Understanding Washer Extraction Speeds

When we measure extraction speeds for washing machines, we use the term ‘g-force’, which means how fast the washer can spin clothes.  The faster the spin, the more g-forces, and that translates to more water being squeezed out of clothes during the extraction cycle.  The less wet the clothes and linens, the less time, money, and energy will be spent on drying and ironing.   

There are three categories of washer extraction speeds, and they determine the machine’s cost and the type of construction for installing the washing machine:

  • Hard mount low extract g-force such as 90-120 (We are not considering these today given that they are typically chosen when dry times don’t matter, often in the case of coin laundromats.)
  • Hard mount medium extract such as 200 to 300 g’s
  • Soft mount 300 g’s+

As with any piece of washing machine equipment, there are pros and cons.  A washer with a g-force rating of 200 can spin clothes fast enough that they are pulled to the side of the basket with a force 200x the earth’s gravity.   Hard mount washers using 200 g’s are less likely to have issues with the floor mounting bolts or steel base mounting bolts integrity due to g-force of the washer extraction speed.

Washers with ratings of 300 or more are much more powerful, and therefore, you start having issues when mounting to the floor.  The harmonic vibration of a 50-pound load of wet laundry at 300-g’s causes manufactures to require installation on a 6” concrete floor that includes steel reinforcement.  With my experience and observation, I believe it to be necessary as I have seen a high-speed washer bolted to 4” floors vibrate themselves to death, causing damage to the bearings and seals. 

Soft mount washers are built for higher extraction speeds of 300 up even to 400+ g’s with a basket supported by shocks and springs.  I believe that soft mount washers are the best option long term provided they fit within your budget.  There are two things that led me to this conclusion:  first, they require less repair service given that their seals and components last longer for not being subjected to the constant vibration of a hard mounts extract; and second, you get better water extraction results.  We will cover this benefit in next month’s blog post. 

In the meantime, if you are considering a new or used commercial washer, give Tri-State a call at 866-885-5218.  We are happy to help.