Any laundromat owner, employee, or manager must be prepared to problem solve when issues inevitably arise with vended or coin-op equipment on the property. While calling a professional technician is always an option, having a few troubleshooting skills in your arsenal of talents can help you get your vended laundry equipment up and running sooner, minimizing downtime and lost revenue. 

Essential Troubleshooting Tools for Laundromat Owners

Every laundromat should be equipped with the following tools to help employers and managers troubleshoot when machine issues arise.

  • Maintenance Log: Track maintenance tasks for each machine, including the date of service, so you can identify patterns and potential problems before they escalate.  Include everything from filter cleaning to belt checks and hose inspections.
  • Equipment Manuals: The manual that comes with each piece of equipment is your first line of defense against any minor or major issues you’ll encounter. Commercial laundry equipment user manuals will include details about error code meanings, common troubleshooting steps, and instructions for more complex maintenance procedures. Familiarize yourself with these documents, then keep them easily accessible so you can consult them as needed.
  • Basic Toolbox: Equip each laundromat you operate with a toolbox that includes, at a minimum, screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, and a multimeter. These basic tools will be necessary for fixing many minor issues on your own. 

Tips for Troubleshooting Common Laundry Equipment Issues

When identifying equipment issues, start with the basics: Is the machine plugged in, and is it turned on? Is there power to the outlet? Has the software been recently updated? If you’ve ruled out any user or machine errors, it’s time to take a closer look. Check for an error code, consult your equipment manual, and explore our troubleshooting tips for common commercial laundry equipment challenges: 

Excessive Noise

Unexpected noise or vibrations from your commercial washer or dryer are not always a cause for major concern. Start by attempting to diagnose the cause. If you hear a thumping or grinding noise, or if the machine is vibrating excessively, check the washer or dryer drum to ensure it is not overloaded, causing it to become unbalanced. If you’ve adjusted the weight of the load and you’re still hearing abnormal noises, a worn-out belt or loose parts could be the culprit—and a knowledgeable technician is required to further evaluate the problem.

Clothes Not Drying

If a customer’s dryer cycle completes but their clothes are still damp, an overfull lint filter or a faulty heating element is likely to blame. Remove any lint that has built up on the screen, then unplug the equipment and use a wet/dry vacuum to carefully remove any blockages from the chamber, burner assembly, recirculation duct, and venting system. If you’ve done this and the dryer still is not functioning as intended, it’s time to consult a professional who can check the temperature probe and wire connections.

Leaks, Draining & Other Water-Related Issues

When it comes to commercial washing machines, you could face any number of water-related issues, from leaks and slow draining drums to machines not filling with water. The same steps apply when trying to troubleshoot any problem that stems from a water source: Check water supply valves, inlet hoses, and water pressure. Inspect the hoses, seals, and door gaskets for leaks or loose seals, and address accordingly. Tighten water connections.

Coin Payments Not Working

Constant exposure to dirty coins means payment mechanisms for coin-op laundry equipment can quickly become clogged with dust and debris. The first thing to do when the coin mechanism stops working is to clean the mechanism itself. You should also check for jams and confirm that the coin box does not need to be emptied. 

Burning Smell

The smell of smoke or burning rubber is immediate cause for concern, and turn off any machines that could be causing the odor. If the smell goes away once the machines have been turned off, call a technician to evaluate the machines. If the odor persists, contact the fire department immediately.

Addressing problems early on can prevent major breakdowns and costly repairs in the long run.  Regularly performing preventive maintenance is key to keeping your equipment running smoothly and efficiently, but errors will inevitably occur. Before you begin any troubleshooting, objectively assess your mechanical and technical aptitude. Whether the issue is a dryer door that doesn’t lock or a faulty coin mechanism, if you’re not confident in your ability to address the issue as outlined in the machine’s service manual, it’s time to call in the experts. Contact us today to learn more about how a partnership with Western State Design’s skilled technicians can improve your daily operations and response to emergency issues.