If you are taking your business seriously, you’ll find that everything that makes it progress and evolve in terms of success and profit is valuable and therefore, requires special attention and treatment.
No matter if you are an owner or a manager of a large restaurant, bar, club or a small coffee shop, a commercial dishwasher is probably the most valuable and important piece of equipment that your business owns. Here is why:
- It significantly reduces the workload of your kitchen staff.
- Manual warewashing performed by largest staffs cannot compare to the commercial dishwasher’s capacity and speed.
- It delivers far more superior washing results than manual washing.
- It enables you to comply with local and governmental health codes by meeting highest sanitization standards.
- It helps you save money on water and electric bills as it is far more efficient than washing the dishware by hand.
When you think about it, it is highly unlikely that there would be any commercial business without this amazing piece of technology. That’s why its value is also reflected by its price. Namely, depending on the specifications, capacity, technologies used and the brand, the prices of the largest, conveyor commercial dishwashers can go as high as $50,000 or more!
Unless you are a huge restaurant, hospital or school, you’ll be more interested in the smaller, door-type or undercounter dishwashers. They don’t cost nearly as much, but even a mid-size restaurant won’t be immune to this price range: anywhere from around $3,000 to $20,000 depending on the capacity, speed, type, brand and accessories included.
Since a commercial dish machine is crucial for your business and is so expensive, proper maintenance is the key to machine’s longevity and proper operation. We already gave you tips on commercial dishwasher maintenance and created the ultimate checklist for commercial dish machine cleaning to help you take a good care of your precious machine, so that it can take care of your business.
In this article we’ll present additional 7 tips that are meant to help you avoid costly repairs and unnecessary downtime.
Tip #1: Don’t Overload Your Dishwasher
When choosing the right dishwasher for your establishment its size and capacity will be the first thing that you’ll think about. Namely, the size and the capacity of a commercial dishwashing machine must match the size of your establishment and traffic.
You’ll think about the size of your kitchen and available space for the appliance, number of meals served per day on average, then include the busiest seasons, times of the week, time of day and types of warewash that your establishment handles and needs to wash.
After you get answers to these questions, you’ll be able to choose the right dishwasher type to meet your business needs. So, after you do, there won’t be a single reason to overload your machine. No matter how busy it gets, you should never put more dishware or glassware in the machine than it was intended to.
Overloading will prevent the dishes from getting fully cleaned, as the dishes will touch or overlap and prevent water from reaching all your items. You’ll risk serving improperly cleaned dishware, or you’ll notice the impurities and be forced to rinse the same dishes twice. This won’t put your reputation at risk, but it will cause higher water, energy and chemical consumption, additional wear on the unit and eventually leakage and breakdown.
Tip #2: Always Scrape Off Food Before Loading
This is preventive maintenance practice will help you prolong the life of your industrial dishwasher and make it less likely for the machine to break down. This will definitely save you money in the long run, as you won’t be paying for frequent repair calls.
By loading unscraped dishes in your dishwasher you risk having food particles, residue, grease or deposit buildup clog and damage the pump/motor assembly, the drain lines, drain pump or spray arms. On one hand, this can cause bacteria to bread and prevent the dishes from getting properly cleaned, and on the other, clogged pump and lines can cause leakage and eventually a total dishwasher break down.
Tip #3: Get a Power Surge Protection
Power surges, or rapid increases in the voltage flowing through the wiring to your kitchen appliances, are common electrical events. They can, however, cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to your precious equipment. Instead of paying for the damage, think about a small investment that will protect your precious appliances.
To keep your appliances, including your dishwasher safe, you’ll need to get a power surge protector. Its purpose is to absorb much of the power and prevent it from reaching the appliances.
The purpose of power surge protectors is not only to divert unusually high surges, but to also divert the energy and prevent damages such as fire. All your investments will be protected from daily spikes in power grid and occurrences such as lightning strikes.
Tip #4: Get a Water Softener
85% of the US has hard water, so chances are good that your restaurant, bar or other commercial establishment has it as well. While hard water doesn’t have negative effects to human health, it represents the death of a great number of dishwashers all over the country.
Namely, commercial dishwashers deal with numerous negative consequences of heating hot water. The water gets heated, it evaporates and leaves mineral buildup on the inside of the machine and its parts.
In case of limescale buildup, you can delime your commercial dishmachine, but it is much more important to prevent the buildup in the first place, as scale can cause a lot of trouble and damage.
When the buildup forms on the heating element it causes it to work much harder to achieve same or similar results. This will not only be noticeable on your utility bills, but it will also cause the dishwasher to breakdown much faster due to such excessive operation.Scale buildup can also clog the nozzles and pipes, damage the valves, cause leakage and failure and impair dishwasher efficiency. There are numerous benefits of getting a water softener for your business and lowering maintenance and repair costs is just one of them.
Tip #5: Take Regular Maintenance Seriously
Keeping your commercial dishwasher going will save both time and money for your business. So, make sure you stay on top of its care and maintenance to extend its life and get a full value out of your dishwashing machine.Your staff members can perform most of the maintenance tasks, including everyday dishwasher cleaning which will all contribute to avoiding breakdowns and repairs. However, there are certain maintenance tasks that must be performed by an expert technician, so make sure you put regular professional maintenance in your calendar as well.
Tip #6: Make Sure the Flow Pressure Is Right
Commercial dishwasher flow pressure is set by the manufacturer, so it is important to check the optimal flow pressure for the most efficient use of your dishmachine. The water pressure must be sufficient to ensure the dishwasher is filling in a timely manner.
Therefore, the flow pressure is measured either during the fill or rinse cycle. It is usually between 15-25 psi with most dishwashers requiring 20 psi. Low flow pressure will cause unsatisfactory cleaning results, while high flow pressure will cause damage both to your dishware, especially glasses, and the dishwasher itself.
Tip #7: Train Your Staff to Properly Work the Dishwasher
This one is a no-brainer. Your kitchen staff and waiters are probably going to work the dishwasher numerous times a day. Before teaching them about proper maintenance and creating a daily cleaning schedule, you’ll need to teach them to properly operate the machine.Everything from turning on the machine, to loading it, using the right amount of dishwasher chemicals , unloading it and inspecting it, to turning it off and properly preparing it for the next day. Teaching your staff will help you reduce costly repairs caused by human factor to a minimum.