Commercial Kitchen Water Filters Buying Guide

Commercial Kitchen Water Filters Buying Guide

Everything you need to know about water filters, including why you need them, what kitchen equipment uses them, and how easy they are to replace.

Have you ever had a glass of water or bit into an ice cube that just tasted, off?


You may have heard about water filters before, and you might even have a water filter installed in your home right now. In fact, more than four out of ten Americans use a home water treatment unit. Water filters do more than just improve the taste of your beverage, they also help separate and remove potentially harmful minerals and deposits from being ingested; the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets and enforces national standards for tap water provided by public systems because of health concerns.

A water filter is a unit designed to remove harmful contaminants from water. In its simplest form, a water filter is a simple screen with many microscopic holes that help catch harmful bacteria and minerals as water passes through. Some of these contaminants include:

  • Giardia lamblia
  • Viruses
  • Arsenic
  • Lead
  • Nitrates
  • Radium
  • Radon
  • Pesticides

Not only do these contaminants affect the flavor of your food, but they also affect the longevity of your machine. Kitchen equipment like coffee machines, ice machines and steam tables utilize water regularly in their operations, and over time the minerals found in water (like calcium) will buildup in the tubing and around the heating elements of your machine. Result? Your very expensive equipment requires an additional (and very expensive) service call, or in the worst case scenario, you’re footing the bill for a new piece of equipment altogether.

Lucky for you, water filters are a relatively inexpensive purchase that will save you big in the long run.

Sediment Filters

Often found in homes, sediment filters help remove larger particles from the water. These filters keep the flow moving inside your equipment, preventing blockages in strainers and valves from unwanted buildup.

Carbon Filters

Carbon filters work by utilizing a bed of activated carbon to remove contaminants and impurities. Through a process called “adsorption,” impurities are trapped inside the pore structure of the carbon. Though effective for removing things like chlorine, sediments, taste and odor from water, these kinds of filters are not effective at removing minerals, salts and dissolved inorganic compounds.

Reverse Osmosis

Perhaps one of the most well-known and effective water purification systems, reverse osmosis works by forcing water to an area of higher concentration across a membrane which traps most contaminants. Though reverse osmosis units use around three times as much water as they treat, this filtration method is highly effective at eliminating contaminants from the water.

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Don’t let the initial cost of a water filter prevent you from regularly changing it. When you consider how much fresh water makes an impact on the quality of your product and the longevity of your machine, you’ll soon realize that there are several reasons you’ll want to change your water filter regularly. Plus, fewer breakdowns = fewer service calls, saving you big bucks in the long run.

Taste

Have you tried the tap water in different areas and thought it tasted differently? It’s not just in your head. Geography plays a large role in the types of minerals found in your local tap water, and visitors from out of town will definitely notice a difference. Ensure that the ice and water used in beverages like coffee and blended drinks has been adequately cleared of contaminants for consistently delicious drinks every time.

Efficiency

Water filters keep tubing and valves clear of sediment and other mineral buildup that your equipment would otherwise have to regularly combat in order to function properly. When you remove these obstacles, your machine is free to do what it’s supposed to do.

Longevity

Restaurant equipment is expensive, and part of keeping costs low is to get the most use out of your equipment as possible. Much like an oil change for your car, regularly replacing the water filters on your equipment ensures that all of its interior mechanisms are operating smoothly. Without proper care and maintenance, you could be facing regular (and costly) calls to service technicians. Worst case scenario? You’re footing the bill for a new piece of equipment as well.

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You’ve probably see water filters made for homes, including pitchers with filtration systems or more elaborate residential setups. However, you might be surprised to know that a lot of equipment in your commercial kitchen already utilizes water filters.

Ice Machines

It’d be tough to run a restaurant without a regular supply of ice on hand—how else would you be able to serve a cold or refreshing cocktail? Water filters not only keep your ice tasting free and clear of contaminants, but they also block mineral deposits from collecting inside of the machine. Over time, sediments can clog interior tubing and valves in addition to wearing down parts like pumps and seals. A clean machine means fewer breakdowns, saving you from calling in expensive service technicians.

Steam Equipment

Your steam equipment sees a lot of daily wear and tear. Regular moisture buildup in steam equipment is prone to sediment buildup that not only affects the taste and odor of your food, but also the longevity of your machine. Water filters help remove contaminants from your water to produce cleaner, purer steam to prevent any calcification buildup so your machine works better and longer.

Coffee, Espresso, Tea Brewers

A good cup of coffee starts with two important components: filtered water and high quality coffee beans. Ensuring your coffee maker has a working water filter is clear for preventing minerals from affecting the flavor of your coffee. Not only that, excess sediments can glob spray heads in the brew basket, affecting the performance and taste of your coffee. Prevent scale buildup in your coffee maker’s tubing to ensure a long-lasting machine that produces high quality beverages your customers love.

Beverage Machine

Filtered water makes a difference when it comes to the flavor and taste of soft drinks and other beverages. Not only that, water filters remove sediments and prevent the buildup of other minerals that could affect the energy efficiency of your machine, and consequently it’s longevity as well.

On average you’ll need to replace your water filter every 6 months. Why? The surface area of the filter becomes full, thereby rendering it useless when it comes time to remove bacteria and other contaminants from your water. When determining how often to change your water filter, you should also considering the following:

Geography

Travel across the country and you may or may not notice subtle differences in the taste of the tap water. Why? Geography plays a big role in determining what mineral deposits might be in the tap water. For example, certain regions might have water that is higher in mineral content (known as “Hard water”), and it’s important to adequately filter your water to avoid any adverse effects on your equipment.

Equipment

Take an inventory of your equipment. Do you have equipment like coffee makers, steam tables, ice machines and more? Any equipment that has a water line most likely utilizes a water filter.

Type of Restaurant

Do you specialize in serving breakfast all day long? If so, your coffee maker is probably on for several hours a day. Or maybe your restaurant has a bustling night life, and you utilize a lot of ice during the night shift. Identify the needs (and demands) of your restaurant and consider if you need to replace your water filters more regularly.

Do It Yourself (DIY)

The best part about water filters is that they’re easy to replace, which means you or anyone else on your staff can easily get the job done. The more empowered you become at overseeing the maintenance of your equipment, the more you’ll save by reducing those service technician calls.

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