Choosing a commercial dishwasher can be quite a tricky job. There are a lot of different types of machine out there including under counter machines, pass through machines and specialist dishwashers such as pot washers and pan washers. You want to make sure that you buy the right kind of machine to suit your needs because this will be perhaps one of the largest and most expensive pieces of catering equipment your kitchen buys. This article will go some way to outlining what you need to look out for and pay attention to when buying a commercial dishwasher.
Commercial dishwashers generally come with two basket sizes: 400mm square baskets and 500mm square baskets. The 400 basket commercial dishwasher is a small machine and whilst it is ideal for some, you will strongly consider what size is best for your business. A 400 dishwasher is designed primarily for cutlery, cups and saucers as well as small plates. You will find, even with a small 100mm difference in basket size, that a 400mm machine will only take 7 plates where a 500mm will take 14 or 15 plates at a time. bosch dishwasher sms46ki03i If you are in any way unsure, it is always advisable to buy the bigger machine as you can always under-use but never over-use.
Pass Through or Under Counter
The choice between a pass-through dishwasher and an under counter dishwasher is all dependent on the layout and washing scenario of your kitchen. A pass-through dishwasher eliminates the effort of bending down to stack and load a machine but they are generally more expensive and take up more space. An under counter dishwasher is ideal for general use and is laid out just like a domestic dishwasher you might find at home with a drop down door and drawing the baskets in and out. You will need to consider and weigh up the benefits and drawbacks of each machine layout for your particular scenario before making your purchase.
Specialist pot washers and specialist pan washers are oversize dishwasher for washing larger objects such as tall utensils, baking trays, baskets and pots and pans. The added height clearance and wash arm clearance means that these specialist washers can wash much larger objects than a conventional under counter machine or even a pass-through dishwasher. Depending on what you want to wash, you need to decide whether you need an oversize machine or not.
Avoid at all costs buying a machine with plastic components. The high temperatures that dishwashers wash at means that plastic component do not withstand the test of time. They are constantly expanding and contracting and combined with the water and detergent mixtures being thrown around in the cabinet of the machine often crack, weather and eventually fail.
The initial cost saving of buying a “plasticy” machine is quickly destroyed by service calls and engineer call outs not long after the warranty on your machine has expired. You will also find that these machines usually only offer a 1 year parts warranty only with labour as an optional extra.
Completely stainless steel dishwashers are always a bit more expensive but are definitely a better investment for the future. stainless steel components will not crack and weather in the same way as plastic with high temperatures and stainless steel components, particularly wash arms, jets and filters will withstand the test of time meaning your machine will last many years longer without expensive service calls and engineers. Ultimately, you will make your money back on the initial outlay with a longer machine life. You will also find that completely stainless steel machines will also have a longer warranty as standard, perhaps a 3 years warranty rather than 1.