Restaurant Equipment & Supply

Restaurant Equipment Maintenance DIY: Washing Equipment & Drink Makers

Dec 11, 2013 9:00:00 AM

In our third and final installment of the do-it-yourself equipment maintenance blog, we will feature some items often dealt with after the main course has been served. We’ll take a look at proper maintenance of coffee and tea brewers, blenders and the plumbing components of sinks, where our dishes get ready for use once again.

Specialty Drink Makers
Coffee/Tea Brewers

  • Your coffee and tea brewers will get an invariable amount of use depending on your cuisine. Coffee houses will understandably be in constant use of their machines, whereas dinner establishments may use them primarily for post entrée situations. Proper cleaning and maintenance is important no matter when, or how often, the machine gets used.
  • Check the spray head, dispensing valves, tank and probe for lime scale build-up and de-lime when it is found. Examine the spray head once again, this time to ensure holes are clear and free of obstruction. Also check the supply line flow valve for obstruction.
  • Check the sight glass for leaks or cracks. Remove build-up from brewer spigot if it is found to be leaking.


  • Take a look at the container and check for worn out seals or cracks, which could cause leaking.
  • Replace blades when dull and worn. If they are spinning improperly, a loose clutch could be the culprit. Tightening it should fix the problem.
  • Like any vehicle, a blender is only going to work as well as its motor does. Regular cleaning of the motor will help performance and efficiency of the blender. Liquids that remain thick in the blender could indicate an overload of the motor.

Washing Equipment
Pre-rinse Units

  • Make sure the hose spring is installed properly and sitting the right way. Put in new hoses when leakage is discovered and replace broken spray valve handles.
  • Tighten up the handle screws when necessary. Regularly inspect the spray valve to insure the connection is tight and the handle is working well. Work with a water-saving spray face when necessary to reduce your usage and help lower water bills.


  • As expected, replacement of a leaky hose should be a priority. Tighten the handle screws of the hose when necessary and check spray valve for loose connections.
  • Replace worn handles, screws and other fixtures when necessary. Also, routinely check for waste drain leakage.
  • If your sink has a lower volume of pressure, straighten or replace tubing. Exchanging clogged pre-filters should be done twice a year. It can often be detected by a foul aroma from the water. Sanitizing the entire system should be done annually.


  • Read through the instruction manual at the first sight of problems with your high volume dishwasher. If manual is missing, seek the manufacturer’s contact information for troubleshooting.
  • Before taking on the problem yourself, always make sure to disconnect the dishwasher from the power source. Unscrew the cover plate of the dishwasher to view the parts used to operate the machine. Most problems can be identified rather easily if it is a connection issue. For all other problems, consult a repair person.
  • Check the water filtration systems and cartridges on a regular basis.

Garbage Disposals

  • Garbage disposals can be a major asset if maintained properly or a burden if left neglected. Run your disposal as much as possible to avoid rust.
  • After washing dishes, run some liquid dish soap through the machine and let cold water run through it for a minute to clean. When grinding food in the disposal, also use cold water. Slice up lemon, lime and orange peels regularly to produce a fresh aroma for your disposal.
  • Though you should use your disposal on a regular basis, make sure to keep the volume of contents entering the disposal at a minimum. If possible, break up the items ahead of time to prevent clogging.
  • Refrain from putting glass, paper, plastic or metal in your disposal. Never pour grease or oil down the disposal. These liquids will build up over time and could slow your disposal down by clogging drains.

Grease Interceptors

  • Contact your local government to determine the proper method of disposal of grease from your interceptor.

DIY Tools to Keep Handy

  • Hammers
  • Caster, Allen and gas shut-off wrenches
  • Variations of screwdrivers
  • Tape measures
  • Levers
  • Reamers
  • Box joint pump pliers
  • Inspection mirrors
  • Threaded seal tape
  • Pocket knives
  • Wire strippers
  • Flashlights
  • Voltage checker
  • Synthetic lightweight oils
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