CLA Connect Open Forum

Nails in the washers

  • 1.  Nails in the washers

    Posted 11 days ago
    Edited by Michael Nemetz 11 days ago

    Yesterday a new customer placed his clothes in an Alliance Laundry Speed Queen 40 lb. washer.  I happened to be at the Mat the day this happened.  We all immediately hear a screeching sound of metal on metal.  Could not shut the washer off with the quantum software so got switched the power off.

    Turned out the customer had nails in a blanket from a construction job that he forgot to remove.

    Now when you spin the drum you hear metal scratching so a bunch of nails dropped through the holes and are inside the machine.

    I took it apart and could not figure out how to get the inner drum out so I now have a service call.

    The customer lied through his teeth that it was not his fault even thought I was standing 15 feet away and saw the whole thing.  I have it on video and 5 witnesses.

    Question: Should I be holding customers responsible for this sort of negligence?  Signs on the wall saying they are responsible for damage to the machines?  I have his license plate and I am doing a plate look up.  I figure if I send this guy a bill for $500 he'll never come back which is fine with me.

    Thanks you for all input!

    - Mike



    ------------------------------
    Michael Nemetz
    Store Owner/ Employee
    Michael N
    San Francisco
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Nails in the washers

    Posted 11 days ago
    Hi Michael,

     Sorry about your unfortunate experience. Also sorry to see you referring to one of your customers as an idiot / moron on this forum.  You do realize this is a public forum correct?

    I doubt that you could hold the customer responsible as it would be difficult to.prove that it was his.load that caused the issue.  More importantly how will you look like as an owner with. ther customers?

     Nails, screws, pocket.kives credit cards, bra wires, crayons, gum, lighters, abuse, & neglect are part of doing business.  It's a good thing you were there to address the issue sooner.

     It happens to most if not all of us.  Even more so in locations such as Florida, Texas, or louisiana that are busy with hurricane repairs & construction.

     Learn the lesson.  Learn how to work more on your equipment, work with your customers. Teach them help them help you.

     You may want to observe the drum removal operation so that the next time it happens you will know how to do it & save yourself the service call.

     Good luck with your effort.

    ------------------------------
    Juan
    Store Owner/ Employee
    Cocoa FL
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Nails in the washers

    Posted 11 days ago
    Michael,

    I have NEVER had to remove the cylinder to clear nails from a washer or dryer.

    I suggest you use a flashlight and determine where the nails are and the best way to remove them. Usually you need to rotate the basket until the nail hangs loose and then pull it out of the hole.

    ------------------------------
    Larry Adamski
    Muskegon Laundromat
    Spring Lake MI
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Nails in the washers

    Posted 11 days ago
    Pulled out about 15 nails the other day as soon as I heard the clinking.  I'm afraid there's not much you can legally do unless you have signs posted explicitly saying "Check your pockets and machine for any metal objects.  You are responsible for any damage to the equipment."

    ------------------------------
    Chris Mallam
    Norfolk VA
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Nails in the washers

    Posted 11 days ago
    As Larry said, never had to remove basket for this. Get in there with pliers and flash light. Move basket back and forth and work them loose. Remove drain and reach up in to get any thing that is loose between basket and drum.

    ------------------------------
    Chris Mirisciotta
    Store Owner/ Employee
    Canon Coin Laundry
    Canonsburg PA
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Nails in the washers

    Posted 11 days ago

    Update:  The service tech was in my mat today.  There is no way to remove the inner tub from the tub housing as they are welded.  The nails fell through the holes in the inner tub and are on the other side scraping against the metal when you spin the inner tub.  Sounds like a car engine out of oil.  Can't retrieve them.  The only way to fix this is to replace the entire drum assembly.  $1k parts plus 3-4 hours of labor and a two-man job.  Probably end up costing me $1,500 to $2,000 to fix this.  I'm handy and took it all apart on the spot to see if it was a quick fix.  The bolts that hold the drum together are welded on.  This is less than a year-old machine.  We could not find a way to crack them apart to remove the nails.  The Service tech confirmed I wasn't missing something, they don't come apart.  Not happy about this. This guy dropped like a dozen or more nails in my machine along with his laundry.  The reason they came here is he destroyed his sister's washer, so they came to my laundromat and did the same to mine.

     



    ------------------------------
    Michael Nemetz
    Store Owner/ Employee
    Michael N
    San Francisco
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Nails in the washers

    Posted 11 days ago
    Give us a brand and model/size.
    It's possible we may come up with a "work around" solution. (think-Apollo 13)

    I'm thinking that if the ends of the nails can come out of the holes you might be able to clip the whole nail off below the head.
    Then you only have small parts rattling around inside the fins.

    Another possible solution I've used on Dryer drums is to make a hole under the fin itself Only. Perhaps using a hole saw.

    If you already have the tub out, then I would choose a High Quality 1" or 1 1/4" bi-metal hole saw, and drill about 1" from the front drum edge, directly under each of the fins.
    Stand the drum on the front edge end  at a 45* and slowly turn the drum.
    A second person would grab the nails with long nose pliers.
    Continue until all the nails have been removed.

    On a Dryer I just clip out a "diamond" from the holes, and let the dryer run. the coins, etc eventually make their way out and into the lint compartment.
    Alliance has these holes already placed in all their later model dryer drums.
    Perhaps they might be added to future washer drums as well?


    ------------------------------
    DAVID CHAMLEE
    Service Technician since 1986
    and sometimes Laundromat Owner
    CCR
    Santa Barbara, CA
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Nails in the washers

    Posted 11 days ago
    ​Michael,

    Is David's assumption correct? Are the nails inside the fins - not the inner basket? What kind of washer do you have that nails can get into the fins?

    ------------------------------
    Larry Adamski
    Muskegon Laundromat
    Spring Lake MI
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Nails in the washers

    Posted 11 days ago
    Edited by Michael Walsh 11 days ago
    Michael & others,

    Hopefully, you will find a way from David or someone so it is less costly.  Based on experience with washing machine nail removal ... it seem like that specific brand model -year has a serious design flaw & hopefully the distributor-factory will help make it so the loss is not so terribly horrific.  Instead of pretending that they are not "in the loop" when it comes to correcting ability on the fairly common "nails left in clothes" events within laundromats.  I notice the distance between the inner & outer tub is way more on my Wascomat Gen4s vs the previous front loaders that I had making the catching ... scraping much less likely with the Gen4s.  Maybe history is repeating itself on some of the newer designs ... I am not sure & do not want to false accuse?

     You bring up what should be a discussion at some point on the forum when there is damage to our equipment etc. done by & to what degree of carelessness on the part of the clearly not preferred customer??  Definition of an actual customer vs more trouble than they are worth???

    For example, let's say one of the larger LCD screens that are on some washers or glass on a vending machine was banged on because it was not working.  I am not talking about a dainty lady or fragile man ... but an over-sized individual who should know how dangerous the butt of their hand can be etc.  At unattended laundromats ... I can see incidents of not deliberate damage to whatever ... but when some kids or whoever turn the place into a gymnasium ... with a sports ball & or running ... skate board ... who knows.  When should they be forced to share in the cost ... via the city attorney threat of being charge with some form of negligence without restitution ... or via small claims?

    ------------------------------
    Michael Walsh www.kingkoin.com
    Store Owner/ Employee
    King Koin Laundry, Car n Dog Wash
    Bismarck ND
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Nails in the washers

    Posted 11 days ago
    Edited by DAVID CHAMLEE 11 days ago
    I took a guess by the mention of "Quantum Programming" that this a later model Alliance brand. There are a few differences in the tub of a *C model and a *CN, but the drums are close enough for this discussion.

    Here is an SC60 drum that I happen to have laying around.

    6vo64TwTDSzpEdt84sTw_2018-06-13 16.29.13.jpg
    These are the bolts I suspect you are talking about being welded.


    These are the fins on the inside.



    The Later Model ones have a row of hole along the top and sides.
    That's probably how the nails got it




    You can see the outline of the fin from the back side.


    These are the hole that can be clipped out.
    On the some areas it's solid, so the hole saw works there.
    It is possible to reach up through the outer tub after removing the drain valve hose.
    I have done this before to allow coins that are rattling around in the fins to escape.
    It would take too long for those nails however.
    Taking the drum out of the machine is a project, but it can be done
    You shouldn't need a new drum.



    ------------------------------
    DAVID CHAMLEE
    Service Technician since 1986
    and sometimes Laundromat Owner
    CCR
    Santa Barbara, CA
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: Nails in the washers

    Posted 11 days ago
    Thank you all for the responses.  You've given me hope that I might be able to repair this myself ;-).

    The model is:  Speed Queen Model #SC40WCFXU
    Speed Queen F/L 40#, Quantum Gold Wireless Network, 1/3 phase, 100G, Vinyl CLad

    The nails did make their way inside the fins.  The nails are 4" long...not finish nails but they had small heads so they passed through the holes in the washer tub.  I dropped the drain hose and removed some.  Others made it inside the fins.

    I do have a hole saw, wonder if I could drill below the fin via the drain port then use a magnet tool the reach in and remove them?

    I'll snap a photo when I have an opp.

    Thanks, Mike

    ------------------------------
    Michael Nemetz
    Store Owner/ Employee
    Michael N
    San Francisco
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Nails in the washers

    Posted 11 days ago
    Another thought;
    Since the nails are regular ferrous steel, and the drum is non-magnetic stainless steel, it might be possible, with a little patients (ok, a lot) to slip a thin magnet through the holes, grab the end of the nail, and pull it back out through the holes in the fins.
    Finding a Neo Beryllium or cobalt magnet in that size could be a challenge.
    Ebay and Amazon have some things I've seen in another project i was doing with the Scouts.
    The longer the more power, but unless it comes attached to a stick, would present a different challenge.
    Running thought process here.


    ------------------------------
    DAVID CHAMLEE
    Service Technician since 1986
    and sometimes Laundromat Owner
    CCR
    Santa Barbara, CA
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: Nails in the washers

    Posted 11 days ago
    Edited by Larry Adamski 11 days ago
    Michael,

    Okay, now we're understanding your problem.

    I think it's unlikely that you will find a magnet that you can use through the holes to pull 4" nails back out the same way they went into the fins.  Thus, I think you're left with only 2 options.

    1.  You can cut a hole into the fin bottom (where it won't affect anything) and then push a magnet attached to the end of a coat hanger type wire into the fin to pick up the nails and pull them out through the hole you cut.  There is no need to plug the hole after removing the nails.  If you can cut the hole through the drain opening, that will save you removing and reinstalling the cylinder which is a lot of work.

    2.  You can cut a hole into one side of the fin at a position where it's solid (no holes) and remove the nails through that hole.  Then pop a black, plastic plug in, with a little silicone on it, to close the hole.  I think you could buy the plugs at an auto parts store.  Obviously, you would want to buy the plugs first so you know EXACTLY what size hole to make.

    I'm in my 50th year of operating laundromats and I've never run into this specific problem of nails getting into a washer's fins.  The closest thing I've had happen is coins getting into a washer's fins.  With coins, they just rattle around without engaging the outer cylinder so they're not a huge issue.

    ------------------------------
    Larry Adamski
    Muskegon Laundromat
    Spring Lake MI
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: Nails in the washers

    Posted 10 days ago
    Michael
    I am so sorry to hear about the situation with the nails. I would be equally angry.  

    In the past when a customer, whether deliberately or just inadvertently, caused damage to my machines I tend to learn about it after the fact. We are unattended so I discover the cause when I review the security recording. In these cases I do not have a way of contacting or tracking down the culprit so I turn it into a teaching moment for my customers. I post the video on our FB page and/or pictures in the store with the caption "don't be this guy" (or gal) explaining what occurred.

    In this situation where you witnessed it and have the possibility to track him down I agree with you. I would present him with a demand letter with the option to reimburse you for the repair or never step foot in your laundromat again. I understand Juan's comment about the cost of doing business however some customers are not worth having and need to be fired. 


    ------------------------------
    Deborah Dower
    Multi Store Owner
    Paradise Laundry Inc.
    El Dorado Hls CA
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: Nails in the washers

    Posted 10 days ago
    Not knowing what type of nails they are, have you tried a magnet to gather them up and move them to the drain exit at the bottom of the machine?

    Just a thought.

    BB

    ------------------------------
    Ben Blair
    Multi Store Owner
    BB's Laundromat
    San Pablo CA
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: Nails in the washers

    Posted 10 days ago
    I say just chalk it up. Situation is rare. Been in the business 10 years and customer negligence happens. Taking him to court is too much of a headache and costs a few hundred bucks. What are the chances that you think he's going to pay. Keep the invoice and write it off when you do your taxes.

    ------------------------------
    ALAN BOOKARD
    Store Owner/ Employee
    HONEY BROOK PA
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: Nails in the washers

    Posted 10 days ago

    David, thanks for the photos and for root cause on how those nails may have gotten into the fins.

    Larry, your advice:

    1. You can cut a hole into the fin bottom (where it won't affect anything) and then push a magnet attached to the end of a coat hanger type wire into the fin to pick up the nails and pull them out through the hole you cut. There is no need to plug the hole after removing the nails. If you can cut the hole through the drain opening, that will save you removing and reinstalling the cylinder which is a lot of work.


    Is what I was think of doing as well.  I found a rare earth magnet with a flexible handle to fish the nails out.




    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01A0HKTG2/ref=ox_sc_act_title_6?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1


    Also some 1/4" Hex extentions because my hole saw is 3/8" hex and I may need a longer shaft to reach up inside the drain sleeve for the washer drum.



    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01D3QGKIS/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=A13ZZ878F3P9JD&psc=1


    Deborah, yes, I've tracked the guys down.  Know his name, address, etc.  Costs $39.00 to do this if you have their license plate number.  Confident I'd win.  Zero confidence I'd collect anything and probally spend more time that its worth to pursue.

    Benjamin Blair,

    Not knowing what type of nails they are, have you tried a magnet to gather them up and move them to the drain exit at the bottom of the machine?

    For the nails in that area yes, I can do that.  For the nails inside the fins I will have to cut a hole using a metal hole say and then try and extract them with a magnet.


    ALAN BOOKARD

    I say just chalk it up. Situation is rare. Been in the business 10 years and customer negligence happens. Taking him to court is too much of a headache and costs a few hundred bucks. What are the chances that you think he's going to pay. Keep the invoice and write it off when you do your taxes.

    Agreed.  We're working on a sign with some images to mind customers to remove nails and screws from their pockets and any damage to the machines will be their responsibility.


    I'll report back after the repairs to document the fix in case this ever happens to you.

    Cheers,

    Mike





    ------------------------------
    Michael Nemetz
    Store Owner/ Employee
    Michael N
    San Francisco
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: Nails in the washers

    Posted 10 days ago
    Although less serious,

    my my headache is rubber backed mats shedding pieces

    which block the drain and keep the door locked grrrrr,

    ------------------------------
    MICHAEL SAYER
    Store Owner/ Employee
    DORVAL QC
    ------------------------------



  • 19.  RE: Nails in the washers

    Posted 10 days ago
    Good decision.

     Glad to learn that you can work.on your own machines.  Learn the lesson & move on.  It's unfortunate as it seems part.of doing business.

     The signs & customer interaction are a reasonable approach.  Be glad you are not in an area where it happens more often than what you just experienced.

     Again this says something about the designs, fabrication methods on how all.of that is important when choosing equipment.  Maintenance, interchangeability, & access are factors that can't be ignored.

     People make mistakes.  Heck, we all do.  I would find it suspect if 1 person on this forum could state that they have never inadvertently left something in your pockets and or found them in the washer or dryer.

     Good luck with your retrieval effort.

    ------------------------------
    Juan
    Store Owner/ Employee
    Cocoa FL
    ------------------------------



  • 20.  RE: Nails in the washers

    Posted 5 days ago
    Hi everyone,

    The nails are all removed and they were never in the fins as I reported previously.  My manager was able to get the rest of the nails out using a pair of pliers.  What is left in the washer tumbler fins sounds like a bunch of coins.

    I was getting ready to drill holes in the three fins through the drain hole in the bottom of the tub so the coins could drop out.  I snapped a photo to see what I was drilling into and found that the fin has a seam in it.  I decided to abort for the time being as I think my hole saw will get hung up on that seam.

    I called Alliance for support and they recommended I remove the tub, drill a large enough hole to remove the coins and then roll the tub around until the coins fall out.  Reinstall the tub and leave the holes so future coins can have a path to fall out.

    He said the older machines you could diassemble the tubs but these new ones they are welded.

    I asked if this was common and he replied more common on the dryers than the washers.

    I had a devil of a time last time trying to get the tub out and I found out you need a special puller to remove the tub.  The part number is 389P4.

    I looked that up on my local distributors website and the retail for that puller is $3,205.

    Related photos below and I took a video so you can hear what I hear when you spin the drum.


    Spinning the washer drum you can hear the coins inside the fins.

    https://app.box.com/s/32di87qizdfwdihhdoxh09tuqibn7d82






    Below, I lined up my hole saw to check clearance before I began drilling and decided to snap a photo of where I would be drilling.




    The fin that has the coins in it happens to be the seam for the tumbler.  I decided to abort for the time being as I think my hole saw will get hung up on that seam.


    Weld seam under fin




    ------------------------------
    Michael Nemetz
    Store Owner/ Employee
    Michael N
    San Francisco
    ------------------------------



  • 21.  RE: Nails in the washers

    Posted 5 days ago
    That looks like about a 2" hole saw.
    That is Much bigger than you need!

    I use a 1" hole saw.

    A standard US Quarter is just a bit under 1".

    Susan B. and Gold Sac dollars are just a bit over.

    A 1" hole saw ends up cutting about a 1 1/8" hole when you are finished.


    However Gold Dollars are much less likely to get under the fins because of their Thickness.

    There isn't much worry about the seam.
    The seam is a Butt Weld, not an Overlap.
    The material is just noticeably thicker.

    Yes, it's a bit tougher, and you will need to go slowly, but if you "rock" the bit as you go in you should be fine. Go slowly.

    I have used the "grit" type hole saws with even more success.
    No teeth to hang up.

    Also Double and Triple check your hole location.
    It looks like where you we pointing at the seam is in open drum area, not under a fin!

    One more suggestion; If you have a pair of Long Reach Vise Grips, use them to lock the drum in place. It won't take much pressure, but it will keep the drum from rolling as you drill.

    The 1/4" impact is probably not the best choice either.
    I use an Angle Drill, because of the space, and the superior control when the saw get biting into the metal.
    If you need to use a regular drill, be sure to attach and use the support handle. 


    ------------------------------
    DAVID CHAMLEE
    Service Technician since 1986
    and sometimes Laundromat Owner
    CCR
    Santa Barbara, CA
    ------------------------------



  • 22.  RE: Nails in the washers

    Posted 5 days ago
    Yes, the hole saw way too big and never use an impact driver with a hole saw. As David said a 1 inch should drill that easily.

    ------------------------------
    Chris Mirisciotta
    Store Owner/ Employee
    Canon Coin Laundry
    Canonsburg PA
    ------------------------------



  • 23.  RE: Nails in the washers

    Posted 4 days ago

    Thanks David and Chris, thanks for the advice.  I do have a 1" hole saw so I will drop the size down.  I'll shop for a new drill as you describe because I think I will be doing this again soon on another washer.

    Good idea with the vice grips.

    At first glance I thought it was an overlap weld.  Once I uploaded the photo of the weld on my computer I realized it was a butt weld.

    It is definitely under the fin, that part I know.

    I'll tool up and try again.

    Thanks!

    Mike Nemetz



    ------------------------------
    Michael Nemetz
    Store Owner/ Employee
    Michael N
    San Francisco
    ------------------------------