View Full Version : Looking to buy some new front loaders
I spent the whole day today getting quotes for and trying out new equipment recently installed in stores. One of the ones that I got to try today was the Continental Girbau Aurora. It was a soft mount machine and in place for only 2 weeks. I put my coat in the machine and as you might imagine, this created an imbalance. I have to say I was impressed on how the machine handled it. I don't know much about the workmanship on this machine or the brand. If anyone out there can share any experience(s) good or bad with Continental regarding reliablilty, service issues, parts or factory support I would appreciate it.
11-18-2004, 11:55 PM
The only thing I would say is to buy from the distributor/rep who you feel will provide the best service post purchase. I don't think there is that much difference between many of the mid or lower level front loaders (Neptunes, Auroras, etc.) I think production of the Neptunes has stopped. If I could do it over again I would buy refurbished larger capacity.
11-19-2004, 09:21 AM
I can't personally say much about the Aurora. It was a machine that I considered. I went to a mat that has had them for several years and the owner said he very happy with them. One thing I did not like about them was that they have a built in 20-30 second delay before they start. Maybe you saw that and don't see it as a problem. But, customers put their money in and it just sits there.....then they go and talk to the attendant......who tells them about the delay. Once they learn this I guess it is OK, but I didn't want that going on in an unattended location. Signs could fix this also, but many custmers don't read them right away.
11-19-2004, 02:35 PM
Where did you hear that the production of Neptunes has stopped. I talked to a Maytag distributor and he was unaware of this information.
30 Neptunes and my customer love them. YTD 16% utilities of gross.
11-20-2004, 07:39 PM
I was told this by my service technician. They may not have stopped production yet but I think it's in the cards. People like to see their clothes being cleaned.
11-20-2004, 08:08 PM
Is your tech a Maytag tech?
If people like to see their clothes being cleaned, then how come people like top loaders so much?
11-20-2004, 10:38 PM
They can lift the lid and see the clothes. People like tops because thats what they are use to. If the neptune had a window nobody would use it, since there is no water in it. Neptune maybe good for a low volume store, but not a high volume urban area.
11-21-2004, 12:39 AM
I have a high volume store and the customers love the Neptune washers.
11-21-2004, 11:56 PM
the clock "time remaining" on my maytag fronts is terrible. sometimes it freezes at 4 minutes and hangs there for 10 or 15 minutes. Customers complain.
11-22-2004, 06:22 PM
>>the clock "time remaining" on my maytag fronts is terrible. sometimes it freezes at 4 minutes and hangs there for 10 or 15 minutes. Customers complain<<
It is probably not the clock, the machine is over suds or out of balance. This is a common problem. It is the number one complaint of all the machines I have in all stores.
11-22-2004, 06:59 PM
Turn the suds sensing option off and it will fix most of your problems.
I'll get an out of balance about every 4-6 weeks and it is usually due to someone putting in one item like a coat. It will stay on 4 or 5 minutes for a long time trying to redistribute the load to go into high spin. A washer can't distribute one item evenly.
Before I opened up my store I adjusted all the Neptunes down to a 30 minute cycle, no suds option, etc.. There are other options that you may need. I know of one store that has soft water and they needed to turn on a one minute pre-wash just to eliminate most of the soap that customers dump in.
Of course my distributor walked me through all the options during setup and explained what each option did and when to use it.
If you are tight on dryers you might want to add 1 minute to the final spin to help shorten drying times.
If your distributor didn't help you with the setup, do you know about the Super Cycle option?
01-19-2006, 04:08 PM
Duane, you seem to love Neptunes. I read that they have a 1,000 rpm extraction speed but then read that some people are dissatisfied with the results of the final spin-out. I'm looking at buying a laundromat that has 16 old maytag tops that I'd like to replace with more-efficient machines and thought of the Neptune. Can you comment? Thanks!
01-19-2006, 05:53 PM
If the neptune senses imbalance while ramping up to extract, it won't spin at full speed. Yesterday I had a small load of mostly tshirts that was dripping wet! I don't know if other soft mount fronts have this "feature" but it helps the neptune to stay quiet and to avoid walking across the floor.
01-19-2006, 09:52 PM
Hi Scott9876, I have 10 Neptunes and we ad our customers love them. We only use 800RPM extract, some say why wear out your machine to fast, and we also use a 1 minute prewash. We have had no issues with this formula and we also use the Superwash for .25 cents more and give only 3 minutes extra wash. About 75% of customers use this in our store. I replaced old tops with them and they are now the most used machines in the shop, but our new Wascomat 640 is #1 singe machine. We still have 11 tops that are less than 3 years old and when they are done it will be more Neptunes. They wash more better and once customers figure them out they will wait for the Neptunes. Ours are new, only 8 months and 6 months old but we have had zero problems. No there was once when a lady but in about 60lbs of laundry and the Neptune wouldn't spin it out. But we monitor our utilities weekly and the Maytags have decreased them by about 15% and our revenue is up about 25%+. We vend at $1.75 and $2.00 for superwash. Any other questions just let me know be happy to answer if I can.
01-20-2006, 12:30 AM
Sounds like your questions have been answered.
I have had my 30 Neptunes for over 3 years now and am very happy with them. Most issues with Neptunes, I believe, are due to improper setup. Some of the things I would suggest are:
Turn off suds detection.
Reduce wash cycle time (factory default is just too long).
If you have soft water add a 1 minute pre-wash to get rid of most of the soap.
If you have a shortage of dryers then you can up the max extract speed, add extra time to the extract, or do both.
The biggest issue that some owners have with the Neptune is out of balance loads. This usually happens due to a small load that gets tangled up and can not be distributed evenly around the tub. Or someone loads up the tub with a lot of light items like sheets and a large towel or robe. The large item takes on more water and the machine will go out of balance.
If the load is not the problem then look at the door lock to make sure it is locking. If the door locked light is not on then the washer will not go into high spin extract.
Make sure you also know how to run diagnostics on the washer. With the service door off, press and hold down the delicates button until the display flashes. To run a test cycle (this helps you to clean the soap dish) press the Whites key. If you just want to do a drain and high spin then press Colors.
In diagnostic mode you can also go through and verify everything is working properly.
As always, a good distributor should assist with the proper setup and use of the washer.
01-20-2006, 10:32 AM
I likewise have been operating 4 new Neptunes that replaced top-loads. The transistion has been slow but steady, and I have plans to replace 3 more top-loads with Neptunes.
The Neptunes are programmed with a pre-wash, sud detection off, and super-cycle. Thanks for sharing the info about the diagnostic mode! Since I installed these myself, the distributor did not teach me these things.
01-20-2006, 10:48 AM
My model had the suds detection turned on and the pre-wash off. I turned off the suds detection.
Maytag must be listening to owners and making adjustments on newer models.
01-20-2006, 11:00 AM
I'm surprised that turning off something called "suds detection" would help eliminate oversudsing. Thank you very much for all of your help. Can anyone comment on why a store owner would buy a soft-mount neptune vs a solid-mount 18-20 lb FL such as a Dexter or Wasco?
01-20-2006, 03:44 PM
people with a basement or crawlspace might purchase a soft mount instead of a hardmount instead of all that concrete work to have something solid for the hardmount bolts
01-20-2006, 03:52 PM
ok, thanks. The laundry is a basement below it. The distributor said they use "sonotubes" to help support the floor (?). Never heard of them or about them. I"d want to put in some 30# and one 50# solid-mount machines. I guess I'm in for some hurt with preparing for those heavy machines.
01-20-2006, 04:27 PM
Bracing for large equipment in a basement pretty much makes the space below the equipment useless.
Make sure you visit some stores that have basement bracing done by the contractor you are going to use. Verify with the owners of those stores that everything has gone well and there have been no problems. Bracing is expensive to put in and even more expensive to fix when not done correctly. A large washer that is not braced correctly can shake the building apart.
01-20-2006, 04:30 PM
The suds detection option will keep spinning and rinsing until the suds are gone. This can take a long time and waste a lot of utilities.
01-20-2006, 05:35 PM
Oh, I don't know if I want to do this. Can a laundry be successful with just soft-mount machines? I guess it depends on the customers you're serving. I wanted to go all out and install commercial machines for the hospital & restaurants in the area but if the floor won't be able to handle the machines, what else can I do? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif
01-20-2006, 09:26 PM
It all depends on your demographics on what your equipment mix should be. I think most hospitals have their own OPL equipment. Many restaurants, at least the large chains, have contracts with companies to handle their laundry needs. Local restaurants still need local services such as those your mat can provide.
Of course before you spend any money you should do your due diligence and visit potential customers and see what services they need to get an idea of what your store will need.
Knowing that hard mounts will be more expensive to setup with a basement, you will need to carefully think of what equipment is needed and then put the large equipment in the same bulkhead and back to back so all the support is in one area. This all depends on your building structure.
Either way you will need some large hard mount washers.
01-21-2006, 01:35 AM
a sonotube is a round form you fill with concrete.
so you basically you end up with concrete pillars under the hard mount machines I agree they can nearly ruin usable space in a basement. Fortunately for me, the area where I plan to add more hard mount is only crawlspace, so I dont use the space under the frontloaders anyway. My biggest fronts are on their own little slab, but my 18# are an a heavily reinforced floor with piers. angle iron, etc. and the whole place shakes when they spin. correcting that with proper sonotubes is part of my ongoing remodel plan.