My Laundromat Renovation
I am sorry I have not been keeping up with the timely HK Newsletters. HK is in the process or updating one of our Laundromats and I have been sufficiently distracted.
If you have been following us in past newsletters you know that the main driver for renovating this Laundromat is the ability to upgrade to new Huebsch High Speed Extract washers with the Galaxy 600 microprocessor and all of the "gee-whiz" advantages that come with the new state-of-the-art washers. The initial motivating factor was that there was a Huge increase in the cost of water & sewer. If the Laundromat had kept the old 1980 vintage "classic washers" our water bill would have been $52,000 per year. With the new Huebsch washers I will be able to cut my water consumption by 50% and have about $26k a year in savings. This savings will just about equal my note payment for new washers, so I get the washers for FREE. I get a 3 / 10 year warranty for free. I get Extra Wash & Extra Rinse revenue generators for Free. I like Free.
I have spent the last 2-3 weeks planning out this Laundromat renovation and determining the "scope of work". This is not a simple replace the washers and run project. There is considerable work to be performed. We have an issue with this 40 year old Laundromat with a damp environment behind the washers where we need to fix the washer wall and even go into our neighbor's store to secure his wall and make everything "right". "If you give a mouse a cookie..." (One of my kid's favorite books.) If you correct the wall, then you need to jack hammer out the old washer slab. If you remove the washer concrete slab, now you can add drainage basins and create a better drainage system for the Laundromat. If you are installing a new drainage system, now you need a licensed plumber. If you are adding another stack dryer to match you increased washing capacity then you need a licensed electrician and a licensed plumber. Before you know it, we are talking to the local building department and discussing the scope of work. I usually like to perform installations under the radar, but this project is way too big and needs to be completely above board.
So in my discussions with the building department I had a couple of un-expected surprises. One is the water department is insisting upon a back flow prevention device. For anyone who does not know what a backflow preventer it is a small device that requires and engineer, much more money and about 2-3 months to pass the Westchester County Health department. Usually the device for Laundromats is upon is called an RPZ valve (reduced pressure zone valve). This valve and accompanying work costs about $5-7,000 and requires a huge drain line for the valve. A little known fact is that Westchester County now says that we may be able to go with the lesser expensive "double check valve" which does not require a drain and is considerable cheaper. Either way there is an additional $1500-2000 in engineering fees and another $300 for the village & the county.
Another surprise is with the use of plastic pipe. We are just north of New York City where there has always been a strong alliance between the union trades and the fire & building departments. Plumbing always had to be cast iron drain lines and copper water lines. My plumber mentioned that NYC and all of the major cities in Westchester County are now allowing plastic PVC drain pipe in construction. The buildings can Not be higher than 6 stories in height, but the "powers to be" have finally seen the light in allowing the use of the smooth inside wall, plastic pipes. This may not be earth-shattering in the rest of the country, but in my play ground this is great news. I was pleasantly surprised that the County would consider a just as effective but less expensive option. This shows considerable common sense (not normally found in public places; especially Congress).
The third surprise was the need for Fire Alarm system. This is a small Laundromat that is under 1200 s.f. in total space and has been a Laundromat for over 40 years. The Laundromat is boxy in shape and has 2 entrances and no customer area is more than 40' from any door. We currently have 2 hard wired smoke detectors. It seems silly to me that we have to install a Fire Alarm panel with central monitoring for a single store, in a small strip mall Laundromat. But, what do I know...
So I am planning and figuring and running around like a crazy person. If you see me on the streets, just remember that I will return to normal in a couple of weeks. I will keep you posted on the rest of my Laundromat renovation adventure.
HK Parts Specials:
Overlay for Huebsch Stack Dryers
List Price $ 35.76
HK Special Pricing $ 16.09
Rollers for Huebsch / Speed Queen Dryers
List Price $ 30.89
HK Special Pricing $ 16.98
Call Anthony at 1-800-229-4572 or
to take advantage of these
Weekly Parts Specials.