Technician Tip – A Few Signs of Potential Trouble with Your Booster Heater
By Pat Finley – Master Certified Lead Technician
Out of all of the commercial food equipment you have in your food service operation, what may be the hardest working, yet the least thought about? If you guessed a booster heater for your dish machine, you are correct! Typically, it is found under your tray table or dish machine, where it continually creates that crucial 180-195-degree water. By doing so, it serves one of the biggest purposes in your facility, and that is to ensure all of your dishes are sanitized and safe to use.
Due to the critical nature of what your booster heater plays in your commercial kitchen, we would like to share a few scenarios to watch for that may indicate potential trouble with your Booster Heater’s functioning.
Starting Water Temperature
Booster heaters are designed for a certain temperature and GPH or gallon per hour of usage. If your booster is fed with too cold of water, it will run excessively and not be able to keep up with demand. You may think something is wrong with the unit, when in fact it is doing all that, it can.
Pressure Relief Valve Issue
The pressure relief valve keeps the tank from creating too much pressure, creating a dangerous situation. If you visualize water or steam leaking from the pressure relief valve is a sign it could be failing or your unit is experiencing other issues. It also could “pop off” or dump a lot of water and steam unexpectedly. This is a sign of over-temping in the tank and needs to be addressed by a trained professional as soon as possible.
Water Not Reaching Proper Temperature
This could be one of multiple issues. Check your circuit breaker and make sure it is on. If your unit has a power indicator light, make sure it is coming on. If the unit is coming on but not quite hot enough, it may need a temperature set point adjustment or some other service is needed.
Drop in Temperature
The unit will be fine for a few loads but then the temperature drops. This is one of the biggest complaints out there and can vary widely in what the actual problem is. A few things to check before calling for service are:
- Incoming water temperature to the unit. In most installations, there should be an incoming and outgoing gauge for the water lines on the booster heater. These gauges monitor water temperature and pressure. The incoming temperature to your unit is dependent on the size of the unit but is generally around 140 degrees.
- Water pressure too high. This will cause an excessive amount of final rinse water to be used and deplete the water reserves in your booster heater. Remember it can only create so much water in a given time. Make sure the water pressure regulator is set to what your dish machine is rated for, generally 15-25 psi.
If the items above are good, you will need to reach out and schedule a service call with a certified service technician to ensure there aren’t any issues with the unit.
Just remember, if there is any doubt about the operation of your booster heater, please reach out to General Parts Group and have our properly trained technicians go over the unit by contacting us online or calling (888) 498-1238.