Caring for your Commercial Dryer

Today, with washing making up nearly 50% of a dry cleaner’s volume and 100% of hotel and hospitality establishments, we service way more commercial dryers than we did just a couple years ago.  Sadly, as with so many other pieces of equipment, our service technicians share stories of how commercial dryers are not being properly cared for.

The problem with not properly caring for your dryer is the fire potential; the biggest issue is lint buildup within the dryer and duct work from filters not being cleaned properly or being damaged.  Most laundry fires start in the dryer due to this very issue and because most dryers are Natural/Propane gas, when you have fire for heat and lint built up all over the inside of the dryer cabinet and duct work with lint in it, a piece of lint blows through the burner and into the dryer on fire, and puff, you have fire being fanned by the blower motor which gets it going and keeps it going until the electrical wiring burns up and shorts the motor.  It’s pretty scary, and it should be.

To properly care for your commercial dryer, follow this maintenance schedule:

  • Cleaning the entire inside cabinet and duct annually, and it’s not hard when done annually but it is when there is 3” of build up throughout.
  • Clean the burner and all orifices, ensure the burner is in good shape, because they do decay from exposure to gases from combustion.
  • Check filters for good condition. Make sure there are no holes and if a seal is around the outside of the filter is it in ok shape .

Proper belt tension is important:

  • Check for bearing wear by lifting up on the inside of the drum, and if there is excessive bearing wear then you will be able to lift the drum an inch or so.
  • Trunnion adjustment is possible on some dryers which is a means of lifting the front of the drum with adjusting bolts on the rear bearing assembly to keep the basket from rubbing the front housing.
  • Make sure sail switches are properly working and aren’t jumped out. (This happens when you absolutely need the dryer and don’t have the part to repair and forget to replace).These are switches installed in the air ways usually where the duct attaches to the dryer to make sure there is air flow, so you don’t have heat without air flow.

Always consult your owner’s manual for all maintenance requirements and safety procedures, and feel free to contact Tri-State if you have questions about how to properly care for your dryer.