How to save money on running your Commercial Dishwasher
Your commercial dishwasher and warewashing equipment is a crucial part of a commercial kitchen. They keep your restaurant customers healthy and happy. A well installed and maintained commercial dishwasher will save you money, use less energy and eat up less of your valuable time.
It is wonderful when you first purchase and install a new commercial dishwasher. You are sure that from now on the kitchen will run like clockwork. It can be so, with just a few simple steps.
Spend a little save a lot by installing a pre-rinse space.
This since allows for the removal of food debris from dishes before loading them in the dishwasher. (we know what you do at home but this is business) This pre-rinse space will allow your dishwasher to work much more efficiently. By keeping food particles from being loose in the dishwasher and keeping the water as clean as possible. To save water it is a good idea to use a low water flow sprayer.
A Booster Heater can actually help save energy.
It is a bit counter intuitive but installing this type of water heater saves energy by pumping up the water temperature to 180ºF for the last rinse. Just remember to turn it off at night to conserve energy.
Install a Water Softener
Hard water is the death of many dishwashers. A water soften reduces mineral deposits on the heating element. Mineral deposits on the heating element make the element work much harder. Preventing calcium deposits in the machine is very important. It is possible to do involved preventative maintenance to remove these deposits and is usually a good idea to have professionally done.
Make sure you are full of it (dishes that is) before you run the dishwasher. Always run a full load.
It costs the same amount of water and energy to run both a full or a half load. Making sure sure that the dishwasher is fully loaded will use your commercial kitchen’s energy and water in the most efficient way.
Make sure the Flow Pressure is correct
Each type of dishwasher has an optimal flow pressure set by the manufacturer. Too high and it can cause damage to the machine, too low and your dishwasher will not get the dishes clean. Usually this flow pressure is measured during the fill or rinse cycle and is between 15- 25 pounds per square inch.
Set the Conveyor to run on Auto Mode
This saves energy. Manual mode keeps the conveyor operating even when no dishes are being cleaned. You actually need to manually turn it off after each load on manual mode. Much better to use the auto mode as it does this automatically. This can cause a significant reduction in the water and energy bills.
Don’t use the Pre-Rinse and Heat Dry Settings
These features are only necessary if you are not manually scraping and pre-rinsing your dishes before loading them. If you have a dishwasher that uses high temperture water than the water will create so much heat that the dishes will quickly dry anyway. If you don’t have a high temp dishwasher it may be better to let the dishes air dry.
Keep your water heater at 140 degrees
The dishwasher is meant to use water at certain temperatures. Keeping the tank a 140 degrees is the sweet spot for dishwasher energy efficiency.
Turn off your Dishwasher at Night
Much like an appliance, dishwashers continue to draw power whenever they are on, even if they are not being run. Make it part of the end of the night checklist.
Each dollar you save on your dishwasher maintenance is pure profit in your pocket. Here are some Dishwasher maintenance tips
To make sure that your equipment is as energy efficient as possible and to avoid appliance breakdowns establish a maintenance plan. Addressing small issues as they develop heads off the emergence of large ones.
Check out those dishes
If the dishes are coming out dirty it is a sure sign that your dishwasher is not performing well. Do you need to wipe them off? You shouldn’t. Sometimes it is something easy like the water is the wrong temp, or the detergent has run out or the water pressure is not adequate because some food had become stuck.
Clean those filters
Filter? What Filters? Your dishwasher filters are designed to be cleaned regularly. The removal of solid waste is important to prevent damage to t he pump.
You need Arms to Clean
The wash arm bearings can wear out which results in reduced performance. Check them regularly and replace any bad bearings to prevent wasted energy.
Have your Machine Inspected
A full inspection is hard to do yourself. But again this can head off emerging issues. If you find that your dishwasher is requiring regular repairs outside of small repairs and maintenance, if the pumps are going regularly for instance, than you should begin budgeting for replacement. The repair cost and the extra cost of the wasted energy of an increasingly inefficient unit can end up being a large and unexpected expense.
Get ready, get set
The correct settings are important. The rinse pressure should be between 15-25 psi. The water heater should be set to 140 degrees. The wash tank should be set to 160 degrees and the booster heat to 180 degrees.
Can you Peek Through the Curtains?
Conveyor dishwashers have plastic curtains which hang down over the entrance and the exit of the dishwasher. These curtains make the dishwasher more efficient by trapping heat inside the machine. These strips won’t last forever and need to be replace periodically.
Buy energy efficient equipment
Saving energy dollars begins with choosing the right equipment. Save on energy, water, and electrical costs by deciding which features are most important for your business, then following these simple tips.
Energy Star equipment is sure to be about 25% more energy and water efficient. Purchase these if you can because the (sometimes) high price is offset by up to $1,000 a year, every year of its life
These washers have some great energy and money saving features like…
- A Built-In Heat Recovery System
- This useful feature makes it possible for your commercial dishwasher to recycle heat, reducing the cost of operation.
- Try a Reduced-Water Rinse System
- By increasing the pressure on the revolving arms, some newer-model commercial dishwashers use less water for the rinse cycle without compromising cleanliness.
- Choose Models with Programmable Controls
- Computer interfaces are making dish washing more automated and energy-efficient by scheduling specific functions, like start-up and shut-down times. You can also program an internal booster heater and diagnostic functions.
Buy with Capacity in Mind
Estimate your needs from a dishwasher and buy the appropriate size. Equipment that is too large will have a higher initial cost in addition to a higher operating cost. Assess the number of meals you serve per hour and be aware of your needs before you purchase.
Check for Rebates
Many types of energy-efficient commercial kitchen equipment have rebates available from utility companies. It pays to check with your local utility provider since rebates can cut a significant portion off your initial cost.