Help! My commercial dishwasher isn’t cleaning my dishes!

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One of the most common issues that we see with dishwashers is dishwashers leaving plates, cutlery and glasses dirty.

A customer might forgive you when you take a little longer to cook their food, but dirty dishes is not an easy thing to forgive.

So, when your dishwasher stops cleaning your dishes, here are a few things to look for.

Common Fault #1: No Detergent

This is a simple thing to check and sometimes can be overlooked, so have a look at this first as it can be the simplest fix to your problem. Make sure to check:

  • Are the chemicals (detergent, rinse aid, etc.) full?
  • Are the hoses to the chemicals fitted properly?
  • If you have a dosing unit is it working properly?

Another thing to keep in mind if you have a dosing unit is that you need to have it serviced a few times a year to ensure that it works properly. If your dosing unit needs a service, then you will need to contact your chemical supply company.

Common Fault #2: Wash Pump Stuck

This is something that we see often and it is easily fixed by taking a few moments to ensure that you are taking care of your dishwasher and following the manufacturer’s instructions in the operation manual.

Here are three things to take note of:

  1. Ensure no foreign objects are getting put into the dishwasher. Common culprits include serviettes and tissues. They get wrapped around the wash pump and make washing highly ineffective leaving dishes dirty.
  2. Ensure you stack the dishwasher correctly. If cups/glasses and cutlery aren’t stacked properly, the water pressure will fling them all over the place in the dishwasher and they get broken or stuck in funny places blocking the drain or wash arms.
  3. Ensure you conduct a daily, weekly and annual maintenance of your dishwasher. Read our 8 Tips for Prolonging the Life of your Commercial Dishwasher here.

 Common Fault #3: Blocked Wash/Rinse Arms

This is another common problem and can be caused by simply using the machine and not rinsing out the wash/rinse arms daily. The water that cleans and rinses your dishes are pumped through these arms and if they are blocked then the water won’t be able to flow freely through them. Sometimes stringy food can get wrapped around the arms and get stuck in the holes that the water is sprayed from.

To clean and check them:

  1. Make sure the machine is off
  2. Unscrew the arms from the machine
  3. Rinse them under water
  4. Check all the holes to ensure they are free from food and gunk
  5. Double check all the rubber gaskets to ensure that they are in good condition

Common Fault #4: Blocked Drains

Like the wash/rinse arms drains can get blocked with food, debris, broken crockery, scum build-up and serviettes. Make sure to check the drainage point inside the dishwasher, as well as the one in the floor of your shop.

Common Fault #5: The Unit Isn’t Filling with Water

There are a couple of things that can cause this.

One common issues is that the water supply has been turned off. If you are in a shopping centre check with centre management to see if the water supply has been turned off. Often the supply can be turned off due to burst mains, or works to the plumbing.

If this isn’t an issue have a look at your unit and check to see if:

  • The hoses that supply water are connected properly and turned on
  • There is power to the unit
  • There are any water pressure issues (if there are issues with the water pressure the wash/rinse arms wont spin properly).

If you can’t find any issues, then we would recommend booking a mendr or contacting your local technician to have a look at your commercial dishwasher. If the unit isn’t filling with water and you can’t find any issues, the issue could be a faulty hose or inlet valve – both of which need to be checked and replaced by a qualified technician.

Common Fault #6: Faulty Electrics

There are a few things that can cause faulty electrics including leaks and just a general fault that will fry the wiring inside your dishwasher.

If this is the case then we would again recommend booking a mendr or contacting your local technician to have a look at your commercial dishwasher as any leaks will need to be fixed and the electrics will need to replaced/fixed.

Other Faults:

Sometimes other things can go wrong, leaving your dishes dirty.

This includes faulty measurement devices such as the:

  • Inlet valve
  • Solenoid
  • Timer
  • Pressure switch
  • Thermostat
  • Rinse pump

As per the above faults we recommend booking a mendr or contacting your local technician to have a look at your commercial dishwasher and then replace the part that needs replacing. booking a mendr or contacting your local technician to have a look at your commercial dishwasher.

Read our 8 Tips For Prolonging The Life Of Your Dishwasher here

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