A General Guide To Locking Products For Laundromats
At one level, the needs of laundromats are not that complex, but there are variations which must be taken into consideration when ordering parts. The situation is more complex than a car or house key, but not at a level comparable to a bank. It requires careful evaluation of what equipment is in service, and details of what is exactly in place to determine replacement needs. We hope the following information will be useful in establishing your needs.
Our boxes are offered with a choice of five different locks. As with any other product – you get what you pay for. Least expensive is least secure. The following information begins with least expensive and progress from there to most expensive, and most secure.
The least expensive (and least secure) is the Ace lock. This is the tubular lock common to vending machines. Unfortunately, a pick exists for these. Many laundries key machines alike, so this is a hazard.
The next step, offering greater security, at only slightly higher cost, is the NOVA lock. This is lock made specifically for Monarch, using a half-moon shaped key. It is an inexpensive lock with greater security than offered by tubular style locks. NOTE, these locks are not appropriate for 360 degree turn applications.
A good lock, offering excellent security at a reasonable cost, is the TriGard. This lock is also made specifically for Monarch. This is a fourteen wafer lock, using a triple cut key. This makes it very difficult to pick, yet cost is modest compared to equal locks.
In the case of the Nova and TriGard, keys are only available from Monarch, which restricts access to codes. Blanks are not made available, only cut keys are sold.
A common lock, which also offers excellent security, is the DUO lock. This is a triple bitted, non-symmetrical cut, on Monarch’s own key path. Keys are only available through Monarch.
The highest security lock is the Medeco. It is the most expensive lock, but high risk locations may justify their use locks.
Most laundry equipment uses a standard coin box, (our P/N JBx-x-xx). The opening into which this unit fits are 3.7″ wide by 2.58″ high. The standard tray length for most machines is approximately 6″ (P/N JBL-x-xx). Some older equipment may have the “Short” tray (JBS-x-xx), which is only 4″ long (this is very rare anymore). Some newer machines use a box with additional capacity which is 8″ long (P/N JBX-x-xx). These are mostly stack units or larger front load machines. Some new machines, that could have used the 8″ tray, have had shorter “recycled” boxes put in place. If you seek added capacity, put a ruler into the box opening to determine if the 8″ tray will fit. The next character indicates the lock to be used. A= Tubular, N=Nova, T=Trigard, D=Duo, and M= Medeco. The last two characters in the part number are for the finish, Chrome (JBL-A-CH), Black powder coat (JBL-A-BK), and Blue for Dexter machines (JBL-A-BL). The power coated finish is attractive, and does not show marks and fingerprints as bad as chrome does.
Another box used less frequently but quite common on Kenmore, and a few older Whirlpool, new Maytag, and new models of Whirlpool with “JQ” at the end of its model number, is the Guardian. This box is nearly square on its face. On the Kenmore this is always the shorter but deeper tray. Older Whirlpool might use the 6″ tray. New Maytag and new Whirlpool use the longest tray. The same locks are available. (P/N GBx-x), it is available in Short (4″) or Long (6″), and Xtra (8″) long (GBX-x) with the lock code following. Maytag machines built after August of 1996 use this longer box. As of this writing (05-02-08), Speed Queen is designing their larger front load machines to accept a super extra long tray. Check with us in the future.
Some equipment manufacturers have gone their own way in designing a coin box for their machines. The most common example are Maytag machines built prior to August 1996. The box in these machines is their own fabrication, which uses either a quarter turn extension, or, in newer machines, a cam is available. Rule of thumb: if the box is the same color as the rest of the machine, then you have a manufacturer’s only product, and the odds are not in your favor that it will be easy to find a replacement. Example, older Speed Queen Front Load washer and dryers, old primus, etc. Keep in mind that some manufacturers have sold machines bearing their name, but actually made by another manufacturer. This is an added factor to consider.
In cases where the boxes do not conform to the dimensions of the units noted above, it is best to take extreme care not to damage the box itself when trying to remove it. The cost of some of these boxes is truly outrageous, and in the case of some older equipment, it may be obsolete and no longer available from any source. For example, a few old round faced Whirlpool boxes remain in service. This box is obsolete. Take great care in drilling one out, attacking the lock only.
Standard coin boxes are produced by other companies. They generally offer the Ace, Duo, and Medeco locks, but have other makes as a part of their line as well. Should you call looking for keys assigned to them, we do not hesitate to give their phone numbers. Replacement Keys It is not always practical to convert boxes to other locks. It is generally less expensive to completely replace a box, rather the spend man-hours trying to rebuild or re-key existing boxes. Plus some boxes have obsolete style locks which cannot be replaced. Please examine the price list for complete boxes, and then evaluate the time it would take to re-key an existing box.
In our catalogue you will find a section on extensions. This indicates the length of the more common threaded, and quarter turn extensions. There is also instructions on how to describe an extension which is not illustrated. This may be necessary when the machine has outlasted the manufacturer, or in machines which are obsolete but still functional.
There are several thousands of different codes in use. Many people are under the mistaken idea that all machines with the same model numbers will be keyed alike. This is not true. Most manufacturers ship their equipment with no coin box, no coin chute, and no service door locks. “Kits” containing the necessary parts to put a coin operated machine in service are purchased by the distributor who installs the equipment. And this distributor will generally receive a different code each time they order. Distributors also order for stock, and machines on one side of town may wind up with the same code as one down the road. This is a risky.
Codes on Standard Service door locks are not widely varied. Service door locks in common use will be one of about twenty different ACE codes. This is very helpful for the service technicians for the equipment, but even this poses some risks. If given access to the meter housing area, it is possible to “Card” a machine. This involves opening the service door, and placing cardboard between the chute, and the funnel for the vault. When coins are put through the coin mechanism, they will fall onto the card rather than be directed into the coin box. The thief can open the meter housing later, and retrieve most of the coins which were diverted. We can offer Ace codes outside the usual range or upgrade the service door lock to a TriGard or Duo to avoid these problems.
When consulting with a laundromat owner with serious security problems, it is sometimes best to take an approach which avoids the risk of having money in the machines at all. There are unusual tokens available which work in our coin mechanisms. These are difficult to duplicate, or to defraud. This is ideal in apartment installations with a high risk factor. Or in more extensive installations, change making machines, already built with security in mind, offers a single point to be fortified rather than having to take extraordinary steps to armoring each machine. Coin boxes in the machines will then only contain brass slugs of no value anywhere except in that laundry. There is also a non-reusable token which breaks on acceptance. We would be happy to discuss the alternative, and how to implement such a program.
We may not have all the answers, but we will always do our best to help you. We encourage you to call with any questions you may have. We have a number of resources on which to draw which are generally not available to those outside the coin operated equipment industries. We will be happy to share with you any information we may have.
Monarch was started in 1903, and is still owned by the same family. We have been manufacturing coin devices since our founding, and were involved with the development of coin operated laundry equipment from its inception. We try to take a friendly, casual approach, and still satisfy our customer’s needs in a business like manner. We hope the information contained in this packet will be of use, and look forward to helping you serve your customers for many years.
To make handling our transaction easier, and to avoid C.O.D. charges, we can accept your Visa, Discover, American Express, or Master Card Number with Expiration date. These numbers are not kept once your transaction is complete, so you will have to provide the information with each order.
Our office is open 7:30 am to 5:00 pm EST each weekday. An answering machine will take your calls at other times, and we will respond as quickly as possible. We are also available by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .