DIY Fix-it Guide for a Jammed Coin-Operated Washer

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DIY Fix-it Guide for a Jammed Coin-Operated Washer

Today’s laundry industry spells big business, and it looks like nothing is going to change that in the coming years. There are more than 35,000 coin-operated washers in the US that generate an annual gross revenue of $5 billion. Growth in the laundry industry is driven by multi-housing family construction and rental homes. Simply put, the laundromat business is steadily strong and vibrant.

However, it doesn’t change the fact that coin washers can be a cause of inconvenience to both users and owners alike. Most coin-operated laundries only accept quarters, so you need to keep proper change handy before running a load. Some machines may also have trouble validating a particular coin and will spit it out through the coin return (if you’re lucky). One really frustrating scenario is when the coin becomes stuck in the coin slot. Removing the stuck coin is necessary because it prevents the washing machine from operating. Before you tear your hair out, try these DIY tips to unjam a coin-operated washer.

  • In an ideal world, the stuck coin may fall out of the chute by just pressing the coin return button. If it doesn’t work, continue reading.
  • Use tweezers to reach into the coin slot. See if you can grasp the coin and pull it out.
  • Strike the side of the machine where the coin slot is located using your hand. The vibration may loosen the stuck coin and will make it fall in or out.
  • Insert another coin into the slot hoping it will dislodge the previous coin.
  • Sometimes one of the coin slots may have a coin tipped to the side that prevents the coin slot from moving. Push the tilted coin upright using a utility knife (x-acto).

When the coin is not the problem

Stuck coin slides may be caused by factors other than coins, such as a loose screw jammed between the coins and the ramp. If the above fixes don’t work, and you still don’t want to call a service technician, you might need to open the coin box or extract the entire coin assembly.

If you’re not the owner of the machine, there’s nothing you can do about it. Report the problem to the owner or building proprietor. If you have the keys for the access panel, opening the coin box can often dislodge a stuck coin. Removing the entire coin assembly can be tricky and it depends on the type of machine you have. Here’s how to remove the coin mechanism in a typical vertical 8 washer:

  • First, you need to remove the security bar by accessing the back of the slide. There’s a service door behind the slide where the timer is located.
  • Find the rod that goes through the back of the slide mechanism to the front of the washer.
  • Remove the rod, and the coin slide can now be removed in the front.
  • Behind the face of the slide is the spring and stop bracket, you can remove these to extract the stuck coin manually.
  • Realign the acceptor fingers before replacing the spring and stop bracket.