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Show Highlights

Graham and Jake cover a wide range of construction tips to make running a float center easier. Everything from making sure you have extra storage to installing mop closets with sinks in them for dealing with heavy duty chemicals.

The advice is pretty much a shotgun approach of tips, tricks, and hard lessons learned throughout the years.

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Transcription of this episode… (in case you prefer reading)

Graham: All right, hey, welcome, everybody. Let me introduce myself over here on the microphone. Graham is who I am.

Jake: He’s Graham, yeah.

Graham: That was Jake.

Jake: Oh, yeah, that’s me. I’m Jake.

Graham: Jake-ity snakesters over there and we’re gonna be answering some of your construction questions, of which today’s is, “What should I build into my float center at the beginning to make my life easier once I’m up and running?”

Jake: That is —

Graham: That almost rhymed.

Jake: Yeah, that’s a good question. Clearly somebody who spends time in the float center.

Graham: All of the questions are good or amazing.

Jake: Oh, they’re all great. These are high quality. I love them. I love them all.

Things to make it easier for your staff, right? Because eventually you’ll have the capacity where your tanks are full and people are working and they’re humming. How do you streamline that? We have personally figured out a lot of streamlining, out of necessity. Float On is only 1612 square feet. We run six tanks. We’re open 24 hours a day. Things need to run smoothly. We’re always willing to break systems for a new system that will be better. So some of the things we like —

Graham: Sort of like breaking your own arm so you can put on that robotic arm that you’ve always been —

Jake: Yeah, right. Clearly better. I like a dishwasher. I think it’s one of the big ones that I really like for a couple reasons. One, you need to think about it when you first design your floor plans because you need drainage. You need power for it and everything like that. Two, I think that it removes some strife in the life of your employees —

Graham: Also kind of rhyme-y. That was good.

Jake: Just one of these days, I guess. If you walk into a float center —

Graham: Who would settle for anything less? Sorry.

Jake: So you walked into the best of the float centers.

You walk into a float center, and you’re typically gonna see tea or kombucha or something like that, and you don’t want to use plastic cups because that’s kind of wasteful and bad for the environment. So you have all these mugs or all these cups sitting around, and it’s just like having roommates when you’re working with your fellow employees. It kind of gets into that situation where, “oh, I did the dishes last” or “oh, I did the dishes last”. We actually experienced this at Float On, and then one day we were like, we can’t deal with this anymore, nor do we want to trust people to clean cups, to get lipstick off of them or keep sponges around or do any of the stuff that we’ve been doing. Let’s just get a dishwasher, and it has been an amazing thing for our staff, for timing, and for I don’t want to say the sanitation of our cups because they are always clean, but I know they’re clean now.

Graham: It’s for the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re blasting things with high temperature water.

Jake: And you’re no longer paying your staff to wash dishes. That’s not the best use of their time.

Graham: No.

I like a dishwasher. We have a really tiny one, too.

Jake: We do.

Graham: It’s like a mini, little countertop —

Jake: Just enough for the mugs.

Graham: You can almost picture it inside a tiny home. It’s very compact. And often requires plumbing in from the beginning. Or you can add connections in and stuff like that.

Jake: You could theoretically use splitters from your washer lines, and you could drain into your utility sink and stuff like that. But it’s much better from day one if you plan it out.

Graham: This is stuff we’ve talked about before, but just to kinda toss it back out there, big utility sink is great to have in there.

Jake: Oh, I love the utility sink.

Graham: Three bays with the platforms on the side. Yeah, drain boards is what they’re called, apparently.

Jake: Stainless steel, if you can. The stainless steel ones are twice the price though you’re looking to jump from $400 to $900, but definitely worth it over the long haul.

Graham: Mop sink, same thing. It’s really nice if you have the space for it.

Jake: Especially if you have cartridge filters on-site, right? Because those need to be demineralized, those need to be sitting hydrochloric and sulfuric acid, and that’s a five-gallon bucket. Well, at 8 and a half pounds for each gallon of water. You can see how that gets heavy very quickly.

Graham: And now you’re picking up an acid solution, trying to dump it into something that’s waist-height.

Jake: All kinds of crazy things, yeah.

Graham: Any time you would have picked up something to put it in the utility sink, having a mop sink instead is so much nicer.

Jake: And we’re always riding our people about wearing their P.P.E., their Personal Protective Equipment, but still, you can’t be there every hour of the day.

Graham: P.P.E., is that what you call it?

Jake: Yeah.

Graham: Is that what people call it, other than you?

Jake: That’s what kids on the street call it.

Graham: All right. Good enough for me, then.

Jake: But yeah, it’s just good things to have around, like an eye wash station involved, too, because if they’re dealing with that acid, worst case scenario, if they do get a little splash in their peepers, you want there to be something to wash that away.

Graham: Yeah, definitely. And that’s anything that’s safety-oriented, too, I think is just so important, and actually give your staff access to from the very beginning. And yourself, when you’re still working the center.

Jake: Yeah, absolutely.

Graham: Hose bibs or spigots inside of all the rooms —

Jake: Or subcaulks depending on where you’re at.

Graham: That was something that we really immediately regretted not having in the rooms after we built out. It’s so nice to just be able to hook up a hose directly inside your room —

Jake: With temperature control, as well, so you’re not just putting cold water into your float tank, so you can actually get temperature controls on that.

Graham: Yes, filling up the float tanks, spraying down the room with a little more pressure. Just the ability to have a hose in any room, and preferably with a little quick release mechanism so you can just–

Jake: The vacuum breaker on there, making sure when you do fill your tanks, you don’t pull any of that back into the potable water supply.

Graham: We’ve definitely mentioned some of these things before, but it’s only because they are so nice to have. I really don’t mind doubling down on them. My ideal center would 100% come with a spigot in every single room.

Jake: Some other things we like to see. I guess this is more just housekeeping, but I like to see a little area, maybe some cubbies or some coat hooks or something like that, for your staff to put their stuff. So often, you walk into a float center and people’s personal items are just sitting on the back counter. It’s not a big thing, it’s certainly not safety, but it does look a little cluttered, you know what I mean? It’s just something that I think is nice, if you have the square footage for it.

Graham: Yeah, for sure.

I guess, on the extreme side which we don’t have and I’ve only really seen in one place, I always think of these. It’s like a step above the hose bib, which is a giant, coiled, crazy spray hose that you can pull down, like Andy Larson’s Float Milwaukee, which is just amazing. You can go to some great lengths, just to be able to pressure wash, essentially, the inside of your float rooms and build that in from the very beginning, which is super cool. Again, the little bit rewind to my last one. Kind of like a more extreme level of it.

Jake: Some other things that make our employees’ lives better. We have one-way egress locks. After about, what is it, midnight. So we’re open 24 hours, which you guys may or may not know, which means that we’re open during bar close. We are open late into the night, and between the hours of 3, 4, a.m., some of our staff are in back rooms, doing some deep cleaning and stuff like that, doing some water chemistry while clients are floating in other rooms. We just didn’t want people coming into our lobby unannounced or anything like that, for a couple reasons. Safety and a whole range of reasons. You can imagine why wouldn’t want that

What are some other things we like to do, make our staff’s lives better, easier, more efficient in the float center?

Graham: The less technical side: building in storage and just some places to put a lot of the things that you change out, room to room, every single transition, to make sure that it’s easily accessible, whether that’s little storage closets in between the rooms or I’ve even seen some people that just have a little, if the rooms are big enough with the float tanks, a little area in the room they keep a lot of the back-up supplies —

Jake: A little cabinet back there.

Graham: Yeah, exactly, just if they forgot something in their back workroom, grab it really quick from there to restock it. Clever things like that. Just making sure that the storage locations you’re choosing are easily accessible and make sense with the flow of your space, I think is good.

Jake: Yeah, I think it’s great, definitely. Cool.

Graham: Yeah, I think those are some really good tips. There’s probably more out there, but that’s a lot of the bulk of the things that really do, if you start without those, you really notice them. Maybe except the eye wash station, which you might not notice until something goes horribly wrong. When something does, you’ll be very glad that it’s there.

And if you have questions of your own, head on over to floattanksolutions.com/podcast.

/JakeandGrahamareawesome, and we will answer your questions.

Jake: All right. Have a great day, guys. Thank you.

Graham: Bye.

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