CLA Connect Open Forum

1.  Opinions on stack dryers vs single dryers?

Posted 5 days ago
My father and I are working on shaping up a laundromat that has been in the family for 45 years. The subject of stack dryers has come up a few times. We have old Dexter 30LB single drum dryers. They have been reliable and I've done a few bearing jobs on them. Very simple to repair and maintain. The lint traps get cleaned once a week.

Stack dryers seem to be the standard today. While we've been upgrading to front loaders and better wash machines, the dryers haven't gotten much attention. So we're at the point where we need to increase capacity.

The issue I've run into is that my father says that stack dryers don't get hot enough and the build quality is not like our old Dexters. Has anyone run into issues like these? From the bit I've read, some of these stack dryers need to have lint traps cleaned out multiple times per day. Is there anything as low maintenance and easy to work on out there as our Dexters?

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David E
Store Owner
MI
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2.  RE: Opinions on stack dryers vs single dryers?

Posted 5 days ago
Edited by Curt Harrington 4 days ago
The single pocket dryers are wonderful. I used to clean the 3 foot lint once a month. You said you intend to increase your capacity. Unless you have the real estate you can not use them. You will have to clean the lint every day. Sorry.
When you upgrade be sure to include plenty of 5 load dryers. I have more 5 load stacks than 3 load stacks.

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Curt Harrington

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3.  RE: Opinions on stack dryers vs single dryers?

Posted 4 days ago
If you have a large store with lots of room, single pockets are best. Customers prefer them because there is less crowding around the dryers when things are busy.  If many of your customers have large families and you have lots of large washers (50 lbs or greater) then 55 lb SQ single pocket dryers are an excellent choice.  The customer can take the entire contents of a large washer and put in into a single dryer. Customers with smaller loads also like the large dryers because their clothes dry quickly

I replaced 19 single pocket 30 lb dryers with 16 single pocket 55 lb dryers, and the customers love them.  Sometimes all of the 55 lb dryers would be in use, leaving almost all of the 30 lb machines idle.

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- Winston
Store Owner/ Employee
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4.  RE: Opinions on stack dryers vs single dryers?

Posted 4 days ago
You mostly hear - If you have the space, go with singles.

Stacks are a great design for limited space and high square foot cost locations.  They aren't more complicated than a single, just more stuff squeezed into less space.  This is very apparent in lint collection.  Most singles are designed to blow-back a little on stop, this will clear the lint screen by allowing it to 'fall off' the screen into the large collection area at the base of the unit.  Stacks collect the lint on-top of the screen (in most cases), thus the lint is always blocking the screen making it less and less efficient with use.

One thing to remember when updating with higher extract washer is you need less drying capacity, some-what.  The other thing to design, though, is to balance your available pockets separate from capacity.  We all know that two doubles can fit into one 30# pocket, usually.  Most customers will use 2 dryer pockets, though.  You should calculate your dryer capacity at a minimum of 1.1 to washer capacity. Then adjust total pockets accordingly.

You don't want to have one 75# tumbler for every three double washers. (washer cap. 60# = 1.25 dry)

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Timothy Foster
Multi-Store Owner/ Employee
Toledo
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5.  RE: Opinions on stack dryers vs single dryers?

Posted 4 days ago
Dexter stack are just as reliable as the singles, and other than bending over no more difficult to repair. You will have to clean the lint traps a lot more. We clean the top screen every day, and the bottoms every other. I have 2 80lb washers and 2 80lb dryers. Wish I had more of each! The rest of my dryers are 30lb stacks. The 50lb stacks were not out when I bought mine, but I think that is what I'd buy most of today. Singles are nice if you have the sq. ft. Customers like big, whether they fill it or not!

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Brad Seder
Store Owner/ Employee
Santa Rosa CA
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6.  RE: Opinions on stack dryers vs single dryers?

Posted 4 days ago
David,

There are lots of differences between single pocket dryers and stacked dryers.

Advantages of stacked dryers:

1.  You can install two pockets in the space of one single pocket dryer.

2.  The rear service area accommodates two dryer pockets instead of one dryer.

Advantages of single pocket dryers:

1.  User friendly - the cylinder is at the ideal height for loading/unloading.  Customers don't have to bend down or reach up.

2.  Customers are never coerced into close proximity to each other as with one using the upper and another using the lower pocket of a stacked dryer.

3.  Self-cleaning lint screen - the lint falls off the screen (after building up a 1/4 inch) whenever the dryer stops.

4.  Clean the lint off the bottom of the dryer once a week instead of several times daily as with a stacked dryer.

5.  You buy exactly the number you need.  If you need 13 pockets, you don't need to buy 14 pockets.

6.  Single pocket dryers provide a competitive advantage over laundromats with mostly stacked dryers.  Customers like using single pocket dryers.

7.  A user-friendly single pocket dryer department with large folding tables can command a higher vend price than an inconvenient, stacked dryer department with small tables.

8.  If 2 single pocket dryers can be installed back-to-back, the rear service area can accommodate two dryers.  Although seldom done, it is something to consider.

In my experience, assuming you're installing new, hard mount, 200g washers; you can match total rated washer capacity and total rated dryer capacity pound for pound.  For example, if all your washers are rated at a total of 1,000 pounds per wash cycle; then all your dryers should also be rated at a total of 1,000 pounds per dry cycle too.  With the combination of 200g hard mount washers and single pocket dryers, there is no need for the dryer department to have a higher rated capacity than the washer department.  Some distributors will claim you need as much as 30% more dryer capacity than washer capacity but I disagree with this formula.

Although a storefront can accommodate more washers and dryers when stacked dryers are used; this doesn't mean that the laundromat will have higher gross sales than the same storefront with fewer single pocket dryers and fewer washers.  It's not the amount of equipment that determines net profit - it's the desirability of that equipment in the eyes of the customers.  A user-friendly laundromat will attract more customers AND command a higher vend price.

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Larry Adamski
Muskegon Laundromat
Spring Lake MI
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