In the food equipment industry there are a number of very important pieces of
equipment that require water in order to work. Ice machines, espresso machines, steam
cookers, warewashing and beverage systems would have no value in the kitchen
without water. That being said, all food equipment which needs water requires different
water conditions to run properly and efficiently for the duration of their life.
As many reading this know, water conditions among municipalities in the United
States can vary wildly. Many people consider the water in New York City to be “one of
the best municipal water supplies”, whereas the water in Flint, Michigan is commonly
regarded as “not great”. However it’s not just your state that makes a difference. Your
neighbor right across the street may have excellent water quality, but you may find
yours to be absolutely terrible (I have experienced this many times). Making sure that
the water going into your food equipment is filtered properly for your water conditions is
essential. Administering a water test, whether through your municipality or through a
third party lab, can prove to be helpful to determining what you will need to keep your
equipment safe. Making a list of your equipment and seeing what the manufacturer
recommends for water conditions is a great next step. This will help you determine the
current status of your water (after you have tested your water conditions) and where you
need it to be for your specified equipment.
This next step is choosing what water filter system to use for your equipment; a
vital step. Sorting through the seemingly endless water treatment solutions can be
difficult. As with anything, finding what works and won’t work for your situation can be
trial and error. Asking your equipment manufacturer, technician or local service group is
a smart idea, as they will be knowledgeable about what other kitchens in your area use
that work well.
The final step in determining the right water filter is installing and monitoring.
Monitor the equipment and water for the first 4-6 months, or until the first change out. If
the equipment runs with no water issues (examples include bad tasting espresso, scale
build up in ice machine, etc) then you have a successful water filter and now you will
only have to keep up with planned maintenance for the equipment’s health. If the water
filter system does not work as specified, then you should go back to the manufacturer
and see what the issue could be, or what the right solution could be. Picking the right
filter system can be daunting, but is extremely important for equipment health and for
saving money in the long run!