Hard Mount vs. Soft Mount
High speed spin or not to high speed spin that is the question...
A majority of all Laundromat washers are solid mount washers, but soft mount washer are gaining popularity.
Solid Mount Washers - The solid mount washers are washers that do Not have any springs or shock absorbers. The solid mount (or hard mount) washers are bolted to the concrete floor, concrete slab or to a steel base which is then mount to the concrete floor. Solid mount washers can Not be installed on wooden floors or over basements unless extensive steel or concrete work is performed. Solid mount washers rigidly hold the washer drum and washer frame to a concrete base. Any Out-of-Balance wash loads create significant oscillation and vibration. Solid mount washers transmit all of this vibration to the frame of the washer, the anchoring bolts and to the concrete base. If any of these components are undersized or fail then the washer will shake and vibrate excessively. Most low and medium G-Force washers that spin at 200 G-Force or less are solid mount washers. This includes approximately 95% of all large Laundromat washing machines (above 25 lbs. capacity and higher). There are some very specialized Institutional solid mount washers that can extract at 300-400 G-force but these machines are the exception and are only used in specialized environments such as Nursing Homes, Hair Salons and Fitness Centers.
Soft Mount Washers -. Soft Mount washers are typical washers suspended in a cradle that is supported with springs and shock absorbers. Soft mount washers typically remove between 90-97% of all the free vibration. The remaining vibration is still transmitted to the floor and the building. Because the soft mount washer is a washer within a frame, these washers have more components and more metal than solid mount washers. Because the soft mount washers are more complicated, they are approximately 30% more expensive than solid mount washers. The advantages of the Soft Mount washers are that they can be installed on any floor (wooden or concrete). They can be installed above basements and on the upper levels of multi-story buildings. The soft mount washers have to anchored to the floor so the washers do not "walk". The soft mount washers also can extract at higher spin speeds, typically in the 300-400 G-force range. The faster we can spin the load, the more water is extracted and the higher the dryer gas savings.
Historically - Within the last 10 years most of the equipment manufacturers have come out with a small, soft mount, front load washer. In 2003, Maytag produced the front loading Neptune washer. Huebsch and Speed Queen followed with the Horizon 18 lbs. front load washers and now Wascomat has produced the 22 lbs. Crossover washer. All of these front load, soft mount washers have springs and shock absorbers to dampen vibration and all of these washers spin out at about 300 G-force. The useful life of these small washers is typically 8-12 years depending upon the quality of the design and their components.
Limited Choices - There are only 2 manufacturers (that I know of) that currently producing larger sized coin-operated Soft Mount washers. Continental Girbau and Electrolux are the 2 companies where you can purchase large Soft Mount washers that will range in capacity from 20 to 90 lbs. Continental has pushed the "Express Wash" concept were several High Speed Extract washers will be placed together to create an "Express Wash" area. The concept is time savings where a customer can get in and out of the Laundromat in a minimal amount of time. The 300+ G-force washers help reduce the drying time down to a minimum and help speed the customer through the tedious washing process. The idea is intriguing and seems to makes good sense. Who would not want to reduce the time in washing their clothes? Would you want to spend less time in the Laundromat doing laundry? Most of us would say Yes and Yes.
The Hispanic paradigm - I was in a Laundromat where we had replaced the old 80 G washers with a 140 G-force Huebsch solid mount washers. I was there to tweak some of the programming and had to wait for washers to complete their cycle before continuing the programming. While I was in the store I asked a Hispanic mother if she liked the new washers; Si. I notice that she had selected the Extra wash & Extra Rinse for her wash and ask her why? The answer was 6 more minutes. Six more minutes??? This customer has the belief that the longer the wash time, the better the wash results and the cleaner the wash. She had paid a premium to wash her clothes for 6 more minutes. I have also noticed that when Hispanic customers are doing laundry that the task is more of a "social event" rather than a chore. So would the majority of Hispanic customers go for the "Express Wash"? I don't know. But I also know that "Time" does Not have the same importance for difference cultures. What is important to us as middle class Americans maybe entirely different to our typical Laundromat customers. To think that we as Laundromat owners think exactly the same as our customers is pretty simplistic and could be drastically wrong. Obviously time will tell.
I plan to look at the real cost of Soft Mount vs. Solid Mount washers in the future. Please stay tuned and please let me know what you would like to see in future newsletters.
New Resource section on website
It is HK's goal is to have a timely, informative, and educational content on our website at www.HKLaundry.com HK has just released the soft openning of our new "Resource Section" on our Website. The "Resouce Section" includes:
The Resource Section will be an active and dynamic section of the website where we will continue to update and post "How To..." Videos and Videos on all aspects of the Laundromat operations. Please visit the new Resource Section at http://www.hklaundry.com/resources.php and let me know what you think.
HK Parts Specials:
Fan for Huebsch / SQ 30 lbs. Stack Dryers
List Price $ 119.53
HK Special Pricing $ 65.00
Dran Valve for Huebsch / Speed Queen Washers
List Price $ 175.23
HK Special Pricing $ 97.00
Call Anthony at 1-800-229-4572
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
to take advantage of these
Weekly Parts Specials.