Troubleshooting Vending Machines


Commercial Grade Equipment

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Basic instructions of loading, setting prices and general information on your can vending machine.

  1. After plugging machine into electrical power 117volt, standard line power, make sure that the machine is set out from the wall at least 4-6 inches. This will allow proper ventilation for the refrigeration unit.
  2. Load the machine with cans. Some models hold 2 cans deep, some hold 3 cans deep. A list of models is shown below:

    ・ Two can deep machines include - Vendo 264,345,407,475-Dixie Narco 180,240,368,440

    ・ Three can deep machines include - Vendo 480,570-Dixie Narco 501,600

If the machine has double columns (2 cans wide) then you need to be careful when loading these columns. Double columns have a bar that moves back and forth (Dixie Narco and pre-Univendor Vendo only) when vending. Make sure to load the cans on the high side of this bar. Sometimes the high side is on the left; sometimes it is on the right so look into the column to see which side is the high side. Most machines have loading instructions on the inside door panel, in case you get confused. After loading the machine with cans you will have to vend it a few times to do what is called 'priming' the machine. Priming is the process of getting cans down into the mechanism for initial vending. Priming only has to be done the first time you load the machine or if you change drink selections in a column. Once the machine is primed the sold out switches will keep a few cans in the vend mechanism for next time.

Load change in the changer unit. All changer units have slots at the top of the change tubes, usually for nickels, dimes, and quarters (TRC-6200 loads nickels, dimes only). Make sure to manually load change into these tubes be careful to put the proper coins in the proper tubes. Load tubes about half way up to start. Coins will then load automatically when machine is vended. After tubes are full then all excess coins will go to the cash box. Without loading the changer with coins it will not make change for coins or dollar bills if the machine has a dollar bill validator.

Your machine has been 'pre adjusted' by our staff for 40 degree Fahrenheit (at 500' above sea level) operation. This is called the food zone. Should you need to make your drinks colder or warmer you can do so by adjusting the thermostat. Be careful when making drinks too cold as 'diet drinks' freeze at a higher temperature than regular drinks. Should the 'diet drinks' freeze they will jam in the vend mechanism and the machine will be out of order. Adjustment procedures later in this booklet.


Basic troubleshooting

  1. Problem: Machine will not vend, all money comes back to coin return when inserted.

    Possible solutions: Make sure machine has cans in it. If entire machine is empty it will not vend.

    Possible solutions: Make sure that there is not a 'credit' on machine, once vend price has been reached the machine will not take any more money until selection has been made by pressing button.

    Possible solutions: Make sure that the machine is loaded properly. If any one column has a can jam due to improper loading or other reasons then the entire machine will be out of service. Carefully remove the motor cover panel (possible shock hazard, don not work with live power) and see if all of the motors are in their ‘home’ position. There are wheels on the motors that turn and switches that 'drop' into notches on these wheels. This notch is the home position. If the motor is not in the 'home' position then it is likely that you have a jammed can. With power to the machine 'off' and clear the jam from the column that is not 'homed' by manually removing the cans from that column until empty. After jam is cleared turn on power and motor should 'home' on its own.
  2. Problem: Machine will not take dollar bills (for machines with validators).

    Possible solutions: Make sure that there is change in all of the changer tubes (5,10,25 cent coins) of the changer (TRC6200 nickels, dimes only needed).

    Possible solutions: Make sure that the harness to the dollar validators has not come unplugged from the machine or the validators.
  3. Problem: Machine will not cool.

    Possible solutions: Check lower fan to see if it is running. If it is not running the thermostat could be turned off or bad. The thermostat on Dixie Narco is usually located below motor cover in the right hand side of machine, below the can chute on the right wall of the cabinet. Vendo machines have the thermostat located towards the rear wall of the cabinet below the can chute on the left hand side of the machine, right in front of the evaporator fins. All of the way counterclockwise turns refrigeration off. The farther you turn to the right the colder the machine gets. Be careful not to turn too cold or cans will freeze. Remember diet drinks freeze at a higher temperature than regular drinks. Most machines have an electrical plug from the refrigeration unit plugged into a black box on the lower left hand side of the machine. Unplug this plug and plug it into a heavy-duty extension cord. If the compressor unit comes on (along with lower fan) then that basically proves that the thermostat has probably gone bad.

    We hope that the above suggestions have been of help in setting up and maintaining your machine.


Price changes-Switch settings

All single prices can drink machines use a variation of the switch shown above. This switch is located in the changer unit, behind the coin mechanism. The switch block is usually red in color and the switches themselves are usually white. For Maka (Premier) units the switches are turned sideways, you must remove the cover plate (on the right hand side of the changer). To turn the switches on or off use the end of a ballpoint pen. Up is on and down is off. The switches work as follows:
・ 1= 5 cents / 2= 10 cents / 3= 20 cents/ 4= 40 cents/ 5= 80 cents/ 6=$1.60 cents/ 7=$3.20 cents/ 8=$6.40 cents

The switches must be added up to make the desired combination to set the price. The drawing of the switches shown below is set at 50 cents for demonstration purposes. Below you will find a chart that shows the prices and the combinations of switch settings. Some units use 8 switches instead of 6.

Pricing, switch settings Switch 1 Switch 2 Switch 3 Switch 4 Switch 5 Switch 6
25 cents ON - ON - - -
30 cents - ON ON - - -
35 cents ON ON ON - - -
40 cents - - - ON - -
45 cents ON - - ON - -
50 cents - ON - ON - -
55 cents ON ON - ON - -
60 cents - - ON ON - -
65 cents ON - ON ON - -
70 cents - ON ON ON - -
75 cents ON ON ON ON - -
80 cents - - - - ON -
85 cents ON - - - ON -
90 cents - ON - - ON -
95 cents ON ON - - ON -
$1 dollar - - ON - ON -



Water vending 16 oz bottles

  1. For single price machines, use single column for water vending whenever possible.
  2. Move back spacer forward in columns that you want to vend water to allow water bottles to have about ½" play from the back of the bottle to the rear of the spacer. These spacers are on the rear wall of the cabinet inside the vend area.
  3. Remove motor cover and find 'disk' on motor of column that you want to change to water. Rotate the plate or guide on the disk to have only one notch open on a two deep can machine or two notches open on a three deep can machine.
  4. Install water bottles 16 oz in column and prime column. When loading be sure that bottles face (caps) towards the rear of the machine. Make sure water vends properly out of the installed column.
  5. Some water bottles have a tendency to get soft when cold. Try to avoid these soft bottles or jamming could occur. Brands that have bee tested and are known to work in vending machines are Arrowhead and Palomar. If you experiment with other brands remember that jamming could occur.
  6. Should a jam occur be sure to unplug machine to clear the jam. Do not clear the jam with your hand when powered up as the motor could begin to spin after the jam is cleared and your fingers could become pinched in the cup as it turns.
  7. Vendo and Dixie Narco have water vending 'kits' that include in some cases rods, shims, and other parts that say should be installed for proper water vending. We have found that these 'kits' not to be necessary in most cases with single price machines in our past experience with vending water. In some cases multi price machines may require extra parts or kits to make bottles vend properly. Please note that if you do not use the proper 'kit' recommended by the manufacturer we do not warranty the proper operation of water in your vending machine.

We hope that the above suggestions have been of help in setting up and maintaining your machine. The above troubleshooting and guidelines are only answers to basic service questions. Should the answers in this book not solve your problem then you may have to consult with a vending machine serviceman for more detailed problems.


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