Installing Washer Door Seals
In the last issue, we promised to discuss common installation problems with door seals on the Hydraflow washer. The most common, of course, is cutting the seal during installation. This usually results from using the wrong tool, or using it too aggressively, when attempting to push the seal into the track.
Putty knives and chisels are not the right tools. Blunt screwdrivers can be, if used with care. The object is to seat the seal into the track so that the beads on the sides fit into the grooves in the track, so that the seal is held in securely. If it is not completely seated, the door will rub against the seal even when it is deflated, which will both make the door harder to operate and wear the seal out quicker.
A potential problem, depending upon whose seals you buy, is that the seal is longer than the channel on the washer. We at Tandem- Flow hope that we have eliminated this by having our molds corrected, but do not know if other manufacturers have done so. If the seal is too long, the excess must be in the vertical run of the seal, rather than in the horizontal runs. Otherwise, the seal will be damaged as the door is opened and closed.
Pressure can be a problem. The door seal is designed to operate with 17 to 18 PSI of pressure on it. We received a frantic call recently that our seals were defective because they blew out at "only" 80 PSI! Such pressures will only work if the seals are never inflated with the door open; They had pressurized while installing the seals, and all four blew immediately.
For the record, all seals we sell are leak-tested by the manufacturer at 50 PSI for production defects. After that, they are expected to never see more than 19 PSI. In fact, there is a pressure relief valve installed on each machine that is supposed to pop any time the pressure to the door seals exceeds 22 PSI.
The following is from the Hydraxtor door seal installation instructions, which do not seem to have gotten very wide distribution:
Washer Door Seal Replacement
Remove door seal air fitting cover. Disconnect the air supply to the seal at the stem and clean the door seal channel.
CAUTION: DO NOT USE ANY TOOLS THAT MAY CUT THE DOOR SEAL DURING INSTALLATION.
Place the door seal on channel and insert the stem through the opening provided. Line up the stem with the air fitting. Lock in the bottom half of the door seal first. Then, starting at the top center, lock in the top half of the door seal.
The door seal must be properly seated in the door seal channel. See figure 2.
Occasionally, the seal may be too long. If this occurs, the excess seal should be as shown in figure 4. If the excess occurs as shown in figure 3, the seal will be pulled out of the channel when operating the door.
Cut the door seal stem even with the top of the welded block, as shown in figure 5. Then connect the stem to the air fitting.
Inflate and deflate the door seals several times. Check the seals to see that they are all properly seated in the channel. Also check the door seal air pressure gauge. Adjust regulator as required to 17-18 PSI.
Does your machine still have the old motor-driven vacuum pump for deflating the seals? These pumps, and their parts, are no longer available, but there is a solution. Hydraxtor designed a "vacuum device", consisting of a small jet pump, two solenoid valves, a pressure regulator, and the pressure relief valve, to replace the motor driven pump. All machines built after about 1969 have these vacuum devices installed already, as do any machines rebuilt by ourselves or Hydraxtor.
It is really a very simple device, with few moving parts. We can supply new ones, ready to install, for $609.00. Copies of Hydraxtor's original installation sheets are included. Delivery is approximately three weeks after receipt of order, due to availability of the pressure relief valves.