Your Guide to Commercial Dishwasher Repair and Maintenance

Speak to an expert

In the bustling world of culinary businesses, a commercial dishwasher plays a vital role. It is an unsung hero, tirelessly working behind the scenes to ensure smooth operations. Regular maintenance and prompt commercial dishwasher repair are crucial for these machines to deliver their best performance and extend their lifespan.

In this guide, we delve into the world of commercial dishwashers, exploring their importance in businesses, their basic mechanics, and the signs that indicate they might need repairs. This information will not only help you understand your dishwasher better but also underscore the importance of professional maintenance and repair services in prolonging the life of your investment.

guide to commercial dishwasher repair and maintenance

The Role of a Commercial Dishwasher in Business

Commercial dishwashers are a key element of business kitchen equipment, whether it’s a quaint tea shop, a high-street restaurant, or a large hospital canteen. They guarantee a steady supply of clean and hygienic cutlery, plates, and glasses, which are not only crucial to meet health and safety regulations but also integral to customer satisfaction.

An underperforming dishwasher can lead to service delays, and even damage a business’s reputation. Understanding the importance of commercial dishwashers underlines the necessity for their appropriate care and swift repairs.

Commercial Dishwasher loaded with 6 plates

Understanding Commercial Dishwasher Mechanics

At their essence, commercial dishwashers are straightforward machines. Water is heated and sprayed onto the dishes, with detergent helping to break down food debris. However, within this simplicity, many elements operate in unison. Pumps, heating elements, wash and rinse arms, timers, and valves are just a few of the dishwasher components that might need repair.

Having a basic understanding of commercial dishwasher mechanics can aid in identifying when things aren’t quite right.

In the next section, we’ll introduce you to some of the most important elements of your commercial dishwasher.

Water System

The water system is the heart of a commercial dishwasher. It consists of a water inlet valve that controls the water entering the dishwasher, a heating element that raises the water temperature, and pumps that pressurise the water.

This pressurised hot water is then distributed onto the dishes through the wash and rinse arms.

Orange Detergent Icon

Detergent Dispenser

Working in concert with the water system, the detergent dispenser releases the right amount of cleaning agent at the appropriate time during the wash cycle.

Spray Icon

Spray Arms

These components are responsible for evenly distributing the hot water and detergent mixture onto the dishes. Both the wash and rinse arms have tiny holes that spray out water at high pressure, ensuring that all surfaces of the dishes are thoroughly cleaned.

Orange Drain icon

Drain System

The drain system removes used water from the dishwasher, making it ready for the next cycle. This system comprises a drain pump and a drain valve that direct the dirty water out of the dishwasher and into the drain line.

Orange Electrical Components Icon

Electrical Components

These include timers and sensors that control the duration and phases of the wash cycle, heaters to maintain water temperature, and motors to drive the pumps.

Orange Electrical Components Icon

Doors and Racks

Commercial dishwashers typically have robust doors and racks designed to withstand heavy usage. The doors seal the unit during operation, while the racks hold the dishes.

Understanding the basics of how these components work together can help you recognise when something’s amiss with your commercial dishwasher. It’s essential to promptly address any concerns with a professional dishwasher repair service to prevent more significant issues down the line.

Top Ten Signs Your Dishwasher Needs Repairs

Spotting the signs that your dishwasher requires professional attention can help prevent more serious issues and costly repair bills. Here are ten signs that indicate a need for commercial dishwasher repair:

  1. Inefficient Cleaning: If your dishes aren’t coming out as clean as they should be, it’s a clear sign something’s amiss.
  2. Strange Noises: Unusual sounds like loud buzzing or humming could point to a faulty component.
  3. Leaking Water: Leaks can lead to water damage and higher utility bills.
  4. Longer Wash Cycles: If cycles are taking longer than usual, the thermostat might be on the blink.
  5. Unusual Smells: Persistent unpleasant odours could mean the dishwasher isn’t draining properly.
  6. Failure to Start: If the machine won’t start, there could be an electrical issue.
  7. Excessive Soap Residue: Too much residue might indicate a problem with the rinse cycle or detergent dispenser.
  8. Broken or Malfunctioning Parts: Visible damage is a clear call for professional repairs.
  9. Dishwasher Not Draining: Water that won’t drain can be a sign of a blocked filter or faulty pump.
  10. Rapid Wear and Tear: If your dishwasher seems to be deteriorating faster than it should, it might be time for a check-up.

What to Do When Your Commercial Dishwasher Needs Repairs

Upon noticing any of these signs, it’s vital to act promptly. First, try to determine if the issue is something minor that you can tackle yourself, like a blocked filter. If the problem seems more severe, it’s time to ring up a professional dishwasher repair service. They can properly diagnose the issue, recommend the best course of action, and execute the necessary repairs. Neglecting the signs can lead to larger problems and more expensive repairs and could potentially mean a complete replacement of your unit.

Final Thoughts

Commercial dishwashers are a substantial investment and an essential part of many businesses. Timely commercial dishwasher repair, regular maintenance, and understanding the signs of malfunction can greatly enhance the machine’s efficiency and longevity. A well-maintained dishwasher not only saves you money in the long run but also ensures that your operations run smoothly, and your customers remain contented.

If you’ve noticed any of the signs mentioned above, don’t sit around waiting for a minor issue to turn into a major problem. Get in touch with our team of experts for your commercial dishwasher repair needs. We’re committed to providing swift, professional service to keep your business running at its peak.


As a specialist in Commercial Dishwasher repairs, we’ve been asked hundreds of questions about these appliances. We’ve answered some of the most popular questions we’ve been asked below.

How long does a typical commercial dishwasher last with proper maintenance?

With proper maintenance, a commercial dishwasher can typically last around 10 to 20 years. However, the exact lifespan can depend on the brand, model, and how frequently the dishwasher is used. Regular servicing and prompt repairs can significantly prolong its service life.

How much water and energy does a commercial dishwasher typically use?

The amount of water and energy a commercial dishwasher uses can vary depending on the specific model, its efficiency rating, and the cycle selected. On average, a commercial dishwasher might use anywhere from 2 to 7 litres of water per cycle and about 2.5-3.5 kWh of energy per hour.

What are the legal requirements or health codes related to commercial dishwashers in the UK?

Commercial dishwashers in the UK are subject to health and safety regulations set by bodies such as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Food Standards Agency (FSA). They should be properly installed, regularly maintained and kept clean to meet hygiene standards. It’s also crucial to ensure that staff are adequately trained and that safety measures like correct electrical installations and proper waste disposal are followed.

What's the typical cost of a commercial dishwasher repair service?

The cost of a commercial dishwasher repair can vary widely, depending on the nature of the problem, the cost of any replacement parts needed, and the rates of the service provider. On average, a repair might cost between £100 and £200, but more complex issues could be more expensive.

Do I need to hire a plumber to install a commercial dishwasher?

It’s highly recommended to hire a professional for the installation of a commercial dishwasher. These appliances have specific electrical, plumbing, and space requirements, and incorrect installation could lead to performance issues, increased risk of malfunction, or even safety hazards. Many suppliers offer installation services, or you can hire a qualified plumber or engineer.

About the author

Trades Team provides professional maintenance and repairs to the foodservice industry. We have 15 years of experience in maintaining and repairing commercial catering equipment across the Southeast. Learn more about Trades Team.

Trades Team Testimonial

Latest News

Troubleshooting A Worcester Bosch A21 Error Code

Troubleshooting A Worcester Bosch A21 Error Code

Published: 19 Aug 2023 Troubleshooting the A21 Error Code: Worcester Bosch  Returning home to find the Worcester Bosch A21 error code displayed on your boiler can be a real concern, especially during cold weather. This error can disrupt the comfort of your home,...

Your Guide to Commercial Oven Care

Your Guide to Commercial Oven Care

Published: 17 Aug 2023 Practical advise on maintaining your commercial oven.  The commercial oven is the powerhouse of your kitchen, enduring rigorous use daily. Its maintenance and care can make all the difference between a well-performing oven and one that...

The Tenant Handbook for Boiler Maintenance

The Tenant Handbook for Boiler Maintenance

Published: 23 Jul 2023 Understanding Your Rights, Responsibilities and Best Practices  As a tenant, experiencing boiler issues can be stressful, especially during the colder months. Knowing your rights and responsibilities is essential to help you resolve any...

Understanding Boiler Kettling: Causes, Prevention, and Solutions

Understanding Boiler Kettling: Causes, Prevention, and Solutions

If you're dealing with boiler kettling, you're not alone – it's a common issue that many homeowners face with their heating systems. That strange, loud rumbling sound you hear is caused by limescale or debris buildup within your boiler. Don't worry; we're here to help...