Best Commercial Dishwashers: Buyer’s Guide

buyer's guides

Buying a commercial dishwasher and wondering what the best commercial dishwasher is on the Canadian market? This buying guide for commercial dishwashers outlines the different dishwasher models, common terms you will hear, and details some of the popular commercial dishwashers in Canada.

Purchasing a commercial dishwasher is a major decision for any restaurant owner. Your restaurant dishwasher needs to be able to keep up with your turnover, be compatible with your space, and provide clean and sanitized dishware. Before even starting to browse online, or stepping foot into a retail store, understanding the basics of commercial dishwashers for your restaurant is essential.

This guide is designed to help you understand which dishwasher is best for your venue and what you can expect to spend on a dishwasher for your establishment. Every operation is different and their needs differ, so while this guide is aimed at helping you figure out what to look out for when shopping around for a dishwasher, you may also wish to speak to a professional consultant who can discuss your needs and point you in the right direction.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at SilverChef if you have any questions about how to buy, rent, or lease a commercial dishwasher.

Here’s what we cover in our Canadian commercial dishwasher buyer's guide for 2020

  • Types of commercial dishwashers
  • Commercial dishwasher terminology
  • What are the main things to consider when buying a commercial dishwasher?
  • Some of the best commercial dishwasher brands
  • Top questions to ask before you buy a commercial dishwasher
  • Commercial dishwasher FAQ


Types of commercial dishwashers

What is a conveyor commercial dishwasher?

Conveyor commercial dishwashers consist of a midsection with a conveyor belt on either side. Dirty dishes enter on the conveyor belt, going through the midsection where they are washed - like a carwash but for your dishware. Conveyor dishwashers are the largest type of dishwasher, taking up the most amount of real estate, and can work left to right or right to left. A conveyor dishwasher will clean the largest amount of dishes at once, roughly 200 racks per hour, making it ideal for large venues with a high turnover like a banquet hall. Most models feature a drying function so dishes are able to be used right away.

Conveyor Dishwasher


What is a door-type commercial dishwasher or pass-through commercial dishwasher?

A pass-through commercial dishwasher has a large hood in the middle with a door that springs open to slide dishes in and out. A pass-through dishwasher may also be a door-type dishwasher; a door-type dishwasher won’t allow dishes to ‘pass through’ but will contain a door; this is the entryway for both clean and dirty dishes. Some pass-through or door-type dishwashers will automatically start their cycle when the hood or door closes and will open when the cycle is complete.

This model is smaller than the conveyor dishwasher but larger than an undercounter dishwasher (learn more about this below). A pass-through dishwasher can wash one rack at a time and is rated for approximately 63 racks an hour. This type of commercial dishwasher may be more user-friendly for employees as they won’t have to continually bend down as they would with an undercounter dishwasher.

What is an undercounter commercial dishwasher?

Undercounter commercial dishwashers have a smaller capacity, whereas the conveyor dishwashers would have the largest capacity. They are a good choice for smaller kitchens or bars that don’t have a particularly high turnover. An undercounter dishwasher will fit underneath most counters but you should be sure to confirm dimensions. Undercounter commercial dishwashers resemble a dishwasher you may have at home, with a single door on the front, but will come in both high and low-temperature varieties. They typically only have one rack and can wash 20 - 45 racks per hour.

Undercounter Dishwasher


What is a commercial glasswasher?

An establishment that goes through a large amount of glassware, like a winery or bar may wish to invest in a commercial glasswasher. Glasswashers will come in both high and low-temperature options but utilize low-pressure water to help reduce chips in the glass. You can find carousel or undercounter glass dishwashers. A carousel model might be handy for bars that require a constant output of glasses.

Commercial dishwasher terminology

Knowing the popular terms used for dishwashers is useful when shopping around for commercial dishwashers, or when doing your research. Familiarize yourself with the terminology so that you can easily comprehend the lingo and jargon and find the best dishwasher for your venue.

Warewashing: You may hear the term ‘warewasher’ and be confused as to how it differs or compares to the term 'dishwasher'. Warewashing and dishwashing are actually interchangeable terms.

Cycle: The cycle is the time your dishwasher takes from start to finish and the different functions involved, e.g. rinsing, washing, and drying dishes and glasses. A commercial dishwasher cycle can be as quick as 60 seconds and up to 10 minutes.

Rack: Racks are stacked with plates, bowls, cutlery, and other dirty dishes to be loaded into your commercial dishwasher. You will notice dishwasher user guides refer to how many racks can be washed in an hour, rather than individual dishes. This is because the number of dishes you have on a rack will fluctuate.

Filter: Your commercial dishwasher’s filter is designed to trap food particles, however, you should be ensuring everything that goes into the dishwasher is well rinsed beforehand. Think of the purpose of the dishwasher as more about sterilizing, than removing food. Your staff should keep an eye on the dishwasher filter and make sure it is always empty and clean.

Capacity: The capacity represents the number of wares that the dishwasher can clean and dry in a cycle.

Wash/rinse arms (or sprayer arms): ‘Arms’ in a dishwasher rotate during the washing cycle. Water is pumped into the sprayer arms, allowing it to reach all areas in the interior of the dishwasher.

Water hardness: Water hardness is measured by the concentration of hardness components (calcium and magnesium ions) in the water. Achieving clean dishes is more difficult with harder water which means that you will need to employ a water softener. Hard water can also lead to limescale buildup in your dishwasher.

Wash curtain: Conveyor dishwashers may have a wash curtain at the entrance/exit that prevents water from splashing out.

Chemical dispenser: Many commercial dishwashers will have a built-in dispenser for cleaning chemicals so you do not have to constantly top up the supply.

Dishwasher chemicals: Commercial dishwashers use chemicals to ensure dishes are properly cleaned. Chemicals are used to sanitize and clean dishes, especially in low temperatures that would not naturally sanitize dishes.


 "Dishwashers can remove greater than 99.9% of the bacteria with the removal of food residue and other soil".


What are the main things to consider when buying a commercial dishwasher?

There’s a multitude of commercial dishwashers for sale but going into the purchasing process blind can be overwhelming and confusing for many. An operator looking into purchasing a commercial dishwasher should come to a retailer prepared with questions and know what the determining factors of commercial dishwashers are, and how they factor into their venue. Here are the main things to consider when buying a commercial dishwasher:

Size and weight


Knowing what space you have to dedicate to a commercial dishwasher in a restaurant or kitchen is one of the biggest factors in determining which type of dishwasher you want to buy. If you’re renovating or moving into a new space, you may have the opportunity to design your restaurant/kitchen or venue and fit it for the dishwasher you’re buying. However, those moving into an existing kitchen or venue will need to work around what already is in place.

A conveyor dishwasher is a powerful model, but it will take up a large amount of space. The fact that it washes 200 racks an hour may seem like an advantage, but it really only makes sense if you have the space for such a large dishwasher and if you need to wash that many dishes an hour.

A pass-through commercial dishwasher will also require a relatively large amount of space, as you need space on either side of the midsection for cleaning. You also need to take into account clearance; the amount of space above the pass-through dishwasher, as you will need to be able to lift the door to slide dishes in and out.

An undercounter commercial dishwasher is one of the more space-friendly options and should fit under most standard counter heights, but it’s recommended to double-check the height to be certain that it will fit properly. You should also be sure that there is adequate room for hoses and drainage.


Low temperature or high temperature

If your establishment is using your dishware to serve guests, you will need to ensure that your commercial dishwasher is properly washing, and sanitizing your dishes. In order to properly sanitize, your commercial dishwasher needs to be high in temperature. A high-temperature commercial dishwasher is heated up to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. A high-temperature model does not need to employ chemicals to sanitize and should be better for cleaning off fat and grease; so depending on what your operation is cooking with, it might be a good fit. If you are going to go forward with a high-temperature commercial dishwasher, inquire about the need for a condensate hood. Be aware that a condensate hood will add to the upfront cost and the footprint of the dishwasher.

A low-temperature dishwasher only reaches a temperature of 120 - 140 degrees Fahrenheit so the water does not get hot enough to sanitize. A low-temperature dishwasher costs less to operate, but will not clean off grease as well as a high-temperature model. If you have a low-temperature dishwasher and need to sanitize dishes, you will require a chemical additive.




Commercial dishwashers use more power than your dishwasher at home and one of the biggest considerations to take into account is your electrical map for your venue. Know how much power you have available, and what power is required for your dishwasher as it may be necessary to upgrade your electrical map. You will also need to confirm where you are placing your commercial dishwasher so you know if you can easily connect your dishwasher to a power source.


Water use

Sustainability is an increasingly important factor for many Canadian operators when buying a commercial dishwasher for foodservice and hospitality. You might want to seek out a high-efficiency commercial dishwasher and do research on how installing a high-efficiency model will affect your bottom line. Some high-efficiency models have a higher upfront cost, but will allow you to save on your water or electricity bill, ultimately saving you money in the long run. Look for the ENERGY STAR® certified symbol on commercial dishwashers which can help save up to 25 per cent on water and energy consumption.


Cycle time

As mentioned above, the cycle time for a commercial dishwasher is the time it takes for an entire session of washing/rinsing/drying. You should have an idea of how quickly you will need clean dishes throughout your operations. The average cycle time for a commercial dishwasher is between 90 - 120 seconds. Some dishwashers may have light and heavy cycle options to better clean a variety of dishes. When buying a commercial dishwasher, be sure to have a good idea of how your kitchen works and how quickly you will need dishes. For a busy kitchen, waiting even a minute can cause a bottleneck.



The capacity represents the number of wares that your commercial dishwasher can clean and dry in a cycle. The capacity varies by dishwasher model; a conveyor commercial dishwasher will have the largest capacity and an undercounter commercial dishwasher would have the smallest capacity. Before buying a commercial dishwasher, know how busy your operation is, and how fast you will go through dishes.

Capacity is measured by racks, and most retailers will speak to how many racks per hour a commercial dishwasher can go through. By knowing how many racks a dishwasher can go through an hour, and knowing how many dishes can fit into a single rack, you can then figure out how many dishes a dishwasher can wash an hour. It should be noted that different types of dishes will take up more or less space and the cycle may differ.

An undercounter commercial dishwasher can wash between 20 and 45 racks per hour and are a better fit for smaller operations with a limited amount of dishes. A bar can also use an undercounter dishwasher for glasses in place of a commercial glasswasher.

Dishwasher Stacked

A pass-through or door-type commercial dishwasher will be rated for up to 108 racks an hour and an average pass-through or door-type commercial dishwasher will wash 63 racks an hour. A conveyor commercial dishwasher is best for large, high turnover venues and is designed to wash anywhere from 200 - 287 racks per hour.


Water quality

Different areas of Canada have different water quality. Your area may have harder or softer water; hard water has minerals (magnesium and calcium) that cause build-up in your dishwasher (causing limescale) and can affect the cleanliness of your dishes. It’s crucial to go into the purchasing process knowing what type of water your venue has as this will help you know whether or not you need to add a water softener to your dishwasher. You may also opt for a commercial dishwasher with a built-in (or integrated) water softener. It’s also important to do your research before buying as it can help you anticipate future cleaning or maintenance needs for your commercial dishwasher.


Chemical dispensers

As previously mentioned, if your dishwasher is a low-temperature model and you wish to sanitize your wares, you will need to add chemicals to your washing procedure. If you’ll be adding chemicals to your commercial dishwasher, check that the model you are purchasing has a dispenser so you are not having to constantly top up.


Water pressure

Water pressure is an equally significant part of a well-functioning commercial dishwasher. 20 psi is considered to be sufficient water pressure for most commercial dishwashers. If your water pressure is over 25 psi, your dishwasher may be overusing water. You can install a pressure gauge on the inlet water line to the dishwasher to measure and control pressure.



Rule of thumb, your dishwasher will be needed to be vented directly into the floor drain. Water leaving your dishwasher goes through your drain and when installing a commercial dishwasher, or renovating to install, you should take into consideration where your floor drain is, and whether or not, you require a sump pump to push through water. Most importantly, commercial dishwashers in Canada need to meet the provincial or municipal guidelines and codes. For example, in Ontario, The Building Code Act and Building Code prescribe mandatory standards for building construction, including building, plumbing, drainage and private sewer systems and on-site sewage disposal systems. Check the manufacturers specs regarding backwater valves as well. When the dishwasher drains, it may push large quantities of water through the pipes, you will not want backing up to other areas or causing floods.



Working in a kitchen or restaurant can be hard on your body; employees are on their feet for long shifts and consistently bending over can take its toll. The ergonomics are something to consider when buying a commercial dishwasher. An undercounter dishwasher is space-saving, but having to always reach down throughout a shift might be tough. Pass-through dishwashers that have a hood may be too heavy for some to lift; so it’s a smart idea to think about hoods that lift automatically or that are lighter.


Commercial dishwasher cleaning

Also know how to best clean your machine when you purchase it. What will be required of your staff? And how difficult might it be for them to learn or for you to train?

Your commercial dishwashers will come with instructions on how to accurately clean your dishwasher, but you should have a high-level idea of the features that will need cleaning in your commercial dishwasher. Commercial dishwashers have removable wash and rinse arms with nozzles. Nozzles can get clogged by limescale or food scraps. Nozzles should be cleared out so water can properly circulate and dishes can be suitably cleaned.

A commercial dishwasher pumping in water from a tank uses the water for cleaning and sanitizing dishes. Tank water will become dirtier as time goes on, and you continue to wash dirty dishes. Be sure to change out your tank water regularly.

As mentioned, limescale (caused by mineral buildup due to hard water) can lead to your dishwasher not running as well. You can leverage water softener, but you should also descale your dishwasher often. Additionally, be aware that both the interior and exterior of the dishwasher should be cleaned carefully. Within the interior of your commercial dishwasher, be sure to clean out the filter. The filter will prevent large food pieces from clogging a drain and needs to be cleared out if you start to notice food chunks at the end of a cycle. You may want to keep your dishwasher open when not in use as well. Keeping the door open can reduce humidity, avoiding bacteria build-up.


Commercial dishwasher warranty and maintenance

When buying a commercial dishwasher, speak to your dealer or retailer to understand what type of warranty is included, and part replacement or commercial dishwasher repair is covered. Many manufacturer warranties for commercial dishwashers will cover normal wear and tear over time on parts but won’t cover things like limescale, or damage from misuse.

If parts do break down, whether from misuse or wear and tear, are these parts easily replaceable and easy to acquire? If you are required to pay for this part, what would the cost look like? If the parts for your commercial dishwasher are not easy to come by, this may factor into your purchasing decision.

Is there a maintenance professional nearby who can repair your commercial dishwasher, and can the dealer or vendor recommend one? Having a professional in your city in Canada that can be available quickly to fix your machine is vital to ensuring seamless foodservice or hospitality operations.

Of course, to avoid costly commercial dishwasher repairs in the future, it’s always best to keep your dishwasher in optimal condition. All dishes should be rinsed and free from food particles prior to using the dishwasher. Your commercial dishwasher is meant to clean and sanitize and rinsing first means that you will protect your investment. This will further the longevity and functionality of the dishwasher. It's also best to follow the manufacturer recommendations for cleaning and servicing your dishwasher. Especially if you are in an area with hard water or older pipes.


What accessories will you need?

In some cases, you may need to or want to purchase additional accessories for your commercial dishwasher.


Grease traps

Some Canadian cities require that you have a grease trap in addition to your commercial dishwasher. These grease trapping machines allow you to ‘trap’ grease, fats, and oil when washing your dishes. When buying a grease trap, you should consider the capacity and ‘gallons per minute’ (or GPM). You will also want to speak to a dealer or retailer about what material to use for the grease trap. Plastic grease traps are lighter and won’t rust, but a metal grease trap may be a better fit if your kitchen will be dealing with a large amount of grease.


Food waste disposer

Operators may wish to invest in a food waste disposer. Staff will clean dishes from food pieces before putting them into a dishwasher and a food waste disposer can be beneficial to ensure that food waste is broken down into minute pieces to easily integrate into the sewage system.


Dish tables

Clean and soiled dish tables (for clean and dirty dishes) can be added to your commercial dishwashing set up in your kitchen to give staff room to clear away food, place bus tubs, or organize wares.


Glass and flatware racks

As you know by now, you will hear ‘racks per hour’ as a way to judge capacity for a commercial dishwasher. Your dishes should be loaded onto a rack to be sure they get thorough and safe cleaning. You may wish to find a glass rack to keep your delicate glassware from getting broken or chipped in your dishwasher and flatware racks help to keep your utensils organized and contained in one spot.


Commercial dishwasher drain hose

Your commercial dishwasher will have a hose in order to drain out water. Be sure that your hose does not have any kinks in it, to prevent water from backing up and overflowing.


Leasing vs. buying a commercial dishwasher

High-end commercial dishwashers for sale in Canada, and especially a conveyor variety can cost you up to (or even over) $100,000. For some operators, leasing foodservice equipment can be a viable option, making it more economically friendly for them, especially if opening up a new restaurant or venue.

Instead of paying out a large lump sum at once, foodservice and hospitality operators can choose to pay out a weekly or monthly sum, which allows them to have access to the equipment without the initial upfront cost.


Used (or second-hand) commercial dishwashers

If purchasing a brand new commercial dishwasher isn’t on the cards for you, buying a used commercial dishwasher can be a more feasible option. Purchasing a used commercial dishwasher is more cost-efficient, but buyers should be wary of where they are buying a second-hand machine. Buying a second-hand dishwasher from a site like Craigslist or Kijiji can be risky. Buying used, you may not be able to get an idea of the machine’s history. You may not get an accurate answer as to how corroded or damaged the machine is from the seller and you might not know what their water is like, or what chemicals or cleaning supplies they have used in the past.

A better alternative is to browse SilverChef’s Certified Used commercial kitchen equipment. SilverChef's range of second-hand commercial kitchen equipment can help you control fixed costs while delivering a high-quality product. By investing in quality used commercial kitchen equipment, you free up your budget to spend on other aspects of your business. Additionally, all of the Certified Used Equipment is eligible for SilverChef’s flexible finance solution - Rent-Try-Buy®.


'A conveyor dishwasher can wash up to 200 racks per hour, a hood dishwasher can handle approximately 70 racks per hour and a commercial under bench dishwasher will clean about 20 racks per hour.' 


Some of the best commercial dishwasher brands 

Wondering what some of the best commercial dishwasher brands are for foodservice or hospitality operations? There are many different models and varieties of commercial dishwashers for sale, but for most operators, price is one of the biggest elements in deciding to purchase a dishwasher. Review this list of a few trusted and recommended brands, broken down by price range.


High-end commercial dishwashers

High-end commercial dishwashers may cost more than other models due to the size or temperature. Or, they may be more expensive because they are sustainable models that offer quality and consistent cleaning while being efficient with water and energy use. If opting for a high-end model, it may be a smart idea to look into leasing or used dishwasher alternatives.


Hobart commercial dishwashers pros and cons

Hobart Dishwasher

The vast majority of Hobart’s commercial dishwashers are ENERGY STAR® certified and reputed to be technologically advanced and dependable machines. Hobart has been in business for over 100 years and has headquarters across Canada. Their conveyor commercial dishwashers have the capacity to wash over 200 racks an hour, but they are one of the pricier brands in the industry.


Stero commercial dishwashers pros and cons

Stero is part of the Hobart brand, and offers door-type commercial dishwashers, glasswashers, pot, pan, and utensil dishwashers, as well as undercounter commercial dishwashers. Stero’s high quality, durable and efficient equipment is an investment that will work for you for years to come. Stero sets the standard for rugged construction while maintaining its simplistic operations.


Meiko commercial dishwashers pros and cons

Meiko is a German manufacturer and its commercial dishwashers aim to blend eco-friendliness, sleek design, and technology together. Meiko specializes in dishwashing equipment for a number of industries. Meiko back their dishwashers with a year-long warranty from installation or an 18-month warranty from the date of purchase.


Electrolux commercial dishwashers pros and cons

While a more expensive option, Electrolux commercial dishwashers offer many ENERGY STAR® certified products and the majority of their units are 98 per cent recyclable by weight. Electrolux has a diverse product range including glasswashers, undercounter, pass-through type, utensil washers, and conveyor dishwashers.


Champion-Moyer Diebel commercial dishwashers pros and cons

Champion-Moyer Diebel consists of two brands: Champion and Moyer Diebel. Both trusted and well-known commercial dishwasher brands in the restaurant and hospitality industry. They offer high production operations the efficiency they need. They are well-known for their commercial glasswashers. Some of their dishwashers may feature StemSure™, a soft start to protect glasses and dishes from chipping and breaking.


Mid-range commercial dishwashers

Mid-range commercial dishwashers may be the perfect fit for a smaller restaurant or kitchen that isn’t overwhelmed with a massive amount of pots and pans.


CMA commercial dishwashers pros and cons

CMA Dishmachines produces both high-temperature and low-temperature chemical sanitizing dishwashers and commercial glasswashers. CMA is committed to the design, engineering, and manufacturing of high-quality equipment, producing sparkling clean and sanitized dishes and glassware.


Jackson commercial dishwasher pros and cons

For over 80 years, Jackson Warewashing Systems has aimed to create innovative solutions to dishwashing in commercial kitchens. Jackson's commercial glasswashers and dishwashers are designed for high-volume use; this is something to be aware of as even the smaller units are capable of taking in large quantities of glasses or even whole glass racks. They tout that they even provide a wide array of replacement parts and add-on accessories for their products.


Jet Tech commercial dishwasher pros and cons

Jet Tech’s dishwashers are known to be fast but tend to have strong water pressure. As such, you may not find them to be ideal for delicate glassware. However, if your operations deal with many greasy and heavily-soiled pots and pans, they might be a good recourse. Jet Tech commercial dishwashers are said to have a long life, though some users have mentioned that they can be more challenging to get a hang of and may drain slower than other commercial dishwasher models.


Dihr commercial dishwasher pros and cons

Dihr exports commercial dishwashers to 95 countries worldwide, including Canada with 70 different commercial brands. Dihr emphasizes reduced energy consumption through advanced technology for a minimal environmental impact. With a range of models, Dihr is suitable for a multitude of venues including airports, fast food restaurants, and hotels. Every machine goes through strict quality tests before being ready to be sold.


Fagor commercial dishwasher pros and cons

Fagor manufactures foodservice and restaurant equipment including commercial glasswashers, undercounter dishwashers, and pass-through, ‘hood-type’ dishwashers. Their range of dishwashers is comprehensive, from small glasswashers for bars, cafes or small restaurants to high capacity dishwashers. Fagor’s E-VO Generation line offers all the benefits and features of the high-end ranges, but for all market segments, from the lowest to the highest.


Entry-level commercial dishwashers

Entry-level commercial dishwashers may be a solution for a smaller venue, a venue with dishes that will not be serving the public, or those on a budget.



With experience, quality, and reliability, Krupps Dishwashers are a solid choice for those looking for an entry-level dishwasher. Krupps commercial dishwashers provide energy-saving models and lower water and detergent consumption at a very reasonable price.



Lamber hails from Italy but their commercial dishwashers are used and shipped across Canada. It’s a dependable, cost-efficient brand with quality commercial dishwashers making it a safe bet.


Omcan commercial dishwasher pros and cons

Omcan is one of Canada's largest restaurant equipment manufacturers and is an affordable alternative. Some units will come with a built-in booster tank so additional chemicals are not needed. Some models will come with a pump to help drain out water and most dishwashers should include a year-long warranty.


"Avoid buying a dishwasher that isn’t the right volume for your kitchen. Too large and it will be sitting empty all day, or doing half-full cycles, which are a waste of money. Too small and the flow of service will be interrupted while staff wait for plates, pots and utensils to be cleaned."


Top questions to ask before you buy a commercial dishwasher

As an operator, you should start looking for commercial dishwashers for sale by asking yourself the following questions when thinking about buying a commercial dishwasher: ‘How will it benefit my business?’, ‘What are my needs?’, and ‘What am I looking for?’.

Once you’ve settled these questions for yourself, you should prep a list of questions for your retailer or vendor. Industry acquaintances may have opinions on what dishwasher you should buy, but try to limit yourself to reaching out and asking questions to reputable Canadian dealers and trusted allies.

Here are a few questions on commercial dishwashers to start asking trustworthy foodservice and hospitality industry peers and friends:

  • Which commercial dishwasher brand did you choose and why?
  • Do you and your staff find your dishwasher to be user-friendly?
  • Has your dishwasher broken down before? When was the last time your commercial dishwasher was repaired?
  • Is it easy to get hold of your provider if you need their assistance?
  • Did you choose to buy a used dishwasher? New dishwasher? Or lease one?
  • Would you recommend the dishwasher you have to others?

If speaking to a dealer or vendor, here are a few questions and talking points to begin the conversation and find you the best dishwasher:

  • Does this machine suit the needs of my operation? What is the capacity and how large is it?
  • What does the warranty cover? How long is the warranty for?
  • If parts need replacing, is it easy to receive them from the factory?
  • What happens if I need an urgent repair for my commercial dishwasher?
  • What is the cleaning process like for this dishwasher? Are there restrictions on what cleaning supplies or chemicals to use?
  • Who do you recommend this machine for? What type of venue?

Commercial dishwasher FAQ

There is a lot to consider when looking for a commercial dishwasher for sale. Going through this list of commonly asked questions about commercial dishwashers should help give you not just an idea of what to seek out in a commercial dishwasher, but also an understanding of the most essential factors in deciding what the right dishwasher is.


Does your commercial dishwasher need a grease trap?

In many Canadian cities, you are required to have a grease trap alongside your dishwasher. For example, according to the City of Toronto, ‘it is mandatory for establishments that cook, heat, process or prepare food on-site to install, operate and maintain a grease trap (interceptor) on any pipe that connects directly or indirectly to a sanitary sewer system.’ Be sure to check your city’s regulations to determine if you need to connect a grease trap to your dishwasher.


What temperature should a commercial dishwasher be?

A low-temperature commercial dishwasher reaches 120-140 degrees Fahrenheit and a high-temperature dishwasher will run at about 180 degrees Fahrenheit. To properly sanitize dishes, you should opt for a high-temperature dishwasher. Alternatively, if you have a low-temperature dishwasher you can add additional chemicals to sanitize. If your dishes will be used for the public you must ensure to sanitize.


How much water does a commercial dishwasher use per load?

The amount of water consumed per load for a commercial dishwasher varies depending on size, and whether or not they are high efficiency. Typically, a commercial dishwasher will use 0.78 gallons per rack (three liters a rack) but ENERGY STAR® certified machines will use less. An ENERGY STAR® certified commercial dishwasher uses 40 per cent less energy and 40 per cent less water, on average than a standard model. It’s important to note that commercial dishwashers use the same amount of water and energy regardless of how full they are, so washing full racks of dishes will make the dishwasher more efficient with the water it is already using. You can find the amount of water used per load for ENERGY STAR® certified commercial dishwashers here


How much does a commercial dishwasher cost?

A high-end, top-of-the-line conveyor commercial dishwasher, the price tag can be upwards of $50,000 - $60,000. Of course, this would be far less for a used model. An entry-level or more compact commercial dishwasher will be more wallet-friendly, and you should expect to pay anywhere from $2,000 - $3,000. The most affordable option would be a used entry-level option or you can opt to lease and pay a smaller amount on a monthly basis.


How to descale a commercial dishwasher?

Hard water contains minerals (magnesium and calcium) which in turn causes limescale buildup that can lead to damages. To clean it, the general instructions are to drain the tank and refill it with fresh water, to add a deliming/descaling product, and to then run the machine through a cycle. Your owner’s manual should tell you how many cycles to run for.

You then need to remember to drain and refill the water again. Note that different machines have different instructions for the deliming and that they may recommend a different type of chemical to use in the process.


How to drain a commercial dishwasher?

Your commercial dishwasher should drain automatically and if it doesn’t, there may be food clogging your filter, preventing drainage of the dishwasher. Your filter should be cleaned out often, and carefully. Follow instructions to clean out the filter so as to not cause any damage to the machine. You should also check that there are no kinks in the drain hose. It’s also advised to check the wash/rinse arms (and nozzles on the arms) to see if they are blocked. If you can’t identify the cause of the blockage, call a licensed professional.


Do I need a booster water heater?

Booster water heaters are not necessary but depending on the temperature of your dishwasher, your establishment may need one. For low-temperature dishwashers, you will not need a booster water heater if it runs at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. For high-temperature dishwashers, you will not need a booster water heater if your machine runs at 180 degrees Fahrenheit. A booster water heater will allow your rinse cycle water to reach the required temperature to properly sanitize your wares.




Thanks for reading this Commercial Dishwasher Buyer's Guide

We hope that this Commercial Dishwasher Buyer’s Guide has been helpful and beneficial as you look for commercial dishwashers for sale and do your research into buying a commercial dishwasher. Whether seeking out a conveyor commercial dishwasher or a commercial glasswasher, this guide should provide you with the necessary info to start your journey. If you are looking to buy a commercial dishwasher outright or lease a commercial dishwasher to buy, take a look at the range on offer from SilverChef.


Thank you

A big thank you goes to Karen Fasulo for her insights and expertise putting this buying guide together. Karen is a restaurant consultant located in Toronto, Canada and has spent over 18 years working with restaurants to build efficiencies that save money and generate more new revenue. Whether your business is booming or you’re trying to figure out efficiencies to keep your doors open, Karen helps restaurateurs find a faster path to success across marketing, operations, and service delivery. Learn more about Karen’s services here and visit her LinkedIn here.