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Dish Machine Buying Guide

How Dish Machines Work

A large commercial dish machine, sometimes referred to as a warewasher is an automated process using a hot water spray, motion and detergent to clean dishes. Seven major components of dish machines include

  • tank containing a detergent solution
  • hood to contain the wash and rinse action
  • pump and pipe system
  • rinsing system
  • water heating system
  • electrical system
  • and a conveyer or other mechanical means by which the ware is moved through the system.
  • There are multiple types of dish machines for various size operations and uses. TheDoor type machine, designed for operations that serve 50 to 100 people per meal, can wash 810 to 1350 dishes per hour. A timed wash cycle uses revolving spray arms above and below to clean the dishes. Glass washers, another type of dish machine is used mainly for bars and bistros and can double as a small warewasher.

    A Rack Conveyor dish machine moves dishes through the unit using a chain or a single rod. Made for medium size operations that serve about 150 people per meal can handle 4,500 to 5,624 dishes per hour. Dishes are sprayed from an upper and lower staionary spray arms. After the dishes are washed, they are passed through a fresh-water rinse cycle.

    Large capacity Rackless Conveyors, sometimes referred to as Belt Conveyors or Flight-Type washers can clean 6,750 to 20,000 dishes per hour, which equates to about 1,000 dinner guest. These machines are best suited for cafeteria type operations.

    A Carousel or Circular Conveyor system is the most customizable machine for the scullery. Space for scraping, loading and unloading stations are designed for high-volume operations.

    Tray Accumulators can be customized to fit space requirements and handle five times as many trays as a flat belt conveyor. The hardest working dish machine of all is the Pot, Pan and Utensil Washer. Stainless steel jets spray dishes to remove even the toughest baked on foods. This machine has powerful wash patterns using revolving wash arms. The high pressure and hot water effectively sanitizes multiple types of dishes.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What do I need to know to select the right dish machine for my operation?

    A dish machines rating is necessary to determine the type and size of dish machines that will accomodate your operation. A dishrack can hold about 18 dinner plates or 25 to 36 glasses. Below are some guidelines to help you determine the type of dish machine you need by the number of meals you serve. 


    Meals per hour  Style of Dishwasher 
    Up to 50 Counter or undercounter
    50 to 250 Single tank, door style
    250 to 400 Single tank conveyor/Single tank conveyor with pre-wash option
    400 to 750 Double tank, conveyor with pre-wash option
    750 + Flight-Type conveyor (or where space is tight, a carousel)

     

    How can I ensure the dishes are properly sanitized?
    Dish machines are designed and tested to withstand the FDA Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations, however, if food particles and food residue remain on dishes, harmful bacterial growth can form.
    How should I set up an effective and efficient wash area in my operation?
    First, determine the path that dishes come into the scullery and where they exit. This is important to ensure an efficient set-up and to prevent cross-contamination. Purchasing peripheral equipment such as a pre-rinse sink for the initial food scapping and rinsing, a quick drain to keep food from flowing into the wash tank and a dish table where dishes can air dry can significantly increase productivity.
    Does a dish machine require venting?
    Venting your dish machine helps to remove water vapor from the machine which aids in the drying process. It also prevents moisture from accumulating on the walls and ceilings that could lead to mold. A door type machine has a draft hood above the unit to capture the vapor. Larger machines have vent cowls with duct openings. Duct risers fit in the openings to pull moisture away from the dish machine.

    Helpful Tips

    • Make sure your dish machine has adequate venting. The heat and moisture dish machines produce can make a room unbearably warm.
    • Keep dish machines running smoothly by running a wash cycle while empty.

    Did You Know?

    • Water temperatureshould be between 160 and 180 degrees.
    • Dish machines are usually the most expensive piece of equipment purchased by food service operations.
    • Some detergents can scar glazed surfaces.
    • To effectively santitize dishes, they must be exposed to water temperatures of at least165º F for 10 secs per NSF standards.
     
     
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