Sunday, May 27, 2007

What to Consider When Purchasing a Warewasher

With proper maintenance, warewashers can last 12 years or more, but a typical life span tends to run between seven and 10 years.

Operators should weigh a number of considerations before purchasing a new unit:

• Look at the machine's production capacity to confirm that it meets the operation's needs.
• Take into account the warewasher's design and what items it will clean. For example, some units have a rack, while others use a table. Consider how well the machine will cleanse larger and odd-shaped items.
• Lighter items can sometimes pose difficulties in high-pressure machines. Determine if an automatic hold-down feature is needed to keep everything in its place during the wash cycles.
• Consider energy consumption and water usage. The majority of warewashers operate on electric power levels ranging from 115V to 460V. Some warewashers offer the option of either electric, steam or gas water-heating systems. Water consumption can range from .79 to 1.1 gallons.
• Will some of the newer features save labor? In the past, drain valves were open and closed manually. Today's machines feature automatic water fills, which allow operators to shut the drain valve, fill the tank with water and turn the heat on with a push of one button.
• Determine whether a high temperature or low temperature best fits the operation's needs. While a high-temp machine sanitizes using 180°F. water, a low-temp unit requires chemical sanitation. Although the cost of a low-temp machine is cheaper in the short run, the necessary chemicals cost more money over the unit's life cycle.
• Be aware of hidden costs when purchasing a warewasher. Pumps and boosters are not always built into a unit's pricing.
• Examine the unit's insulation to ensure it provides an adequate sound barrier.

No comments: