Commercial Dishwasher

When to Replace your Commercial Warewasher

WarewasherAre you making repeated service calls for your commercial warewasher? Are you debating between another service call versus replacing the whole unit? Although these are cleaning machines, proper maintenance and cleaning are important to keep warewashers operating efficiently and effectively. Typically, a warewasher is replaced for one of three reasons: technical problems, inefficiency, or inadequacy for operational needs.  Technical problems can mean the machine is out of warranty and past its prime. Older generation warewashers are expensive to keep running from a service point of view. Most high-quality commercial warewashers are expected to have a useful service life of 10 years on average.

As your foodservice establishment continually grows or expands overtime, you may find that your warewasher isn’t capable of handling the growing demands efficiently. If your machine is requiring you to rewash items or extending operating times, it is probably time to consider replacing the unit. The good news is that today’s warewasher models consume significantly less water and energy than models of only five years ago. This reduces the time necessary to recoup the investment of a new machine significantly. So how can you tell when it’s time to replace your warewasher? Look for the following:

When to Replace

  1. Increased service calls and high repair costs: When a unit requires an increasing number of service calls or multiple component replacements, it may be nearing the end of its service life.
  2. Signs of wear and tear: Tank leaks may signify that the welds are giving out. Also, problems can be caused by water leaking from the boosters.
  3. Loss of controls: If the warewasher’s controls are not operating properly or pump pressure is lost, replacement is most likely appropriate.
  4. Inconsistent results: The results of the unit are a key indicator that the warewasher is not operating at 100 percent.
  5. Older models: Operators may want to replace older warewashers that are utilizing excessive amounts of energy and/or water with a more efficient unit.

Once you have that new machine installed, it’s important to get the most out of your purchase. Remember these steps for extending the life of your new warewasher:

Maintenance Musts

  1. Clean dish machines after every shift, since flushing out the water removes accumulated soil from the machine, improving washing performance.
  2. Regularly wash and clean scrap screens or filters.
  3. Depending on usage and water quality, wash and rinse arms should be cleaned weekly or as required.

Commercial Dishwasher Maintenance

It’s a Saturday night and your restaurant is full to capacity. Dishes of your perfectly executed creations are being delivered to eagerly awaiting customers. Wine glasses and mixed drinks are being enjoyed by all. Yep, it’s every restaurateurs dream until, UH-OH your Commercial Dishwasher decides to just stop working. That dream is now your worst nightmare come true.

So what can you do to prevent a Commercial Dishwasher breakdown? Like all of your commercial equipment, proper maintenance will improve its performance and extends the machines life expectancy. Keep in mind, a well-maintained Dishwasher will last up to 20 years. Below are several maintenance steps that you can take to care for your Commercial Dishwasher.

Read Your Owner’s Manual: Before you clean, maintain or service any equipment, always read the provided Owner’s Manual or look it up online.

Prescrapping Procedures: Even the best Commercial Dishwasher is not a food disposal. Make sure that your employees are thoroughly removing food debris before placing them in the Dishwasher. Failing to do so will clog the filter.

Clean the Filter: Check the filter regularly. If you see food particles and gunk on the filter, the flow of water will be blocked causing dishes to be poorly cleaned. A clogged filter will also prevent water from draining. To avoid these issues:

  1. Clean the filter every 20 cycles or more often if you are using the Dishwasher for heavy cleaning.
  2. Never beat the filter against anything to dislodge particles. Instead, remove the filters and clean them with a brush under running water or use a toothpick to clear out stuck food.
  3. After cleaning, make sure to re-install the filter (believe us- people forget to re-install more often than you think).

Thoroughly Clean Inside: This needs to be done daily.

  1. Turn off On-Off push button and the main water valve.
  2. Remove the overflow tube from the wash tank to empty the water. To do so, turn off the On-Off push button, and press Drain Pump push button until all the water has been completely emptied.
  3. Remove the spray arms loosening the fixing screws, and thoroughly clean the nozzles and cleaning and rinsing arms under running water.
  4. Reassemble all parts and refit the spray arms in their seats, fixing them with the relative screws.
  5. Clean the tank thoroughly. Do not use bleach or chlorine based detergents, or use metal brushes or corrosive products, which can damage the machine

Rinse-Aid: Just like with your dishwasher at home, Commercial Dishwashers require rinse-aid to prevent streaks and spots on your flatware and glasses. Insufficient rinse aid will also cause dishes and glasses to not dry completely. Check rinse-aid levels every morning. You can increase or decrease the amount of rinse-aid being released during each cycle by adjusting the screw on the dispenser.

Tank Water: To avoid poorly cleaned dishes, replace the tank water by refilling the tank at least every 20 wash cycles, or twice a day. Tank water left in the machine from the day before may also cause the machine to stop and draw water.

End of the Day Routine: At the end of the day, leave the dishwasher door open to allow the machine to air out.

Annual Routine: Have a qualified technician inspect the machine to clean the solenoid valve filter, remove scale from the heating elements, check the tightness of the seals,  check condition and/or wear of the components, and check operation of the dispensers.

Commercial Dishwasher Buying Guide

Restaurants go through 200-500 plates during a typical dinner rush alone. That’s a lot of dishes! Think about it, there’s a dish for salad, bread, dinner, dessert, and any extra plates a customer may ask for. If you had to hire someone to tediously wash all these dishes by hand every day a restaurant’s operating expenses would be astronomical and the process would be entirely inefficient. Commercial Dishwashers cut operating costs in half and speed up the turnaround time for making dishes, utensils, and prep supplies clean ready to use. Another benefit of Commercial Dishwashers is their ability to heat water to a sanitary temperature to ensure that items are not only spotless, but sanitized.

Before you select a kind of Dishwasher, you’ll need to determine whether you’ll require a High Temperature or Low Temperature machine. High Temp Dishwashers are environmentally friendly, more popular, and use soap and an internal heater to heat water to 180 degrees. A more-efficient Low Temp Dishwasher uses a chemical sanitizing solution and lower water temperature to properly sanitize the load. Just be careful because when using Low Temperature Dishwashers because the sanitizing solution you use can damage flatware, plates, and plastic items.

Once you decide between the High and Low Temp Dishwashers, you will need to determine what kind of dishwasher best suit your establishment’s needs. Below,is a comprehensive Buying Guide to help you make the right buying decision.

Jackson Dishstar HT-E Undercounter Dishmachine

Undercounter  Dishwasher  Machines: The most popular type of commercial dishwasher fit right under the counter. The Undercounter Machine is perfect for areas for smaller establishments where warewashing areas are smaller or combined with kitchen areas. These are available in both Low Temp and High Temp features.

Conveyor Type Dishwashers: These are your big dishwashers that you load from one end and will automatically work its way to the other end of the machine during the cleaning process. The Jackson AJX-66 Conveyor can clean up to 248 racks per hour, using only .94 gallons of water per rack. Most useful at high production establishments such as hospitals and universities. They are available with either Low or High Temp features.

Door Type Machines: The most commonly used Dishwasher in the food service industry, Door Type Dishwashers, provide quick and efficient ware washing by cleaning up to 80 racks per hour. All users must do is slide in the rack to be cleaned and remove it when its cycle finishes. While mostly available as Low Temperature Machines, there are several High Temperature options available as well.

Glasswashers: Perfect for bars and other areas that have high volume of glassware that require fast turnaround, Glasswasher Machines can be stored undercounter and require chemical sanitizing.  These are only available as Low Temperature machines.

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