Buying a Dishwasher
A common question that many caterers ask is: Can I use the same machine to wash glasses and dishes? The straightforward answer is that you can. Indeed, many smaller establishments simply cannot justify the cost of owning a dedicated glasswasher and dishwasher. However, there are some potential problems when using one machine.
- The washing time for glassware is shorter than for crockery. Therefore cleaning glasses on a longer cycle is far from energy efficient
- Debris from dirty tableware can cause smears and spots on glassware in the same wash cycle
- Beware of the effects of pre-rinse cycle to clear food waste, as well as extremely hot sanitisation cycles
The Various Types of Dishwasher
Glasswashers tend to be compact front-loading machines, often with a basket size of 350x350mm or 400x400mm. This design is particularly handy as the unit can fit neatly in small preparation spaces where free space is at a premium. You can enjoy fast turnaround of washed glassware and avoid any need for high stocking levels.
This compact dishwashing machine is similar in design to glasswashers. Once again, these machines are designed to fit neatly into small spaces and enable a rapid turnaround.
Pull-down Hood Washers
For busier establishments the next choice of machine is the slightly larger pull-down hood machine. This type is more powerful, faster and manually loaded with a basket of soiled tableware along an inlet table, usually having been pre-rinsed in the rack over a deep sink. While a basket of dirty dishes is being washed, another basket can be loaded and a washed basket on the outlet table can be unloaded. This provides a continual cycle of plate washing. Individual washing times range from one to three minutes and can be easily adjusted.
Rack Conveyor Dishwashers
These dishwashers work in the same way as a pass-through system where baskets of soiled dishes are carried on a conveyor belt. The belt passes through the washing machine, travelling through various wash zones, beginning with a pre-rinse, then a hot wash, followed by a hot rinse and the coming out the other side of the conveyor ready for emptying.
This semi-automatic dishwashing system is similar in principle to a rack conveyor system, but much bigger. Flight dishwashers are designed to cope with huge volumes of soiled dishes, such as those which might be found in a university or hospital kitchen, conference and exhibition centres.
Industrial Dishwashing Units
Many businesses underestimate the capacity of the machine they need. The mistake is looking at the overall daily throughput and purchasing a machine based upon that. However, this ignores peak demand times during the day when the replenishment of stock is essential. Simply buying a machine for your current needs makes no allowance whatsoever for an increase in business. Global Foodservice Equipment offers a free site survey which allows you to choose the right machine for your needs.
Water Treatment Systems
There are strict national regulations on how warewashing equipment should be connected to the water mains. Some cheaper machines may not fully comply with water supply regulations and the fitting of accessories can be costly or even impossible.
You should seek advice on the correct fitting of a water treatment system in order to prevent limescale build-up. Water treatment is essential in hard water areas and recommended in other water areas. The fitting of a water treatment kit will prolong the life of the machine - both manual and automatic options are available.
All commercial washing machines have filter systems that trap food debris. It is important to remember that a dishwasher is just that and NOT a waste disposal system. Excess food waste should always be scrapped first into a dry waste bin.