We’re all familiar with the old television trope of characters not being able to pay for a meal. The friend who promised to pay for dinner dashes out, and the remaining person finds their wallet empty or has their credit card declined. Cut to the character up to their elbows in sudsy water, washing dishes to work off the cost of their meal. Restaurants no longer work that way; commercial dishwashers blast dishes clean with water pressures that thousands of indigent diners couldn’t match with all their scrubbing power and sanitize pots and plates with hot water that would blister the skin. In seconds, commercial dishwashers clean and sterilize dishes that would take hours to scrub by hand. Restaurants, commissaries, and countless other food service businesses would be in sorry shape without dishwashers.
Yet these marvelous machines can break down repeatedly—they are, after all, subject to a lot of heat, pressure, and vibration—and since there is usually only a single dishwasher in an establishment, this failure can leave restaurant management and wait staff scrubbing dishes alongside the dishwasher just to keep up. As such, commercial dishwasher repair needs to be reliable in order to ensure productivity in a restaurant setting, and this means using precision torque tools.
Why Commercial Dishwasher Repair Services Need Precision Torque Tools
When you think of commercial dishwasher repair, you may not think of precision tools, even if you work for or own a commercial kitchen appliance repair service. In fact, people are more likely to think of clearing a chicken bone wedged beneath a lower spray arm, a piece of gristle lodged in a port, or a kinked detergent line. While these are common reasons for a repair service to be called in, there are other more serious calls that take more skill and technical know-how to complete.
The constant spinning of the upper and lower spray arms can cause them to go out of balance. They can collide with utensils sliding through the racks and break. The vibration can work the bolts holding motor and impeller housings free, causing the machine to go inert and the water to lose pressure. The vibration can cause control panel screws to loosen, and the heat (along with the moisture) can degrade components over time, making it necessary to replace the whole module. Such commercial dishwasher repairs must be completed to spec with torque tools to ensure that the machine will work properly shift after shift.
Torque is simply the amount of force applied to a fastener when it is turned. Apply too little torque to a screw or a bolt and it won’t stay in place. The vibrations of a dishwasher over time can cause fasteners that aren’t tightened enough to come loose. As a result, vital components may lose their electrical or mechanical connection and the machine could stop working entirely.
If fasteners are too tight, on the other hand, it can cause damage to components or the substrate they attach to. Electronic control modules usually have housings made of plastic, and tightening a screwdriver too much can crack the plastic. At best, this leaves the machine out of order. If it is an older commercial dishwasher with parts that are no longer available, there may be no choice but to purchase a whole new machine. You can use precision torque tools to complete the repair work without causing damage to the machine, guaranteeing the quality of your work. Quality work, repairs that last, and standing by your work will set your company apart from the competition.
Using the Right Torque Tools for Commercial Dishwasher Repair
Often, manufacturers don’t add torque specifications to their manuals, and as a discerning mechanic, you may be stumped about the proper settings for your torque tools when doing commercial dishwasher repairs. Standard torque settings for bolts and screws are widely available, as are those for many valves and plumbing fittings. They can usually be found on the fastener or fitting manufacturer’s website. Repairing commercial kitchen equipment to spec is often just a matter of doing research and having the proper tools.
Machine screws on commercial dishwasher control panels and surfaces can be tightened to spec with adjustable torque screwdrivers. You and other repairman servicing different types of commercial dishwashers would be well served by adjustable screwdriver kits which include a screwdriver and different head types and sizes.
Delicate, non-ferrous plumbing fixtures and heater element mounts call for torque tools that physically prevent over-torquing. Break-over wrenches disconnect when the upper limit of torque is reached, thereby making it easy to properly tighten a fastener without damaging fittings made of softer metals. Adjustable cam-over wrenches, which disengage when the torque limit is reached and are compatible with most socket sets, work well when you’re repairing pump and motor housings.
Commercial dishwashers aren’t the most glamorous machines, but they do make a difference to restaurant management and staff. Along with other commercial restaurant equipment, these important machines make sure that we can always enjoy a good meal off a clean plate. It’s something that many people may not think about, but we certainly notice when it’s missing. Every repair should be done to exacting specifications with quality tools, and commercial dishwasher repair is no exception.