Converting a Domestic Washer/Dryer to Coin Operated
Pros and Cons to using HM Meters on Domestic Washers and Dryers
We wish to make you aware of what will occur when using our Coin timers and housings on a domestic machine. On the surface, it seems to be a great idea, BUT there are factors to be considered!
First, in the manufacture of a domestic machine versus the coin op version, the machines come down the assembly line to a point where the top/ lid assembly is added. At that point, a domestic machine has a lid with control panel that has a timer installed in the backsplash that plugs into a multi-plug in the base of the machine. This timer usually has several different cycles from which to choose.
OR at the same point, a top is put on that has NO timer in the back panel, but instead has one in the meter case that has only one cycle, plugging into the base. Once activated, it does its thing, then quits at the end.
When you bolt our timer to a domestic machine, you must deal with a conflict in timers, or be very innovative in how you approach the application. To use a meter such as an HM6, you will need at minimum a single shot timer (starts on one coin only – an accumulating/totalizing timer will accept more to start, but it costs more) that will start the timer motor on the washer and let it advance to the point where the inboard timer will pickup its own load. This involves carefully determining the correct points to wire in. Once activated, this can take a minute or two as the drum advances to that point and the customer will assume the machine has not started and be upset.
OR our timer merely activates power to the existing timer, but then you have the problem of the customer have multiple cycles to choose from while the timer in our housing has only on continuous setting. Domestic machines cycle range from 15/18 minutes to 45 minutes. So you must set our timer at the longest setting to accommodate the machine. Those that are clever will try to run two short cycle on the coin timer and if they take too long between loads, our timer will cut off too soon, leaving a tub full of dirty rinse water. Or they will insert the coins, but then load the washer, put in the soap, and fiddle with knobs, and so again, time expires before the wash is done. For dryers it may be a bit easier.
Also, any variation in water pressure can mean a machine fills quickly one time but takes longer the next. The OEM ( the factory timer on the machine) timer stops, and holds, until the vacuum switch tells it that the tub is filled to the right level, and then resumes driving the timer drum. This is true of both domestic machines and machines that were made to be coin operated. This happens on the original fill to wash and later when it fills to rinse. Our timer keeps on ticking along, disregarding all of these other inputs within the machine.
The one added thing to consider is cost. When buying our meters keep in mind that the cost can be upwards of $400.00 per meter.This may not be the most economical way for you to offer coin operated machines.
Please understand our goal is not to talk you out of purchasing our meters by any means. We will help you with any project that you have. We would always advise you to consider your options before making any decisions.