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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    1,029

    Explain how steamers work

    Im starting to work on a good deal of Cleveland steamers as of late. I can usually fumble my way though them but i really have no solid footing on how they operate. Does anyone of any literature or websites that could help.

    I dislike calling tech support
    You can't kiss death without it kissing you back. Death is a passionate kisser.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    fort walton beach fl.
    Posts
    790
    Here's a link to Clevelands lit downloads. http://www.clevelandrange.com/minisi...rvicedownloads
    What model are seeing the most of?
    http://acfwb.com/

    "The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Savannah, NY
    Posts
    82
    Yeah what model are you working on?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    752
    Quote Originally Posted by marter View Post
    Im starting to work on a good deal of Cleveland steamers as of late. I can usually fumble my way though them but i really have no solid footing on how they operate...
    Marter, I get the jist of your question. Steamers are a unique appliance.
    Some basics:

    As a steamer boils water to make steam, it leaves solids (minerals)behind inside the boiler. Over time, the water becomes mineral enriched. A daily blow-down (draining) of the boiler is important to expel those minerals. A chemical descaling with an acid mixture made for that purpose is still necessary FREQUENTLY – at intervals based on the hardness of your local water. With the hard water where I live, I advise once a week.

    The biggest problem with steamers IS lime scale buildup. Scale can be an electrical insulator preventing the proper sensing of the boiler’s water level, or can be the source to bridge boiler moisture (NOT water level) to cause dry firing of elements or gas burners. Scale can fall away and clogs blow-down(drain) solenoid valves. Scale will obstruct the steam ports to the cooking chamber. Scale will grow into ROCKS inside the boiler.

    In case I didn’t say it, SCALE is the BIGGEST problem in steamers…

    When servicing a malfunctioning steamer, ALWAYS check and clean the water probes (or floats) first. Typically the lower probe senses that water level is sufficient to begin heating. The upper probe stops water fill cycle.

    There are typically four solenoid valves in a Cleveland steamer: 1) drain valve, 2) fill valve, 3) condensate (or quench) valve and 4)the 3 minute flush valve.
    The condensate valve sprays a fan of water inside the drainpipe through which steam leaving the cooking chamber must pass through. This prevents wafting clouds of steam from escaping the drain and floating around the kitchen >AND< prevents pressuring the cooking chamber and blowing the door open.
    The 3 minute flush works when you shut off the steamer. I think you now know what it’s flushing out. Only Cleveland designs this feature in.

    Otherwise, the water control board, the timer, the cabinet thermostat and the heat controls (contactor or gas controls) are pretty basic. Water controls decide when it’s safe to turn on the heat and when to turn off the water for filling. Everything else is designed around these basic functions.

    Although not inclusive for ALL steamer manufacturers, this is my VERY condensed lesson on how a steamer works – with significant focus on what breaks them.

    Quote Originally Posted by marter View Post
    I dislike calling tech support

    I couldn't have worked in this business without them. I couldn't have a manual for everything and usually often encounter something new - even after thriteen years of doing it. I highly encourage you to use them.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    752
    Quote Originally Posted by ECtofix View Post
    There are typically four solenoid valves in a Cleveland steamer: 1) drain valve, 2) fill valve, 3) condensate (or quench) valve and 4)the 3 minute flush valve.
    I found it necessary to correct myself. That fourth valve has been designed OUT of Cleveland steamers the past decade or so.

    Instead, when the steamer is shut off, Cleveland now simply re-energizes the FILL valve again through a three minute timer while leaving the drain valve OPEN. This is intended to purge or flush out any scale sediment that might've settled in the drain valve during operation. Scale sediment there could jam the drain valve OPEN during it's next attempt to use - OR - CLOGS it up and preventing it from draining.

    Read what I've written above, then use the link smurphy provided to look up model 21CET8. That's a basic counter-top electric unit. Read it's SEQUENCE OF OPERATION. Cleveland does good with that. If you get a good grasp on that model, then you can move on to gas-fired units, which have a bit more going on. Floor model, boiler based, gas fired steamers REALLY begin to inundate you with wiring and componentry.

    Then...there's COMBI-OVENS!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    17
    Understanding the sequence of operation will go a long way towards diagnosing any piece of equipment. Knowing WHAT is supposed to happen WHEN is particularly important with steamers.

    Also, it goes without saying, be cautious when dealing with appliances that use steam generators, especially sealed steam kettles with a water jacket. Like any steam boiler, if you aren't trained in working with steam, you may inadvertently create an explosive situation.

    -Danibal

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    51
    That was a very good job of answering the question being asked straight forward. That was a lot of helpful info in your reply.

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