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Preventive Maintenance: Washer Tips

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

Lee Ferguson |

CHICAGO — Recently, I’ve written about how performing preventive maintenance (PM) can improve equipment performance and extend equipment life. But let’s face it, there comes a time when even the best equipment starts to show its age.
You’ve probably heard customers say, “Your washers take too long” or “Your machine did not spin out my clothes.” Don’t forget, “My clothes are still wet.” No amount of PM can cover all the situations that can arise when customers use your machines.
Therefore, the process of elimination can become your best friend. Sometimes you need to just sit back and deduce the specific cause of the equipment problems generating complaints.
For example, in regard to the complaints listed above, I would first check the drain. Is it clogged? When lint and various items (bra wires, credit cards, licenses, etc.) get lodged in the drain, it becomes clogged and will not allow water to drain at the required rate. Thus, the machine will finish its cycle, and the clothes will remain soaking wet.
Second, if the machine is not filling properly, the wash cycle will take too long, which prompts customer complaints. In this case, you might have a bad fill. A quick test: Exchange the fill valve with another to see if the problem disappears. If so, order another valve. If you are on top of things, you should have several fill valves on hand.
Another solution to the filling problem may be the level switch. If the switch is bad, it will not allow the machine to fill with the proper amount of water and advance through the entire cycle.
To test the level switch (depending on the washer), you need to ensure there is no crystallized residue buildup on either end of the level-switch tubing (on the level switch itself or the sump of the external tub).
Beyond this, if the water level within the drum still seems higher than usual, I suggest replacing the level switch or contacting your distributor to diagnose further issues.
Don’t get too frustrated. Men made your laundry equipment, and men can fix it. With basic repairs, feel free to experiment; things can always be repaired. However, when it comes to electrical or complicated mechanical-component repairs, don’t attempt the work unless you’re confident in your ability. When in doubt, I strongly suggest you call a qualified service company to deal with these types of repairs.
My next column will feature some operator questions.
Send all your questions to info@americancoinop.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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