How many of you grew up with a washing machine that would only work if you slammed the door just right, or used the exact amount of detergent, or arranged the clothes in a certain way so that the water would actually drain and not leave you with laundry soup at the end of a cycle?
We all know the struggles of traditional laundry machines of the last few decades, but sometimes it seems like we're still running into the same problems, even in commercial laundry operations. It can be difficult, as a business owner, to know what to fix and when and how to fix it, particularly when you consider the added cost of commercial washing machine maintenance.
Common Washing Machine Problems
So when do you call the repair service? The best solution is to invest in commercial washing machines that come with quality maintenance support. However, if you're currently working with older machines or don't have a warranty, the first step is to diagnose the problem. Some of the most commonly reported washing machine problems are:
- Failure to start
- Failure to agitate
Really these are symptoms of the problems, which could be anything from a worn-out hose or seal to a busted drive motor coupling. Business owners with experience in commercial washing machine maintenance may be able to replace a small part here or there, but if it seems like the problem is larger than your experience, always call a professional service.
Maintenance Tips for Commercial Washing Machines
To try to prevent problems before they occur, there are some checks and maintenance jobs you can carry out yourself to ensure your washers stay in the best condition.
- Clean the drum
Limescale, fluff and debris can build up on the inside of machine machines drums so before and after each wash, perform a quick visual inspection and remove any debris that you can see. Once a week, give the drum a thorough clean. Most washing machines have a "machine clean" cycle that can be used.
- Clean and check door seal
Washing machine door seals are one of the most commonly replaced washer parts, but with good maintenance and cleaning, they shouldn’t need replacing for a long time.
Dirt and debris often build up around the seal but a weekly wipe with a damp cloth will help ensure it stays in good condition.
- Check detergent levels
At least daily, make sure your detergent levels are sufficient. If you need to change the detergent drum, make sure you wear appropriate PPE (e.g. chemical resistant gloves and eye goggles). Also, make sure you regularly clean detergent dispensers or dosing equipment so there is no build-up that could lead to a blockage.
- Check machine exhaust ducts
Washing machines need to breathe too! Make sure your machine exhaust ducts have enough room and are kept free from dust and fluff. This is a common problem in commercial laundry applications but can be easily avoided with regular checks.
- Run “Descale” Program (if located in hard water region)
A build up of limescale can lead to many problems. The most serious problem is probably a build up of limescale on the heating element, which can result in this component being less effective at heating up the water, or even the need for it to be replaced. It's for this reason that we highly recommend descaling a washing machine every month if you are in a hard water region. If you're not in a hard water region, three to six months is recommended.
Same Old Technology, Same Old Problems
The alternative to putting up with the same old commercial washing machine maintenance problems is to buy a new commercial washing machine that won't run into the same issues.
Hydrofinity commercial laundry equipment is built to last and will withstand large loads and high usage. Care packages are available exclusively through our regional partners, and can be tailored to your needs so that your laundry systems are never down again.