CHICAGO — Not every equipment matter in a coin laundry requires a service call. There are some things that the average store owner can do—and should do—to keep their machines in good working condition.
American Coin-Op polled several manufacturers this month about the level of equipment maintenance a store owner should expect to perform, what tasks should be left to trained repairmen, and how much money a store can save by maintaining a consistent preventive maintenance schedule.
Q: Where does equipment maintenance factor in terms of warranty coverage?
Robert Small, senior manager, global commercial laundry service, Maytag Commercial Laundry®: Maintenance is not typically covered under a manufacturer’s warranty.
Leroy Trevigne, key account representative for vended laundries, Pellerin Milnor: It can factor in very prominently. Generally, things such as low water or gas pressure, which does not affect the mechanical ability of the machine, won’t affect the warranty. But if it is something like the wrong voltage, or corrosion due to chemical spill, or anything that will affect the machine mechanically, it will definitely affect the warranty.
Russ Cooper, manager of technical service, Dexter Laundry: Most manufacturers have a clause in their warranty that indemnifies them in the case of abuse or neglect. In some cases, poor maintenance of the machine could nullify the warranty for specific components.
Q: What are the signs that a store has a good preventive maintenance program in place?
Trevigne: If you walk into a store and it is dirty, smelly, trash all over the floor, (and) dust on top of the equipment, on the machine belt guards or grease fittings, (those are) good signs that there is no maintenance there.
Cooper: A well-maintained store is clean, attendants are busy, all equipment is working (and) vending at higher prices and, most importantly, making money.
Small: If a store location is heavily used, a sign of a good preventative maintenance program would be clean and tidy machines and surrounding areas and equipment.
BASIC EQUIPMENT SERVICE TIPS
Following are some basic equipment service tips offered by this month’s experts (with the understanding that not all machines are alike). Keep each machine’s instruction manual close at hand and always check for recommended maintenance.
Vacuum photo-eye components periodically to remove dust
Use card cleaning strip available from distributors to clean lint from reader
Remove readers completely every 12-18 months for more thorough cleaning of optical sensors and reader heads
Provide any specific maintenance described by manufacturer
Clean any electronics using contact cleaner
Lubricate mechanical pivot points as needed
Wrap in water heater jacket for better heat retention
Drain tank at least annually to remove any sediment
Follow manufacturer instructions for any maintenance