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Clean Educational Session: Tips for Keeping Energy Costs Down

Paul Partyka |

NEW ORLEANS — Saving energy and reducing maintenance costs are top on the minds of self-service laundry owners in these challenging economic times, says Tony Polegri, Harco Co. service manager, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Polegri addressed a standing-room-only crowd at a Thursday-morning Clean Show educational session.Polegri offered the following washer tips:

  • Keep a close eye on the water valves.
  • Is the unit constantly draining during wash cycles? “Something might be caught in the drain valves,” Polegri says. Bra-strap supports may be the culprit. A broken tension spring may also need to be dealt with.
  • Is the timer not advancing? A faulty advance motor might be the cause. “The last thing you want to do is just change the timer,” Polegri cautions. Timers are expensive, he adds.
  • Are there filling problems after the wash is complete? Check the diaphragm; debris might also be a problem. A faulty valve can also cause trouble.
  • Is the washer not extracting? There may be a balance problem. “Under-loading can be a problem,” Polegri says. “I’ve never seen a machine overloaded with clothes.”
  • If you want to keep your bearings in good condition, make sure the water levels are correct. “If the water levels are too high, there’s pressure on the seals.” Keep the bearings greased on a consistent basis if possible, he advises.

With dryers, the No. 1 problem is lint, he says. Lint screens need to be cleaned two or three times a day, in some cases. Use a vacuum cleaner to clear out lint.If you’re experiencing no heat, you may have blocked screens or vents. You also might want to check the gas valve or ignition module.Lastly, don’t ignore makeup air, he warns. “Most openings are too small. You need 1.5 square feet per dryer.” If you don’t do this, you lose hot air and attract customer complaints. 

About the author

Paul Partyka

American Coin-Op

Paul Partyka was editor of American Coin-Op from 1997 through May 2011.

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