By Wally Makowsky | May 03, 2010
My laundromat’s floor drains are overflowing. Do you think that my plumbing needs to be rodded out? Or could it be some other problem?
Yes, more than likely, your plumbing needs to be rodded out. However, if that doesn’t solve the problem, you might have to check the vent pipe on the main line; often, when vent pipes get clogged, water won’t drain properly.
In addition, perhaps inspect for collapsed drains. Sometimes a building’s foundation can shift, and that can cause your drain lines, as well as some of the other plumbing features, to crack.
My suggestion would be to rod it out first. The results of that should tell you if you need to delve deeper into this problem.
I have a successful commercial accounts business in my self-service laundry, and it’s time for me to purchase an on-site machine to use exclusively for those accounts. I’m considering the purchase of a machine that includes automatic chemical injection. Can you tell me if that feature would be worth the extra money?
The primary benefit of a machine with chemical injection is that you don’t have to stand over the machine and add all of the necessary chemicals. The programs can be set to release bleaches, detergents, softeners and additives at certain intervals of the wash. The other benefit is that you can use some stronger chemicals, which may be too dangerous for you to handle on your own. For some commercial accounts, strong chemicals make the cleaning job a lot easier. You buy the chemicals in bulk, usually 50-pound drums that just hook up to the back of the machine with a wand and hose that siphon the chemicals into the wash.
The main drawback is space. If you are processing these accounts in a coin laundry, and just have room in the back for this washer, you may not have the storage space around the machine for all the drums of chemicals.
If you have enough commercial work to warrant purchasing a machine just for that purpose, you may want to talk to your chemical company. If you will be buying a significant amount of chemicals, the company may install a chemical injection system onto any large-capacity frontload machine free of charge.
I’m currently in the process of re-equipping my coin laundry, and I would appreciate your opinion on today’s new high-speed washers. Is it a good idea to go with this more-expensive option, or are they a waste of money?
This new equipment is certainly not a waste of money. That said, there are some who feel that high-speed equipment has a built-in disadvantage. These naysayers argue that – because the new washers’ higher spin speeds reduce the amount of moisture in the garments – drying time is reduced, thus lowering dryer income.
Of course, this “disadvantage” is also the high-speed washer’s greatest advantage. The higher speed extracts more water in less time so that store owners can get more customers in and out of their laundromats much more quickly.
Remember that your customers are paying to work. No matter how comfortable you make your self-service laundry, it is not a restaurant where people are spending their time and money for enjoyment. So it is very important to get them in and out of your store as fast as possible. And this is what the high-speed equipment can help you accomplish.
Also, theoretically, you might not need as many dryers in your store, due to the decreased drying time needed.
Of course, high-speed washers also give the laundry operator a distinct competitive advantage over apartment building laundry rooms and residential equipment, which require much more time to wash and dry.
A word of caution: It is crucial that these high-speed units are installed properly. Due to the high G forces these washers create, the machines must be completely level and very secure. If not, you will have serious mechanical problems that you would never encounter with standard equipment. As a result, if you purchase high-speed equipment, be sure to deal with a reputable company that knows the proper way of installing these machines.
Also, if you choose to re-equip your store with high-speed washers, don’t keep it a secret. Advertise the fact that you have them and tout their benefits to your customers. No one is going to know what great equipment you offer unless you tell them.