Sep 8, 2009|
The second part of When Should I Call A Technician? originally published in the Q1 2009 edition of Tea Coffee Asia. The article was written by Alan Brewer, BUNN Director of Technical Education, who works with Dr. Brew and the rest of the BUNN team to help you brew great coffee.

Avoiding a repair in the first place

There are several steps you can take to reduce the amount of service that your beverage equipment needs. Preventive maintenance is vital and the manufacturer's website is a great resource for preventive maintenance for your beverage equipment.

Coffee and tea beverage equipment is
probably the easiest to maintain and has the lowest number of service issues. That's because this equipment is basically a hot water delivery system. For coffee brewing equipment, preventive maintenance means replacing the spray head and using the deliming spring (in the case of BUNN equipment) to clean the lime deposits periodically to prevent blockages in and service issues. A digital machine will allow you to adjust the temperature as well.

A machine that dispenses powered beverages may have more service issues, because of the sugared product for flavored coffees, hot chocolate, and cappuccino. Because the hoppers in the machine need to be refilled periodically, hopper misalignment and product spills inside the machine could cause a clog. This may seem like a service issue, but the machine might just need to be cleaned. So be sure to follow the care and cleaning instructions carefully, and perform the daily rinses as directed.

If you have a grinder, you may notice problems with the volume or amount of coffee ground. If you follow the recommended preventive maintenance steps, you may discover that most
of the adjustments to solve these issues can be performed by unskilled labor.

Granita machines have their own set of problems, because the air filters on these units must be kept clean. It's simple: if you don't clean the filter, the product won't freeze. And because granita machines dispense sugared product, they need to be well lubricated to prevent sugar build up on the parts that will cause leaks and drips. Daily cleaning and regular lubrication are vital along with periodic cleaning of the air filter on the machine.

Another problem I see frequently with granita machines is related to inadequate mixing of the beverage liquid product which results in incorrect sugar content. Called “brix,” the sugar content of the product controls whether or not it will freeze. If the product won't freeze, you may think the beverage equipment nee
ds service, but actually, the product may not be mixed correctly.

Know your equipment

It's important to know your equipment. If one staff person is aware of equipment quirks, you may be able to avoid a service call. Many service calls come from people who have made a simple error or assume that the equipment will work at this location in the same way it works somewhere else.

Language barriers may also pose a problem, but usually, the manufacturer’s home office can address this. If you have a question or concern, call the manufacturer. Often they will be able to help you. The rule of thumb for service or preventive maintenance is asking the question "Am I comfortable performing this procedure?" If you have exceeded your comfort level, call a technician. But be aware that whether it's a simple brush up, a service issue or cleaning, you will be paying service technician prices. Many people don't want to pay for a service technician to come out and clean the machine.

Follow these simple steps and you and your customers can be sure of a great beverage experience -- every time!

Happy Brewing!

Dr. Brew


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