If you're new to the business, looking for equipment can be overwhelming. There are a lot of terms, abbreviations and requirements that probably don't make any sense. We are here to help. This beginner's guide will help you understand the unknown.
Vended laundry equipment is intended for laundromats, guest laundries, apartment laundry rooms and more. These can also be referred to as "coin-op," short for "coin operated. Vended equipment will have a coin slot for coins or tokens, a card swipe for loyalty or credit cards or a built-in-module for mobile payments.
OPL stands for "On Premises Laundry." These machines are non-vended and are used in places like hotels, motels, dry cleaners, spas, nursing homes and more. They come in a variety of sizes. Most brands offer OPL and vended laundry. But, Unimac only offers OPL equipment.
Coin-op (coin operated) machines will have a coin slot for coins or tokens. There will also be a cutout and vault for coin boxes.
This is one of the most common OPL machines. Unlike most vended equipment, this has a spray feature. In addition, most OPL machines will have a red emergency stop (e-stop) button. This is found on some vended equipment, but it is most common with OPL. This unique cabinet design is also a tell-tale sign the machine is non-vended.
"Hard-mount" or "rigid-mount" refers to the installation type of washing machines. Hard-mount machines must be anchored to a concrete floor. Exact floor and base specifications vary from machine to machine. To accommodate proper drain height, many machines require a steel base, ranging anywhere from 4" to 8". Exact installation specifications can be found in specific machine manuals. If machines are not anchored or installed properly, serious damage can occur. Hard-mount machines come in a variety of sizes, 18lb to over 100lb!
"Soft-mount" washers do not need to be anchored to the ground. Small chassis and most machines in apartment buildings are soft-mount. Soft-mount washers use springs and counter weights to balance the load. Most washers with a painted exterior are soft-mount. Capacities range from about 18lb to over 100lb too!
Natural gas dryers are one of the most common. Most laundromats will have natural has dryers.
Commonly found in dry cleaners and processing facilities, some dryers are neither gas, LP or electric, they dry with steam.
Propane dryers are also very common. Some facilities will not have natural gas hookups or the correct power, so propane is the next option. Many times natural gas dryers can be converted to propane with a gas valve orifice. This is also referred to as "LP" which stands for liquid propane.
Dryers are also available with electric heat. Many small chassis vended dryers are 220V single phase electric. In OPL settings, larger capacity dryers come in 3 phase electric. Buildings must be equipped with 3 phase power to accomodate 3 phase machines.
Some dryers (mostly OPL) will have a reversing feature. This reverses the tumble direction to mitigate tangles and knots. A majority of dryers with this feature will be 3 phase.
Commonly found on OPL dryers, a fire suppression option is sometimes available. This requires a water hookup. If the tumbler recognizes a fire in the drum, it will activate the supression system to extinguish.