DIY Repair Guide for a Jammed Coin-Operated Washer
Why Washer Coin Slides Get Stuck
More than 30,000 coin-operated laundries dot the landscape of the USA. They generate upwards of $5 billion in gross annual revenue. That figure doesn’t include communal laundry facilities in apartment complexes and other multi-unit residential buildings.
Coin-operated washers and dryers are big business. Considering the sheer number of coins dropping into all those machines, is it any wonder that a coin slide gets stuck now and then? And a washer with a jammed coin slide is an inoperable machine, a financial liability and not an asset.
New machines rarely jam. But coin slides develop wear just like other moving parts of a washer, and not every coin inserted will be in mint condition or even genuine.
Slugs or foreign currency sometimes appear in coin slides, wreaking havoc.
In a perfect world, you could force that problem disc out of the chute just by pressing the coin return button. But since you’re reading this blog post on the Chief Appliance Repair website, let’s assume you already tried that, and it didn’t work.
4 Ways to Clear Blockage from a Coin Slide
- Using tweezers, reach into the coin slide. Grasp the offending coin and pull it out of the slot.
- Chances are, frustrated customers have already slapped the coin slide in an attempt to free the jam. Now that you’re on the job, it’s time for a more aggressive approach. Place a block of wood against the washer close to the slide. Tap the block sharply with a hammer. With luck, the vibration you create will loosen the stuck coin. The wooden block will protect the washer’s paint. Tap, but don’t pound!
- Insert another coin into the slot and push in the chute. This action may dislodge the stuck coin.
- A coin tilted to the side may be obstructing the slot. Use a flat screwdriver or utility knife to set it upright.
Now What? Checking the Entire Coin Mechanism
If you’ve scrolled this far, steps 1-4 got you nowhere. The coin is bent and immovable, or the fundamental problem lies with something other than a stuck coin.
You might want to call West Coast Chief Repair at this point.
But if you’re determined to soldier on, you might have to open the coin box or extract the entire coin assembly. A loose screw or defective part could be causing the jam.
If you don’t own the machine, there’s nothing you can do other than report the malfunction to the owner or building manager.
But if you have the key to the access panel, opening the coin box can often dislodge a stuck coin. Yippee!
Removing the entire coin assembly can be tricky, depending on the coin acceptor your washer uses.
The most common coin slot mechanisms for washers are upright and sliding. Dial slots are typical for dryers.
Repairing a Coin Slot Mechanism
Meticulously record anything you might be removing: screws, nuts, connections, etc. You’ll have to reassemble the coin slot mechanism after completing your DIY repair.
- Remove the coin tray. Empty it and check it for anything obvious stuck in the coin chute.
- Remove the maintenance panel, usually located on the top face of the coin slot housing at the back of the washer and locked with a key.
- Remove the long bolt. It usually has a hexagonal cross-section and runs from the front of the housing to the maintenance panel.
- If the slot mechanism has wiring, disconnect it.
- Carefully pull the slot mechanism free.
- You should now be able to see the problem coin or obstruction. Continue to take notes and draw diagrams if you need to dismantle the unit further.
- Once you’ve removed the coin, insert a new coin and test the mechanism. Now comes the real fun. You get to put everything back together!
If the jamming persists, you may have to replace the coin slot mechanism. Since you now know how to remove the mechanism, you should also know how to replace it. Call your local parts distributor and order a new part.
If All Else Fails, Call the Pros
Or, you can save yourself a lot of time and trouble if you give us a call. We repair appliances for a living and have dealt with hundreds of coin jams. We won’t even need a diagram to fix the problem in less time than it takes you to follow the steps in this DIY repair guide.