The Guild of Cleaners and Launderers (GCL) set itself the task of averting problems when we finally shake off Covid-19 and get back to work.
For cleaners who have decided to close and sit outside on March 20, there is a potential problem waiting to frustrate some who may not have foreseen that starting devices that have not been regular for a long time used is anything but easy.
The vast majority of machines and mechanical devices must be operated regularly in order to work reliably. For example, if a car stops for three months, it probably won't start, and this is very often the case with cleaning equipment. The problems can be diverse and range from blocked pump systems, leaky pumps, seized pneumatic valves and peristaltic feeds, stuck steam traps and blocked boiler blowdowns, to name a few. There is also a possibility of bad odors in dry cleaning machines due to bacterial growth, although this is most likely not a problem with perchlorethylene machines.
The best advice is to start the system once a week, for example, and run the machine in a normal cycle and complete the distillation before shutting down the machine. Operate all valves on finishing equipment, including presses and ironing boards, and cycle through garment molders and cabinet finishers. Finally, switch off and blow off the boiler, let it drain completely and do not refill it, then switch off the water supply. This is believed to be a costly time consuming option that many cleaners and washers are reluctant to use.
For those who decide against weekly maintenance, it is particularly important to completely empty the boiler to avoid corrosion. Also turn off the water supply to the machine to avoid the risk of water accumulation in the machine due to perforations in the cooling system. If the production equipment has not been in use for more than six weeks, contact your technician or equipment supplier before restarting production.
The suggestions above are not intended to be exhaustive, and are intended to give the cleaner / washer some ideas on how to deal with a long period of inactivity and the difficulties that may arise after a long period of inactivity.
For more advice or if you need to find an engineer, visit the Society of Laundry Engineers & Allied Traders (SLEAT) at www.sleat.co.uk/ or email Secretary David Hart at firstname.lastname@example.org .uk