General Maintenance on Your Vending Equipment

General Maintenance on Your Vending Equipment

A vending machine is a substantial purchase and needs to be cared for to prevent major repairs or damages. Neglecting your machine will cause some of its parts to malfunction over time, leading to loss of sales and profits. Timely servicing and maintenance not only keep your machine from breaking down, but also extends its life.  At Vendnet, our experienced technicians have some handy tips to help you in this regard.

Refrigeration Deck

The refrigeration equipment is a critical component of your vending machine. When they are not performing their best, they can affect both the consumer and the machine owner. Consumers buying beverages do not want a tepid bottle, they want their drink served cold. Inefficient refrigeration equipment may consume more energy or may eventually fail. This will cost owners more to own and operate such machines, so timely maintenance of the refrigeration deck is in everybody’s interest.

Maintaining the refrigeration unit regularly is not as difficult as it sounds. With a brush, clean the air intake grill from the outside once a week to remove any dirt or dust that may be sticking on. You can watch how to do this HERE.

The air intake coils or condenser need to be cleaned once every two to four months. It is usually located at the bottom of the machine, and can be accessed from the front or back, depending on the model. You will see a metal plate with holes or slits for air intake. You first need to take this part off, either by lifting or by unscrewing. Remove accumulated lint with a medium to hard bristled brush. For a thorough cleaning of the finer particles of dust and dirt, use compressed air. Once you finish cleaning, place the kick-plate back to where it was.

Air Filter

Air filters are often underrated in their significance. If they are not cleaned regularly, they can clog up the airflow, resulting in poor efficiency. This can result in the overheating of your equipment. When the suction is strong enough to bypass the clogged-up air filter, it dirties the heat exchange coil making it less efficient. Periodic clean up of the air filter can help you avoid frequent repairs and downtime.

The air filter is in the lower right-hand corner of your machine. Open the door and gently pull out the filter. Hold it under running water to wash off the collected dust or grime. Hold it in the sink to let the water run off the filter, and then shake it vigorously to remove residual water. Once this is done, put the filter back in its place. This quick video explains how you can do it.

Bill Validator and Coin Unit

You need to clean the bill validator and coin unit every one or two months, depending on the frequency of use. First, shut off the power to the vending machine. Second, take out the cash tray, which is normally situated at the back. Use a dry cloth to wipe it thoroughly and clean it. After that, take out the sensor tray – it may be above or below the cash box. This can be released by pressing two buttons on either side of the tray. This may need to be wiped as well, and if it’s too dirty, moisten the cloth in soapy water and wipe. Make sure that the tray is completely dry before you put it back in the machine. To ensure optimal operation, fill the coin unit tubes up to 2/3 capacity. You can clean this every time you clean the cash tray.

The payment systems are the most important parts for the vending machine owner or operator. It is what a cash register is to a convenience store. When these parts are damaged, they may not be able to collect payments or dispense change properly. Regularly check these parts for breakage or cracks, so that you can get them replaced on time and avoid disruption of Different machines may have different designs for bill validators, but this video shows a common process you should follow to detach for inspection.

Replacing the Barrel Lock

To replace the barrel lock, unlock the door and pop out the handle – you may need a small screwdriver to do this. Turn the handle a couple of times to the left and insert the key. Twist it to the right, and with a screwdriver, press down on the lock on the inside of the handle, and pull it out completely. To install the new lock, open the machine, place the T handle in the correct position, and insert the key with the lock all the way in. Listen for the click; now you know it is in place. Test the handle to check if it’s working before closing the machine door by unlocking it.

Drink/Snack Vending Mechanism

Whenever you load new products, it’s a good idea to check that the machine is vending the items properly – so we recommend checking it once every 60-90 days. Enter the service mode by pressing the button on the front and do a test to check if it is vending properly. Normally, the problems happen with drinks because of the weight of the bottles or cans. It  would be wise to test with a couple of bottles and cans to make sure everything is working as it should. If it gets stuck, check the binding in the delivery mechanism. This will tell you whether the gears in the motor are faulty, if the product is loaded properly, or if the sold-out sensors are malfunctioning.

Watch this video on product loading best practices for more information.

Routine maintenance checks help you to extend the life of your It can help you identify issues before they happen and avoid spending money on service or repairs, which can prevent revenue loss from a machine outage. Most important of all is the reliability of the service you provide to the consumers. When your customers know they can depend on your machine to function properly, they will come back to you for repeat purchases. The effort invested in regular maintenance might be small, but the returns are significant.

In addition to this, it is best to always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on proper installation, use, and servicing – and if your machine is not functioning properly or has a breakdown, you can always call our expert technicians at 1-800-833-4411 to assist you.