Water softening warning for bars and pubs from U-Select

U-Select limescale

Catering equipment distributor U-Select has warned pubs and bars to urgently check the water softening currently in place for their glasswashing after a recent surge in enquiries.

U-Select sales manager Jon Steward said that his sales team had seen a large amount of enquiries from pubs and bars that have been left without glasswashing facilities after breakdowns caused by mineral build-up inside the machine during the summer months.

“This summer we fielded a lot of calls from bars and pubs urgently requiring new glasswashers, in fact more than 10% of our enquiries have been dishwasher related,” he said. “Most of these failures can be marked down to a lack of proper water softening. It’s one of the big issues across the catering industry. Water filter manufacturers Brita claim that 75% of all catering equipment breakdowns are due to insufficient water softening. From our perspective, the pub industry seems to be having lots of breakdowns at the moment. It’s a real concern.”

The cause of the problems is the minerals carried in hard water, which is formed when it passes through limestone and chalk. More than two-thirds of England and half the UK as a whole are listed as “hard water areas” with more than 200 parts per million of calcium or magnesium carbonates in their water supply. When water flows through catering machines these particles are deposited and build up to form a hard layer which can block pipes and cause equipment malfunctions and failures.

Jon said water softening problems were particularly dangerous for businesses because they caused lots of damage very quickly – as illustrated in the picture of limescale build-up above.

“When an item of kit breaks down because of water softening problems, the results can be catastrophic: it can often need to be replaced. I’ve been amazed by how quickly mineral deposits can build up and cause issues with equipment in the areas with the hardest water.”

Jon urged pubs and bars to check what water softening they had in place or to check with distributors before purchasing what water softening is best for your equipment, which can reap further benefits on top of protecting against breakdown.

“The great news is that the solutions are easy to install and maintain, and many newer glasswashers have in-built water softeners or even clever ‘reverse osmosis’ systems which remove even more impurities that traditional water softening. With the right solution in place not only will your glasswasher last longer, but you will spend less on detergent and see your glassware stay pristine for longer too.”

U-Select, which launched in December 2015, is a unique and flexible way to hire and buy catering equipment. For example, “Try It Buy It” offers rental contracts of just 12 months with no commitment to buy. U-Select offers rental and purchase on any item of catering equipment available in the UK.

For more information, visit www.u-select.co.uk.

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