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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    Hobart C44A Warewasher using excessive detergent

    Hello all,

    I discovered this forum while trying to find information about my ongoing detergent chemical problem associated with the Warewasher in our kitchen.

    A little run through of the equipment.

    The C44A is fed by a Hot water booster with a Phosphate filter upstream of it as we have rather hard water where I am. The water comes from my Boiler room at 60 degrees C and brought up to temp by that booster. Detergent wise we are using Sealed Air Suma Nova detergent that is pumped in via Sealed Air's own pump system and they do the service required on it.

    I was an On-call employee (so not here often) at my site before I took it over Fulltime in February of last year. I was under the impression that the Phosphate filter had been changed in January of last year but I started getting complaints of excessive detergent being used in May. So I spent a few weeks trying to understand and find out why. I ended up determining that the media in the Phosphate filter was depleted and that there was excessive scale buildup on the sensor probes for the detergent pump. (It measures TDS in the water and determines how much detergent is needed based on that). I changed out the Phosphate filter and had the probes cleaned up by First week of July. The filter is supposed to last for one full year as per my predecessor.

    In December I started receiving similar complaints about the detergent being used up too quickly so i immediately checked the probes and filter. The media in the filter was 2/3 used up so I ordered and new filter (as it takes a few weeks to arrive) and cleaned the probes again. The probe cleaning seems to have delayed it only temporarily and it was continuing to be a problem.

    I was asked to cover a different site for a couple weeks so I have not been at my site now for just over 2 weeks so i only have the information given to me by my coworker covering the site. He says the filter arrived on the 18th and I had him change it out that day. He says it has made no difference whatsoever.

    We reached out to the city and found that they change their water source in October to wells as opposed to drawing from a local river in the summertime. We have then correlated the detergent usage with that switchover and October is exactly when the rise in detergent use started. It has grown, little by little, and peaked quite high in December and January. My coworker says he has cleaned the probes as well but is seeing no difference. I am back on my site tomorrow so I look forward to seeing it for myself.

    We have tossed around the idea of adding a building filtration system and softener to treat the water before it goes into the DHW system as well as possibly changing the type of detergent that is being used to one that isn't based on TDS as much. We cannot do anything in regards to the water being delivered to us by the city until it gets into the building.

    I am curious as to whether anyone has seen a situation like this before and if anyone has any recommendations on appropriate ways to proceed.

    Thank you for your time

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
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    SE Texas
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    Has the detergent pump been calibrated?
    With your chrome heart shining in the sun, long may you run.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Make sure the fill and rinse solenoids along with the drain are not leaking water. Have you compared your equipment TDS reading against a portable meter to see if your equipment is reading correctly? Also, make sure all curtains are in place and wash-arm caps on. Any dilution by the way of introducing fresh water into the wash tank will eat up soap. Look how they are washing large object. Is the final rinse water being drained to the wash tank?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    In a kitchen with my head stuck in an oven
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    Quote Originally Posted by EjBreeze View Post
    Make sure the fill and rinse solenoids along with the drain are not leaking water. Have you compared your equipment TDS reading against a portable meter to see if your equipment is reading correctly? Also, make sure all curtains are in place and wash-arm caps on. Any dilution by the way of introducing fresh water into the wash tank will eat up soap. Look how they are washing large object. Is the final rinse water being drained to the wash tank?
    Thanks for that, EjBreeze. That was exactly my concern, but I was hesitant to post anything since the OP has some unique circumstances regarding his problem.

    Yes, if the wash or rinse water is being diluted by a leaking fill valve, it may not be evident unless one takes the curtains down to see if there's a leak occurring from within the fill plumbing. That was a common issue with our old, now-defunct-and-gone...C-line-A. However, that still arises occasionally with our CLe and FT machines.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Billington Heights, NY
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    you cant treat anything if you dont know what you have. has the water been tested?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    British Columbia, Canada
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by SandShark View Post
    Has the detergent pump been calibrated?
    Hi SandShark,

    The Detergent pump has been calibrated by the representative of the manufacturer.

    Cheers

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by EjBreeze View Post
    Make sure the fill and rinse solenoids along with the drain are not leaking water. Have you compared your equipment TDS reading against a portable meter to see if your equipment is reading correctly? Also, make sure all curtains are in place and wash-arm caps on. Any dilution by the way of introducing fresh water into the wash tank will eat up soap. Look how they are washing large object. Is the final rinse water being drained to the wash tank?
    Hi EjBreeze,

    The fill and rinse solenoids are perfectly normal. I have checked the TDS with a couple different meters but sadly, the detergent unit itself does not provide a display. It is a dual probe electric sensor but I do not know what voltage or TDS it is reading. The curtains have been replaced and are brand new as well. There is a 10% addition of rinse water to the tank but I'm under the Impression from Hobart that this is a normal thing and necessary to aid in heating the wash water, putting less strain on the thermal element.

    Cheers

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by EjBreeze View Post
    Make sure the fill and rinse solenoids along with the drain are not leaking water. Have you compared your equipment TDS reading against a portable meter to see if your equipment is reading correctly? Also, make sure all curtains are in place and wash-arm caps on. Any dilution by the way of introducing fresh water into the wash tank will eat up soap. Look how they are washing large object. Is the final rinse water being drained to the wash tank?
    Hi EjBreeze,

    The fill and rinse solenoids are perfectly normal. I have checked the TDS with a couple different meters but sadly, the detergent unit itself does not provide a display. It is a dual probe electric sensor but I do not know what voltage or TDS it is reading. The curtains have been replaced and are brand new as well. There is a 10% addition of rinse water to the tank but I'm under the Impression from Hobart that this is a normal thing and necessary to aid in heating the wash water, putting less strain on the thermal element.

    Cheers

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    British Columbia, Canada
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by HVAC_Marc View Post
    you cant treat anything if you dont know what you have. has the water been tested?
    Hi HVAC_Marc,

    I am currently waiting for the results of a water analysis. We do have water analysis reports from 2010 and 2017 to compare to see if anything has changed.

    Cheers

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    1,180
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    Improper washing of items can cause it. When large items such as sheet pans are washed flat they can send a lot of water down the drain of the final rinse area and the water coming in had to have detergent added.

    Another can be the o rings on the drains letting water leak out.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    Clearwater, Florida
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    How's your detergent dosing set up? Our's has a sensor that measures continuity or something like that in the water, the detergent system then pumps based on that, if the probe that's measuring it get's scaled up, it can prevent it from getting a good reading in the tank, it could also be otherwise faulty.

    If it's not a sensor but a timer or a continous addition to the tank, that would be a different story.

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