Why you shouldn’t use domestic machines in a commercial environment
14 May 2015
When trying to get a new business off the ground, we understand that it might be tempting to try and cut costs wherever you can- starting with the equipment stocked in your on-site laundry.
However, with differences between domestic and commercial washing machines being endless, from their basic appearance and build, to standard features and functions, it may not be the best idea to opt for domestic machines just because they’re more cost friendly than their commercial counterparts.
Additionally, while many modern, domestic machines are able to withstand multiple loads being washed in one day, the standard volume of use for a domestic machine simply can’t be compared to that of one in a busy launderette, dry cleaners or laundry.
Here’s what you need to know before buying…
In the average year, a washing machine in a family home will process approximately 250 loads, with the amount for a washer in a commercial environment being considerably higher. For this reason, when it comes to their basic construction, commercial machines are simply built to endure more use and abuse.
Thus, while it will cost more to initially purchase commercial machines, they’ll need far less repairs and replacements, saving you money in the long run.
For the majority of domestic machines, the warranty is usually valid over a period of 2 years. However, it’s important to remember that standard warranties only apply to machines subjected to the domestic use they were intended for.
As faults such as broken doors and control knobs are not common for machines used in a family home, warranty will typically not cover the repairs, meaning you could left be out of pocket.
A high volume of use in a commercial environment will also ensure that these features wear out quickly, leading to more frequent repair costs.
To ensure that commercially used appliances connected directly to the water supply do not cause a risk of contamination, they should be compliant with the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations or Scottish Byelaws. This means that products such as boilers, showers and washers will be required to undergo mechanical and water quality testing in order to gain WRAS approval.
While most commercial washing machines are WRAS approved, however, the same can’t be said for domestic models. Please note that if an appliance is for communal use or within certain sectors e.g. care it must be WRAS approved. The water regulators have the powers to impose heavy fines if sites are not complying with the Byelaws.
Lastly, another feature that sets domestic and commercial machines apart is their basic functionality and available settings. Typically, machines intended for commercial use will have more wash types and cycle options, making them suitable for laundering a wider range of items with reduced time and greater economy.
Many commercial washers also feature an automatic dosing system which saves time by ensuring that the correct amount of detergent is released during the wash cycle. This feature, however, is unlikely to be available on a domestic model.