4th Aug 2014

Establishing a regularly scheduled Preventive Maintenance for kitchen equipment is the key to prolonging the lifespan of your equipment as well as preventing disasters. Just as we have scheduled medical and dental checkups to care for our families and ourselves, your investment in kitchen, refrigeration and HVAC equipment deserves professional attention to keep it operational.

Preventive Maintenance can extend the life of your equipment by 30% and decrease catastrophic failures by an even larger margin. Every manufacturer recommends maintenance and Tek Express has developed a comprehensive PM program that can be tailored to your equipment and budget requirements.

In the last couple of months we’ve spoken about Preventive Maintenance for HVAC and commercial refrigeration. This month we wanted to focus on Preventive Maintenance for commercial kitchen equipment – and getting back to the basics. First let’s discuss some of the commercial cooking kitchen equipment you want to be mindful of maintaining on a regular basis and WHY it’s important.

  • Ranges, Ovens, Griddles, Broilers, Salamanders
  • Fryers, Skillets, Kettles, Steamers
  • Combi, Rack and Rotisserie Ovens
  • Warming equipment
  • Bakery equipment, Mixers, Slicers
  • Conveyor and Tray Dish Machines, Pot Washers, Cart Washers, Disposals
  • Tray Line Conveyors and Retherm Cart Systems

In particular, you want to keep on top of the following areas (where improper maintenance can lead to more serious issues) such as:

  • inspection of electrical wiring and burners
  • replacement of gaskets
  • calibration of thermostats
  • descaling boilers and water lines of equipment like Combi Ovens, Steamers, Dish Machines, etc.

Issues that may come up due to improper maintenance of your commercial kitchen equipment are:

  1. Increase risk of fire/electrocution and catastrophic damage to equipment.
  2. Food product loss
  3. Increased energy consumption leading to higher energy bills

Let’s dive into the cost of not keeping product safety top of mind as it can lead to catastrophic situations – financially, professionally, and personally. Fire in the kitchen isn’t always a good thing. Grease collects on the wires of the cooking equipment and the wire insulation becomes a feasting environment for rodents. Often the rodent can become electrocuted and start a fire in a control box or, even worse create a grounded short that could electrocute kitchen staff.

Proper Preventive Maintenance can stop a disaster like this from happening. Preventive Maintenance includes inspection of gas burners which can prevent gas explosions or fires. If anyone has seen the collateral damage from a gas explosion or the total destruction of equipment when a Fire Suppression System activates, the cost of a PM program is inconsequential. Preventive Maintenance for kitchen equipment Scale damage to your boiler in a Combi Oven or Steamer can cause the boiler shell to crack and spill water all over the control compartment. The minimum cost to replace a commercial boiler is $3,000 and that doesn’t include the damaged electronic components.  Compare this to the $100 per year it costs to maintain that boiler with a Preventive Maintenance Program.

Gaskets that are worn allow for heat and moisture to escape the cooking environment causing wildly fluctuating cooking temperatures. Calibration of thermostats allows for proper control of the cooking environment so food doesn’t burn or dry out due to longer cook times. In addition to the increased energy consumption the quality of food served is severely compromised and a higher percentage of food loss is guaranteed. Preventive Maintenance always inspects gaskets and seals and calibrates thermostats.

The loss of a few customers coupled with increased energy cost and loss of food dwarfs the small expense of a PM program. Preventive Maintenance, whether done in-house or through a reliable and certified company such as Tek Express, is of vital importance. Knowing that your equipment is well maintained will increase its lifespan, decrease energy consumption, prevent disastrous events, and more importantly give you peace of mind. In our world, we call that a slam dunk! Don’t forget to sign up for our Newsletter! Receive information about HOT TOPICS and industry news emailed directly to your inbox and grab your FREE checklist – Top 7 Tips Technicians Share on How to Avoid Nuisance Calls!

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