Buying Guide: Door Type Dish Machines

door type dish machineDoor Type dish machines are the most popular style dish machine sold on the market and are used by a wide variety of food service establishments. Door type dish machines are available in two styles, including chemical or low temp dish machines, and high temp dish machines.

The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) approves both types for the commercial foodservice industry and provides specific standards for temperature ranges and chemical solutions to ensure the proper cleaning and sanitation of pots, pans, and utensils. Let’s take a deeper dive into both types of dish machines and review their standard features and tips for purchasing a pass through machine for your establishment.

Low-temp/Chemical Dish Machines

Low temp chemical door type dish machines utilize three types of chemicals that are dispersed via three separate chemical pumps. These chemicals include a liquid detergent for the wash cycle, a rinse aid for spots, and a sanitizing chemical for final sanitation. Low temp chemical machines require an incoming water temperature of 120 to 140 degrees for each of the cycles.  While the chemical pumps will arrive from the factory pre-set for the correct amount of chemical solution for each cycle, they can be field adjusted as needed. Cycle times for low-temp chemical dish machines average 60 to 90 seconds per cycle and can run 37 to 60 dish racks per hour.

Low temp chemical dish machines are ideal for leased locations that have limited access or prohibit you from installing an exhaust system and condensate hood.

High Temp Dish Machines

High Temp dish machines also utilize a liquid detergent and a rinse aid. However, they use a high temperature for sanitation in the final cycle, unlike the low temp machines which use a sanitizing chemical. Cycle times for high temp machines average 58 seconds per cycle and can accommodate up to 60 dish racks per hour.

High temp door type dish machines feature a built in booster heater and tank that raises incoming water temperatures to 180 degrees during the final rinse cycle to achieve proper sanitation.  Boosters are available in either a 40 or 70 degrees. It’s important to specify the booster size when you’re purchasing a dish machines as 40 degree boosters require an incoming water temperature of 140 degrees, while 70 degree boosters only require an incoming water temperature of 110 degrees to reach the final required rinse temperature.

Keep in mind that high temp dish machines do not come with chemical pumps, so you’ll need to contact a chemical company to provide the pumps and chemicals. Typically pumps are supplied with no charge upon an annual chemical supply contract.

Most state and local codes require a Class II Condensate Hood above high temp dish machines to exhaust the steam produced during the cycles. After you’ve made your purchase, you’ll need to contact a licensed plumber to install the water and drain lines as well as a HVAC contractor to install the vent duct, condensate hood, fan curb and exhaust fan.

Standard features for both low and high temp dish machines include the following:

  1. Type 304 stainless steel base legs, cross braces, front and side panels for durability and corrosion resistance.
  2. A stainless steel ¾ horse power water pump housed in the lower frame for the fill and dump cycle and a removable perforated stainless steel strainer for residual food by products.
  3. Removable stainless steel rack slides and stainless steel upper and lower wash rinse arms. These arms are interchangeable and are easily removable without the use of tools.
  4. Spring assisted doors that lift simultaneously.
  5. Easy field conversion from straight pass through to corner style.

A couple of final shopping notes: Door type dish machines require a dish table or soil table with a scrap sink for pre-rinsing utensils, as well as clean tables for utensils exiting the machine. Make sure you measure your warewashing area to ensure you’re purchasing the proper size. Finally, door type dish machines do not feature a cord and plug. You will need a licensed electrician to hard wire the dish machine to the buildings power source.

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.
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