What is Hard Water & How Can it Affect Your Commercial Dishwasher?

What is Hard Water & How Can it Affect Your Commercial Dishwasher?

Anybody who has travelled around the UK will know that water across the various regions has a different taste. Much of that is dependent on what the water has passed through before reaching the local treatment works and the minerals it has picked up on the way. The amount and composition of those minerals leads to some areas having ‘soft’ water and others having ‘hard’ water.

Let’s be clear from the outset: hard water is perfectly safe, having gone through the same purification process as water elsewhere in the country. However, hard water can cause problems with water-operated appliances, such as commercial dishwashers.

What is Hard Water?

Before entering the local network, water passed through soil, dirt, and rock, picking up tiny grains of minerals as they do so. Some of these minerals (mostly magnesium chloride salts and calcium) are more prevalent in some regions than others. Areas with larger deposits of these minerals are known as hard water areas, since the water can damage certain appliances.

Why is Hard Water Bad for Dishwashers?

Over time the magnesium chloride and calcium present in hard water form a deposit on surfaces that eventually becomes visible to the naked eye. This can affect your commercial dishwasher in three main ways:

Loss of efficiency: hard water deposits contain calcium, which is a poor conductor of heat. When it settles on the heating element of your commercial dishwasher, it makes it less effective at heating water for the cleaning process, which can result in a lower standard of cleaning.

Rust: as well as calcium, hard water deposits contain magnesium chloride salts that can increase incidents of rust in metal components. This will eventually cause leaks and other damage to those components, requiring a full repair or replacement – usually when you least expect it.

Discolouration: salt and calcium can also cause discolouration of your cutlery, as well as white spotting on your glassware. While both are still perfectly usable, in a commercial food venue, stained glass and silverware is not a good look.

Getting Rid of Hard Water Deposits

If you work in a hard water area, you need strip away any deposits on a regular basis. You can do this yourself, using a solution of citric acid and baking soda (along with a bit of elbow grease), or you can use an off-the-shelf commercial dishwasher cleaning product. For a thorough job, you’re better of hiring a commercial dishwasher engineer. Not only will they be able to rid you of your hard water deposits, but they can assess and identify how much damage has been done to the machine and how you can rectify it.

For professional commercial dishwasher servicing in Dorset, Somerset, and Wiltshire, get in touch with CEMCO today. Call us on 01202 377205 to discuss your requirements and to get a free, no-obligation quote for our services.