Washer / Extractors
Today’s washer/extractors are available with a dizzying array of features, configurations, sizes and styles. So much so that you can get lost trying to determine which combination of attributes is best for your laundry. You need to understand how each feature is either needed or not needed for your specific laundry. Water Energy Green Laundry Systems use only washers that come with specially engineered features that work in harmony with our ozone system and other green hardware to deliver a superior finished product with the least amount of labor and energy possible.
Modern washers are large, complex pieces of machinery specifically engineered to deliver a superior finished product time and time again. Like other products, there are variations in configurations available to fit your situation and budget. Today’s washers have evolved to a point where they can offer many features your Grandfather’s washer never had. Washers are available with high-speed extract that will accelerate your production and reduce your energy footprint substantially. This feature is only available because of engineering advances, modern materials and improved manufacturing processes. A washer with this function can greatly reduce the amount of water remaining in the linens after the spin (extract) cycle. This advance alone can save enough energy to pay for your entire laundry over the years and reduce your carbon footprint from the very first day. To achieve this almost complete removal of water from the linens, the washer drum must spin at incredible speeds high enough to generate a force approaching 350 g’s. Drum diameter times rotational rate equals g-force. You know how your home washer can dance across the floor when the load gets off-center; just think about what a washer could do with hundreds of times more force and a much larger load. The solution – these advanced washers are built with large springs and shock absorbers inside the unit to isolate the drum from the frame of the washer. This is called a soft-mount washer. This is absolutely necessary with a very high-speed extracting machine because a rigid frame washer with the drum’s bearing bolted directly to the internal frame and the frame bolted to the floor would potentially shake your entire building and possibly break the floor and wall of your laundry.
With a soft-mount washer, you never really notice that it is creating immense g-forces on your linens until you pull them out of the washer. That’s when you notice how little water they have remaining in them. A soft-mount washer is able to keep this all to itself because the suspension system inside the washer isolates the vibrations from the floor.
A hard-mount washer is hard-mounted directly to the cement slab below the washer. This requires that you increase the slab thickness below the washers and include reinforcing rebar to fortify the foundation. You must beef-up the floor when installing hard-mount washers or it won’t last long before crumbling. Hard-mount washers come with an extraction force between 50 and 250 g-forces. They are not available with a super high-speed extract option. If you have high-speed extract hard-mount washers, you’ll know from anywhere in the building when a washer’s in the extract mode. Also, hard-mount washers can only be placed on the first floor where the slab is against rock-solid Mother Earth. Therefore, all Water Energy Green Laundry Systems are built with soft-mount, high-speed extract washers.
Each of these types of washer configurations comes in either open pocket or split pocket models. An open pocket washer is just that, the drum is completely open and all laundry items can move about within the entire drum during the wash cycle. This is much better than split-pocket washers for several reasons. First, the majority of cleaning action you receive in a washing machine is the mechanical action of the linens rubbing against each other during the wash cycle. The tumbling of the linens creates friction between the items and this accomplishes a whopping 70% or more of the cleaning action, even without the chemicals. The laundry chemistry accomplishes the remaining 30% of the cleaning process. So the more tumbling and mechanical action you deliver to your linens, the cleaner they get.
With a split-pocket washer, the drum is divided into sections to segregate different bundles of linens, possibly from different customers or different sections of a building. The pockets keep the linens separated and limit the amount of space they have to move around in the drum during the washing process. This reduces the amount of mechanical action delivered to the linens and limits the amount of cleaning power your washer can deliver. Split-pocket washers = less-clean linens. There’s no way around it. It’s a matter of physical law.
Open pocket washers can be loaded and unloaded quickly relative to a split-pocket washer. With an open-pocket washer you simply throw all of the linens in at one time, close the door and start the cycle. When the cycle is complete, you open the door and pull all the linens out at once, or the machine tilts and unloads the linens into a cart.
Split-pocket washers require that you fill and empty one pocket at a time which increases the amount of time it takes to load/unload the washer which slows your production process. If you add up all the time to complete each step, it adds up to a lot of time wasted by the end of the day. With a split-pocket washer, you must rotate the drum until you get to the opening of an individual pocket then open the door and empty that pocket. Then close the door, rotate the cylinder to the next pocket and open the door and empty that pocket and so on for each pocket in the washer. Then you must repeat these steps to load the washer for the next cycle. You certainly wouldn’t want to load dirty linens into a washer that still contained clean linens. Instead of taking 5 minutes or less to unload an open-pocket washer, you can waste up to 15 minutes or more unloading and reloading a split-pocket washer. Just think how much time will be wasted each day if you are processing 20 loads in each washer. You won’t be able to do 20 loads per washer per day because at 15 minutes per load/unload, that would be a full 5 hours wasted each day! That’s a lot of labor and production time lost.
A true Water Energy Green Laundry System uses only specially manufactured, soft-mount, open-pocket washers that deliver up to 350 g’s of extraction force.
These washers must also have 3 water inlets. The 3rd water inlet comes with a Viton diaphragm for connecting directly to the ozone system. This gives you ultimate flexibility in your laundry room. You can use hot water and stronger chemicals if you ever need to for stubborn stains in a pile of heavily-soiled linen you’ve been collecting for a couple of weeks. The rest of the time, you will be using cold water and ozone.
These washers can also come with 2 drains when integrated with a Water Energy Green Laundry Water Reuse System. This dual drain feature allows you to program exactly where the water goes each time the washer drains. You can segregate the types of water coming out of the washer relative to the amount of soil and chemical loading. You want to send any hot water and chemicals down the drain because that type of wastewater would be much more difficult and expensive to reclaim. A system designed to tackle this type of wastewater would cost more by a factor of 10. It is much more cost effective to send this water down the drain. Besides, this type of discharge would be rare because most establishments have a relatively small amount of heavily-soiled linens to process.