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Troubleshooting Commercial Kitchen Equipment: The Food Service Owner’s Guide

Troubleshooting Commercial Kitchen Equipment: The Food Service Owner’s Guide

Introduction

Your foodservice business only operates as well as your equipment. If you own aging, temperamental broilers, freezers, fryers, or more, having a dedicated repair company on hand is vital. The safety of your customers and employees is always utmost in your mind, and the last worry you need is whether your 15-year-old commercial fryer will last out the year. Keep those worries at bay by contracting with a professional, licensed repair person to perform regular maintenance procedures on your commercial equipment to keep the following failures from happening:

 Broiler Problems

  • Not Enough Heat: If your broiler isn’t reaching a high-enough temperature, you may have a clogged flame opening from a build-up of grease dripping down. Your broiler repair person can fix this easily enough by removing and cleaning the burners thoroughly. 
  • Yellow or Flickering Flame: The flame on your gas broiler should always burn blue. If this isn’t the case, have the air shutters adjusted to allow the correct amount of oxygen in. 
  • Uneven Heat: Uneven heat is typically a result of soiled briquettes. You can fix this one yourself easily enough by removing and washing the briquettes on a regular basis and by replacing them annually. 

Using a malfunctioning broiler to heat food can lead to contamination and food-borne illnesses when under-cooked meat doesn’t reach a high enough temperature. If you’re worried that your broiler isn’t operating correctly, contact a professional in broiler repair to have it inspected before using it again. 

Refrigeration Issues

  • Dirty Condenser Coils: Neglected condenser coils can cause a wealth of problems for commercial refrigeration owners. The fan can fail. Even the wiring can burn out if the condenser coils aren’t cleaned regularly. Having a service person in to perform regular cleaning and maintenance of the condenser coils can help prevent the failure of your commercial refrigeration. 
  • Worn Gaskets: Worn gaskets on your doors can cause them to close improperly. This is a surprisingly easy fix for your maintenance technician, and ignoring it can cost you expensive losses in food and energy. 
  • Defective Thermostat: A defective thermostat can cause your refrigeration unit to simply stop running. If this happens, call for help right away to avoid loss from food spoilage. Thermostat replacement is an easy fix for someone trained in commercial refrigeration repair. 

A faulty refrigeration system also presents a potential for contamination. Meat, especially, must be stored between 34 and 40 degrees to keep bacteria from forming. As the owner of a restaurant or snack bar, the last thing you want is to make customers ill from tainted meat. 

Commercial Fryer Issues

  • The pilot light won’t stay lit: This could be due to several issues; the hi-limit might be malfunctioning or the thermopile may need replaced. Both parts should be addressed by a professional. 
  • The burner won’t ignite even when the pilot light is on: This is most likely an indication that your thermostat needs to be replaced. 
  • The oil doesn’t reach a high enough temperature: Again, this is probably a thermostat issue. Call your commercial repair person for assistance. 

As a business owner, troubleshooting commercial equipment such as broilers, refrigeration units, and fryers on your own may be tempting, but it’s never recommended. Too much depends on the proper operation of this equipment — both to keep your employees safe and to keep your business up and running. Unless you’re properly trained and licensed in the upkeep of commercial equipment, leave the maintenance and repair to the professionals. It will benefit you in the longer life of your commercial appliances and in the peace of mind you’ll have from knowing that everything in your commercial kitchen is up and running as it should.  Click here for more information on commercial equipment maintenance and repair.

Troubleshooting Commercial Kitchen Equipment: The Food Service Owner’s Guide


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