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How To Install an Imonex Coin Drop in a Continental – Dexter Dryer

How To Install an Imonex Coin Drop in a Continental – Dexter Dryer

One of my stores has some 30# Continental Stack dryers. These are a Dexter dryer with different branding.

Installing the Imonex Coin Drops are mechanically easy but requires some electrical work. The current drop will only have a switch so there is no power for the Imonex drop to work.

A transformer is added to provide the power. The job is relatively easy and didn’t take a lot of time  but it’s a little tight installing the transformer.

 

All of the other details are available HERE

Let me know if you have any questions.

 

Ken

 

Ken Barrett

 

 

IPSO / Speed Queen Water Valve Leak and Change

IPSO / Speed Queen Water Valve Leak and Change 

        One of the problems with vinyl tile floors in the Laundromat is that the glue is water based so if you get a small leak it gets under the tile and squeezes out when it gets stepped on.

       In this video you can see how the tiles were getting loosened and where the source of the leak was.

          The failures I have had on these valves have all been in the same place on the valve. Some valves fail due to solenoid issues, dirt in the lines and other similar issues. The main reason I have seen these valves fail has been due to a failure in the housing creating a mist of water spraying into the machine.

 Hope this helps.

Ken

Don’t forget to check out the re

Posting Notices in the Store

Posting Notices in the Store   

      It’s very easy to just write a sign and post it on the wall of your Laundromat. I’ve been guilty of that as well. 

       But taking a few minutes to order a quality frame, writing a clear message and posting it in your store keeps the professional look that you want to project to your customers.

    Your customers will have more respect for your store if you show them you want to give them the best experience you can and you also have respect for them. 

    Buying a frame, Available Here, like the one in the picture is a very low cost for the years it will present your message to hundreds or thousands of customers. The advantage of this frame is that it screws into the wall, has a secure bolt head to allow access and locks closed. 

    It only takes a few  seconds to open the frame and install a new message in the future

Use a quality frame to post notices
A quality sign board, ATM and Change Machine in the Laundromat.

        The next thing to consider is the message on the sign. Always avoid projecting negative messages.

Avoid words like:
        – Don’t
        – Never
        – Do Not
        – Avoid
        – Stop
– Complaint
– Problem

Keep the experience positive and it will put the customer in a better mode.

Lockable Silver Movie Poster Frame

         When I printed this sign I had some font issues at the printers so it’s not exactly like I would like it to work, but as I mentioned, it’s easy to change later.

Here’s what the sign covers….

Is There Something We Can Do Better?

 First – The Logo- Brand your business and put that in front of people when you can.
The address is also there so when people are calling they know where they are. This is very important if you have multiple locations.

      Is there Something We Can Do better?
A question will entice people to read more of the notice.

    We understand that occasionally there may be an issue with something at Washin Oxford Coin Laundry.

    Notice the word “Issue”, this helps to leave the question open. Maybe people have a problem with the number of chairs, soap in the restroom, no cupcakes in the vending machine.

   Please help us by providing some information.

  • Your Name
  • Your Phone number
  • Your Address (For Refunds)
  • The equipment number
  • The concern

      Now we ask for some basic infomation. People that need a refund will provide more details and by adding “For Refunds” beside the Address it indicates we will be mailing the refund.

   This information can be on any piece of paper and put in the Mail Slot below or
Call:            800-792-1941 Ext 1

I have had issues in the past using Refund Sheets. They get torn up, thrown around, used for note pads and occasionally for refunds and there never seems to be one when people really need it. So I let them know that any piece of paper is fine.

         Before I opened my first Laundromat I set up an 800 number and over the years it has become more beneficial. It’s clearly posted on the windows of every store, as shown here you can call the refund line and leave a message. I also have Equipment Emergency Extensions, Store Directions and a line to my cell phone. If I am out of town I can redirect any of these lines to other people I have for support in the area. 
         I use RingCentral for this. You can check them out HERE.

 

WiFi Password – WashinOxford

And finally I post the WiFi Password.

      Take the time to look at your signage and see what you can do to clean it up and make you store look great.

 

Ken

Speed Queen Washer Shock Absorber Change

Speed Queen Washer Shock Absorber Change

Over time the shock absorbers in the Speed Queen / IPSO soft mount washers will wear out. At this point they become just a set of springs.

You will notice more out of balance concerns and the high extraction speeds are not reached. In some cases you may hear some vibration and even the washer door rattling during the spin cycle.

So it’s time to change the shocks but how do you do it. Personally I didn’t bother with the manual and just figured out a way that worked for me.

        ** This repair requires the use of a number of tools, moving of the washers and other tasks that involve strength and dexterity. There are also some sharp edges on the covers and other areas. If you are not comfortable doing this repair hire a professional. This post is to provide a guide to the method I have used and is no guarantee that you will be able to complete the repair yourself. . The manufacturer and/or service techs may suggest and use another method. Disconnect all power and utilities before working on the machine**

Speed Queen Washer

 

I also only change the lower part of the shock as the upper part is only a smooth rod.

New lower shock parts

The first thing you need to do is get the washer to a point that you can access all of the sides easily. Mine are mounted on sturdy bases but many of them are bolted together so I have to move the washers. You will also need to access the mounting bolt on the bottom of the machine so unless there is a place to reach into the base the washer will need to move at least partially off the base.

I have some metal channel that I use that is high enough for the leveling bolts to clear the frame. Use a prybar to tilt the washer and slide the channel underneath. Once the channel is under the washer it is easy to tip the washer back to level and push the channel under the back of the machine.

When the washer is in the position shown below the front shocks can be changed. This is a good starting point as the washer will remain stable between the other washers.

Use metal channel to slide washer off base

The shocks are located in each of the 4 corners. The shiny vertical tube in the picture below is the lower part of the shock absorber.
The support does not normally need to be removed to replace the shock.

Speed Queen Washer Shock

Remove the nut from the bottom of the shock. This is found on the bottom of the washer. There is also a rubber mount and washer.

 

Below is the method I use that probably isn’t recommended by the manufacturer. I use a 2″ x 4″ about 4′ long to push the washer drom away from the shock I am working on.

**This is a tricky part as it takes a good amount of strength to push the drum up, push up on the lower part of the shock to compress the internal springs, and pull the stud on the bottom of the shock out of the hole and towards the front to remove it from the  washer.

You also need to be careful of the motor, wiring and control boards.

Use 2×4 to lift drum

Once the lower shock is removed you will notice the plastic end will be worn and / or broken and there is oil on the part.

Worn shock on Speed Queen Washer

 

Positioning Cart Under Speed Queen Washer

With the cart in place hold it securely , or use some assistance, and slide the washer forward on to the cart.

Use caution to keep the balance as the washers are heavy. Removing the lower front cover helps to provide a place to grab if needed and prevents damage to the cover. You will also need access behind this cover to remove the front shocks.

Moving a Speed Queen Washer from the base

When the washer is moved out it allows access to the connections on the back. In some cases these can be removed before moving the washer. Use caution not to cut or stretch the hoses or wiring.

This allows access to the back of the Speed Queen washer

I have used this method to relocate washers inside the store as well. Some machines may see a lot more use than others so you may want to rotate them around the store.

A Speed Queen washer on a cart and off the base.

This shows the top of the shock absorber mount. Although we will not be changing the top the parts are the same on the bottom.

Next we need to access the rear shocks. This is done by removing as many screws as we can to get easy access but leaving enough in place to hold the washer together.

Lift top and remove screws from interior panel at rear.
Once screws are removed separate side and back panel
Screws on lower side panels

Rear Panel moved for access. CAUTION- Edges of rear panel are very sharp.

The motor and drive belt can be seen once the covers are opened up. Use caution around the motor and wires when lifting the drum to remove the shock.

Motor and belt in a Speed Queen washer

Follow the same method to replace the rear shocks. Be aware that the washer may be unstable if using a cart. Extra help may be required to hold the washer steady during the repair.

Put all of the parts pack together, replace all of the screw, connect the utilities, position the washer and give it a test run.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post. This is not a repair that everyone can do. If you are unsure or unable to complete these tasks then I hope I provided enough information for you to observe a qualified service tech and watch for the concern points.

Ken Barrett

Laundromat Step Stools For Large Washers

Laundromat Step Stools For Large Washers

Steps are needed so your customers can safely reach the soap trays on large washers and this also helps reduce the mess of a “blind pour”.

You can pick up some good steps here   http://amzn.to/2bcVZ8S

 

And then put some bright color paint on them so they are easier to see both for the  customers and you on the security cameras in case they walk away.

I have my cleaners put each cart and step stool in a certain place each day so it’s easy to see if one is missing and I can check the video right away.

 

Ken

 

Episode 39 – The Basics Of The Industry

The Basics Of The Industry

 

Welcome To The Coin Laundry Industry

          Congratulations on taking the first step.

          Owning a coin laundry, or two, or three allows you the freedom to own a business that does not require your time to operate. Customers will pay you while they do the work.

          My Team and I are here to guide you through the process from design to operation. Many of our team own multiple, successful stores and are experienced in all areas of design, construction, operation and marketing to make your new store the best in the area.

            Please take some time to read through the attached article and become familiar with the industry and trends.

          Should you have any additional questions or would like to discuss the location of your new store please contact me at:

           Ken@WashinCoinLaundry.com

            WashinCoinLaundry.com

            800-792-1941 ext 2

 

Definitions and Background

          The term coin laundry is defined as commercial-grade, self-service laundry equipment placed into service in a retail space. Coin laundries generally occupy the retail space on long-term leases (10-25 years) and generate steady cash flow over the life of the lease. Coin laundries are unique small businesses in that they have no inventory or receivables. A minority of coin laundries employ attendants.

           Coin laundries can range in market value from $50,000 to more than $1 million, and can generate cash flow between $15,000 and $200,000 per year. Business hours typically run from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The stores usually occupy 1,000 to 5,000 square feet of retail space, with the 2002 average being 2,260 square feet.

           Coin laundries are perfect examples of passive income generators.

           Coin laundries are also referred to as coin-op laundries, coin-operated laundries or Laundromats.

           The primary customer base for coin laundries are people living in rental housing. Between 2000 and 2012 the number of people in rentals increased from 86 million to 94 million based on US Census information. The secondary customer base consists of the non-rental population, which also uses coin laundries. 

           As the chart below shows the home ownership rate in the US continues to decline.

 

          Coin laundries thrive in periods of both growth and recession. During periods of recession, when home ownership decreases, the self-service laundry market expands as more people are unable to afford to repair, replace or purchase new washers and dryers, or as they move to apartment housing with inadequate or nonexistent laundry facilities. The market size grows proportionately to the increase in population.

           While coin-ops are found in virtually all neighborhoods across the country, stores seem to perform exceptionally well in predominately renter-occupied, densely populated areas. These areas are increasing in number with each year throughout the country. The intense population growth, coupled with the expansion of rental housing, has increased the customer base for coin laundries.

          The public will always need this basic health service – people always need to wash clothes!

 

Trends and Characteristic

          Industry growth is based on the demographics of population density, population mix and population income. The more concentrated the population, the greater the need for quality coin laundry facilities. National and regional demographics indicate renters, the primary users of coin laundries, are the fastest-growing segment in the nation. As of the 2011 U.S. Census, 35.4 percent of the nation’s 113 million households were renter occupied.

Operations and Performance Levels

Coin laundry operations consist of three basic areas: janitorial, maintenance and the handling of money (which consists of collections and loading coin changers). Bookkeeping, administration and banking are typically off-site management areas. A standard profit and loss statement for a coin laundry typically includes the following line items:

  • Income, consisting of wash and dry
  • Other income, which would include vending, dry cleaning and/or wash-dry-fold service Expense categories would typically consist of:
  • Accounting
  • Advertising
  • Insurance
  • Legal costs
  • Licenses
  • Maintenance (includes parts and labor)
  • Payroll (usually limited to on-site work–i.e., janitorial or employees)
  • Personal property tax
  • Rent
  • Common Area Maintenance (CAM) charges, also known as Net charges including: real estate taxes, maintenance, insurance and other charges
  • Utilities (gas, water, electric and sewer)
  • Vending expenses
  • Miscellaneous costs (including: wholesale drycleaning costs, fluff-n-fold supplies and labor)           The percentage for each category will vary from store to store and region to region. Interest charges, depreciation and other nonstandard items, such as owner salary, generally appear on tax returns, but are excluded from the standard profit and loss statement for purposes of valuation and determination of cash flow. There are some general ‘Rule Of Thumb” percentages that we can discuss. 
  • Sales volume, and/or individual store performance varies, based on a number of factors. These factors may include demographics; overall services offered; design and general condition; equipment selection, condition and vend prices; hours of operation; exposure of the building; parking; and competition.
  • The industry terminology for individual equipment performance is cycles per day, or turns per day (TPD). These designations refer to the number of times per day, on average, each machine is used. While this statistic varies widely the range for washing machines is generally from three TPD to as high as eight TPD or more. The primary factors affecting TPD include: population demographics, such as density and percentage of renters; capacity and quantity of the washers; the vend prices charged; and the prevailing market vend prices.

               Dryer income can vary greatly due to: total wash poundage generated; overall vend prices of both washers and dryers; heating efficiency of dryers; total number of dryers in relation to washers; and dryer size and capacity. Dryer income is usually expressed as a percentage of overall income.

    Summary

              Today’s coin laundry industry is a strong and vibrant one. Even more appealing is the fact that this dependable public service industry continues to grow and thrive. The demographic trends toward an even greater apartment dwelling segment of the population predict continued prosperity.

If you have any comments, please post them below.

Ken

Episode 37 – Change Machines

Change Machines

          One of the main pieces of equipment is your Laundromat Change Machine. Even if you plan on having attendants this is the best method.

          There are a number of options available now. Single, double, token, quarters, dollar coins, recirculators.

          Single and Double refer to the amount of hoppers that hold the coins. Most stores use a double in case of a jam people will still be able to use the other one. It’s frustrating and slows your turnover when people load the machines and then have to leave to get change from a local store. The other businesses in the area may not provide change after the first few people.

          Double machines also may have redundant systems which means there are two completely separate power supplies and control boards. The helps if there is some sort of equipment malfunction but also adds cost.

          Recirculators provide a combination of bills and coins. For example if someone puts in a $20 bill they get a $10 bill, $5 bill and 20 quarters back. This helps reduce the amount of quarters that leave your store as “extras” and also allows your change machine to run longer before being emptied. 

          Most change machines can be adjusted for a variety of coins and tokens but each hopper can only dispense one type.

          Another feature is front or rear load. This will be determined by the available wall space in your store and the bets location for the changer. The most convenient is the rear load as it allows the changer to be mounted flush in the wall and all money is handled in a secure room out of site of the customers.

          When looking for a changer keep in mind the type, capacity ( you want to be able to make it 3-4 days without running out ), number of changers and also the graphics on the front. Although this has no effect on the changer or operation some look better in your particular store and stand out for people to find easily.

          One last item, don’t forget to use an Un-interuptible Power Supply  (UPS). These can be bought in most Office Supply Stores or on-line and protect the changer from power blips. They have a battery installed that will power the machine for a short amount of time. It’s a small price to pay upfront to keep you changer working. Frying a board from a power surge at 6pm on a Saturday will ruin your weekend and frustrate your customers.

          You can buy one HERE   They work great on home electronics as well.

           If you have any questions please post them below.

Ken  

Episode 36 – Community Theatre Support and Advertising

 

           Last year during a Chamber of Commerce event I saw some flyers for a local community theater. They were offering season tickets for the upcoming shows.
           As I looked at the flyer I turned to my accountant that was also there and asked if I could write it off as entertainment. Her response was it would be better as an advertising expense.

 

          A couple of weeks later I contacted the theater group, CAST – Community Actors’ Studio Theatre, about tickets. During our discussion I found that they have another brochure that is for advertisers.

          The advertising package contains various sized spots in the programme ranging from a 1/4 page business card up to a full page or the back cover. There is also information and links put on their website and some levels provide additional advertising at the event, on banners and other flyers.

          But the best part is that it includes seasons tickets to the shows.

          I have seen many live theater performances that vary from local groups, improve and full Broadway productions. The list includes Miss Saigon, Showboat, Lion King,  and many others. It has been a number of years since I had been to any.

          One that caught my eye when I was looking at the flyer was “Oklahoma”, although I didn’t remember too much about it I do remember when I was a kid going with my Grandparents and an Uncle out for a spaghetti dinner and to see the live show in a small theater. It was an experience that I wanted to share with my own teenagers.

          The other part I liked was that they were performing many recognizable shows including Spamalot,  The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, A Christmas Carol, and The complete works of William Shakespeare (abridged).

          After a great season of shows and only one we could not make due to Show Choir and Dance competitions it was time for this season.

          There was no hesitation about this years’ advertising. They have a great line up of performances this year.

          Now to some lessons learned that you can take forward. When I met to put the ads in last year we were very rushed to put them together and get them in the first programme. Due to my delay we were almost sliding the card into the press during printing. I used a post card that I had made previously with the store information and some background graphics.

 

          Once I got to the first show and was looking for my ad in the program I realized that the program was black and white and I actually turned the page past my own ad as it was mostly grey due to the background image.

 

 

 But it was actually closer to this size in the programme

 

          Always on the lookout for better marketing methods I started looking at the other ads to see what worked well. As it turns out one of the most noticeable smaller sized ads was for a pest control company. A very simple 1/4 page ad put in vertically Logo, Bugs listed, Location, Phone number.

          They covered it in about 4 lines. This is who we are, this is what we do, here’s where we are, here’s how to contact us. Boom. Drop The Mic.

          I also realized that I needed to target the potential customer that will be holding the programme. A simple ad for a Coin Laundry may bring back bad memories of their first apartment or a college laundromat.

          At this point we are still working on the layout of the new ad but it will be black and white.  Logo, What we do, Where we are and how to get a hold of us.

 My thoughts right now are:

 

Your Comforter Cleaning Headquarters
Drop it off and let us do the work”

1304 Greenbrier Rd, Anniston, AL
WashinGoldenSprings.com
256-835-2141

            I would love your thoughts on a catchy ad and to hear about other non-traditional ads you have run.

I’ll see you at the show

 http://www.castalabama.com/

 

UPDATE:

          I was at the first show last week with my wife, two daughters and two of their friends and found our ad in the program. Much better than last year and a better placing on the page.

 

          On another note my daughters and their friends had a fantastic time. They are all 15 and when ever I glanced over it was great to see them so focused on the show.                

          Exposing kids and teens to live theater has an impact you may not see for years but with the cost of a local show about the same price as a movie and snacks I’ll take the support of local talent any day. And who knows maybe your kids will see someone at the Academy Awards one day and be able to say they saw them at a local theater “back in the day“.

 

Ken

Episode 35 – Laundromat Refunds

Laundromat Refunds

          Attended Laundromats don’t have a problem offering refunds or redoing a load but in an unattended Laundromat a system needs to be set up for customer concerns.

          In all of my stores I have a mail slot that drops into a secure area. I leave refund slips in a basket by the mail slot that the customer can fill out their Name, Address, Phone, Concern and amount requested. If there are no slips they can use any piece of paper. I have even gotten them written on parts of laundry soap boxes.

          I keep the refund boxes secure as they have the contact information of the customer on them that I don’t want to leave it out, as well as I want to make sure I get the slips and I send the refunds.

          When I pick up the refunds I scan the slips in and save them to a DropBox account where my accountant has someone record the information on a tracking sheet, fill out the checks and address the envelopes. All I need to do is to stop by and sign the checks and put them in the mail. It saves me a bunch of time and the refunds are getting sent out quicker.

             The scanner I use is a portable, rechargeable model. It will store 450 pages internally or you can save straight to a thumb drive.

Here is the link for the scanner I use.

If you have any comments please post them below.

 

Ken