I am looking for some input/opinion regarding a few steamer de-scaler applications. It seems that all of the manufacturers have their own products to descale their equipment. I work for a rather large school district with 31 kitchens; within those kitchens we have Market Forge, Stellar (MarFor,) Cleveland, etc. Most of our newer sites are using the Everpure SteamKleen system that that has a charcoal filter as well as a "scale stick" to slow the build-up of scale.
I have used each of the manufacturers' recommended de-scaling systems/products from the pour-it-in-and-cook-it method, to the pump-it-from-a-bucket, to Everpure's powder-introduced-thru-the-water-feed. I use PH strips to verify water quality after de-scaling and it seems that they all do just fine. The Everpure system is, by far, the simplest and easiest of all the other methods and seems to be the safest.
It appears that I may have just stumbled upon the answer I was looking for but welcome any opinions you may have regarding which methods are preferred in the field. Thank you...
Use an RO system for your water filtration.Pure water = no scale!
I like Lime-A-Way. Very simple, and many mfg recommend it. Also works weel in ice machines.
I service 3 school districts, this year every steamer will have a Kleen steam attached.
They just work, period, if maintained.
For serious de scaling the everpure bags are the way to go.
Hard water sucks!
Here in New Mexico we have very hard water. Every steamer that has a boiler is going to mean problems. The best descaler I have used is Cleveland Dissolve. As for water filters, the only thing I have found that actually works is RO. Be careful though you can still have electrolysis problems even with RO water. Ultimately the solution, I think, is boilerless steamers. Accutemp makes a very good boilerless unit and so does Cleveland.
Descaling methods depend on how often the units have been descaled. Whwn I tackle something witrh severe buildup I set up a system with a pump and inflow full strength descaler into the boiler/generator and outflow to a reservior (bucket/pan) with the pump in it, I run this until all scale is removed. Sometimes as long as two days while changing descale solution if it starts degrading enough. Once the boilers in question are clean I develope a plan through close observation to stop having a repeat of the type of buildup that caused such drastic action.
The best descaler I have found to use with the Everpure system is from Enerco. Far better than the orange descaler Everpure suggests and very reasonable.
I work a 10 school system and have the Everpure system,with scale sticks on all of em. Vulcans,Clevelands and 2 MarFos.I also descale twice a year with the ScaleKleen kilo bags.Good results.
Our new county RO plant came on line last year.9/10(10th is on island)of my schools are on it,and you would not believe the difference! I haven't cleaned a solenoid in months.I'm definitely loving it.
carbon block filters work, RO can become aggressive.
Boilerless steamers still need to be cleaned daily. The only answer is dedicated maintenance.
I know this is an older thread, but I'd like to add a couple of cents in here. What I tell our customers is that if you do nothing more than shut off the steamer every 4 hours and let the scale get out, you will have solved much of your potential problems.
With a "scale stick" system, all it does is keep the scale in suspension, ie, dissolved. If you never drain the boiler due to, say, 24-hour operation or a stuck drain solenoid, you *will* have a scale problem. The water can only hold so much before precipitating out the calcium. That's what the "automatic blowdown" systems try to do- enforce the dumping of the water charge.
RO is definately the way to go if staff can keep the salt in it. I've seen a place that spent thousands on 2 small RO units (not us), and after the first charge ran out, and us trying to edumacate everybody in sight, they never RO'd again. Still sitting inline, unused to this day.
All our restaurants use the RO system for there steamers and they still get scale, and we change the filters every 3 to 6 months, depends on performance when we test them.
Originally Posted by pdrake65
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[QUOTE=caheiman30;16047271]All our restaurants use the RO system for there steamers and they still get scale, and we change the filters every 3 to 6 months, depends on performance when we test them.
Umm, that's simply not possible. RO, Reverse Osmosis, removes all dissolved solids in suspension. "Filters" do little more than remove the large bits of sand (wound core) and tast and odor (carbon block). They have zero effect on scale. "Scale stick" systems are merely a solid acidic material that will help keep scale from prcipitationg out on surfaces.
To be clear, a RO system uses salt for ion exchange and you have a hopper of salt pellets that must be refilled every once in a while.
I've never seen a McD's with a RO system here on the right coast, they all use multi-stage filter systems.
Again, RO will remove all scale from the water, where scale is defined as calcium carbonate.
If indeed they have RO systems, and are still scaleing up, I'd humbly suggest you have backflow prevention problems, and some foreign untreated water is getting in the supply line.
I agree with Bozo on this. Any of the dozens of McDonald's I've worked in merely have the cartridge filter array hanging back there on their multiplex.
Originally Posted by BadBozo2315
I've not seen RO systems much here in Tennessee - and our water is very hard. However, an RO system is usually a large setup, centrally located in a machine room. With our work being involved on restaurant equipment, I never really ventured outside of the kitchen much - except for shutting off a breakers to equipment and such.
The resort I NOW work at has multiple RO systems though. With the place being a "mini-city" with it's own infrastructure, I've been told that the hotel's plumbing provides both, treated and untreated water, to designated areas. However, I'm not certain if our steam-generating appliances (Rational combi-ovens) have the treated water source fed to them. I'll have to ask when I go into work this evening. Our 3rd shift kitchen maintenance guys (not me) maintain the salt tanks, so they may school me up on this topic. Since the responsibility of that maintenance is our shop's, I anticipate hearing that the combi-ovens are getting the treated stuff.
Our Rationals still DO get scale accumulation and must be periodically descaled. But from what I've seen, that problem isn't nearly as prevalent as equipment I'd encountered when I was doing field service work.
Nonetheless, thanks for the advice Bozo. I learned something new today that's worth knowing....