Gas, Steam, and Water

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Just when you thought you’d learned a lot about the utility needs of a restaurant . . . this article focuses on utilities other than electricity. And there are plenty of them! Gas and steam provide power for many of the major kitchen appliances you will use and may also run your heating and/or cooling system. A basic knowledge of water and plumbing also is necessary. In this article, we will discuss:
The uses of gas and steam in foodservice
The basics of how gas and steam equipment work
Energy-saving use and maintenance tips
Water quality issues and how to deal with them
Basic foodservice plumbing requirements
Installing and maintaining a drainage system
Hot-water needs, and how water heaters work

GAS ENERGY
Gas has many uses in foodservice. You may use it to heat or cool your building, to heat water, to cook food, to chill food, to incinerate waste, and/or to dry dishes or linens. It’s called natural gas because, indeed, it is not man-made. It was formed underground several million years ago by the decay of prehistoric plants and animals, and is now pumped to the earth’s surface for use as a fuel. Illustration 6-1 shows how natural gas is extracted from wells, then processed and transported through a series of pipelines to its final destination: your restaurant.

ILLUSTRATION 6-1 How natural gas gets from the ground to the customer.
IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_20100610230120136izM.gif)

The American Gas Association credits the Abell House, a stagecoach stop in Fredonia, New York, as the first commercial establishment to use natural gas for cooking. Back in 1825, the “pipes” were hollowed-out logs. Gas was propelled through the logs into the building, to a single-flame stove with a reflector plate. We’ve come a long way since then. There are different types of gas for different uses. The one most commonly known as natural gas is mostly methane. When it is highly compressed for storage, under incredibly cold conditions (below 260 degrees Fahrenheit), it becomes liquefied natural gas (LNG). When it is manufactured—in a process that mixes methane with hydrogen and carbon monoxide—it is known as synthetic gas. There also are other gas combinations—propane, butane, isobutane—that may be called liquefied petroleum gas, LP gas, or bottled gas. In the United States, restaurants use natural gas to operate as much as two-thirds of their major cooking equipment.

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Range-top Power Burner. This burner premixes gas and combustion air in correct proportion to produce high heat and efficiency. Unlike the standard ring burner, the power burner does not rely on the atmosphere to supply its secondary air. The burner head is enclosed in a sealed metal ring through which no excess air can enter. Flames are spread evenly through the ring over the bottom of the cooking pot, so less heat is wasted, more heat is delivered to the food, and the kitchen stays cooler. The burner head acts as a shutter mechanism, readjusting the premixed air and gas whenever the controls are turned up or down. A recent appliance development is the power burner range, with two (front) power burners and two (back) conventional burners, the front ones for speedy cooking and the back ones for keeping food warm.       Infrared Jet Impingement Burner. The IR jet, as it’s known, is a type of high-efficiency burner that also uses less gas than conventional burners. It is a power burner that premixes gas and air in a separate chamber before burning. This mixture is fed into the burner by a blower and ignited at the burner surface. The perforated ceramic burner plate holds the flames in place and allows them to impinge (hit hard) on the bottom surface of the pan.            Pilot Lights and Thermostats. The pilot light is an absolute necessity in the gas-fired commercial kitchen. There are several different kinds of pilot lights, some automatic and some manual, and most gas appliances make it possible for you to easily adjust the pilot light, if necessary, with the turn of a screw. Illustration 6-5 shows the inner workings of the two most common types of gas pilot lights. The newest technology, however, replaces the gas pilot with electronic spark ignition of the gas flame, reducing gas consumption because the pilot doesn’t have to stay continuously lit.ILLUSTRATION 6-5 The main parts of a typical pilot light system. The flash pilot lights on its own; the push-button pilot requires someone to push the button.IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012021TEgc.gif)The standard gas pilot light should be about three-quarters of an inch high. This small flame is located next to the main burners of the appliance. In some cases, there’s a separate pilot for each burner; in others, a single pilot light is used to light more than one burner.      If the pilot light goes out, it is a signal that the gas has been shut off. Like other gas flames, pilots can also burn yellow, which means dirt or lint may be blocking the opening. You can remove the dirt by brushing the orifice clean again.        Pilot lights have safety features, the most common of which is the thermoelectric control. When a junction of two metal wires (called a thermocouple) is heated by the pilot flame, a very low electric voltage is generated—just enough to fire an electromagnetic gas valve and hold it in an open position. If the pilot light fails, the thermocouple cools, the electric current stops, and the gas valve is closed by spring action. To resume the flow of gas, the pilot must be manually relit.

The thermostat is the control used on most gas-fired equipment to maintain the desired burner temperature. By far, the most common thermostat is a knob or dial called a throttling or modulating control. It allows the flames to rise or fall quickly, then regulates the gas flow to keep the burner temperature constant.        Some types of cooking appliances, such as deep-fat fryers, require quick heat recovery in less than 2 minutes. In these cases, a snap-action thermostat is used, which opens fully to permit maximum heating until the desired temperature is reached. Then it shuts off just as quickly.         Remember that the function of a properly working thermostat is to turn down, or shut off, the supply of gas as soon as the burner reaches the desired temperature. Should you need to reduce the burner’s temperature, turning down the thermostat will not be sufficient. There’s already heat stored in the appliance, and it will take time for it to dissipate and cool down. On a gas oven, for instance, you should set the thermostat to the new, lower level and then open the oven doors to allow it to cool more quickly.        When you need to raise the temperature (e.g., starting the oven when it’s cold), many people have the mistaken impression that the appliance will heat more quickly if you blast it immediately to “High” and then turn it down. In fact, it won’t heat any faster, and you risk forgetting to turn it down and damaging the food by cooking it at an excessive temperature.         Maintaining Gas-Powered Equipment         Preventive maintenance is as important with gas appliances as any others to prevent equipment malfunction. We’ve adapted these maintenance suggestions from an article in Equipment Solutions magazine’s September 2002 issue:            Perform routine checks and/or maintenance both weekly and monthly, and document what you’ve done.          Weekly tasks include: cleaning burner parts and orifices; checking the primary blower speeds; vacuum-cleaning the entire blower system.           Monthly tasks include: adjusting and cleaning air inputs and pilot lights; checking and calibrating thermostats; checking the burner valves. If the latter are difficult to turn or move, they need to be lubricated (sparingly) with high-heat valve grease. Also, check monthly for a good balance of exhaust and make-up air. Remember, gasoperated equipment depends on a uniform exchange of “new” air to replace the air used in the combustion process.         Whenever another piece of equipment is added to the cooking line, have a flow test performed on the main gas line (by a professional repairperson or gas company representative) to ensure that there is sufficient pressure to your hot line when all the cooking equipment is at peak gas consumption levels. This, in turn, will ensure the efficient operation of each appliance.ILLUSTRATION 6-6 Gas meter dials are read the same way as an electric meter, but they measure cubic feet instead of kilowatt-hours.IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012012l7dJ.gif)Reading Gas Meters and BillsIf you have gas appliances, you will also have gas meters, which look like Illustration 6-6. The single, upper dial on a gas meter is used only to test the meter and is not part of your reading. The dials are sometimes called registers.         Although gas is measured in cubic feet instead of kilowatt-hours, the meter dials work the same way (and are read the same way) as electric meter dials.

In large commercial buildings, the gas meter may be more sophisticated, with two sets of dials much like the combination electric meter. Called a compensating meter, this meter also adjusts (“compensates”) when gas pressure or temperature at the location varies from normal conditions. Of the two sets of registers, one will be marked “Uncorrected” or “Uncompensated” and the other will be labeled “Corrected” or “Compensated.” Read the “Corrected” meter to determine your gas usage; the “Uncorrected” dials are used by the utility company for checking the meter.           Illustration 6-7 is a sample gas bill. In all instances, gas consumed is measured in cubic feet, or cubic feet per hour (cfh). However, the rates may be based on therms. (One therm equals 100,000 Btu, or approximately 100 cubic feet.) In our sample bill, the cubic feet are converted to therms to determine the cost of the gas fuel.          The gas utility (in this case, Nicor Gas of Chicago, Illinois) estimates the natural gas that a customer uses makes up about 75 to 80 percent of the gas bill over one year. As a regulated utility, it does not profit from the actual cost of the gas, and must pass them on without mark-up. These notes describe items that appear on the Nicor bill:                METER READING SECTION             The “Current Reading” is determined by one of three methods: An Actual Meter Reading means your reading was taken by a company meter reader or recorded by an automated device.             Customer Reading means you reported your meter reading to the utility company.         An Estimated Meter Reading means the company (in this case, Nicor) estimated the reading based on previous usage and the weather. Nicor estimates most meter readings every other month; then, on the next bill, any difference from actual use is automatically corrected when an actual meter reading is taken.        The “Previous Reading” is the reading of the gas meter in the last reading period. The “Difference” is the amount of difference between the previous reading and the current reading.         To determine the amount of therms used, the company (Nicor) multiplies your use by the Btu factor. The Btu factor may vary from month to month, and is listed on the bill. “Delivery Charges” are Nicor’s costs to operate and distribute gas to you. These charges make up about 15 to 20 percent of your gas bill over one year.              MONTHLY CUSTOMER CHARGE       This is a minimum charge for most customers and it is the same each month, even if you do not use natural gas that month. For (Nicor’s) “Rate 4” business customers, this charge is based on your meter size and potential maximum hourly use of natural gas, in cubic feet per hour (cfh). Most business customers are in the “less than 1,000 cfh” category. Customer charges are:            Less than 1,000 cfh: $20.37           1,000 cfh to 10,000 cfh: $59.82            More than 10,000 cfh: $105.56               THERM USAGE/DISTRIBUTION CHARGES         These charges cover (Nicor’s) fixed and variable operating and distribution costs. A portion of these charges carries from month to month, based on the amount of natural gas you use. There are price variations at certain levels of therm usage. Volumetric delivery charges are:          First 150 therms @ $0.1329         Next 4,850 therms @ $0.0682      More than 5,000 therms @ $0.0482

ENVIRONMENTAL RECOVERY COSTThis charge covers our costs for the environmental monitoring and possible cleanup of former manufactured gas plants in our service territory. This charge changes periodically, and Nicor does not profit from these charges.         FRANCHISE COST         Covers our cost for municipal franchise agreements. Nicor does not profit from this charge.             GOVERNMENTAL AGENCY ADJUSTMENT     This adjustment covers governmental fees and added costs, excluding franchise costs. This cost changes periodically, and Nicor does not profit from this charge.        TAXES      Gas bills also include a number of taxes; in the case of Nicor customers, these taxes make up five to 10 percent of a customer’s total bill over one year. In Illinois, where Nicor Gas is located, there are three different types of state taxes on utilities, and two municipal taxes.ILLUSTRATION 6-7 A sample gas bill.IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_201006102301209w0AI.gif)IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012010YArC.gif)Saving Energy with GasThere are many simple, practical ways to take full advantage of the instant heating power of gas. Choose equipment that is enclosed and insulated, keeping the energy within the appliance (or absorbed by the food). Cook at the lowest temperature, or in the largest volume, possible. Especially for solid-top ranges, use flat-bottomed cookware that makes full contact with the cooking surface. Curves and dents in pots and pans end up wasting money. The bottoms of the cookware should be about one inch wider than the diameter of the burner.      Although there are occasions for “big” flames and kitchen showmanship, for most cooking duties, it is sufficient that the gas flame tips barely touch the bottoms of the cookware and do not lap up over the sides. Burners should be adjusted accordingly. Don’t keep pots at a boil when simmering them would be sufficient, and cover them to hold in heat.       A common tendency is to turn equipment on early to let it “heat up.” Again, this is a waste of fuel and time. For open-top ranges, preheating is simply not necessary; for griddles, low or medium flames are sufficient for just about any kind of frying. Broilers don’t require much, if any, preheating; gas ovens, solid-top ranges, and steamers can be preheated, but no more than 10 minutes.

Energy saving is another good reason many ranges and griddles are built as adjoining, temperature-controlled, multiple-burner sections. During slow times, learn to group food items on the least possible number of sections, which eliminates the need to keep the entire cooking surface hot.       Regular cleaning and maintenance of the appliances are two important keys to wise use of natural gas, but there are also energy-saving innovations in the works. One is a concept called heat transfer fluids (HTF). The idea is to power several pieces of equipment with a single burner, using a series of pipes and a heated fluid that runs through the pipes to different appliances. (The heated fluid can’t be water, because its pressure would become too high and create steam.) The fluid may also be run through a heat exchanger, if necessary, to boost its temperature along the way.            A major hotel chain testing an early HTF system uses the same heating fluid to do such disparate tasks as drying laundry and frying chicken. At this writing, researchers are looking for a completely nontoxic fluid, because a leak or accident might release some of it into the food. On the drawing boards, however, is an entire integrated HTF kitchen, all heated by a single, closed loop of hot fluid and piping.             Gas Pipes           Natural gas for commercial kitchens flows through large pipelines at pressures of 600 to 1000 pounds per square inch (psi). This high pressure is reduced by a series of valves, to arrive at your gas meter at about 25 psi. Both the size and the quality of pipes used are critical in setting up a gas system for your business.             By totaling the amount of Btus required when all gas equipment is on, you can estimate the total amount of gas required and calculate the size of the pipes needed. Divide the total number of Btus needed per hour by 1000. This figure is the total number of cubic feet of gas needed. Let’s say your place would use 400,000 Btus per hour. That’s 400 cubic feet per hour. Then use the pipe sizing table (see Table 6-1) to estimate the diameter of pipe to install. You’ll notice that this depends, in part, on how far the gas has to travel from the meter to the kitchen. For our example, let’s estimate that the distance from meter to kitchen is about 40 feet. The table says a 11/4-inch pipe should be more than adequate. We might install a 11/2-inch pipe, to compensate for any additional equipment installed in the future.Table – 1 Pipe Sizing TableIMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012023n2oV.gif)Most gas utility companies have commercial representatives who will help determine proper pipe sizing, and their consulting service is usually free.      Because the gas pipes will be a permanent part of the building, they should be durably constructed of wrought iron. It is always preferable to install gas pipes in hollow partitions rather than solid walls, to minimize their potential contact with corrosive materials. Gas pipes should never be installed in chimneys or flues, elevator shafts, or ventilation ducts.      Gas appliances are attached to their gas source with a gas connector, which is a flexible, heavy-duty brass or stainless steel tube, usually coated with thick plastic. One end is fastened permanently to the building’s gas supply, the other to the back of the appliance. The appliance end should be a quick-disconnect coupling, an easy shutoff device that instantly stops the flow of gas with an internal assembly of ball bearings and a spring-loaded plug (see Illustration 6-8). Most quick-disconnects have built-in polymers or wax seals that melt at temperatures above 350 degrees Fahrenheit, immediately shutting off the gas supply even if the hose is still connected. An additional accessory well worth the cost is the restraining device, which is essentially a stiff steel cable attached to both the appliance and the wall. The cable ensures that the connector is not damaged if the hose is accidentally stretched too far. In some municipalities, this is mandatory safety equipment. Shutoff occurs automatically when kitchen air reaches a certain high temperature (as in a fire) or when an employee disconnects the coupling to move or clean behind the appliance. Quick-disconnects are not only safety precautions; they are also very handy when rearranging and cleaning the kitchen or servicing the appliances. Like pipes, quick-disconnects come in different lengths and diameters. You’ll order them based on the connection size, the gas pressure, and the length needed. Quick-disconnects are also available for steam and water appliances.

The use of solar energy to heat water is also being introduced in foodservice. So far, it has been expensive to install, but the long-term savings potential should be considered. Generally, the solar water heating system is used only to preheat water; an electric or gas powered water heater is still necessary to bring the water up to acceptably high temperatures.          And the amount of solar energy available depends mostly on the amount of sunlight your location receives.          Tankless water heaters are systems that not only provide an endless supply of hot water; they are also more energy efficient than the cylindrical tank-style water heaters. Tankless water heating systems were pioneered in Europe and Asia, and they’re catching on in America despite higher up-front costs because of increased energy prices. They heat water only on demand. The traditional electric or gas hot-water heater cycles on and off all day, keeping the capacity of the tank at around 120 degrees Fahrenheit, but tankless units heat only the water flowing through them, and only when someone opens the faucet. A sensor detects the demand for hot water, signaling a heating element or heat exchanger, which turns on to a preset temperature based on the flow rate of the water and other parameters. The water flows across the internal heating elements/heat exchanger and exits the unit at the desired temperature, a process that takes only a couple of seconds.          The unit remains on until all the hot water faucets are closed. As soon as the sensor detects that water has stopped flowing, the power to the unit is turned off completely. Since tankless water heaters have no refresh rate (they are instantaneous), there is no need to overheat water to 130 or 140 degrees Fahrenheit, as is the case with conventional hot-water heaters. You select an output temperature that matches your actual needs (usually 105 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit), which also saves considerable energy.             There are electric and gas-powered tankless water heaters, and your choice depends on a few important factors: installation costs, availability and cost of power sources, water usage history of your operation, and so on.            Gas tankless models are 80 to 85 percent more efficient than traditional water heaters; electric tankless models are 98 percent more efficient than traditional water heaters. The electric models tend to cost less up front than the gas models, but gas is a cheaper long-term fuel source than electricity. Best of all, tankless water heaters are estimated to last 20 to 25 years, versus half that time for the traditional models, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.            Both gas and electric models can be installed in groups, the gas models with a single manifold, to serve the needs of a large facility. Before you decide to purchase and install a tankless water heater, ensure that your facility has sufficient electrical capacity for the additional demand. It may require upgrading your electrical service connections.             Summary            Gas energy has many uses in foodservice, from heating buildings to powering ranges to drying dishes. This article explains how a gas burner works and describes the potential problems if it is not kept clean and properly adjusted. There are several different types of burners, depending on cooking needs.          You also learned about the working parts and significance of the pilot light on gas appliances. There are manual or automatic pilot lights, and most can be adjusted easily by hand. Pilot lights also must be kept clean and properly adjusted.          Although many people assume it is necessary to turn gas equipment on early to let it “heat up,” this is a waste of time and fuel. It is also wasteful to cook with large flames. In fact, the gas flame tips on a range burner should barely touch the bottom of your cookware and should not lap up over the sides.             Steam energy is water vapor that carries a large quantity of heat and can also be used to cook food, heat water, and more. The hotter the steam is, the higher its pressure. The size and capability of the boiler, and the sizes and lengths of pipes through which the steam must pass, all affect the output of the steam system. Water quality is another component in clean, efficient steam output.          Water quality is also critical for drinking, cooking, and dishwashing. If there’s something wrong with the taste or appearance of your water, try getting help first from the local water utility, which will be less expensive than calling in a private consultant. The watchword in this century is “conservation,” both of water and electricity, and there are lots of simple ways to do this that really pay off.          The National Uniform Plumbing Code contains guidelines for equipping restrooms, and specifies the proper sizes for fixtures, pipes, and vents. Hand-to-food contamination is responsible for nearly 40 percent of all food-borne illnesses, so providing enough of the correct types of hand-washing facilities is critical. There are now automated hand-washing systems to track employees’ progress in this task.           In addition to several types of sinks for different purposes, no kitchen is complete without a grease trap, to prevent sewer blockage by intercepting grease and solids before they enter the sewer system. The grease trap must be cleaned regularly by a reliable company that will dispose of the grease correctly, and it is not enough to rely on the company to do so. A business can be fined for putting out “too much” solid waste, and your locality may have strict enough laws that, to avoid the fines, you are required to pretreat restaurant waste before it even enters the grease trap.

What you’re looking for is flame stability—a clear, blue ring of flames with a firm center cone—indicating that your air–gas ratio is correct and you are using the fuel under optimum conditions. When gas fuel burns completely, you get heat energy, harmless carbon dioxide, and water vapor. Nothing is wasted, and no harmful pollutants are released into the atmosphere. Once again, you can alter the flame stability by changing the burning speed (adjusting the orifice so less gas flows in) or by changing the primary air flow into the mixture (adjusting the air shutter).            Don’t confuse yellow-tipped flames with the red or orange streaks you sometimes see in a gas flame. These color streaks are the result of dust in the air that turns color as it is zapped by the flame, and should not be a problem. Also remember that you are wasting gas when you use high flames that lick the sides of your pots and skillets. In fact, when a completely unheated pan is placed on the gas range, it is best to begin heating it on medium heat, so the tops of the flames do not touch the surface of the pan. Carbon monoxide and soot are produced when intense heat hits the cool metal surface. Increase the heat only after the pot or pan has had a chance to warm up.             Gas Flame            The flame of the gas burner represents the ultimate challenge: to mix gas and oxygen in just the right amounts to produce combustion, giving us controlled heat with minimum light. The simplest, most effective example of this is the old-fashioned Bunsen burner. This type of burner premixes air and gas prior to reaching the flame, resulting in a highly efficient flame that burns intensely, but with a clean, smokeless flame.                The shape and size of the burner are the two factors that place the flame exactly where direct heat is needed most. In a toaster or broiler, for instance, the gas flame is directed at a molded ceramic or metal screen, which is heated to a deep red color and emits infrared heat rays that penetrate the food being cooked. The latest innovation in the industry, as mentioned earlier in this article, is the high-input gas burner, which burns twice the amount of gas (for greater intensity of heat) as a conventional burner of the same size.          Amazingly, the natural-gas–air combination can produce a stove temperature of up to 3000 degrees Fahrenheit. One of the functions of the gas-fired appliance is to limit and distribute the available heat, to reach the correct temperature to cook foods properly. You’ll notice a gas burner sometimes lets out a whoosh or roaring sound as it lights. This is called flashback, and it happens because the burning speed is faster than the gas flow. This type of flashback occurs more often with fast-burning gases such as propane. Another type of flashback happens when the burner is turned off, creating a popping sound that is known as the extinction pop. Sometimes it’s so pronounced that it blows out the pilot light flame. You usually can correct both types of flashback by reducing primary air input to the burner. If you’re unsure about how to do it yourself, remember that burner adjustment is a free service of many gas companies.         Flashback is not hazardous, but it is annoying. It creates soot and carbon monoxide and often means you have to relight your pilot. Inside the burner, repeated flashback occurrences may cause it to warp or crack. It makes more sense to get the burner adjusted than to live with flashback.

Several other conditions may require professional attention and adjustment (see Illustration 6-3). You may notice that the flames seem to lift and then drop on some parts of the burner head at irregular intervals, as if some unseen hand were playing with the control knob. This burner may seem a bit noisier than the others, making a roaring sound whenever the flames increase. Flame lift, as this is sometimes known, is not a stable, normal burner condition and should be corrected immediately.       Incomplete combustion may also cause floating flames that are lazy looking and are not shaped as well-defined cones. This is a dangerous condition, and you’ll usually notice it in the first minute or two that a burner has been turned on, before it achieves the proper airflow. If the flames don’t assume their normal, conical shapes quickly, have the burner checked. Finally, the most serious condition is flame rollout. When the burner is turned on, flames shoot out of the combustion chamber opening instead of the top of the burner. Flame rollout is a serious fire hazard and must be repaired immediately. The burner may not be correctly positioned or something may have obstructed its inner workings. Either way, call the service person—fast.ILLUSTRATION 6-3 The four most hazardous gas flame conditions, all of which require adjustment.IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_20100610230120187S4x.gif)IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012019yV97.gif)Gas BurnersThe burner assembly is the basic unit in a gas-fired piece of equipment that mixes gas with oxygen and thus produces the heat required for cooking. Today there are many different types of burners, each designed to meet the demands of a particular appliance. All burners have ports, a series of round holes from which the flames burn. There are wide and narrow ports, and they can be arranged in various patterns (see Illustration 6-4). A few of the most common burner types are discussed next.

ILLUSTRATION 6-4 Gas burners come in several different shapes and sizes.IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012011CRAz.gif)Pipe Burner. This is a pipe (usually made of cast iron) with two or more rows of ports drilled along its length. You’ll find pipe burners in ovens, griddles, and broilers. Although most pipe burners are straight, there are also loop burners, in which the pipe has been bent into a circular or oval shape.          Ring Burner. These are widely used on range tops, steam tables, boilers, and coffee urns. The standard ring burner has one or two rows of ports arranged in a circle. It’s made of cast iron and comes in a variety of sizes. To increase the capacity of a burner, several ring burners of different diameters can be nestled one inside the other so that one, some, or all of them can be turned on as needed. Some ring burner ports face sideways instead of straight up, so that food cannot be spilled into them accidentally. Ring burners are sometimes known as atmospheric burners, because the secondary air comes from the atmosphere around them. However, the flame tips often suck in too much oxygen, making them less efficient and requiring frequent adjustment of the primary air-gas mixture.              Slotted Burner. This is really a type of pipe burner, because it is made of the same cast iron pipeand can be straight or circular. The ports in a slotted burner are all aimed in the same direction to form a single, large flame. Some have only one wide slot, with a corrugated ribbon of heat-resistant metal alloy located inside the slot to allow a wider (but still safe) path for the flame. Slotted burners are typically found in hot-top ranges and deep-fat fryers.              Flame Retention Burner. This is a slotted burner with additional ports drilled into the pipe. It allows more heat to flow into the burner, improves combustion, and reduces flashback. Flame retention burners are considered very efficient, with a wide range of heat settings and the ability to fine-tune your primary air adjustment.                Radiant (Infrared) Burner. The usual infrared burner is a set of porous ceramic plates, with about 200 holes per square inch on its surface. Air and gas flow through these holes and burn very hot (about 1650 degrees Fahrenheit), which makes this type of burner ideal for broilers. They can be located at the sides of a fry kettle for maximum heat transfer or suspended inside a protective cylinder located at the bottom of the fry tank.        Fryers with infrared burners boast 80 percent energy efficiency, compared to about 47 percent for conventional fryers. Their heat recovery time (the time it takes to return to optimum cooking temperature after a new batch of cold food has been loaded into the kettle) is less than two minutes. The same benefit—heat intensity—makes the infrared burner popular for griddles. A sturdy, one-inch-thick griddle plate can be used instead of a thinner one that is not able to retain heat as well.          Infrared burners work so well because they use radiant heat, and the best example of radiant heat is the sun. Have you noticed how the sun can warm your face on a winter day, even though the air around you is cold? In the same way, the infrared burner sends its high frequency waves directly from the heat source to the food. The rays only turn into thermal (heat) energy when they hit the food; they do not heat the air. When you’re cooking, you get the most energy efficiency from an appliance that heats the food, not the air that surrounds it.

Range-top Power Burner. This burner premixes gas and combustion air in correct proportion to produce high heat and efficiency. Unlike the standard ring burner, the power burner does not rely on the atmosphere to supply its secondary air. The burner head is enclosed in a sealed metal ring through which no excess air can enter. Flames are spread evenly through the ring over the bottom of the cooking pot, so less heat is wasted, more heat is delivered to the food, and the kitchen stays cooler. The burner head acts as a shutter mechanism, readjusting the premixed air and gas whenever the controls are turned up or down. A recent appliance development is the power burner range, with two (front) power burners and two (back) conventional burners, the front ones for speedy cooking and the back ones for keeping food warm.       Infrared Jet Impingement Burner. The IR jet, as it’s known, is a type of high-efficiency burner that also uses less gas than conventional burners. It is a power burner that premixes gas and air in a separate chamber before burning. This mixture is fed into the burner by a blower and ignited at the burner surface. The perforated ceramic burner plate holds the flames in place and allows them to impinge (hit hard) on the bottom surface of the pan.            Pilot Lights and Thermostats. The pilot light is an absolute necessity in the gas-fired commercial kitchen. There are several different kinds of pilot lights, some automatic and some manual, and most gas appliances make it possible for you to easily adjust the pilot light, if necessary, with the turn of a screw. Illustration 6-5 shows the inner workings of the two most common types of gas pilot lights. The newest technology, however, replaces the gas pilot with electronic spark ignition of the gas flame, reducing gas consumption because the pilot doesn’t have to stay continuously lit.ILLUSTRATION 6-5 The main parts of a typical pilot light system. The flash pilot lights on its own; the push-button pilot requires someone to push the button.IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012021TEgc.gif)The standard gas pilot light should be about three-quarters of an inch high. This small flame is located next to the main burners of the appliance. In some cases, there’s a separate pilot for each burner; in others, a single pilot light is used to light more than one burner.      If the pilot light goes out, it is a signal that the gas has been shut off. Like other gas flames, pilots can also burn yellow, which means dirt or lint may be blocking the opening. You can remove the dirt by brushing the orifice clean again.        Pilot lights have safety features, the most common of which is the thermoelectric control. When a junction of two metal wires (called a thermocouple) is heated by the pilot flame, a very low electric voltage is generated—just enough to fire an electromagnetic gas valve and hold it in an open position. If the pilot light fails, the thermocouple cools, the electric current stops, and the gas valve is closed by spring action. To resume the flow of gas, the pilot must be manually relit.

The thermostat is the control used on most gas-fired equipment to maintain the desired burner temperature. By far, the most common thermostat is a knob or dial called a throttling or modulating control. It allows the flames to rise or fall quickly, then regulates the gas flow to keep the burner temperature constant.        Some types of cooking appliances, such as deep-fat fryers, require quick heat recovery in less than 2 minutes. In these cases, a snap-action thermostat is used, which opens fully to permit maximum heating until the desired temperature is reached. Then it shuts off just as quickly.         Remember that the function of a properly working thermostat is to turn down, or shut off, the supply of gas as soon as the burner reaches the desired temperature. Should you need to reduce the burner’s temperature, turning down the thermostat will not be sufficient. There’s already heat stored in the appliance, and it will take time for it to dissipate and cool down. On a gas oven, for instance, you should set the thermostat to the new, lower level and then open the oven doors to allow it to cool more quickly.        When you need to raise the temperature (e.g., starting the oven when it’s cold), many people have the mistaken impression that the appliance will heat more quickly if you blast it immediately to “High” and then turn it down. In fact, it won’t heat any faster, and you risk forgetting to turn it down and damaging the food by cooking it at an excessive temperature.         Maintaining Gas-Powered Equipment         Preventive maintenance is as important with gas appliances as any others to prevent equipment malfunction. We’ve adapted these maintenance suggestions from an article in Equipment Solutions magazine’s September 2002 issue:            Perform routine checks and/or maintenance both weekly and monthly, and document what you’ve done.          Weekly tasks include: cleaning burner parts and orifices; checking the primary blower speeds; vacuum-cleaning the entire blower system.           Monthly tasks include: adjusting and cleaning air inputs and pilot lights; checking and calibrating thermostats; checking the burner valves. If the latter are difficult to turn or move, they need to be lubricated (sparingly) with high-heat valve grease. Also, check monthly for a good balance of exhaust and make-up air. Remember, gasoperated equipment depends on a uniform exchange of “new” air to replace the air used in the combustion process.         Whenever another piece of equipment is added to the cooking line, have a flow test performed on the main gas line (by a professional repairperson or gas company representative) to ensure that there is sufficient pressure to your hot line when all the cooking equipment is at peak gas consumption levels. This, in turn, will ensure the efficient operation of each appliance.ILLUSTRATION 6-6 Gas meter dials are read the same way as an electric meter, but they measure cubic feet instead of kilowatt-hours.IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012012l7dJ.gif)Reading Gas Meters and BillsIf you have gas appliances, you will also have gas meters, which look like Illustration 6-6. The single, upper dial on a gas meter is used only to test the meter and is not part of your reading. The dials are sometimes called registers.         Although gas is measured in cubic feet instead of kilowatt-hours, the meter dials work the same way (and are read the same way) as electric meter dials.

In large commercial buildings, the gas meter may be more sophisticated, with two sets of dials much like the combination electric meter. Called a compensating meter, this meter also adjusts (“compensates”) when gas pressure or temperature at the location varies from normal conditions. Of the two sets of registers, one will be marked “Uncorrected” or “Uncompensated” and the other will be labeled “Corrected” or “Compensated.” Read the “Corrected” meter to determine your gas usage; the “Uncorrected” dials are used by the utility company for checking the meter.           Illustration 6-7 is a sample gas bill. In all instances, gas consumed is measured in cubic feet, or cubic feet per hour (cfh). However, the rates may be based on therms. (One therm equals 100,000 Btu, or approximately 100 cubic feet.) In our sample bill, the cubic feet are converted to therms to determine the cost of the gas fuel.          The gas utility (in this case, Nicor Gas of Chicago, Illinois) estimates the natural gas that a customer uses makes up about 75 to 80 percent of the gas bill over one year. As a regulated utility, it does not profit from the actual cost of the gas, and must pass them on without mark-up. These notes describe items that appear on the Nicor bill:                METER READING SECTION             The “Current Reading” is determined by one of three methods: An Actual Meter Reading means your reading was taken by a company meter reader or recorded by an automated device.             Customer Reading means you reported your meter reading to the utility company.         An Estimated Meter Reading means the company (in this case, Nicor) estimated the reading based on previous usage and the weather. Nicor estimates most meter readings every other month; then, on the next bill, any difference from actual use is automatically corrected when an actual meter reading is taken.        The “Previous Reading” is the reading of the gas meter in the last reading period. The “Difference” is the amount of difference between the previous reading and the current reading.         To determine the amount of therms used, the company (Nicor) multiplies your use by the Btu factor. The Btu factor may vary from month to month, and is listed on the bill. “Delivery Charges” are Nicor’s costs to operate and distribute gas to you. These charges make up about 15 to 20 percent of your gas bill over one year.              MONTHLY CUSTOMER CHARGE       This is a minimum charge for most customers and it is the same each month, even if you do not use natural gas that month. For (Nicor’s) “Rate 4” business customers, this charge is based on your meter size and potential maximum hourly use of natural gas, in cubic feet per hour (cfh). Most business customers are in the “less than 1,000 cfh” category. Customer charges are:            Less than 1,000 cfh: $20.37           1,000 cfh to 10,000 cfh: $59.82            More than 10,000 cfh: $105.56               THERM USAGE/DISTRIBUTION CHARGES         These charges cover (Nicor’s) fixed and variable operating and distribution costs. A portion of these charges carries from month to month, based on the amount of natural gas you use. There are price variations at certain levels of therm usage. Volumetric delivery charges are:          First 150 therms @ $0.1329         Next 4,850 therms @ $0.0682      More than 5,000 therms @ $0.0482

ENVIRONMENTAL RECOVERY COSTThis charge covers our costs for the environmental monitoring and possible cleanup of former manufactured gas plants in our service territory. This charge changes periodically, and Nicor does not profit from these charges.         FRANCHISE COST         Covers our cost for municipal franchise agreements. Nicor does not profit from this charge.             GOVERNMENTAL AGENCY ADJUSTMENT     This adjustment covers governmental fees and added costs, excluding franchise costs. This cost changes periodically, and Nicor does not profit from this charge.        TAXES      Gas bills also include a number of taxes; in the case of Nicor customers, these taxes make up five to 10 percent of a customer’s total bill over one year. In Illinois, where Nicor Gas is located, there are three different types of state taxes on utilities, and two municipal taxes.ILLUSTRATION 6-7 A sample gas bill.IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_201006102301209w0AI.gif)IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012010YArC.gif)Saving Energy with GasThere are many simple, practical ways to take full advantage of the instant heating power of gas. Choose equipment that is enclosed and insulated, keeping the energy within the appliance (or absorbed by the food). Cook at the lowest temperature, or in the largest volume, possible. Especially for solid-top ranges, use flat-bottomed cookware that makes full contact with the cooking surface. Curves and dents in pots and pans end up wasting money. The bottoms of the cookware should be about one inch wider than the diameter of the burner.      Although there are occasions for “big” flames and kitchen showmanship, for most cooking duties, it is sufficient that the gas flame tips barely touch the bottoms of the cookware and do not lap up over the sides. Burners should be adjusted accordingly. Don’t keep pots at a boil when simmering them would be sufficient, and cover them to hold in heat.       A common tendency is to turn equipment on early to let it “heat up.” Again, this is a waste of fuel and time. For open-top ranges, preheating is simply not necessary; for griddles, low or medium flames are sufficient for just about any kind of frying. Broilers don’t require much, if any, preheating; gas ovens, solid-top ranges, and steamers can be preheated, but no more than 10 minutes.

Energy saving is another good reason many ranges and griddles are built as adjoining, temperature-controlled, multiple-burner sections. During slow times, learn to group food items on the least possible number of sections, which eliminates the need to keep the entire cooking surface hot.       Regular cleaning and maintenance of the appliances are two important keys to wise use of natural gas, but there are also energy-saving innovations in the works. One is a concept called heat transfer fluids (HTF). The idea is to power several pieces of equipment with a single burner, using a series of pipes and a heated fluid that runs through the pipes to different appliances. (The heated fluid can’t be water, because its pressure would become too high and create steam.) The fluid may also be run through a heat exchanger, if necessary, to boost its temperature along the way.            A major hotel chain testing an early HTF system uses the same heating fluid to do such disparate tasks as drying laundry and frying chicken. At this writing, researchers are looking for a completely nontoxic fluid, because a leak or accident might release some of it into the food. On the drawing boards, however, is an entire integrated HTF kitchen, all heated by a single, closed loop of hot fluid and piping.             Gas Pipes           Natural gas for commercial kitchens flows through large pipelines at pressures of 600 to 1000 pounds per square inch (psi). This high pressure is reduced by a series of valves, to arrive at your gas meter at about 25 psi. Both the size and the quality of pipes used are critical in setting up a gas system for your business.             By totaling the amount of Btus required when all gas equipment is on, you can estimate the total amount of gas required and calculate the size of the pipes needed. Divide the total number of Btus needed per hour by 1000. This figure is the total number of cubic feet of gas needed. Let’s say your place would use 400,000 Btus per hour. That’s 400 cubic feet per hour. Then use the pipe sizing table (see Table 6-1) to estimate the diameter of pipe to install. You’ll notice that this depends, in part, on how far the gas has to travel from the meter to the kitchen. For our example, let’s estimate that the distance from meter to kitchen is about 40 feet. The table says a 11/4-inch pipe should be more than adequate. We might install a 11/2-inch pipe, to compensate for any additional equipment installed in the future.Table – 1 Pipe Sizing TableIMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012023n2oV.gif)Most gas utility companies have commercial representatives who will help determine proper pipe sizing, and their consulting service is usually free.      Because the gas pipes will be a permanent part of the building, they should be durably constructed of wrought iron. It is always preferable to install gas pipes in hollow partitions rather than solid walls, to minimize their potential contact with corrosive materials. Gas pipes should never be installed in chimneys or flues, elevator shafts, or ventilation ducts.      Gas appliances are attached to their gas source with a gas connector, which is a flexible, heavy-duty brass or stainless steel tube, usually coated with thick plastic. One end is fastened permanently to the building’s gas supply, the other to the back of the appliance. The appliance end should be a quick-disconnect coupling, an easy shutoff device that instantly stops the flow of gas with an internal assembly of ball bearings and a spring-loaded plug (see Illustration 6-8). Most quick-disconnects have built-in polymers or wax seals that melt at temperatures above 350 degrees Fahrenheit, immediately shutting off the gas supply even if the hose is still connected. An additional accessory well worth the cost is the restraining device, which is essentially a stiff steel cable attached to both the appliance and the wall. The cable ensures that the connector is not damaged if the hose is accidentally stretched too far. In some municipalities, this is mandatory safety equipment. Shutoff occurs automatically when kitchen air reaches a certain high temperature (as in a fire) or when an employee disconnects the coupling to move or clean behind the appliance. Quick-disconnects are not only safety precautions; they are also very handy when rearranging and cleaning the kitchen or servicing the appliances. Like pipes, quick-disconnects come in different lengths and diameters. You’ll order them based on the connection size, the gas pressure, and the length needed. Quick-disconnects are also available for steam and water appliances.

The use of solar energy to heat water is also being introduced in foodservice. So far, it has been expensive to install, but the long-term savings potential should be considered. Generally, the solar water heating system is used only to preheat water; an electric or gas powered water heater is still necessary to bring the water up to acceptably high temperatures.          And the amount of solar energy available depends mostly on the amount of sunlight your location receives.          Tankless water heaters are systems that not only provide an endless supply of hot water; they are also more energy efficient than the cylindrical tank-style water heaters. Tankless water heating systems were pioneered in Europe and Asia, and they’re catching on in America despite higher up-front costs because of increased energy prices. They heat water only on demand. The traditional electric or gas hot-water heater cycles on and off all day, keeping the capacity of the tank at around 120 degrees Fahrenheit, but tankless units heat only the water flowing through them, and only when someone opens the faucet. A sensor detects the demand for hot water, signaling a heating element or heat exchanger, which turns on to a preset temperature based on the flow rate of the water and other parameters. The water flows across the internal heating elements/heat exchanger and exits the unit at the desired temperature, a process that takes only a couple of seconds.          The unit remains on until all the hot water faucets are closed. As soon as the sensor detects that water has stopped flowing, the power to the unit is turned off completely. Since tankless water heaters have no refresh rate (they are instantaneous), there is no need to overheat water to 130 or 140 degrees Fahrenheit, as is the case with conventional hot-water heaters. You select an output temperature that matches your actual needs (usually 105 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit), which also saves considerable energy.             There are electric and gas-powered tankless water heaters, and your choice depends on a few important factors: installation costs, availability and cost of power sources, water usage history of your operation, and so on.            Gas tankless models are 80 to 85 percent more efficient than traditional water heaters; electric tankless models are 98 percent more efficient than traditional water heaters. The electric models tend to cost less up front than the gas models, but gas is a cheaper long-term fuel source than electricity. Best of all, tankless water heaters are estimated to last 20 to 25 years, versus half that time for the traditional models, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.            Both gas and electric models can be installed in groups, the gas models with a single manifold, to serve the needs of a large facility. Before you decide to purchase and install a tankless water heater, ensure that your facility has sufficient electrical capacity for the additional demand. It may require upgrading your electrical service connections.             Summary            Gas energy has many uses in foodservice, from heating buildings to powering ranges to drying dishes. This article explains how a gas burner works and describes the potential problems if it is not kept clean and properly adjusted. There are several different types of burners, depending on cooking needs.          You also learned about the working parts and significance of the pilot light on gas appliances. There are manual or automatic pilot lights, and most can be adjusted easily by hand. Pilot lights also must be kept clean and properly adjusted.          Although many people assume it is necessary to turn gas equipment on early to let it “heat up,” this is a waste of time and fuel. It is also wasteful to cook with large flames. In fact, the gas flame tips on a range burner should barely touch the bottom of your cookware and should not lap up over the sides.             Steam energy is water vapor that carries a large quantity of heat and can also be used to cook food, heat water, and more. The hotter the steam is, the higher its pressure. The size and capability of the boiler, and the sizes and lengths of pipes through which the steam must pass, all affect the output of the steam system. Water quality is another component in clean, efficient steam output.          Water quality is also critical for drinking, cooking, and dishwashing. If there’s something wrong with the taste or appearance of your water, try getting help first from the local water utility, which will be less expensive than calling in a private consultant. The watchword in this century is “conservation,” both of water and electricity, and there are lots of simple ways to do this that really pay off.          The National Uniform Plumbing Code contains guidelines for equipping restrooms, and specifies the proper sizes for fixtures, pipes, and vents. Hand-to-food contamination is responsible for nearly 40 percent of all food-borne illnesses, so providing enough of the correct types of hand-washing facilities is critical. There are now automated hand-washing systems to track employees’ progress in this task.           In addition to several types of sinks for different purposes, no kitchen is complete without a grease trap, to prevent sewer blockage by intercepting grease and solids before they enter the sewer system. The grease trap must be cleaned regularly by a reliable company that will dispose of the grease correctly, and it is not enough to rely on the company to do so. A business can be fined for putting out “too much” solid waste, and your locality may have strict enough laws that, to avoid the fines, you are required to pretreat restaurant waste before it even enters the grease trap.

ILLUSTRATION 6-8 The components of a connector kit, used to attach an appliance to its gas source.IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_201006102301202tieh.gif)STEAM ENERGYSteam is water vapor, which occurs when water molecules are suspended in air by the heat added to them. Steam molecules carry large quantities of heat, and they return to their original form (condense) when they come into contact with a cooler surface.       When we discuss steam and its uses in foodservice, the terms “heat” and “temperature” (sometimes used interchangeably) take on completely different meanings.           Heat is the total amount of energy contained in steam or water at a given temperature. Temperature is used to describe how hot a particular object is.          It takes 180 Btus to heat one pound of water from freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit) to boiling (212 degrees Fahrenheit). However, to change this same pound of water to steam requires an additional 790 Btus. This means steam contains about six times the energy of boiling water.        The temperature of steam is generally related to its pressure. In short, the hotter the steam is, the higher its pressure, as shown in Table 6-2. The higher its pressure, the more steam mole cule sit contains.         As these molecules condense, most of the Btus they contain are transferred quickly to the food being cooked, and the condensation creates room in the airspace for even more steam molecules to take the place of the ones that just condensed, in a cycle that continues until the heat source is turned down or off.Table 6 – 2 Steam Pressure and Temperature————————————————————————————STEAM PRESSURE (POUNDS) TEMPERATURE (DEGREES FAHRENHEIT)         0                       212         1                       215          2                       218        4                       224         8                       235         15                      250         20                      259        25                      267        40                      287        45                      292      50                      298————————————————————————————Steam is simple, clean, and quick, and it has been around longer than either electricity or gas as a heat source. In foodservice, steam is used extensively in the dishroom, to heat water and sanitize and dry dishes. In cooking, steaming is a healthful alternative to range-top cooking that holds in nutrients and can be done quickly. Most foods can be cooked in a steam appliance with three significant advantages: greater control over the food quality; less energy use than other types of cooking equipment; and minimal handling, since the food often can be prepared, cooked, and served in the same pan. Steam is also a more efficient way to thaw frozen foods, instead of immersing them in boiling water.

ILLUSTRATION 6-8 The components of a connector kit, used to attach an appliance to its gas source.IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_201006102301202tieh.gif)STEAM ENERGYSteam is water vapor, which occurs when water molecules are suspended in air by the heat added to them. Steam molecules carry large quantities of heat, and they return to their original form (condense) when they come into contact with a cooler surface.       When we discuss steam and its uses in foodservice, the terms “heat” and “temperature” (sometimes used interchangeably) take on completely different meanings.           Heat is the total amount of energy contained in steam or water at a given temperature. Temperature is used to describe how hot a particular object is.          It takes 180 Btus to heat one pound of water from freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit) to boiling (212 degrees Fahrenheit). However, to change this same pound of water to steam requires an additional 790 Btus. This means steam contains about six times the energy of boiling water.        The temperature of steam is generally related to its pressure. In short, the hotter the steam is, the higher its pressure, as shown in Table 6-2. The higher its pressure, the more steam mole cule sit contains.         As these molecules condense, most of the Btus they contain are transferred quickly to the food being cooked, and the condensation creates room in the airspace for even more steam molecules to take the place of the ones that just condensed, in a cycle that continues until the heat source is turned down or off.Table 6 – 2 Steam Pressure and Temperature————————————————————————————STEAM PRESSURE (POUNDS) TEMPERATURE (DEGREES FAHRENHEIT)         0                       212         1                       215          2                       218        4                       224         8                       235         15                      250         20                      259        25                      267        40                      287        45                      292      50                      298————————————————————————————Steam is simple, clean, and quick, and it has been around longer than either electricity or gas as a heat source. In foodservice, steam is used extensively in the dishroom, to heat water and sanitize and dry dishes. In cooking, steaming is a healthful alternative to range-top cooking that holds in nutrients and can be done quickly. Most foods can be cooked in a steam appliance with three significant advantages: greater control over the food quality; less energy use than other types of cooking equipment; and minimal handling, since the food often can be prepared, cooked, and served in the same pan. Steam is also a more efficient way to thaw frozen foods, instead of immersing them in boiling water.

Steam is a major component of these popular kitchen appliances:         The steam-jacketed kettle is a large “bowl within a bowl” used for making sauces, soups, and stocks. The kettle has a sturdy outer layer. Between the two bowls is an area about two inches wide into which steam is pumped, which provides high but uniform cooking temperatures. The water used to create the steam can be heated with either gas or electricity (see Illustration 6-9).ILLUSTRATION 6-9 A steam-jacketed kettle is among the most versatile pieces of cooking equipment.IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012032oU3o.gif)A steamer is a rectangular-shaped ovenlike appliance with an insulated door, which can be used for steaming vegetables, braising meats, cooking rice, thawing frozen food—any process that would benefit from the addition of moisture (see Illustration 6-10).ILLUSTRATION 6-10 Any type of cooking or thawing that requires moist air can be done in a steamer.IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_201006102301203PRo5.gif)Convection steamers contain a fan or blower that circulates the warm, moist air for quicker, more even cooking.

Steam is a major component of these popular kitchen appliances:         The steam-jacketed kettle is a large “bowl within a bowl” used for making sauces, soups, and stocks. The kettle has a sturdy outer layer. Between the two bowls is an area about two inches wide into which steam is pumped, which provides high but uniform cooking temperatures. The water used to create the steam can be heated with either gas or electricity (see Illustration 6-9).ILLUSTRATION 6-9 A steam-jacketed kettle is among the most versatile pieces of cooking equipment.IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012032oU3o.gif)A steamer is a rectangular-shaped ovenlike appliance with an insulated door, which can be used for steaming vegetables, braising meats, cooking rice, thawing frozen food—any process that would benefit from the addition of moisture (see Illustration 6-10).ILLUSTRATION 6-10 Any type of cooking or thawing that requires moist air can be done in a steamer.IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_201006102301203PRo5.gif)Convection steamers contain a fan or blower that circulates the warm, moist air for quicker, more even cooking.

Steam tables, often seen in cafeterias or on serving lines, hold food above a reservoir of hot water to keep it warm; similarly, a bain marie is a hot-water bath in which an urn of gravy or a delicate sauce is immersed, also to keep it warm.        Steam systems and appliances work in one of three ways:       1. Steam generators use electricity to heat water and make their own steam. Small generators, called boilers, can be located right in the kitchen, under or near the steam equipment.       2. Heat exchangers take steam already made from one source, circulate it through a series of coils to clean it, and use it to heat another source. The steam from a building’s heating system could, for example, be captured and “recycled” by a heat exchanger, and then be used to heat the same building’s hot-water tanks.       3. Steam injectors shoot pressurized steam directly into an appliance to produce heat. This is the least efficient way to use steam, because it’s a one-time use. Condensation is drained away, not reheated and reused.         The push for water and energy savings has led to the development of boilerless steamers, also known as no-hookup steamers. These are not plumbed with a water source; water is added to them as needed, and they use it very efficiently—only 10 percent of the water used by a conventional, fully plumbed steamer. This means the difference between 8 or 10 gallons a day versus 30 gallons an hour. They don’t cook as quickly as conventional steamers, but, unless you must cook large quantities of product in a short time, a no-hookup steamer will more than fulfill your steam cooking needs, perhaps saving so much in water and energy costs that the unit can pay for itself within a year. In addition, if you use boiler-dependent equipment, by law the hot steam drained out of the unit must be followed with a cold-water “chaser”; thus, more water and cash go down the drain. Today’s boilerless models can be set on standby, too, saving energy when not in use.            Steam equipment can further be classified into pressurized and unpressurized. The amount of pressure in a steam appliance is related to the temperature of the steam: The higher the temperature, the higher the pressure. Pressurized steamers cook food quickly, because the steam can be superheated and comes into direct contact with the food. Unpressurized steamers are not as efficient. Unpressurized steam may not become as hot, and, as it touches the colder foods or cookware, its temperature is lowered even more. Eventually, it condenses back into water and is vented away into a drain.            Steam Requirements for Equipment         We measure steam in boiler horsepower (BHP). As a general rule, 1 BHP creates 34.5 pounds of steam per hour, and is equivalent to about 10 kilowatts of electricity. The boiler is the piece of equipment that boils the water to make it into steam. If a boiler is rated by the manufacturer as producing 5 BHP, this means it produces 5 x 34.5 = 172.5 pounds of steam per hour. To calculate the size of boiler you’ll need for a whole kitchen, you must find out how much steam flow is needed by each piece of equipment; then add them and divide by 34.5. For instance, a kitchen with eight pieces of steam equipment may require a total steam output of 187.5 BHP. Divide 187.5 by 34.5, and you discover you will need a boiler with an output of at least 5.43 BHP.            However, you should know more than how much steam will be produced. You must also know how much force, or pressure, the steam will have. In most English-speaking countries, steam pressure is measured in pounds per square inch, or psi. Once again, remember that the temperature of the steam goes up when the pressure goes up.           The other factor that impacts steam pressure is your altitude—not drastically, but the equivalent of a 2- or 3-degree drop in temperature for every 1000 feet above sea level. Finally, both steam temperature and pressure are impacted by the distance the steam must travel to get from the boiler to the appliance. Heat loss is determined by the number of feet of pipe traveled, plus every valve and fitting through which the steam must flow. Foodservice industry research indicates that the most expensive way to set up a kitchen is to install individual boilers for each piece of equipment, so it is ironic that that’s the most common way it is done. Self-contained boilers have higher maintenance costs than a single, large unit, and they add more heat to the already sweltering kitchen environment.

Steam tables, often seen in cafeterias or on serving lines, hold food above a reservoir of hot water to keep it warm; similarly, a bain marie is a hot-water bath in which an urn of gravy or a delicate sauce is immersed, also to keep it warm.        Steam systems and appliances work in one of three ways:       1. Steam generators use electricity to heat water and make their own steam. Small generators, called boilers, can be located right in the kitchen, under or near the steam equipment.       2. Heat exchangers take steam already made from one source, circulate it through a series of coils to clean it, and use it to heat another source. The steam from a building’s heating system could, for example, be captured and “recycled” by a heat exchanger, and then be used to heat the same building’s hot-water tanks.       3. Steam injectors shoot pressurized steam directly into an appliance to produce heat. This is the least efficient way to use steam, because it’s a one-time use. Condensation is drained away, not reheated and reused.         The push for water and energy savings has led to the development of boilerless steamers, also known as no-hookup steamers. These are not plumbed with a water source; water is added to them as needed, and they use it very efficiently—only 10 percent of the water used by a conventional, fully plumbed steamer. This means the difference between 8 or 10 gallons a day versus 30 gallons an hour. They don’t cook as quickly as conventional steamers, but, unless you must cook large quantities of product in a short time, a no-hookup steamer will more than fulfill your steam cooking needs, perhaps saving so much in water and energy costs that the unit can pay for itself within a year. In addition, if you use boiler-dependent equipment, by law the hot steam drained out of the unit must be followed with a cold-water “chaser”; thus, more water and cash go down the drain. Today’s boilerless models can be set on standby, too, saving energy when not in use.            Steam equipment can further be classified into pressurized and unpressurized. The amount of pressure in a steam appliance is related to the temperature of the steam: The higher the temperature, the higher the pressure. Pressurized steamers cook food quickly, because the steam can be superheated and comes into direct contact with the food. Unpressurized steamers are not as efficient. Unpressurized steam may not become as hot, and, as it touches the colder foods or cookware, its temperature is lowered even more. Eventually, it condenses back into water and is vented away into a drain.            Steam Requirements for Equipment         We measure steam in boiler horsepower (BHP). As a general rule, 1 BHP creates 34.5 pounds of steam per hour, and is equivalent to about 10 kilowatts of electricity. The boiler is the piece of equipment that boils the water to make it into steam. If a boiler is rated by the manufacturer as producing 5 BHP, this means it produces 5 x 34.5 = 172.5 pounds of steam per hour. To calculate the size of boiler you’ll need for a whole kitchen, you must find out how much steam flow is needed by each piece of equipment; then add them and divide by 34.5. For instance, a kitchen with eight pieces of steam equipment may require a total steam output of 187.5 BHP. Divide 187.5 by 34.5, and you discover you will need a boiler with an output of at least 5.43 BHP.            However, you should know more than how much steam will be produced. You must also know how much force, or pressure, the steam will have. In most English-speaking countries, steam pressure is measured in pounds per square inch, or psi. Once again, remember that the temperature of the steam goes up when the pressure goes up.           The other factor that impacts steam pressure is your altitude—not drastically, but the equivalent of a 2- or 3-degree drop in temperature for every 1000 feet above sea level. Finally, both steam temperature and pressure are impacted by the distance the steam must travel to get from the boiler to the appliance. Heat loss is determined by the number of feet of pipe traveled, plus every valve and fitting through which the steam must flow. Foodservice industry research indicates that the most expensive way to set up a kitchen is to install individual boilers for each piece of equipment, so it is ironic that that’s the most common way it is done. Self-contained boilers have higher maintenance costs than a single, large unit, and they add more heat to the already sweltering kitchen environment.

Like other appliances, boilers also have efficiency ratings to consider. A boiler that requires 140,000 Btus and has a 50 percent efficiency rating will deliver 70,000 Btus of heat to its water supply to make steam. (This is the equivalent of a little more than 2 BHP.) Steam can be a very economical energy source, especially if your building already has a clean steam system built in. (When steam is referred to as “clean,” it means it is pure and has not been contaminated by chemicals.) If the building is not already fitted with steam pipes, you must decide if you will be using enough different steam appliances to justify the expense of installing them.         Steam Terminology           Here’s the way a steam system works. Steam is made by boiling water in the boiler, which may also be called a converter. It is then piped to the appliance where it will be used. At the appliance, the steam hits a coil (coiled copper or stainless steel tubing), which condenses the steam and transfers its heat to be used in the appliance. As this transfer occurs, the steam cools and becomes water again. This condensation is removed from the appliance through a steam trap. The condensation usually returns to the boiler through another set of pipes, called the return piping, to be reheated and made into steam again (see Illustration 6-11).ILLUSTRATION 6-11 The basics of steam system operation.IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012030Dlg8.gif)IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012031b3RN.gif)The steam trap is one of the most vital parts of a steam system, because it helps regulate the overall pressure of the system. Oddly enough, steam traps are not placed directly in the main lines of a steam system. Steam does not flow through the steam trap. Instead, the trap is placed near the ends of the steam lines. It operates almost like an overflow valve, opening now and then to discharge water without affecting the rest of the steam or the steam pressure. Your steam appliance (or system) will have one of two kinds of steam traps: an inverted bucket or a thermodynamic disc. Either way, the results are the same. Condensation plus air and carbon dioxide are collected in the trap, then discharged as the trap becomes full. Valves control the steam pressure based on the amount of flow, size of pipe, and intensity of pressure needed for the appliance or system. There are several types of valves: Electric solenoid valves control the steam flow; pressure-reducing valves regulate steam pressure within the main supply lines; test valves allow you to test steam pressure at a point close to the appliance; and manual shutoff valves ensure the steam can be safely turned off by hand any time the system needs to be serviced.

Like other appliances, boilers also have efficiency ratings to consider. A boiler that requires 140,000 Btus and has a 50 percent efficiency rating will deliver 70,000 Btus of heat to its water supply to make steam. (This is the equivalent of a little more than 2 BHP.) Steam can be a very economical energy source, especially if your building already has a clean steam system built in. (When steam is referred to as “clean,” it means it is pure and has not been contaminated by chemicals.) If the building is not already fitted with steam pipes, you must decide if you will be using enough different steam appliances to justify the expense of installing them.         Steam Terminology           Here’s the way a steam system works. Steam is made by boiling water in the boiler, which may also be called a converter. It is then piped to the appliance where it will be used. At the appliance, the steam hits a coil (coiled copper or stainless steel tubing), which condenses the steam and transfers its heat to be used in the appliance. As this transfer occurs, the steam cools and becomes water again. This condensation is removed from the appliance through a steam trap. The condensation usually returns to the boiler through another set of pipes, called the return piping, to be reheated and made into steam again (see Illustration 6-11).ILLUSTRATION 6-11 The basics of steam system operation.IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012030Dlg8.gif)IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012031b3RN.gif)The steam trap is one of the most vital parts of a steam system, because it helps regulate the overall pressure of the system. Oddly enough, steam traps are not placed directly in the main lines of a steam system. Steam does not flow through the steam trap. Instead, the trap is placed near the ends of the steam lines. It operates almost like an overflow valve, opening now and then to discharge water without affecting the rest of the steam or the steam pressure. Your steam appliance (or system) will have one of two kinds of steam traps: an inverted bucket or a thermodynamic disc. Either way, the results are the same. Condensation plus air and carbon dioxide are collected in the trap, then discharged as the trap becomes full. Valves control the steam pressure based on the amount of flow, size of pipe, and intensity of pressure needed for the appliance or system. There are several types of valves: Electric solenoid valves control the steam flow; pressure-reducing valves regulate steam pressure within the main supply lines; test valves allow you to test steam pressure at a point close to the appliance; and manual shutoff valves ensure the steam can be safely turned off by hand any time the system needs to be serviced.

When purchasing or installing steam equipment, you’ll need to decide if the unit is adequate for the job; and if the unit does not generate its own steam, can the steam system in your building make enough steam to operate it?        As you’ve already learned, the length and diameter of the pipes can affect the performance of the equipment. Both friction and condensation in the pipeline will naturally cause a drop in pressure, and you’ve got to allow for that too. The five basic steps for sizing pipe are:           1. Determine the steam requirements of the equipment.           2. Determine how much the pressure can drop between the steam source to the equipment. To do this, subtract the required amount of pressure for the appliance from the total amount of available pressure. This number is called the allowable pressure drop.         3. Calculate how long the pipe will be. This includes not only the actual length but also the equivalent length that you must allow for pipe fittings, elbow joints, valves, and so on. Determine this length in hundreds of feet. This is called the effective length of the pipe.          4. Divide the allowable pressure drop by the effective length of the pipe; then divide that number by 100. This will give you the acceptable pressure drop per 100 feet of pipe.        5. Refer to the correct chart in Table 6-3 to determine if the pipe size you have is adequate for the job.Table 6 – 3        Charts a and b are samples of pipe capacities for two different levels of steam pressure (15 and 60 psi, respectively). Chart c indicates the amount of pipe length to add for various sizes of fittings        (a) STEAM PIPE CAPACITY IN POUNDS PER HOUR AT 15 PSIIMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012028xis0.gif)(b) STEAM PIPE CAPACITY IN POUNDS PER HOUR AT 60 PSIIMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012029HIXN.gif)(c) EQUIVALENT LENGTH OF PIPE TO BE ADDED FOR FITTINGSIMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_201006102301208lSYq.gif)

At this point, you may be wondering: Why do I need to know all this technical information? Can’t I hire someone to handle this? Of course, you can, and most equipment sales representatives are very familiar with the particulars of installation. However, you still need to know the basics when replacing an old machine, purchasing a new one, or troubleshooting a steam-related problem.             Common Problems and Diagnoses              Safety is the main consideration in dealing with steam equipment malfunctions. The mandatory first step is to shut off the steam supply and depressurize the steam line before attempting to disassemble the equipment.        The problem may be as simple as inadequate steam pressure. Take pressure readings as close to the appliance as possible, while steam is flowing through the line. Trace the steam flow through the entire appliance, by checking all valves, strainers, and coils for visible leaks or damage.         On most steam equipment, you will find evidence of hard-water mineral deposits, as the traces of minerals dissolved in the water settle and form scales inside tanks and pipes or lime buildup inside boiler tanks. Even if chemical additives are used periodically to control scale buildup, you should disassemble equipment now and then and remove scales manually. Excessive or frequent buildup is a sign that the problem is not being properly treated, and perhaps a professional water treatment expert should be consulted. We’ll talk more about water quality problems later in this article, but it’s safe to say that water supplies in most cities are hard enough to cause significant problems in commercial steam use for foodservice.            Steam equipment manufacturers cover themselves in these situations by specifying a minimum water hardness acceptable for their appliances. Equipment failure caused by unacceptable water quality is not covered under their warranties. They may also recommend the installation of a water-softening system or, at least, a filter to remove silica and chlorine from water used to make steam. A water-softening method known as Zeolite is often recommended for hard-water areas; Zeolite specifically attracts and filters minerals and salts out of the water. Some manufacturers offer their own descaling kits.          YOUR WATER SUPPLY      Safe, plentiful water is often taken for granted by most guests, employees, and managers in foodservice—which is ironic when you consider what a truly scarce resource it is. In fact, salt water makes up about 97 percent of all the water on earth. Another 2 percent is inaccessible, frozen in remote ice caps and glaciers. More than half of the single percentage that remains worldwide is now diverted for human use, and yet the combination of increased population, industrial technology, and irrigation have pushed people to use an amazing 35 times more water than our ancestors did just three centuries ago. In 2003, the United Nations Population Fund estimated that if water consumption rates continue to rise at their current rates, humans will be using more than 90 percent of all available fresh water within 25 years, and 5 billion of the world’s 7.9 billion people will live in areas where safe water is scarce.       According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans use nearly 100 gallons of water per person per day. Since the 1990s, you’ve probably noticed the menu text or table tents at some eateries reminding guests that they will be given a glass of water only if they request it. After all, for every glass of water on their table, it takes as many as five more gallons to wash, dry, and sanitize it. Hotels are notorious water-guzzlers too—according to a study by the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, the average hotel room requires 144 gallons per day. Now many hotels have installed low-flow shower heads and water-saving toilets; they don’t change bed linens or replenish towels as often to cut down on laundry volume. The EPA began its “Water Alliances for Voluntary Efficiency” program (WAVE) for hotels, restaurants and other businesses in the 1990s, promising conservation of up to 30 percent for undertaking a series of water-saving measures. Overall, however, we still appear to be playing catch-up as a species when it comes to water conservation.             The other major water-related problem, at least in the United States, is the delivery system itself. Many of our water mains and pipes are more than a century old and, long neglected, are reaching the end of their useful life. There are more than 237,000 water main breaks in the nation annually. When pipes break, water pressure drops and dirt and debris are sucked into the system and jeopardize water quality. At this writing, there is widespread agreement among experts that the nation’s water system is in need of an enormous and expensive overhaul, and fixing it may change the way Americans use, and pay for, water. In recent years, desalination (removal of salt from salt water to make it drinkable) has received much attention. Most current plants employ a technique called multistage flash distillation, which removes contaminants from seawater by boiling it, then condensing (distilling) the steam.

When purchasing or installing steam equipment, you’ll need to decide if the unit is adequate for the job; and if the unit does not generate its own steam, can the steam system in your building make enough steam to operate it?        As you’ve already learned, the length and diameter of the pipes can affect the performance of the equipment. Both friction and condensation in the pipeline will naturally cause a drop in pressure, and you’ve got to allow for that too. The five basic steps for sizing pipe are:           1. Determine the steam requirements of the equipment.           2. Determine how much the pressure can drop between the steam source to the equipment. To do this, subtract the required amount of pressure for the appliance from the total amount of available pressure. This number is called the allowable pressure drop.         3. Calculate how long the pipe will be. This includes not only the actual length but also the equivalent length that you must allow for pipe fittings, elbow joints, valves, and so on. Determine this length in hundreds of feet. This is called the effective length of the pipe.          4. Divide the allowable pressure drop by the effective length of the pipe; then divide that number by 100. This will give you the acceptable pressure drop per 100 feet of pipe.        5. Refer to the correct chart in Table 6-3 to determine if the pipe size you have is adequate for the job.Table 6 – 3        Charts a and b are samples of pipe capacities for two different levels of steam pressure (15 and 60 psi, respectively). Chart c indicates the amount of pipe length to add for various sizes of fittings        (a) STEAM PIPE CAPACITY IN POUNDS PER HOUR AT 15 PSIIMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012028xis0.gif)(b) STEAM PIPE CAPACITY IN POUNDS PER HOUR AT 60 PSIIMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012029HIXN.gif)(c) EQUIVALENT LENGTH OF PIPE TO BE ADDED FOR FITTINGSIMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_201006102301208lSYq.gif)

At this point, you may be wondering: Why do I need to know all this technical information? Can’t I hire someone to handle this? Of course, you can, and most equipment sales representatives are very familiar with the particulars of installation. However, you still need to know the basics when replacing an old machine, purchasing a new one, or troubleshooting a steam-related problem.             Common Problems and Diagnoses              Safety is the main consideration in dealing with steam equipment malfunctions. The mandatory first step is to shut off the steam supply and depressurize the steam line before attempting to disassemble the equipment.        The problem may be as simple as inadequate steam pressure. Take pressure readings as close to the appliance as possible, while steam is flowing through the line. Trace the steam flow through the entire appliance, by checking all valves, strainers, and coils for visible leaks or damage.         On most steam equipment, you will find evidence of hard-water mineral deposits, as the traces of minerals dissolved in the water settle and form scales inside tanks and pipes or lime buildup inside boiler tanks. Even if chemical additives are used periodically to control scale buildup, you should disassemble equipment now and then and remove scales manually. Excessive or frequent buildup is a sign that the problem is not being properly treated, and perhaps a professional water treatment expert should be consulted. We’ll talk more about water quality problems later in this article, but it’s safe to say that water supplies in most cities are hard enough to cause significant problems in commercial steam use for foodservice.            Steam equipment manufacturers cover themselves in these situations by specifying a minimum water hardness acceptable for their appliances. Equipment failure caused by unacceptable water quality is not covered under their warranties. They may also recommend the installation of a water-softening system or, at least, a filter to remove silica and chlorine from water used to make steam. A water-softening method known as Zeolite is often recommended for hard-water areas; Zeolite specifically attracts and filters minerals and salts out of the water. Some manufacturers offer their own descaling kits.          YOUR WATER SUPPLY      Safe, plentiful water is often taken for granted by most guests, employees, and managers in foodservice—which is ironic when you consider what a truly scarce resource it is. In fact, salt water makes up about 97 percent of all the water on earth. Another 2 percent is inaccessible, frozen in remote ice caps and glaciers. More than half of the single percentage that remains worldwide is now diverted for human use, and yet the combination of increased population, industrial technology, and irrigation have pushed people to use an amazing 35 times more water than our ancestors did just three centuries ago. In 2003, the United Nations Population Fund estimated that if water consumption rates continue to rise at their current rates, humans will be using more than 90 percent of all available fresh water within 25 years, and 5 billion of the world’s 7.9 billion people will live in areas where safe water is scarce.       According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans use nearly 100 gallons of water per person per day. Since the 1990s, you’ve probably noticed the menu text or table tents at some eateries reminding guests that they will be given a glass of water only if they request it. After all, for every glass of water on their table, it takes as many as five more gallons to wash, dry, and sanitize it. Hotels are notorious water-guzzlers too—according to a study by the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, the average hotel room requires 144 gallons per day. Now many hotels have installed low-flow shower heads and water-saving toilets; they don’t change bed linens or replenish towels as often to cut down on laundry volume. The EPA began its “Water Alliances for Voluntary Efficiency” program (WAVE) for hotels, restaurants and other businesses in the 1990s, promising conservation of up to 30 percent for undertaking a series of water-saving measures. Overall, however, we still appear to be playing catch-up as a species when it comes to water conservation.             The other major water-related problem, at least in the United States, is the delivery system itself. Many of our water mains and pipes are more than a century old and, long neglected, are reaching the end of their useful life. There are more than 237,000 water main breaks in the nation annually. When pipes break, water pressure drops and dirt and debris are sucked into the system and jeopardize water quality. At this writing, there is widespread agreement among experts that the nation’s water system is in need of an enormous and expensive overhaul, and fixing it may change the way Americans use, and pay for, water. In recent years, desalination (removal of salt from salt water to make it drinkable) has received much attention. Most current plants employ a technique called multistage flash distillation, which removes contaminants from seawater by boiling it, then condensing (distilling) the steam.

Another technique is called reverse osmosis (RO). Highly pressurized seawater is pumped through a semipermeable membrane that allows only the freshwater molecules to flow through, leaving the mineral ions behind. In foodservice, reverse osmosis equipment is becoming popular as a way to purify water for steam, drinking, cooking, and humidification. RO technology can address the problems of both hard-water scaling (caused by calcium, magnesium and manganese salts) and soft-water scaling (caused by sodium and potassium chloride) in water pipes. Because it can remove solids better than normal filtration, RO offers the advantages of reduced water related maintenance and better equipment life in addition to improvements in water quality. Illustration 6.12 is a diagram that shows the major components of a reverse osmosis water filter.ILLUSTRATION 6-12 A reverse osmosis water filtration system includes: a prefilter for sediments (not shown); a filter to reduce chlorine; a filter for total dissolved solids (TDS) that cause scale formation in pipes; an ion media filter that replaces the minerals with non–scale-forming particles; and a storage tank for the filtered water.IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012026FHud.gif)Water is a major expense, and water in foodservice establishments is given much more scrutiny than you’d probably ever give your home tap water. Samples are checked for bacteria, pesticides, trace metals, alkalinity, and chemicals. Before you lease or purchase a site, a water test is in order. And before the water is inspected in a laboratory setting, your own senses can offer clues to a few important basics.        Taste or odor. Sometimes you just happen to live in an area where—there’s no other way to put it—the water tastes or smells funny. The locals may be accustomed to it, but visitors to the area notice it right away. It can affect the flavor of coffee, hot or iced tea, and any beverage in which you place ice cubes. Taste and odor problems are typically caused by the presence of organic materials in the water. You may need to find an outside source of ice to purchase, make ice and beverages with (more expensive) bottled water, or install crushed carbon filters to minimize customer contact with off-tasting water.         Color. Expert water quality advice is needed for this one. Iron or manganese in the water supply can result in odd colors, which, through clear water glasses, look unpalatable. Filtering may help, but getting rid of this condition is a surprisingly technical problem.        Turbidity. When solids are suspended in water, it looks cloudy or murky—a definite turnoff in foodservice. Filtration, with a water-softening system, is a reasonably priced, low-maintenance alternative.             There are two other common water quality concerns:             Corrosion. This condition is the result of oxygen or carbon dioxide becoming trapped within the water supply, and is often caused by the level of acidity in the water system. It affects the useful life of pipes and equipment, and can be corrected by installing a filtration system. What kind, and how extensive the problem is, can be determined by a water quality specialist.      Water hardness. “Hard” water contains a high proportion of minerals and/or salts. As you’re learned, this condition causes an eventual buildup of scales on equipment, which requires constant preventive maintenance to prevent clogging of tanks and water lines and malfunction of the equipment. One-half inch of scale in the interior linings of a restaurant’s hot-water heater can increase the appliance’s energy consumption by as much as 70 percent. Scale also attacks ice machines, coffee makers, dish machines, and more.

To determine what size water heater you will need, take the five-gallons-per-guest average and multiply it by the maximum number of guests you would serve at a peak mealtime. For example, if 200 guests are likely to be served, multiply by 5 gallons and you’ll need 1000 gallons of hot water per hour. The other figure you will need to determine is the maximum amount the water temperature will have to rise to become fully heated. For instance, in the winter, the water may be as cold as 35 degrees Fahrenheit when it enters the building. Your water heater must work hard to get it to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The “temperature rise” in this case is 140 minus 35, or 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Manufacturers’ charts will tell you how much gas or electricity your water heater will consume for different temperature rises.       Even if your water heater is large enough and its output is hot enough, there is one more variable that impacts the availability of sufficient hot water: the way it is piped. If the pipes are too small, the water heater doesn’t empty and refill fast enough. Also, heat is lost along the way when the water must travel long distances to reach appliances or faucets. Insulate the pipes against this heat loss. And if the distance cannot be shortened between the source and appliances, you may need to install recirculation lines and a pump.             Types of Water Heaters            The most common type of water heater is the self-contained storage heater. It heats and holds water up to 180 degrees Fahrenheit, delivers on demand, and requires no external storage tank. This type of heater comes in a variety of sizes, ranging from 5 to 100 gallons. At a 100-degree temperature rise, the self-contained storage heater can heat 500 gallons per hour. A closely related type of water heater is the automatic instantaneous heater, designed to heat water immediately as it is drawn through the tank. Again, there is no external storage tank needed. Finally, the circulating tank water heater heats the water, then passes it immediately to a separate storage tank, using gravity or a pump.           Some exciting technological developments in the field of water heating may help restaurants save money. Some companies are experimenting with recovering waste heat. This means reusing heat given off by air conditioners or kitchen appliances (such as the big walkin refrigerators) that is normally wasted, by capturing it with a heat pump and using it to heat water.          The heat pump water heater (HPWH) should be located wherever such waste heat is available. An air-conditioning system gives off as much as 16,000 Btus per hour of waste heat, so it’s easy to recover the 3000 to 5000 Btus necessary to heat water. In hot-weather climates when the air conditioners run all day, it is not uncommon to be able to heat all the water you need at no cost. Because heat pumps can also capture heat from the outside air, they work best in locations where the temperature is more than 50 degrees Fahrenheit yearround. Illustration 6-23 shows how the HPWH works. A survey of eight U.S. quick-service restaurant chains found their HPWHs saved from $851 to almost $4000 per year in waterheating costs, and the systems paid for themselves in 4 to 20 months’ time. A side benefit of the system that siphons off waste heat is that it makes places like kitchens and laundry rooms more comfortable and easier to cool.ILLUSTRATION 6-23 A diagram of a heat pump water heater.       Notice that its parts and their functions are not unlike refrigeration systems.IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012020A5rV.gif)

The water-guzzling capital of the United States is Las Vegas, with its massive (and highly landscaped) casinos, backyard pools, and green boulevards transforming what was once desert land. Las Vegas uses an estimated 325 gallons of water per person per day. At that rate, the region is expected to run out by the mid-2030s, according to some experts. The city’s hospitality industry is finally embracing conservation measures, from water-saving plumbing fixtures to lawn-watering restrictions, to new types of water purification technology. Do these individual efforts matter? Apparently so. Within one year, Las Vegas’s water consumption had decreased by 13 percent.               CHOOSING PLUMBING FIXTURES         Your plumbing fixtures are among the hardest-working items in your business. Fortunately, there are many guidelines to assist you in selecting them. The Uniform Plumbing Code sets fixture requirements for the public area of your restaurant, primarily the restrooms. For the kitchen, and food preparation in general, NSF International (formerly the National Sanitation Foundation) has extensive guidelines. Here are some things to think about when selecting your fixtures and designing your restrooms.        Water Closet. Yes, that’s the fancy name for “toilet.” It should be made of solid, glazed porcelain, with a flush tank that discharges water when a lever or button is pushed. Another way to flush the tank is with pressure valves; however, they use more water. The toilet should have a self-closing lid; some have no lids at all.         There are plenty of ways to save water in the restrooms. Dual-flush-option toilets, used in Europe and Asia for more than a decade, let customers use as little as 0.8 gallons per flush, or 1.6 gallons, depending on need. Pressure-assist toilets use a pressure vessel inside the tank to create a combination of water line pressure and compressed air to flush. Any commode that uses less than 1.28 gallons per flush is considered a high-efficiency toilet (HET); today’s legal standard for new construction is 1.6 gallons per flush, but there are many, older facilities that still use the “old-fashioned” toilets with 3.5 gallons or more per flush. Your city’s plumbing code specifies the number of toilets and urinals you must have for your restaurant; some cities require more if you serve alcoholic beverages. The general rule is two toilets for every 150 female guests and two urinals for every 150 male guests, requirements that were discussed in last article.           Urinal. This companion fixture for men’s restrooms should also be solid, glazed porcelain. There are stall, wall, and pedestal-style installations; the wall-mounted urinal is the best, because it makes cleaning easier beneath the urinal. The flush valve is the most common mode for flushing urinals.               Lavatory. The lavatory is also called a hand sink. The preferred material for this important part of every restroom is, again, glazed porcelain. The hand sink is required in most cities to supply both hot and cold water, with a common mixing faucet for temperature control. Aerators are a must for your restroom sinks; these simple attachments to the faucet head will reduce water flow from 1.5 gallons per minute (gpm) to 0.5 gpm. On average, they will save about $268 per sink, per year, without compromising water pressure.        The sink should have an overflow drain. Other health code requirements include soap dispensers (not bar soap) and disposable towels for hand drying. Although heater-blowers can dry hands with warm air, they are not particularly energy efficient.        For every 100 guests, you will need to provide one hand sink in each restroom. You must be certain that at least one sink is installed such that a person in a wheelchair can use it, to meet the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act. We’ll discuss hand sinks in the kitchens in just a moment.          Other Considerations. Generally, it is advisable to have one floor drain in each restroom stall and at least one in the urinal area of the men’s room. If the restrooms are large, consider installing additional floor drains to make mopping easier as well as to catch any potential plumbing overflows.        A working exhaust fan may be required by the local health code. Even if it’s not, it is a good idea, to circulate the restroom air. Install spring-loaded doors on restrooms to prevent people from leaving them open. Finally, another crucial consideration: Restrooms must meet both local and federal requirements of accessibility for physically disabled guests. At the back of the house, the plumbing fixtures must withstand heat, grease, heavy-duty cleaning products, and all the rigors of cooking. They include sinks and drains, discharge systems, venting systems, and hot-water tanks. As a rule, the architectural drawings of your building will include plumbing, electrical, and mechanical connections: Ask that the drawings be rendered in 1/4-inch scale, and include a schedule of equipment to be plumbed.

Sinks and Hand Washing SystemsBefore we discuss the multiple types of sinks used in foodservice, let’s talk for a moment about the particular importance of the hand sink. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that 40 percent of all food-borne illness is the result of poor hand-washing practices by employees and cross-contamination from touching the faucets or other surfaces that may not be clean. Proper hand-washing is a combination of appropriate water temperature, the duration and type of scrubbing, and the use of soap. It’s a matter of teaching employees the right way to do it and then, human nature being what it is, monitoring to make sure they do it right. You cannot wash hands in the food sinks, or wash food in the hand sinks—it is absolutely against health codes!           Hand sinks are at the core of today’s increasingly important hygiene stations; an example is shown in Illustration 6-17. They are now being designed and located for convenience and frequent use rather than for minimal compliance to local health codes. Locating hand sinks where they will be used demands more than the traditional minimum quality. The closer to the action, so to speak, the greater the need for improved functionality and appearance. Sink stations must be kept clean, which includes regular sanitizing of sinks, faucets, and dispensers on the daily list of routine maintenance. A basic hand sink selection checklist should include:        Select a manufacturer with an established food service reputation.          Select a manufacturer with easy access to technical service in your area.          Use Type 304 stainless steel, shaped for enhanced strength and proper drainage.         Seamless construction will result in better hygiene and more effective sanitizing.          Select a deeper sink bowl for better drainage, with splashguards to prevent cross-contamination.        Consider antimicrobial surfaces or a highly polished finish.        Tailor your selection to the needs of the location.ILLUSTRATION 6-17 The components of a hand sink station.IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012017hYFO.gif)Food contamination is a serious enough problem that manufacturers now produce automated hand-washing systems or stations that reduce hand contact with the equipment. Some can be installed using existing plumbing; others are self-contained units. For use in either restroom or kitchen, the unit is activated by motion, not touch, and leads the user through the wash (dispensing soap and warm water) and dry (with warm air) process in less than a minute. The unit can also “read” the hand-washing frequency of each individual. And as a child, you thought your mother was strict about this? Think again! Here are the seven steps in a typical computerized hand-washing operation:

1. A “beep” in the food production area reminds you that it’s time to wash your hands. It can be programmed, to sound either at certain timed intervals or after a task is completed.           2. You approach the sink and, without touching anything, water streams out at just the right temperature. Get your hands wet. . .        3. . . .and then, about 7 seconds later, a built-in device dispenses soap. (Depending on the system, you may have to punch in your employee code number to get the soap.) The lathering and scrubbing is up to you, but it should take about 20 seconds.      4. At that moment, more water comes on for rinsing—again, about 20 seconds’ worth.               5. Dry your hands using the hot-air dryer.        6. Some units provide an optional antibacterial spray for sanitizing.        7. The computer software “records” the fact that you accomplished a proper wash. In some systems, your employee code number even qualifies you for a small gift for frequent washes.           The most sophisticated systems, most often used in hospitals, allow the hand-washer to insert the hands past their wrists, into two separate cylinders. The machine provides a lowvolume (but high-pressure) spray of water and sanitizing solution, from 12 to 20 seconds in duration. It requires electric power as well as standard plumbing connections. More about hand-washing practices in next article.         Even if you have “just plain” hand sinks, most health departments have rules about how many and where they must be located. (These requirements usually apply to bar areas as well.) At this writing, the norms are:           A hand sink should be within 15 feet (in a straight line) of any food prep area. One hand sink is required for every five employees, or every 300 square feet of facility space.        One hand sink is required for every prep and cooking area.        In addition to hand sinks, you will need several other types of sinks in your kitchen. In the dishroom, there is the pot sink (for washing pots and pans), the warewashing or scullery sink, and the three-compartment dish sink. The three compartments are for washing, rinsing, and sanitizing. Elsewhere, there’s the prep sink (for scrubbing and peeling vegetables), the utility sink (for mops and cleaning), and the bar sink (for the bar area).             Sinks should always be made of stainless steel, which is durable and easy to clean. Manufacturers use two types of stainless steel, known as Type 430 and Type 304. Both are approved for foodservice use, but Type 304 is considered more durable because of its content: 8 percent nickel, in addition to the standard 16 percent chromium. Rounded corners (called coved corners) make sinks easier to clean. You can also clean more thoroughly under the sinks if they are installed so that the water faucets come straight out from the walls (and the water pipes are located behind the walls instead of beneath the sinks themselves).         Other requirements are a swiveling, gooseneck-style faucet that can reach each compartment of the sink; an overflow drain for each compartment of the sink; and ample supplies of both hot and cold water. You can choose from many faucet types, but aerators and stream regulators will save the most water.           For pot sinks, add a drain board to the list of requirements. If the drain board is more than 36 inches long, it will need its own, separate support legs. NSF International now requires that the drain boards be welded to the sink bowls. Here are some basic sink installation guidelines:         Pot sink. The height of the sink edge should not exceed 38 inches. The sink itself should not be more than 15 inches deep (most are 12 to 14 inches deep) on legs or a pedestal no more than 24 inches tall. The depth of the sink, from front to back, should not exceed 28 inches (see Illustration 6-18).ILLUSTRATION 6-18 The pot sink is organized to permit the addition of faucets, shelves, water heaters, and a pot washer.IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012024GRMe.gif)

Warewashing (scullery) sink. Your local health codes will dictate the number of compartments or bowls these sink units must have; their backsplash height, water depth, drain board size, and so on.       Dish sinks. These are used mostly in small, limited-menu operations. They are three compartment sinks, with a minimum bowl size (for each compartment) of 16 by 20 inches, with a water-level depth of 14 inches. A dish sink also usually requires a double drain board—on each side of the far left and far right sink bowls. Illustration 6-19 is a handy three-compartment design made to fit into a corner.ILLUSTRATION 6-19 For small spaces, there are three-compartment sink designs that fit into  corners.IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_201006102301207zbkY.gif)Combination pot-dish sink. Also in small restaurants, a three-compartment unit can be installed with slightly larger sinks to do double-duty for washing both pots and dishes. The minimum bowl size here would be 20 by 20 inches, with a water depth of at least 14 inches. You can also order these with 24-by-24-inch bowls and, if you’ll be washing a lot of full-sized baking sheets, you’ll want 24-by-28-inch bowls.              Hand sink. The hand sink most often required by city ordinance is either wall mounted or pedestal style. Again, the wall-mounted sink is easier to clean beneath. The typical hand sink is 20 inches long by 16 inches wide, with a depth of 8 inches, but smaller sizes are also acceptable. In choosing one, remember it will get a lot of use.           Bar sink. This is a four-compartment sink, either 8 or 10 feet in length. A minimum of 24 inches of drain board space is recommended on both sides of the bar sink. The bar sink is generally 18 to 24 inches wide and 1 foot deep. Most have a special overflow drain; make sure this drain is at least one inch in diameter.            Prep sink. This is usually a two-compartment sink unit, although some health codes mandate a third bowl. A heavy-duty garbage disposal may be installed in one of the compartments. Size will vary depending on the amount of prep work done in the kitchen; the most common size is a 20-inch square sink, with a 10-inch depth. Utility sink. This is typically the big, deep, rectangular sink in the back of the kitchen that always looks so beat up and untidy. At least it is useful, if not attractive. A wallmounted sink will allow storage (of buckets, etc.) beneath it.         At least one manufacturer has introduced “mobile” sinks—movable, on casters, with quick-disconnect water lines so the sink unit can be completely relocated (temporary) so you can clean more thoroughly behind it. This is a most difficult area to reach and, over time, can harbor lots of bacteria and other hazardous gunk. No tools or special skills are required to disconnect the lines.           Drains and the Discharge System       Your myriad sinks are drained into the drainage or discharge system, which receives the liquid discharge created by the food and beverage preparation area. The first component of the discharge system is on the sink itself: the trap. It is a curved section of pipe, where the lowest part of the pipe “traps” (or retains) some water. The trap is called a P trap when the drain pipes go into the wall; it is called an S trap when the drain pipes go into the floor.         In addition to these traps, it’s a good idea to have floor drains located directly beneath your larger sinks. The drains in a commercial kitchen must have a dome strainer (or sediment bucket), much like a perforated sink stopper that traps bits of dirt and food as liquids go down the drain. For the heaviest-duty jobs, a floor drain with a much larger strainer compartment (called a sump) is recommended. The sump is at least eight inches square. Type 304 stainless steel is the preferred material for drain fabrication, and coved corners make them easier to clean.         Drains should not be flush with the floor, but recessed slightly (about 1/16 of an inch) to prompt water to flow toward them. The drain pipe should be 3 to 4 inches in diameter, and its interior walls must be coated with acrylic or porcelain enamel that is both nonporous and acid resistant. A nonslip floor mat, with slats for drainage, should be a standard accessory beneath every sink.

How many floor drains should you have in your kitchen? Let’s count the areas in which drains are a must to catch spills, overflow, and dirty water from floor cleaning:1. Hot line area2. Prep and pantry area3. By the pot sinks4. Dishwashing area5. Dry storage area6. Outside the walk-in refrigerator7. Wait stations/service areas8. Near steam equipment9. By the bar sinks10. Under the ice makerThe ice maker has another unique drainage requirement: a recessed floor. One smart idea is to install several drains, in a trench that is from one to two feet wide and several feet long, covered with a rustproof metal grate. This is very effective along the length of the hot line area or in the constantly wet dishroom.        When we talk about draining away waste, we’re not just discussing water. The water often contains grease, and grease disposal is an enormous (and messy) problem in foodservice. A grease interceptor is required by law in most towns and cities. It is commonly known as a grease trap, although the professional plumbing industry discourages the use of this terminology.         Your area’s building code will list which kitchen fixtures must be plumbed to the interceptor; typically, the water/waste output of the garbage disposal, dishwasher, and all sinks and floor drains must pass through the interceptor before it enters the sewer. Employee restrooms and on-premise laundry appliances generally do not have to be connected to the interceptor.          The role of the grease interceptor is to prevent grease from leaving the restaurant’s drainage system and clogging the city sewer system. Foodservice wastewater is a big problem for sewers designed primarily for residential waste. Thus, fines and surcharges may be imposed on restaurants if their effluent (outflow) exceeds the local standards for its percentage of fats, oil and grease (FOG, in industry jargon).          As waste enters the interceptor, it separates into three layers: The heaviest particles of food and dirt sink to the bottom; the middle layer is mostly water, with a little bit of suspended solids and grease in it; and the top layer is grease and oil. The interceptor “traps” the top and bottom layers while allowing the middle layer to flow away into the sewage system. Interceptors come in different sizes, and you should choose one based on the gallons of water that can run through it per minute, the number of appliances connected to it, and its capacity to retain grease. See Illustration 6-20 and Table 6-5, a sample size chart from the Uniform Plumbing Code.ILLUSTRATION 6-20 How a grease interceptor worksIMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012016OoZv.gif)

Table 6 – 5Grease Interceptor RequirementsIMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_201006102301201529CI.gif)Cleaning the interceptor regularly is necessary because the bottom layer can clog pipes if allowed to build up, and the top layer can mix with, and pollute, the middle layer too much. Most restaurants hire a trap-cleaning service company to handle this unpleasant task.       It is a costly activity, and not without legal ramifications. The service company must be licensed to haul the grease waste to specially approved treatment areas. It’s not enough anymore for a restaurateur to trust that the grease is being taken care of. The smart ones take a proactive approach. Once in a while you’ll see news reports about such service companies that skirt the law by dumping waste into creeks or unapproved areas. You would be wise to thoroughly research your area’s grease removal requirements and to interview several service companies. Ask for, and contact, their references.           There are two types of interceptor cleaning: skimming (removing the top layer) and a full pump-out of the tank. For most foodservice operations, skimming is not sufficient. The heavy, lower layer of particles must also be filtered away. You might decide on a combination of services—frequent skimming, with a full pump-out at regular intervals. The types of foods you serve and your volume of business should be your guidelines, along with a scientific measurement of the effluent to see how much FOG and/or chemicals it contains. In some cities, the penalties are so strict that restaurateurs include a pretreatment step, adding fat- dissolving chemicals or filtering the waste before it even gets to the grease trap. Undercounter units operate using electricity to recover grease for discarding as trash, not sewage.        Outside installation of the grease interceptor is recommended, at a level that is several feet below the kitchen to use gravity in your favor in grease elimination. Building inspectors seldom allow an interceptor to be located anywhere inside the building, but if it happens to be inside, it should be flush with the kitchen floor. Early in the building process, a call to your local plumbing inspector will provide the particulars for your city, and probably save you a lot of trouble. We must also discuss the “dry” part of the discharge system, which is known as the venting system. Its main purpose is to prevent siphoning of water from the traps. Vents (called “black vents”) on both sides of the grease trap equalize the air pressure throughout the drainage system, circulating enough air to reduce pipe corrosion and help remove odors. Vent pipes extend up and through the roof, for kitchens and restrooms.           Drainage Terminology and Maintenance       Drainage and vent pipes have specific names. Knowing them will make it easier for you to discuss your discharge system.

Black vent. A vent pipe that connects the venting system to the discharge system. These are found near the grease trap, allowing air to enter the trap and preventing contaminated water from flowing out of the trap.           Building drain. This is the “main” drain, which receives drainage from all pipes and carries it to the sewer for that particular building.             Building sewer. This pipe carries the drainage beyond the building and into the public sewer.         Drain pipe. Any pipe that carries away discharge from plumbing fixtures. Usually drain pipes are horizontal; if they’re vertical, they are called stacks.           Sometimes drain pipes are referred to as soil pipes. Vent. A pipe that allows air flow to and from the drainage pipes.        The Uniform Plumbing Code contains specifics about choosing sizes of pipes and vents. The general rule is that smaller-size pipes flow into larger pipes—never the reverse.        The flooded kitchen floor is every restaurant manager’s nightmare. Typically, the floor floods because the drains are clogged; and they’re clogged because everybody thought it was somebody else’s job to take care of.          Drainage systems require periodic maintenance to keep them open and working efficiently. Simply because they depend on gravity to work, they occasionally become clogged when debris blocks the natural flow of the system. You can use flexible metal rods, called augurs or snakes, inserted into pipes to break up the debris; or you can pour in chemicals, which are formulated to dissolve grease and soap buildup. Either way, the clogged material should be removed and not flushed back into the system. There are all types of augurs, including heavy-duty ones with gas-operated motors and 300 feet of line.                Drainage Problems          The two terms most frequently heard when there’s a water backup in the kitchen are backflow and back siphonage. Backflow results when dirty water (or other unsafe materials) flows into the drinking water supply. Back siphonage occurs when negative pressure builds up and sucks contaminated water into the freshwater supply. Either way, you’re in trouble.        Avoiding backflow is not complicated if you’ve hired an experienced plumber who will plumb your system to include a space (never less than one inch) between each pipe and its drain, which prevents contaminated water from flowing back into the water supply (see Illustration 6-21). This space is often referred to as an indirect waste. Floor drains that receive condensate from refrigerators are also required to have an indirect waste.ILLUSTRATION 6-21 Proper sink installation will prevent backflow.IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012027qSas.gif)

An atmospheric vacuum breaker is another smart addition to your water line, especially on any hoses you use in the kitchen to clean the floor or flush out drains. The vacuum breaker (see Illustration 6-22) is a small shutoff valve that allows the water to drain completely after the faucet is turned off and minimizes the chances that fresh water can be contaminated by whatever the hose has touched.ILLUSTRATION 6-22 A vacuum breaker works to drain excess water from a pipe or line and prevent back siphonage.IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012033u6IS.gif)Back siphonage is the term for reversing the normal flow of your water system because of a vacuum (or partial vacuum) in the pipes. This sometimes happens after firefighters use a hydrant in your area or the water system has been shut off temporarily for repairs. Like sipping a soft drink through a straw, when water comes back on after being shut off, it may create pressure to move it in the opposite direction than is desired. The vacuum breaker is, again, the most popular preventive measure.       Restaurants in areas with winter temperature extremes must also deal with frozen pipes, which create their own set of challenges for your staff. Heed the advice from the Restaurant and Hospitality Association of Indiana in the “Building and Grounds” section.      HOT-WATER HEATING       Most hot-water heaters aren’t given much attention—until there’s no hot water. Because you’ll spend more money heating water than you spend on the water itself, you probably should know a few basics to manage this valuable resource.       The average restaurant guest prompts the use of five gallons of hot water. This figure decreases in the fast-food arena, of course, where disposable utensils and plasticware are the norm. In a table-service restaurant, however, the five-gallon figure includes water to wash, dry, and sanitize dishes, glassware, utensils, plus pots and pans and serving pieces. Water must, by health ordinance, reach certain temperatures for certain foodservice needs. These temperatures are listed in Table 6-6. They correspond to the “thermometer” chart in next article’s food safety discussion about minimum temperatures for safe handling and storage of food.Table 6 – 6Required Water Temperatures for Foodservice Operations——————————————————————Restrooms        110–120 degrees FahrenheitPot sinks        120–140 degrees FahrenheitDishwashers      140–160 degrees FahrenheitFinal dish rinse 180 degrees Fahrenheit——————————————————————In a small restaurant, there may be a single hot-water tank with a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Near the dishwasher, a second “booster” heater will be installed to raise the final rinse water to the required 180 degrees Fahrenheit. In larger operations, you may install two or more separate water heating systems for different needs.

The “How and Why” of Hard WaterTo a certain extent, hard-water scaling affects about 85 percent of water users in North America. Hard water is actually an unavoidable, natural process. As rain falls, it dissolves carbon dioxide gas from the air and becomes a weak solution of carbonic acid. As this acidic rainwater passes through the ground, it erodes and slowly dissolves limestone rocks.        Limestone, which is found virtually everywhere on earth, typically consists of calcium carbonate, which is responsible for the hardness that causes scale. Scale is a result of the abnormal behavior of calcium carbonate, which becomes less soluble as water temperature increases. This means that as hard water is heated, the calcium carbonate can no longer stay dissolved and precipitates (separates)—or falls out of the water—as scale. We can soften hard water by adding some lime to achieve a pH factor of around 10, followed by a treatment process of adding CO2 gas to bring the pH level down to 9.5.         Hard water is also troublesome because it encourages the formation of soap scum and makes it more difficult for the surfactants (foaming agents) in soap to produce lather. In these cases, you have to compensate by using more dish detergent. You may also notice that dishes or cooking utensils washed in hard water become slightly discolored over time. Table 6-4, the Hobart Corporation, lists common maladies and possible causes of malfunctioning dish machines. Notice how many of them are related to water quality.         In manufacturers’ equipment specifications, water hardness is usually measured in grains, the amount of solids (calcium carbonate and other minerals commonly found in water) expressed in parts per million (ppm) and reported by the amount found in one gallon. One grain of hardness is equivalent to 17.1 ppm. If water contains more than 65 ppm, or 3.8 grains of hardness per gallon, it is a good candidate for water-softening treatment.            1–3.5 grains per gallon = slightly hard water           3.5–7 grains per gallon = moderately hard           7–10.5 grains per gallon = very hard       It is expensive to treat hard water and, because it doesn’t pose a health hazard, many municipalities don’t bother to do so, leaving it up to individual users to complete the job. Even if the local water utility won’t treat your water for you, they might offer specialized assistance in helping you diagnose problems and determine solutions.Table 6 – 4Common Problems and Symptoms When Dish Machines MalfunctionIMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_201006102301205fb8A.gif)IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_201006102301206eBVZ.gif)Water Quality FactorsWater quality is not always a major concern. Indeed, in the United States, modern purification techniques have virtually eliminated such water-borne illnesses as cholera, typhoid, and dysentery. However, our water supplies are not without problems. Day-to-day human activities—farming, construction, mining, manufacturing, and landfill operation—impact water quality, affecting wildlife and marine life as well as humans.      Strange but true: Most water available for drinking is unfit for consumption before it is treated. Illustration 6-13 shows the typical treatment steps from source to end user. In 1974, Congress enacted the Safe Drinking Water Act, which authorized the federal government to establish the standards and regulations for drinking water safety. The EPA now sets and implements those standards and conducts research. State governments are primarily responsible for implementing and enforcing the federal mandates. The EPA reports that about 90 percent of community water systems comply with its standards. This figure is always controversial, because some experts assert the EPA’s standards are not tough enough. They claim there are as many as 1000 different potential pollutants, and the EPA rules have established enforceable limits for only 100 of them.

Another technique is called reverse osmosis (RO). Highly pressurized seawater is pumped through a semipermeable membrane that allows only the freshwater molecules to flow through, leaving the mineral ions behind. In foodservice, reverse osmosis equipment is becoming popular as a way to purify water for steam, drinking, cooking, and humidification. RO technology can address the problems of both hard-water scaling (caused by calcium, magnesium and manganese salts) and soft-water scaling (caused by sodium and potassium chloride) in water pipes. Because it can remove solids better than normal filtration, RO offers the advantages of reduced water related maintenance and better equipment life in addition to improvements in water quality. Illustration 6.12 is a diagram that shows the major components of a reverse osmosis water filter.ILLUSTRATION 6-12 A reverse osmosis water filtration system includes: a prefilter for sediments (not shown); a filter to reduce chlorine; a filter for total dissolved solids (TDS) that cause scale formation in pipes; an ion media filter that replaces the minerals with non–scale-forming particles; and a storage tank for the filtered water.IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012026FHud.gif)Water is a major expense, and water in foodservice establishments is given much more scrutiny than you’d probably ever give your home tap water. Samples are checked for bacteria, pesticides, trace metals, alkalinity, and chemicals. Before you lease or purchase a site, a water test is in order. And before the water is inspected in a laboratory setting, your own senses can offer clues to a few important basics.        Taste or odor. Sometimes you just happen to live in an area where—there’s no other way to put it—the water tastes or smells funny. The locals may be accustomed to it, but visitors to the area notice it right away. It can affect the flavor of coffee, hot or iced tea, and any beverage in which you place ice cubes. Taste and odor problems are typically caused by the presence of organic materials in the water. You may need to find an outside source of ice to purchase, make ice and beverages with (more expensive) bottled water, or install crushed carbon filters to minimize customer contact with off-tasting water.         Color. Expert water quality advice is needed for this one. Iron or manganese in the water supply can result in odd colors, which, through clear water glasses, look unpalatable. Filtering may help, but getting rid of this condition is a surprisingly technical problem.        Turbidity. When solids are suspended in water, it looks cloudy or murky—a definite turnoff in foodservice. Filtration, with a water-softening system, is a reasonably priced, low-maintenance alternative.             There are two other common water quality concerns:             Corrosion. This condition is the result of oxygen or carbon dioxide becoming trapped within the water supply, and is often caused by the level of acidity in the water system. It affects the useful life of pipes and equipment, and can be corrected by installing a filtration system. What kind, and how extensive the problem is, can be determined by a water quality specialist.      Water hardness. “Hard” water contains a high proportion of minerals and/or salts. As you’re learned, this condition causes an eventual buildup of scales on equipment, which requires constant preventive maintenance to prevent clogging of tanks and water lines and malfunction of the equipment. One-half inch of scale in the interior linings of a restaurant’s hot-water heater can increase the appliance’s energy consumption by as much as 70 percent. Scale also attacks ice machines, coffee makers, dish machines, and more.

The “How and Why” of Hard WaterTo a certain extent, hard-water scaling affects about 85 percent of water users in North America. Hard water is actually an unavoidable, natural process. As rain falls, it dissolves carbon dioxide gas from the air and becomes a weak solution of carbonic acid. As this acidic rainwater passes through the ground, it erodes and slowly dissolves limestone rocks.        Limestone, which is found virtually everywhere on earth, typically consists of calcium carbonate, which is responsible for the hardness that causes scale. Scale is a result of the abnormal behavior of calcium carbonate, which becomes less soluble as water temperature increases. This means that as hard water is heated, the calcium carbonate can no longer stay dissolved and precipitates (separates)—or falls out of the water—as scale. We can soften hard water by adding some lime to achieve a pH factor of around 10, followed by a treatment process of adding CO2 gas to bring the pH level down to 9.5.         Hard water is also troublesome because it encourages the formation of soap scum and makes it more difficult for the surfactants (foaming agents) in soap to produce lather. In these cases, you have to compensate by using more dish detergent. You may also notice that dishes or cooking utensils washed in hard water become slightly discolored over time. Table 6-4, the Hobart Corporation, lists common maladies and possible causes of malfunctioning dish machines. Notice how many of them are related to water quality.         In manufacturers’ equipment specifications, water hardness is usually measured in grains, the amount of solids (calcium carbonate and other minerals commonly found in water) expressed in parts per million (ppm) and reported by the amount found in one gallon. One grain of hardness is equivalent to 17.1 ppm. If water contains more than 65 ppm, or 3.8 grains of hardness per gallon, it is a good candidate for water-softening treatment.            1–3.5 grains per gallon = slightly hard water           3.5–7 grains per gallon = moderately hard           7–10.5 grains per gallon = very hard       It is expensive to treat hard water and, because it doesn’t pose a health hazard, many municipalities don’t bother to do so, leaving it up to individual users to complete the job. Even if the local water utility won’t treat your water for you, they might offer specialized assistance in helping you diagnose problems and determine solutions.Table 6 – 4Common Problems and Symptoms When Dish Machines MalfunctionIMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_201006102301205fb8A.gif)IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_201006102301206eBVZ.gif)Water Quality FactorsWater quality is not always a major concern. Indeed, in the United States, modern purification techniques have virtually eliminated such water-borne illnesses as cholera, typhoid, and dysentery. However, our water supplies are not without problems. Day-to-day human activities—farming, construction, mining, manufacturing, and landfill operation—impact water quality, affecting wildlife and marine life as well as humans.      Strange but true: Most water available for drinking is unfit for consumption before it is treated. Illustration 6-13 shows the typical treatment steps from source to end user. In 1974, Congress enacted the Safe Drinking Water Act, which authorized the federal government to establish the standards and regulations for drinking water safety. The EPA now sets and implements those standards and conducts research. State governments are primarily responsible for implementing and enforcing the federal mandates. The EPA reports that about 90 percent of community water systems comply with its standards. This figure is always controversial, because some experts assert the EPA’s standards are not tough enough. They claim there are as many as 1000 different potential pollutants, and the EPA rules have established enforceable limits for only 100 of them.

ILLUSTRATION 6-13 A flow diagram of how water gets from its source through a treatment plant to homes and businesses.IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012036PjvI.gif)IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012037gq1g.gif)For water to be declared potable, it must meet the federal drinking standards, whether the water system is public or privately owned. Regulations are very strict, and water is tested at least four times each year. However, groundwater is not tested with the same intensity as surface water, because it generally is not exposed to as many contaminates and pollutants as surface water. When the source of our water is both surface and ground water, then the water is tested as if all was surface water. In general, city residents/businesses get their water from a public water system, which is piped to users through a common water supply system. Public water systems are defined as those serving at least 25 persons or more, having at least 15 customer connections.            In rural areas residences and/or businesses may be on a private water system (i.e., individual well).        Water quality debates are often in the news, especially when a system is found to have higher-than-normal lead levels. But there are plenty of other contaminants and pollutants making headlines:         Arsenic occurs naturally in some groundwater, and is also a residue of mining and industry. At low doses, it is linked to cancer and diabetes; at high doses, it is poisonous. Pathogens are bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal illnesses. In news reports, you’ve heard some of their names: Eschericia coli (E. coli O157:H7), cryptosporidium, and yersinia enterocolitica are just a few. Farm waste runoff and sewage discharge can result in their accidental introduction to a water system.          MTBE is a fuel additive designed to reduce air pollution. But when spilled or leaked from storage tanks, it can contaminate water and cause liver, digestive, and nervous system disorders.          Perclorate is used in making fireworks, weapons, and rocket fuel. It interferes with thyroid function in humans.       Trihalomethanes (THMs) are among the most common groundwater contaminants. They form when chlorine reacts with organic material, something as simple as fallen leaves. THMs may contribute to miscarriage risks and bladder cancer. Ammonium perchlorate is an additive that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Pentagon used for rocket fuel and munitions. For disposal, perchlorate often was dissolved in water and poured on the ground because defense officials did not consider low levels hazardous to humans. Perchlorate remains in use today and is unregulated as of this writing.

ILLUSTRATION 6-13 A flow diagram of how water gets from its source through a treatment plant to homes and businesses.IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012036PjvI.gif)IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012037gq1g.gif)For water to be declared potable, it must meet the federal drinking standards, whether the water system is public or privately owned. Regulations are very strict, and water is tested at least four times each year. However, groundwater is not tested with the same intensity as surface water, because it generally is not exposed to as many contaminates and pollutants as surface water. When the source of our water is both surface and ground water, then the water is tested as if all was surface water. In general, city residents/businesses get their water from a public water system, which is piped to users through a common water supply system. Public water systems are defined as those serving at least 25 persons or more, having at least 15 customer connections.            In rural areas residences and/or businesses may be on a private water system (i.e., individual well).        Water quality debates are often in the news, especially when a system is found to have higher-than-normal lead levels. But there are plenty of other contaminants and pollutants making headlines:         Arsenic occurs naturally in some groundwater, and is also a residue of mining and industry. At low doses, it is linked to cancer and diabetes; at high doses, it is poisonous. Pathogens are bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal illnesses. In news reports, you’ve heard some of their names: Eschericia coli (E. coli O157:H7), cryptosporidium, and yersinia enterocolitica are just a few. Farm waste runoff and sewage discharge can result in their accidental introduction to a water system.          MTBE is a fuel additive designed to reduce air pollution. But when spilled or leaked from storage tanks, it can contaminate water and cause liver, digestive, and nervous system disorders.          Perclorate is used in making fireworks, weapons, and rocket fuel. It interferes with thyroid function in humans.       Trihalomethanes (THMs) are among the most common groundwater contaminants. They form when chlorine reacts with organic material, something as simple as fallen leaves. THMs may contribute to miscarriage risks and bladder cancer. Ammonium perchlorate is an additive that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Pentagon used for rocket fuel and munitions. For disposal, perchlorate often was dissolved in water and poured on the ground because defense officials did not consider low levels hazardous to humans. Perchlorate remains in use today and is unregulated as of this writing.

Officials and scientists dispute whether the trace amounts in groundwater, usually 4 to 100 parts per billion, are enough to suppress hormone levels in humans, which fluctuate slightly anyway. The EPA contends that although healthy adults are probably not at risk from ingesting minute amounts of perchlorate, it may affect the development of fetuses and young children. The agency first raised concerns in 1985, when it found perchlorate contamination ranging from 50 parts per billion to 2600 parts per billion in water supplies in California’s San Gabriel Valley, linked to munitions manufacturers and users. The EPA has recommended that no more than 1 part per billion of perchlorate be allowed in drinking water. However, the U.S. Defense Department and the munitions industry argue for a human standard of 200 parts per billion; the Defense Department has asked Congress to exempt it from several environmental laws, including those that cover cleanups of explosive residue at operational sites—a legal description that could be used to include perchlorate.     In addition to its inherent controversies, the water treatment process itself doesn’t sound all that appetizing. Chemicals and gases—including lime, ferric sulfate, chlorine, ammonia, carbon, polymers, ozone, carbon dioxide, and fluoride—are added to drinking water to remove impurities, kill harmful viruses and bacteria, eliminate “off” tastes and odors, and even help prevent tooth decay. These substances are mixed into the water, which is then sent through huge basins called flocculators where large paddles mix the water while the additives do their various jobs and prompt the “bad” particles to group together and sink to the bottom of the tank. After this, the water passes into a settling basin, flowing slowly for four to eight hours as the enlarged particles continue to settle to the bottom. A secondary treatment phase—more chemicals, more mixing, more settling—removes most of the chemicals that were originally put in, not just the “bad” stuff. The water is then filtered through anthracite coal, sand, and gravel, a process that catches any remaining particles. And finally, it is disinfected to kill bacteria.           As a health precaution, or in areas where the local water has persistent mineral content that results in taste or odor problems, many restaurants opt to filter their own water. You can purchase different types of filters to counteract different problems: a carbon filter for odor and taste problems, an integrated UV-plus activated carbon filter to kill viruses and remove particles. There are filters for chemical absorption, turbidity reduction, and heavy-metal reduction. Filters have load capacities and are sized by flow rate. Capacities of water filtration systems can range from a small, single-cartridge unit that can be attached to a single machine like a coffee maker, to a multicartridge system capable of filtering all the water that enters a building, more than 100 gallons per minute. No matter what their size, the principle is simple: Cold water enters the filter at an inlet valve, where it is directed through the internal filter chamber.      It exits the body of the filter through an outlet connection, generally at the bottom of the chamber. Changing the internal filter element is usually as easy as opening the chamber, removing the old element, and putting in a new one. The manufacturer will recommend the frequency with which filters should be changed.      The effectiveness of the filtration systems probably vary as much as their manufacturers’ claims, but all of them should adhere to two important NSF International Standards: 42 (“Aesthetic Effects,” which governs taste, odor, chlorine content and particular reduction), and 53 (“Health Effects,” which governs turbidity, Giardia cyst content, and asbestos reduction).         Properly filtered water can extend the life of your most expensive equipment, such as steamers, combi-ovens, dish machines, ice machines and beverage dispensers, by eliminating scale and slime buildup. Better energy efficiency and fewer maintenance calls can translate into cost savings. And of course, using filtered water for customers—in beverages, icemaking, and cooking—is also a plus.

Officials and scientists dispute whether the trace amounts in groundwater, usually 4 to 100 parts per billion, are enough to suppress hormone levels in humans, which fluctuate slightly anyway. The EPA contends that although healthy adults are probably not at risk from ingesting minute amounts of perchlorate, it may affect the development of fetuses and young children. The agency first raised concerns in 1985, when it found perchlorate contamination ranging from 50 parts per billion to 2600 parts per billion in water supplies in California’s San Gabriel Valley, linked to munitions manufacturers and users. The EPA has recommended that no more than 1 part per billion of perchlorate be allowed in drinking water. However, the U.S. Defense Department and the munitions industry argue for a human standard of 200 parts per billion; the Defense Department has asked Congress to exempt it from several environmental laws, including those that cover cleanups of explosive residue at operational sites—a legal description that could be used to include perchlorate.     In addition to its inherent controversies, the water treatment process itself doesn’t sound all that appetizing. Chemicals and gases—including lime, ferric sulfate, chlorine, ammonia, carbon, polymers, ozone, carbon dioxide, and fluoride—are added to drinking water to remove impurities, kill harmful viruses and bacteria, eliminate “off” tastes and odors, and even help prevent tooth decay. These substances are mixed into the water, which is then sent through huge basins called flocculators where large paddles mix the water while the additives do their various jobs and prompt the “bad” particles to group together and sink to the bottom of the tank. After this, the water passes into a settling basin, flowing slowly for four to eight hours as the enlarged particles continue to settle to the bottom. A secondary treatment phase—more chemicals, more mixing, more settling—removes most of the chemicals that were originally put in, not just the “bad” stuff. The water is then filtered through anthracite coal, sand, and gravel, a process that catches any remaining particles. And finally, it is disinfected to kill bacteria.           As a health precaution, or in areas where the local water has persistent mineral content that results in taste or odor problems, many restaurants opt to filter their own water. You can purchase different types of filters to counteract different problems: a carbon filter for odor and taste problems, an integrated UV-plus activated carbon filter to kill viruses and remove particles. There are filters for chemical absorption, turbidity reduction, and heavy-metal reduction. Filters have load capacities and are sized by flow rate. Capacities of water filtration systems can range from a small, single-cartridge unit that can be attached to a single machine like a coffee maker, to a multicartridge system capable of filtering all the water that enters a building, more than 100 gallons per minute. No matter what their size, the principle is simple: Cold water enters the filter at an inlet valve, where it is directed through the internal filter chamber.      It exits the body of the filter through an outlet connection, generally at the bottom of the chamber. Changing the internal filter element is usually as easy as opening the chamber, removing the old element, and putting in a new one. The manufacturer will recommend the frequency with which filters should be changed.      The effectiveness of the filtration systems probably vary as much as their manufacturers’ claims, but all of them should adhere to two important NSF International Standards: 42 (“Aesthetic Effects,” which governs taste, odor, chlorine content and particular reduction), and 53 (“Health Effects,” which governs turbidity, Giardia cyst content, and asbestos reduction).         Properly filtered water can extend the life of your most expensive equipment, such as steamers, combi-ovens, dish machines, ice machines and beverage dispensers, by eliminating scale and slime buildup. Better energy efficiency and fewer maintenance calls can translate into cost savings. And of course, using filtered water for customers—in beverages, icemaking, and cooking—is also a plus.

Trends in Water Technology and ConsumptionAs local governments grapple with the issues of safe water, some new technologies and processes have emerged. Electrolyzed water (E-water) has been found to be effective in eliminating food-borne pathogens. E-water is produced by applying an electrical current to a weak solution of water and salt, which produces a superacidic, “sanitized” water that contains powerful oxidants—although it doesn’t look, smell, or taste any different from tap water.        It can be used for hand washing and on food contact surfaces; to sanitize cutting boards, utensils, and more—even to sanitize raw foods, because of its power as a bacteria-killer.         E-water is especially easy to use because it doesn’t leave soapy residue on food contact surfaces, doesn’t have to be rinsed off, and works well on floors and stainless steel surfaces. Grease exhaust hood filters can be soaked in it overnight. In tests, less dish detergent was needed when E-water was used in the dish machines. Equipment to produce electrolyzed water is now in use in the foodservice industry, but the technology has not yet become cost-effective enough for home use.            Yet another technique has been developed for identifying hazardous particles in water. Laser beams are shot through a stream of water to check for microorganisms. They can detect anthrax, E. coli, or any other particle not previously identified in a particular water supply. Each type of microorganism looks different, and the lasers are precise enough to differentiate them.           So far, this type of system scans for live organisms (like bacteria) but still sees chemicals only as “unidentified” particles. It can also detect and report any type of increased particle activity. The newly patented technology can be used as part of security measures, to monitor water safety at large public events.          Whether it’s safety, flavor, or marketing, bottled water appears to have staying power and sales appeal in any foodservice setting. Bottled water accounts for 11.5 percent of the total nonalcoholic refreshment market, making it the second largest commercial beverage category in the United States, outdone only by soft drinks. Free of sugar, calories, and alcohol, it outsells beer, wine, juice, and coffee and is a beverage for all day-parts of a foodservice operation.             Most customers feel it enhances the dining experience when they are offered still or sparkling water by the bottle, and this tactic certainly increases check averages. Bottled water sales continue to grow in restaurant settings in fine-dining, casual, and quick-service operations. Water provides a sales opportunity every time a table is seated or before the next course arrives. Depending on the concept, a bottle of water can sell from $1.75 up, with a per-bottle profit margin of 7 percent or higher. Subway, for instance, sells about 22 million bottles a year at its 22,000 worldwide outlets; at a suggested selling price of $1.29 per bottle, it is the chain’s top-selling beverage.          Lately, the selling point is not necessarily the water but what is in it; line extensions now include a vast array of “enhancers.” We now have vitamin water, energy water, fitness water, and fruit water, all of them in various flavors and colors. If water is artificially flavored with passion fruit, sweetened with Splenda, and dyed green, is it still water? Some contend that these products are more like diet sodas without the carbonation; an increasing number of consumer groups are challenging the nutritional claims and asserting that the public is simply being duped into paying a high price for convenience. Flavors aside, it is true that those who purchase bottled water expecting it to be purer than tap water may be wasting their money. Legally, bottled water does not have to be any cleaner than tap water. The same Safe Drinking Water Act provisions cover it—and yet it costs, on average, 625 times more that what comes out of the tap.           The Green Guide, a consumer publication that serves as a watchdog for environmentally savvy consumption, generally frowns on bottled water of any kind. Its editorial view is that the safety and quality of tap water is better regulated than most bottled water and that the bottles themselves have created additional environmental problems. The demand for plastic water bottles consumes an estimated 1.5 billion barrels of oil a year, and about 30 million empty bottles a year end up in landfills. Researchers are working to mitigate these problems. In early 2006, a Colorado company launched the first water bottle made of a new kind of biodegradable plastic known as PLA, which is made from corn. First used for Biota spring water, the PLA containers are designed to break down at high temperatures when empty, making them not only biodegradable but also compostable.

Trends in Water Technology and ConsumptionAs local governments grapple with the issues of safe water, some new technologies and processes have emerged. Electrolyzed water (E-water) has been found to be effective in eliminating food-borne pathogens. E-water is produced by applying an electrical current to a weak solution of water and salt, which produces a superacidic, “sanitized” water that contains powerful oxidants—although it doesn’t look, smell, or taste any different from tap water.        It can be used for hand washing and on food contact surfaces; to sanitize cutting boards, utensils, and more—even to sanitize raw foods, because of its power as a bacteria-killer.         E-water is especially easy to use because it doesn’t leave soapy residue on food contact surfaces, doesn’t have to be rinsed off, and works well on floors and stainless steel surfaces. Grease exhaust hood filters can be soaked in it overnight. In tests, less dish detergent was needed when E-water was used in the dish machines. Equipment to produce electrolyzed water is now in use in the foodservice industry, but the technology has not yet become cost-effective enough for home use.            Yet another technique has been developed for identifying hazardous particles in water. Laser beams are shot through a stream of water to check for microorganisms. They can detect anthrax, E. coli, or any other particle not previously identified in a particular water supply. Each type of microorganism looks different, and the lasers are precise enough to differentiate them.           So far, this type of system scans for live organisms (like bacteria) but still sees chemicals only as “unidentified” particles. It can also detect and report any type of increased particle activity. The newly patented technology can be used as part of security measures, to monitor water safety at large public events.          Whether it’s safety, flavor, or marketing, bottled water appears to have staying power and sales appeal in any foodservice setting. Bottled water accounts for 11.5 percent of the total nonalcoholic refreshment market, making it the second largest commercial beverage category in the United States, outdone only by soft drinks. Free of sugar, calories, and alcohol, it outsells beer, wine, juice, and coffee and is a beverage for all day-parts of a foodservice operation.             Most customers feel it enhances the dining experience when they are offered still or sparkling water by the bottle, and this tactic certainly increases check averages. Bottled water sales continue to grow in restaurant settings in fine-dining, casual, and quick-service operations. Water provides a sales opportunity every time a table is seated or before the next course arrives. Depending on the concept, a bottle of water can sell from $1.75 up, with a per-bottle profit margin of 7 percent or higher. Subway, for instance, sells about 22 million bottles a year at its 22,000 worldwide outlets; at a suggested selling price of $1.29 per bottle, it is the chain’s top-selling beverage.          Lately, the selling point is not necessarily the water but what is in it; line extensions now include a vast array of “enhancers.” We now have vitamin water, energy water, fitness water, and fruit water, all of them in various flavors and colors. If water is artificially flavored with passion fruit, sweetened with Splenda, and dyed green, is it still water? Some contend that these products are more like diet sodas without the carbonation; an increasing number of consumer groups are challenging the nutritional claims and asserting that the public is simply being duped into paying a high price for convenience. Flavors aside, it is true that those who purchase bottled water expecting it to be purer than tap water may be wasting their money. Legally, bottled water does not have to be any cleaner than tap water. The same Safe Drinking Water Act provisions cover it—and yet it costs, on average, 625 times more that what comes out of the tap.           The Green Guide, a consumer publication that serves as a watchdog for environmentally savvy consumption, generally frowns on bottled water of any kind. Its editorial view is that the safety and quality of tap water is better regulated than most bottled water and that the bottles themselves have created additional environmental problems. The demand for plastic water bottles consumes an estimated 1.5 billion barrels of oil a year, and about 30 million empty bottles a year end up in landfills. Researchers are working to mitigate these problems. In early 2006, a Colorado company launched the first water bottle made of a new kind of biodegradable plastic known as PLA, which is made from corn. First used for Biota spring water, the PLA containers are designed to break down at high temperatures when empty, making them not only biodegradable but also compostable.

Mineral water is exempt from the Safe Drinking Water Act, because it contains a higher mineral content than allowed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations.        “Manufactured” waters, such as club soda and seltzer, are also exempt from the act, because they are considered soft drinks. For other types of bottled water, however, the FDA now requires additional labeling on individual bottles to identify better the source of the water.            Common terms include:             Spring water. Collected as it flows naturally to the surface from an identified underground source or pumped through a bore hole from the spring source.             Artesian water. Tapped from a confirmed source before it flows to the surface Well water. Tapped from a drilled or bored hole in the ground.           Mineral water. Collected from a protected underground source; contains appreciable levels of minerals (at least 250 ppm of total undissolved solids).            Sparkling water. Contains the same level of carbon dioxide in the bottle as it does when it emerges from its source.           Purified (distilled) water. Produced by distillation, deionization, or reverse osmosis.          Buying and Using Water         Water is purchased much the same way we purchase electricity. A meter measures the number of gallons that enters the water system, either in cubic feet or in hundreds of gallons. The meter, which isn’t equipped to record the huge numbers used by most foodservice locations, will show a basic number. The meter reader takes that number and multiplies it by a constant figure, known as the constant multiplier. For instance, if the meter shows 1200 and the multiplier is 100, we have consumed 120,000 gallons.            When you turn on a sink in your kitchen, the water rushes out at 50 to 100 psi. This pressure is more than enough to get it from the city’s pipes into the building, which only takes up to 20 psi. The excess pressure is used to move water into numerous pipes throughout the facility. This is called the upfeed system of getting water. In fact, 50 to 100 psi is strong enough to supply water to the upstairs area of a building four to six stories high. If your facility is in a taller building than that, you will probably need water pumps to boost the pressure and flow.        Pumps can be used to increase water pressure; valves (called regulation valves) can be used to decrease it. Your goal is to control the water coming into your facility to avoid fluctuating pressure or an uneven flow rate. And whenever there’s a possibility that contaminated water could backflow into the potable water system, a backflow preventor should be installed. Backflow might occur whenever a piece of equipment, such as a commercial dishwasher, is capable of creating pressure that is greater than the incoming pressure of its supply line.       The segments of the typical upfeed system are:       Water meter. The device that records water consumption. It is the last point of the public water utility’s service. Anything on “your” side of the water meter, including all pipes and maintenance, is your responsibility, not the water company’s.             Service pipe. The main supply line between the meter and the building.             Fixture branch. A pipe that carries water to a single fixture. It can be vertical or horizontal and carry hot or cold water.           Riser. A vertical pipe that extends 20 or more feet. It can carry hot or cold water.          Fixtures. The devices (faucets, toilets, sinks) that allow the water to be used by guests and/or employees.             Hot-water heater. The tank used to heat and store hot water (discussed later in this article).           Pipes. The tubes that are fitted together to provide a system for water to travel through. They can be copper, brass, galvanized steel, or even plastic. Building codes determine what materials are acceptable for different uses. Copper is the most expensive type of pipe, but it’s considered easy and economical to work on. Plastic pipes are allowed only for limited, special uses. The most common type of plastic pipe is made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It is inexpensive, corrosion resistant, and has a long life, if you’re allowed to use it.

Mineral water is exempt from the Safe Drinking Water Act, because it contains a higher mineral content than allowed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations.        “Manufactured” waters, such as club soda and seltzer, are also exempt from the act, because they are considered soft drinks. For other types of bottled water, however, the FDA now requires additional labeling on individual bottles to identify better the source of the water.            Common terms include:             Spring water. Collected as it flows naturally to the surface from an identified underground source or pumped through a bore hole from the spring source.             Artesian water. Tapped from a confirmed source before it flows to the surface Well water. Tapped from a drilled or bored hole in the ground.           Mineral water. Collected from a protected underground source; contains appreciable levels of minerals (at least 250 ppm of total undissolved solids).            Sparkling water. Contains the same level of carbon dioxide in the bottle as it does when it emerges from its source.           Purified (distilled) water. Produced by distillation, deionization, or reverse osmosis.          Buying and Using Water         Water is purchased much the same way we purchase electricity. A meter measures the number of gallons that enters the water system, either in cubic feet or in hundreds of gallons. The meter, which isn’t equipped to record the huge numbers used by most foodservice locations, will show a basic number. The meter reader takes that number and multiplies it by a constant figure, known as the constant multiplier. For instance, if the meter shows 1200 and the multiplier is 100, we have consumed 120,000 gallons.            When you turn on a sink in your kitchen, the water rushes out at 50 to 100 psi. This pressure is more than enough to get it from the city’s pipes into the building, which only takes up to 20 psi. The excess pressure is used to move water into numerous pipes throughout the facility. This is called the upfeed system of getting water. In fact, 50 to 100 psi is strong enough to supply water to the upstairs area of a building four to six stories high. If your facility is in a taller building than that, you will probably need water pumps to boost the pressure and flow.        Pumps can be used to increase water pressure; valves (called regulation valves) can be used to decrease it. Your goal is to control the water coming into your facility to avoid fluctuating pressure or an uneven flow rate. And whenever there’s a possibility that contaminated water could backflow into the potable water system, a backflow preventor should be installed. Backflow might occur whenever a piece of equipment, such as a commercial dishwasher, is capable of creating pressure that is greater than the incoming pressure of its supply line.       The segments of the typical upfeed system are:       Water meter. The device that records water consumption. It is the last point of the public water utility’s service. Anything on “your” side of the water meter, including all pipes and maintenance, is your responsibility, not the water company’s.             Service pipe. The main supply line between the meter and the building.             Fixture branch. A pipe that carries water to a single fixture. It can be vertical or horizontal and carry hot or cold water.           Riser. A vertical pipe that extends 20 or more feet. It can carry hot or cold water.          Fixtures. The devices (faucets, toilets, sinks) that allow the water to be used by guests and/or employees.             Hot-water heater. The tank used to heat and store hot water (discussed later in this article).           Pipes. The tubes that are fitted together to provide a system for water to travel through. They can be copper, brass, galvanized steel, or even plastic. Building codes determine what materials are acceptable for different uses. Copper is the most expensive type of pipe, but it’s considered easy and economical to work on. Plastic pipes are allowed only for limited, special uses. The most common type of plastic pipe is made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It is inexpensive, corrosion resistant, and has a long life, if you’re allowed to use it.

Fittings. The joints of the pipe system. They fit onto the ends of pipes, allowing them to make turns and to connect to each other and to other appliances or fixtures. Some of their names describe their shapes, and the most popular fittings include the bushing, cap, coupling, elbow, plug, and tee. Some fittings have threads (either internal or external) to be screwed into place; others are compression type (see Illustration 6-14).ILLUSTRATION 6-14 Examples of the most  common pipe fittings. Fittings allow pipes to connect and bend.IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012022HdGs.gif)Valves. Valves control water flow, and are made of brass, copper, or cast iron. Use of the correct valve minimizes plumbing problems. Gate valves are used to vary water flow and allow water to go in either direction. Check valves allow water to flow only one way. They are marked with an arrow indicating the direction of flow. Safety valves are spring-loaded valves that are operated by temperature or water pressure, to relieve excess pressure if they sense a buildup.          Reading Water Meters and Bills          Like gas, water consumption is usually measured in cubic feet, but occasionally you will see a meter that measures in gallons. If so, that will be printed on the meter. There are two common faces on these meters: One has a simple readout in the center that indicates the number of cubic feet that have been used (see Illustration 6-15A). The hand that makes its way around the dial is used only to indicate that water is flowing through the meter.ILLUSTRATION 6-15 Two different types of water meters: (A) a simple readout meter.IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_2010061023012025QEVk.gif)

The other type of meter has a series of small dials, which are read like gas and/or electric meter dials. The 1- foot dial is not part of the reading; it only indicates whether water is flowing through the meter. Start your reading with the 10-foot dial (see Illustration 6-15B).ILLUSTRATION 6-15 Two different types of water meters: (B) a dial meter.IMAGE(https://hotelmule.com/hmattachments/26_201006102301204hDog.gif)There will be several different charges on your water bill. General use is billed at a flat rate for every 1000 gallons you use. However, there’s also a charge for sewer services, also billed in 1000-gallon increments. You can often get a small break on your bill by paying early. In some cities, there may also be a variety of nonmetered charges, including a fee for maintaining your town’s firefighting equipment, a water line repair service fee (“leak insurance”), or a water treatment or “water quality” fee. Illustration 6-16 is a sample water bill.        You might ask your utility company if your business can install a submeter, a separate meter to track water that does not go into the sewer. Use of a submeter is not common, but it allows you to subtract the submeter count from your total gallons used and, therefore, pay less for your sewer bill. A resort hotel, for example, uses water to fill its swimming pools or irrigate a golf course—uses that do not flush water into the sewer system.          Also be aware that you aren’t just paying for water; you’re also paying to rid your restaurant of water and waste. It is common for the water utility to assume that all water used by your restaurant is discharged as sewage and to charge you accordingly. However, not all the water you use ends up in the sewer system. Ask your utility company to help you determine what percentage of water you buy actually reaches the sewer and to adjust your bill accordingly.               Water Conservation            All our best efforts aside, Americans still use 35 billion gallons of water a day. Restrooms, kitchens, and landscaping are the three most waterintensive areas, and most restaurants have all three! You may be surprised at how many water utility companies offer water conservation tips, often on Internet sites. There is a mountain of information out there for the restaurateur who wants to train employees to practice conservation. Most suggestions are simply common sense; a few are truly inventive. Some of the ones that follow were adapted from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority in Boston.            KITCHEN AND SERVICE AREAS        Turn off the “continuous flow” feature of drain trays on coffee/milk/soda beverage islands. Clean them thoroughly, as needed.

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