What do the following have in common: espresso machine, combi oven, steamer and dishwasher? One answer — they can all be negatively impacted by poor quality water.
Water is critical to the operation of a variety of foodservice equipment. Dishwashers and warewashers obviously use water but cooking equipment such as combi ovens and steamers do as well. Beverage equipment is another key category with ice machines, fountain beverage machines, espresso and coffee machines and tea brewing machines all using water.
Poor quality water = equipment issues
Because of the importance of this equipment to the day-to-day operation of restaurants and other foodservice facilities, the water used in conjunction with these machines needs to be high quality. If it isn’t, there will be issues with the equipment.
What signs should operators look for in their equipment that might indicate a water quality issue? The two most common indicators are scale and corrosion.
Water quality issue: scale
Scale is linked to hard water, which contains a higher number of naturally occurring minerals such as calcium, lime, iron and magnesium. When water evaporates it leaves the dissolved salts and minerals behind. Over time, these deposits can increase and harden — turning into scale. This process can happen more quickly with heated water, such as the water used for dishwashers, combi ovens, steamers and coffee equipment.
Water quality issue: corrosion
Where there is chlorine , there is also a greater chance for corrosion. Corrosion is the breakdown of a material due to chemical reactions, commonly oxidation. Corrosion can develop due to and may lead to rust or stains on equipment surfaces.
Water filtration solutions
When developing a water treatment plan, it should be tailored to provide the water quality requirements for each piece of equipment.
Water filtration systems can address water quality and taste issues on an ongoing basis and lessen recurring maintenance needs. The inclusion of both an ultrafilter and carbon filter, such as those found in the Antunes VZN system, ensures the highest quality water: pure, tasteless and odorless. Specifically, the VZN’s multi-bore ultrafilter reduces particles as small as .015 microns — 33 times finer than .5 micron filtration.
Additionally, a TAC (Template Assisted Crystallization) system for hot water applications significantly reduces lime scale without using chemicals or wasting water — preventing maintenance issues from scale buildup on in-line beverage equipment.
Improved equipment performance
If the causes of scale and corrosion are eliminated through water filtration, the more reliable the equipment will be and the higher the cost savings will be for the operator, due to less repair and replacement.
In addition to its operational benefits, water filtration can also help operators avoid warranty issues. For instance, if the water quality requirements set by the manufacturer are not followed, the warranty is void.
Properly filtered water doesn’t just benefit the taste of food and beverages; it also has a positive effect on equipment performance. Water filtration is a sound investment that will protect foodservice equipment and bring greater returns for your operation.
Learn more about water as a culinary ingredient in this article.