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Troubleshooting Can Prevent Unnecessary, Expensive Service Calls

Robert Small |

When coin-operated washers and dryers stop working, the immediate reaction of most laundry owners is to get a repair technician out to fix the problem as soon as possible. Out-of-commission equipment annoys customers and cuts into earnings. Repair visits are expensive, though, so you want to be absolutely positive a technician is needed before you call them, especially in tight economic times like these.On occasion, it’s possible to avoid a service call altogether by performing basic troubleshooting tasks on inoperative equipment — tasks that seem simple, but are not always considered when busy laundry owners are presented with the inconvenience of malfunctioning equipment. The following basic troubleshooting tasks are intended for coin-operated washers and dryers.TROUBLESHOOTING SINGLE-LOAD DRYERSIf one of your dryers isn’t operating, first check to make sure its electrical supply is connected and that the circuit breaker hasn’t been tripped or a fuse hasn’t blown. If it passes these tests, check to see if the dryer’s door is completely closed.There’s also the possibility that a customer put insufficient payment into the machine, so always check that the machine has received the correct type and amount of payment. Next, check to see if the dryer controls are in the “on” position and if a cycle has been selected. If applicable, make sure that the dryer’s start button has been pushed firmly enough.If the dryer is gas-powered, it’s also a good idea to check if the gas supply shut-off valves are set in the “open” position. Also, if the dryer is operating, but not performing as expected, make sure that the lint screen is clean and the exhaust vent is free of restrictions.TROUBLESHOOTING SINGLE-LOAD WASHERSFor coin-operated, single-load washers, perform all of the tasks listed above and then begin with the washer-specific tasks. For example, make sure the water faucets are turned on and the inlet drain hoses are not kinked. If it’s winter, you should also check the inlet valve, which can freeze if it’s not protected from the weather.Next, check the suds level on front-load or high-efficiency washers. Excess suds will slow the spin and cause poor rinsing. If this is the problem, operate the washer through a complete cycle with no detergent and use less detergent or a high-efficiency laundry detergent in future loads.As a final step, make sure that any shipping materials, such as shipping bolts or pins, have been removed from the washer.STILL NOT WORKING?If your washer or dryer still isn’t working after basic troubleshooting, it’s best to call a repair technician who’s certified by the equipment manufacturer. Attempts to make repairs yourself can both put you in danger and void your product warranty protection.Troubleshooting can, however, help you to avoid unnecessary maintenance calls and the costs that come along with them. 

About the author

Robert Small

Whirlpool Corp.

Manager of Global Product Service

Robert “Bob” Small is a manager of global product service at Maytag and Whirlpool Commercial Laundry, where he focuses on product service and parts management. Small joined Whirlpool Corp. in 1990 and has a bachelor’s degree in technology from Purdue University.

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