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Why Water Filtration is Good For Your Restaurant


By Greg McGuire

Water filtration systems provide two key benefits for your commercial kitchen or restaurant:

  • Restaurant equipment maintenance and breakdown is reduced by as much as 75%
  • Beverages and ice taste and smell better to your customer

Restaurant equipment that use water like ice machines, coffee and espresso makers, steamers, and dishwashers can all benefit from a water filtration system. Mineral deposits (also known as "scale") build up in these machines, causing maintenance problems and breakdowns. Water filters with scale inhibitors are particularly beneficial for ice machines, as ice will appear clearer and break up easier than non-filtered ice, not to mention taste better to the customer.

Water filtration removes:

  • Chemicals
  • Sediment
  • Minerals
  • Organic matter
The presence of these elements in your commercial kitchen or restaurant's water affects water taste and odor and increase the likelihood of maintenance problems or equipment breakdown.

Water Filtration Options

There are multiple water filtration solutions for your commercial kitchen:

  • Separate filters for different restaurant equipment like ice machines, coffee makers, steamers and beverage dispensers
  • One central water filter for all the water you use
Ice machine, coffee maker, and steamer filters have a scale inhibitor that reduces mineral buildup in the equipment.

Scale inhibitors affect the taste of soda, so if you are looking for a water filter for a soda dispenser, make sure you purchase a special beverage dispenser water filter that does not have a scale inhibiting filter. Beverage dispensing filters come in different sizes depending on the number of dispensers you have.

Different ice machines also require different capacity water filters. Make sure you purchase the correct capacity water filtration system for your ice machine.

  • Ice machines producing up to 750 lbs. of cubes or 1,200 lbs. of flakes per day
  • Ice machines producing up to 1,000 lbs. of cubes or 1,800 lbs. of flakes per day
  • Ice machines producing up to 1,450 lbs. of cubes or 2,400 lbs. of flakes per day

A central water filter is easier to maintain and install and takes up less space than several separate water filters. When considering installing a central filter, keep in mind that the taste of soda is affected by scale inhibitor filters, and it's important to purchase a unit that has a special scale inhibitor bypass for soda dispensing. Tundra stocks a [water filter designed to service multiple machines] with a soda bypass.

Espresso machine filters are specially designed for espresso machines and work like a water softener as well as inhibiting scale buildup.

Please remember that most water filters are designed to filter cold water only! For hot water filtration, like the feed to your commercial dishwasher, use a scale inhibitor only rather than the water filters with scale inhibitor commonly used for most restaurant equipment. A scale inhibitor on the hot water line to your dishwashing equipment will help reduce spotting and mineral buildup on dishes.

Types of Water Filters

Not all water filters and water filtration systems are the same. Some water filtration systems feature a drop-in replacement cartridge whereas others are screwed into the filter head.

Some water filters need to be activated by cycling water through them for a period of time before use. Other types allow you to simply drop in the cartridge and put it to work right away. Some systems require multiple filter cartridges, especially for higher volume applications whereas others, most notably Cuno, have one cartridge systems for all capacities, saving space and money since you only have to purchase one replacement cartridge at a time.

When To Replace Your Water Filter

It's probably time to replace your water filter cartridge if:

  • Water pressure drops significantly. Many water filtration systems have a PSI (pounds per square inch) indicator needle. If that needle is in the red or below 30 PSI, replace your filter
  • The water in your restaurant or commercial kitchen tastes or smells funny
  • Mineral deposits or "scale" start building up in your restaurant equipment
  • More than six months have passed since the last time you replaced the filter

The best way to avoid problems with your water filtration system is to replace filters every six months. If your water filter cartridge is clogging or going bad in less than six months, you may need a pre filter for your water filtration system. A pre filter removes larger organic matter and sediment before it reaches your main filter, improving the main filter's lifespan and effectiveness. Different geographic areas have different water qualities, but in general if your area has especially "hard" water (it contains lots of minerals), has a lot of sediment or debris, or algae or other organic matter problems, installing a pre filter is a good idea.



Greg McGuire is a regular contributor to The Back Burner, a restaurant news, trends, and marketing blog. He also works for eTundra.com, a company specializing in restaurant equipment, supplies, and equipment parts.





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