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Preventive Maintenance: Tools of the Trade

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preventive maintenance tools
Preventive Maintenance. (Photo: ©iStockphoto.com/pagadesign)

Lee Ferguson |

CHICAGO — If you’ve read my columns, I hope you realize that performing routine preventive maintenance (PM) on your laundry equipment is a must if you want to get the most out of it. These efforts touch on utility-cost savings, maintaining customer satisfaction and extending the life of your equipment.

To properly perform PM, and to maintain equipment in general, you need to have the necessary tools. Start with a basic wrench, screwdriver and socket set. You’ll also want a pair of pliers and a good 3-pound mallet.
Looking down the line, you should think about adding a grease gun, wire brush and needle-nose pliers. Two other investments that I would recommend are a commercial wet/dry shop vacuum and a small air compressor. These things will be utilized more than you can imagine, and you will definitely get your money’s worth.
What about parts? Well, stock one belt for each size washer and dryer. You also need at least one water valve and drain valve for each size washer. Water-inlet hoses are inexpensive, so plan on keeping a few on the shelf. One door handle should be all you need for your washers.
As far as dryers go, I recommend having at least one each of the following: lint screen, door lock, igniter/glow bar, and ignition cable. One computer-control board for each type of equipment would definitely be a plus, if you could manage that cost in your budget.
If there are inverters on your washers, you’ll want to have several fan filters in stock. If your dryers use sprockets and chains, keeping one of each in stock is recommended.
Having a piece of equipment down costs you more in the long run than just replacing the broken part. For example, if you get four turns per day on a piece of equipment that vends at $4 per turn, you’re losing $16 per day, every day, while that unit is down. Then you have to order the part using overnight shipping (ridiculously expensive) and find the time to replace that part or hire someone to do the job.
However, if you have the part in stock, you can remove and replace the broken part as soon as it goes down, keeping your customers happy, your equipment running and money coming into the laundry. Isn’t this the name of the game?
If you have any maintenance questions, please send them to ppartyka@crain.com.
 

About the author

Lee Ferguson

Laundry Equipment Services, Inc.

Service and Parts Manager, Laundry Equipment Services Inc.

Ferguson has worked as a service technician, and a service and parts manager for 13 years. He is currently the service and parts manager at Laundry Equipment Services, Inc., in Berkeley Springs, W. Va.

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