Fixin’ The Kitchen With CPS: How To Properly Care For Your Commercial Dishwasher

A clean kitchen is a happy kitchen, and sparkling dishes are a major part of that equation. When you’re serving hundreds of hungry people per day, you likely don’t have the time, money, or manpower to scrub dirty dishes by hand. Plus, that would be a huge waste of water; did you know that sinks use about 4 gallons of water every 2 minutes, but dishwashers only use about 4 gallons for one cycle?! Of course, regular under-the-counter dishwashers are much smaller than commercial flight type dishwashers. But regardless of size, type, or manufacturer, every commercial kitchen needs a high-quality dishwasher that can cut through grease and grime and properly sanitize equipment like plates, glasses, and cutlery.

Commercial kitchens and restaurants do so much more than simply feed people. Instead, they provide a multisensory, atmospheric, social experience. So, if your kitchen staff or servers ever mistakenly present food on a less-than-clean plate, your reputation as a trustworthy food service establishment will likely suffer the consequences. However, if you follow a few simple guidelines to keep your commercial dishwasher in tip-top condition, you can successfully avoid major problems down the road.

Forget about commercial kitchen dishwashers… where can we hire THIS guy?!

  • Maintenance, Maintenance, Maintenance: The VERY best thing you can do for your commercial dishwasher is clean its screens and filters at LEAST twice per day, preferably after the lunch shift and then again after the dinner shift. When you’re in a mad rush to feed people, your kitchen staff likely isn’t taking the extra 5 seconds to pre-rinse dishes before loading them in the dishwasher. Therefore, food particles can and do build up fairly quickly. By regularly cleaning your screens and filters, you can always keep the machine’s lines free of debris.

Basic, everyday maintenance like that can work wonders to prevent problems from cropping up. However, it’s also a good idea to invest in a monthly deep-clean and professional check-up on all your commercial kitchen equipment. That said, if you’ve been properly cleaning screens and filters and you’re worried that your dishwasher STILL isn’t doing its duty, look for three key problems before calling in the pros:

  • Common Problem #1: Not Running
    • The Fix: If your dishwasher simply isn’t running, check to make sure the unit is plugged into the wall. Sounds simple, but we’ve seen it happen before. If it’s all plugged in, it’s time to check the breaker. Sometimes if too many appliances are running at once, the kitchen breaker will automatically shut off to prevent a fire from happening. If everything seems to be in place but your dishwasher still won’t turn on, it’s time to call for help.
  • Common Problem #2: Not Cleaning
    • The Fix: If you pull your dishes from the dishwasher and they’re still covered in food, you might have a water pump or pressure problem. First, check to make sure your water is indeed turned on, then make sure all the internal screens and spray jets are clean and free of nasty food particles. Next, check and clean the wash arms, and make sure they’re not blocked and spinning correctly. Lastly, check chemical levels – you can do so with a piece of sanitizer test paper or a sanitizer test strip.
  • Common Problem #3: Not Draining
    • The Fix: If your dishwasher isn’t draining or holding water properly, inspect the drain to see if anything’s stuck inside. Just like hair can plug up a shower drain, food particles can plug up a dishwasher drain if too many accumulate. Again, you should already be doing this at least twice a day! You’ll likely notice a draining issue if there’s a sudsy soap puddle at the bottom of your appliance after the cycle is done. If you can’t figure out the underlying problem, it’s best to call CPS.

Don’t let your problems stack up! Tackle them ahead of time with preventative maintenance.

To put it plainly, commercial kitchen equipment is a lot like a car. If you take care of it, it will last you for years. In fact, at CPS we’ve seen commercial kitchen dishwashers that are more than 30 years old, and still running like new! By investing time and money into the upkeep of your machines, you will save major money in the long run – especially when you consider that some commercial kitchen dishwashers can cost upwards of $50,000! We typically service a minimum of TWO commercial kitchen dishwashers every week, so we definitely know the best tips and tricks for cleaning, maintaining, and repairing your equipment.

At CPS, we have a dedicated proactive maintenance and emergency service program that you can take advantage of. For a reasonable monthly fee, our team of CFESA-certified service technicians will visit your establishment and conduct a thorough check-up on all your commercial kitchen equipment, including dishwashers. During a deep clean, we typically:

  • Clean out and sanitize the wash tanks
  • Verify that water temperatures meet the local health department’s mandates
  • Check on water pressure gauges and levels
  • Ensure the machine’s spray pattern is evenly cleaning each dish

If you ever need to replace a specific part of your commercial kitchen dishwasher, CPS is the #1 company to call. We carry more than 5 million commercial kitchen OEM parts in our 40,000+ square foot warehouse, including thermostats, chemical line tubing, pressure switches, wash curtains, and pump seal kits. No matter your dishwasher’s make, model, or manufacture, we’re practically guaranteed to have the right part in stock to fix any problem you encounter. And we’ll ship it to you within 24 hours! If you’re ready to properly care for your commercial dishwasher, call CPS today:


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