Water parks are all the rage among all age groups since you have rides that cater to visitors of different demographics. As the winter is gradually gaining pace, water parks in North America have already closed or are preparing to close down. Yet, closing down a water park is not as simple as flicking a switch to cut the power to the entire water park and putting a chain on the gate to lock it. Proper maintenance of your water park before closing ensures that your rides are ready for summer action when you open up again during the spring season. Similarly, a thorough inspection during water park opening can help you avoid ride breakdowns and a costly maintenance bill by the end of the season.
There are different reasons behind following a consistent maintenance schedule for your water park rides. This article will highlight the benefits and also provide your tips for Commercial Waterpark Equipment.
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Benefits from Regularly Maintaining your Water Park Equipment
- Overall Cost
Getting your rides maintained while running efficiently may seem like unnecessary expenses, but it is not. With regular maintenance, the Water park builders ensure that the running parts are regularly oiled, and the nuts & bolts remain tightened. This way, the rides keep running smoothly, and you don’t need to worry about shutting a ride because of a breakdown. Remember, a blocked-off ride would eat into your water park’s revenue and end up becoming a costly affair.
- Extended Lifecycle
When your rides are regularly maintained, the overall lifecycle of the rides is increased. Your water park equipment pieces run for an extended time before requiring any part replacements.
- Visitor Safety
From regular usage, certain parts of your water park rides will be worn out. If they are not replaced at the right time, it might break and cause fatal accidents. Regular water park maintenance allows you to identify critical parts that may require replacements and can break anytime.
- Curb Appeal
Given an option, which would you choose? A ride that looks brand new or a slightly worn down ride. People tend to prefer the outer look and assume the ride quality to be better in the brand new ride. Keeping the exterior fiberglass shiny, scrubbing off the calcium build-up, and removing rust from the metal supports, your visitors will continue to get a great user experience and motivate them to visit repeatedly. This will increase the curb appeal of your park.
- Avoid water-borne illnesses
The water used in most water parks is not from running water sources such as a river, pond, or reservoir. The stagnant water needs to be pumped around to be filtered and sometimes drained to scrub the pool surface to remove any algal formation. Failure to do so can cause a mass-contraction of different skin issues or water-borne illnesses and make the pool surface slippery and prone to accidents.
Tips for better water park Maintenance
1) Read the manuals
For any machinery or rides in your water park, the water park equipment manufacturers should have provided an operation and maintenance (O&M) manual. This O&M manual is the best friend for those operating the ride as it gives clear instructions about keeping the ride in prime shape and operation guidance for optimum performance. This helps run the ride within the safety limit and understand how the manufacturer expects you to take proper care of their creations.
2) Drain the pipes for ‘Winterization.’
During the onset of winter, water parks also undergo ‘hibernation.’ The cold weather can make water accumulate and freeze. This can cause expansion inside the pipelines and damage them internally. This can wreak havoc on the gasket seals, causing you to replace them when you open up in the spring season. Remove the bleed cap and drain any leftover water inside the waterslides, tubes, and pipes.
3) Protect the outer fiberglass
Sun’s ultraviolet rays are damaging to the outside of your fiberglass slides, flumes, splash bowls, etc. The consequences can be
- Severe color fade
- the top layers becoming brittle and start to come off as flakes
- the sliding surface becomes coarse & generates friction
Apply protective wax on the exteriors of all your water rides before closing off from winter and also right before you open for the spring season. This will reduce UV exposure damages and keep your rides smooth and slick from the active season.
4) Create a cleanup checklist
While managing a water park, multiple tasks need simultaneous coordination. Also, there are innumerous things that need to be monitored, and it is natural to overlook certain safety protocols. This can turn into a severe issue if it affects the customer experience of your guests. While conducting maintenance tasks, it is comparatively more manageable if you create a cleanup checklist followed after closing and before opening the water park for the masses. This way, you can easily divide responsibilities among the cleaning crew and make the overall process smooth.
5) Conduct a soft opening
The winter season could be harsh on the different water park equipment, and months of stagnation can cause debris like leaves and dust to get collected inside your equipment. This may be overlooked even after preliminary washing and maintenance. Before opening your water park, conduct strict inspections and run a soft opening days before the actual opening.
Run fresh water through all the equipment and ensure the flow is consistent. This way, any problem that is surfaced can be addressed way before the park is reopened.
6) Double-check the electrical systems
Electricity is vital for keeping the pumps operating and the rides running smoothly. On the other hand, electricity doesn’t bode well with water and should be kept separated from each other. Always check that the area around the power lines, electrical connections, and control panels is electrically isolated to avoid shock risks.
7) Create a schedule
Even though it is compulsory to schedule an inspection and maintenance job after park closure during the off-season and before opening during the active season, depending on the visitors per day, certain rides can require earlier maintenance owing to wear and tear. It is advisable to monitor the visitor flow on different rides and prepare a maintenance schedule for those rides that observe maximum footfalls. This way, you can easily track your rides’ health and ensure that the water park operates without any interruptions.
8) Clear the drains
Drains are the most commonly serviced component in a water park as most of the debris is collected in gutters that can clog it if not cleaned frequently. The drain stops more significant debris such as leaves, twigs, lost items from the visitors from entering the filtration system. So if the drain is clogged, the filtration pump needs to run harder to draw the water into the filtration system. Thankfully clearing the drains is as easy as letting the water out from the pool and manually picking out the debris collected.
9) Safety check the children’s play units.
Aquatic play units such as the kiddie racer and spray jets allow kids to enjoy themselves without much adult intervention. This amount of trust is generated from the equipment quality, and you need to manually inspect the children’s play unit to maintain the reputation. Check for calcium build-up, cracks, wear and tear signs, and chipping on the playing surface to cause injury to the young visitors. Change any broken sprays, replace the hoses at the first sign of cracks, and inspect the seals around the joints.
10) Use the chemical treatment for pool water judiciously.
To maintain the pool chemistry, you need to add certain chemicals to your water park pools. It is essential to maintain the balance as excessive chemicals can cause a range of reactions in the body, such as:
- Skin irritation
- Inflammation sensation in eyes
- Rashes on the top skin layer
- Sores on different areas of the body
It is advisable to regularly use a water testing kit to ensure the balance between the free radical chlorine and chlorine ions in the water that helps fight against algal infestation.
Your job, running the water park efficiently, depends heavily on how many of the tips mentioned above you are regularly following. Moreover, the quality of the water park equipment also affects the amount of work you need to maintain your water park. It is advisable to contact an experienced water park builder such as Splashtacular for your equipment requirements.