Page 84 - WaterSense at Work

October 2012
Some commercial laundromats have coin- or
card-operated multi-load-capacity washers.
These types of machines are not regulated
for water use by EPAct 2005. Multi-load
machines may be top- or front-loading,
hard-mount (bolted to the floor) or conven-
tional soft-mount machines with capacities
often exceeding 80 pounds of laundry per
load, compared to less than 20 pounds per
load for a conventional commercial wash-
ing machine. Unlike conventional washing
machines, multi-load machines can allow a
feature with programmable control settings
e.g., number of cycles, water levels per cycle). These settings can dictate the amount
of water used by the machine and can be adjusted to improve efficiency.
Washer Extractors
Washer extractors are similar to multi-load washers, but can be larger, with capaci-
ties ranging from 30 to 800 pounds of per load. Washer extractors remove water and
detergent from clothes using high-speed, centrifugal force spin cycles and are only
configured with a horizontal front-loading axis, which makes them more efficient.
Washer extractor efficiency is usually measured in gallons of water per pound of
fabric, as opposed to gallons per cubic foot for
commercial coin- or card-operated washers.
One significant difference between a washer
extractor and a coin- or card-operated com-
mercial washer is the ability to significantly
vary the number of wash cycles. For example,
washing lightly soiled sheets at a hotel may
only require a three-cycle operation consisting
of wash (detergent), bleach, and rinse cycles.
More heavily soiled laundry may require ad-
ditional cycles, including a first flush, an alkali
cycle to adjust the pH, a wash cycle, a bleach
cycle, several rinse cycles, another pH adjust-
ment to return the pH to neutral, and a final
rinse cycle. With each cycle, some machines
even have the ability to adjust water levels
and the amount of hot or cold water used. This flexibility illustrates the importance of
separating laundry by its level of soil, as doing so will determine the amount of water
used for the total wash operation. Most washer extractors require two to four gallons
of water per pound of fabric cleaned, depending upon the machine, the number of
wash cycles used, and the water level settings.
Laundry Equipment
Multi-load washers
Washer extractors