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EXPERT ADVICE:

Prevenative Maintenance Tips for Professional Pet Dryers

You’ve a busy day ahead and, just as you’re about to start work, disaster strikes – your most important piece of salon equipment suddenly goes on the blink. It’s a situation almost every groomer has faced at one time or another, delivering the daunting prospect of cancelled appointments, disgruntled customers and loss of earnings. Preparing for situations like this is never easy but, with regular maintenance, equipment downtime and costly repair bills can usually be avoided.

Although dryers come in lots of different shapes and sizes, multi-task ‘combination’ models remain extremely popular and, provide salons with a fast and efficient way of drying. Technically, these types of dryers are designed for more moderate work loads (averaging 5 dogs a day) but, are very often expected to exceed this, as appointments numbers fluctuate over time. This can make it more difficult to know when your dryer needs attention, so it’s important to monitor its use to avoid sudden and unexpected breakdowns.

So, when’s the best time to get your dryer serviced?  If you’re grooming more than 1000 dogs a year (that’s 30 a week or 4 a day), then your dryer needs annual servicing to replace worn parts and clear any hair, dust and debris that has built up inside the appliance.  Service internals are generally measured by hours of operation, which can differ according to manufacturer but, typically range between 500 and 1000 hours.

1. Air Filters

Are designed to protect the internal working parts of your dryer from contamination. They should be cleaned on a regular basis, to remove any hair, dust and debris that has been collected. Forgetting to do this will restrict your dryers airflow, causing it to overheat and incurr damage.

Never operate your dryer without an air filter. Whilst this may seem like a good idea, increasing air flow, the upturn in performance will be relatively short lived as your dryer draws in contamination.

2. Motor Brushes

Are sticks of carbon-graphite material, essential for the motor to work. Think of them as energy cells, which slowly deplete when ever you switch on your dryer. Replacing motor brushes is essential and, dependent on the dryers workload and typical runtime, as mentioned above.

If the dryer is used beyond the limits of its motor, brush sparking can occur which will cause permanent damage. In some cases, motors have an ‘auto-stop’ mechanism to prevent this from happening.

3. Heating Elements

Are coils of nichrome wire, wrapped around insulated material, designed to emit heat as electricity passes through them. Although a thermal safety cut-out is fitted to prevent a fire, air filters must be kept clean, in order to maintain optimal air-flow and a safe working temperature.

If the element is encouraged to overheat, due to restricted air-flow, the nichrome wire will weaken and eventually break. Early signs of trouble are longer drying times and fluctuating air temperature.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:

How much does a service cost?

Costs will inevitably vary according to service provider and availability of replacement spare parts.  If your appliance was manufactured outside the UK and imported, the distributor should be able to offer assistance and advise you on the location of a local service agent.
Although some agents may charge an ‘inclusive’ fee to service your appliance, some replacement parts may still incur additional costs.  As such, it’s adviseable to request a quotation before agreeing to complete any work.
It makes good business sense to factor ‘equipment servicing’ into your overheads and, to budget for this on an annual basis.

Is it safe for me to service my own dryer?

Think through the types of customer you see most often. If you see alot of white breeds then a white coat treatment’s obviously a good idea. How about a specialist dematting service with a super conditioner? Make up a list of the key services you want to focus on. If you want some independent advice then please get in touch – we’re happy to talk you through the options.

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