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restaurant kitchen

Plumbing Line Riddled with Soft Water Resin  (When Resin causes your restaurant plumbing system to act up)

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Plumbing Line Riddled with Soft Water Resin (When Resin causes your restaurant plumbing system to act up)

Gravel in Softener Tank

Gravel in Softener Tank

When the filter beneath the gravel bed in a resin tank fails, which operates your soft water system,  it will allow resin to pass into the plumbing lines becoming  a nightmare to remove and could take weeks to fully flush out.  When resin passes through the softeners gravel bed and into the hot water plumbing lines it can restrict water flow and get caught up in mixing valves, boiler, aerators, pumps, filters and whatever else is in its’ path. Resin beads look like tinny pink salmon eggs or very small bebe sized balls. If resin is gummy or flat chlorine has most likely damaged the resin. Good resin should still have its’ round ball shape. But the real question is: If resin or sediment/sand enters your plumbing system, what steps do you take to flush them out of the drainage system in the restaurant? 

Steps to Purge Resin from the Plumbing System

1.    Validate whether the resin in the soft water tank has not passed through the gravel bed. If it has and the resin tank has not been repaired, bypass the soft water system until system/tank is repaired.
2.    Flush all hot water lines only throughout restaurant (it is extremely rare to have resin lead to the cold water lines).

a.    The first night of the incident have the boiler company drain the boiler tank until empty and drain out and stop any resin from making its way to the restaurant.
b.    Remove all aerators from faucets and flush.  First, turn on all the kitchen faucets without mixing valves. This will draw the resin out of the plumbing lines keeping most of it from getting clogged in faucets with mixing valves, pumps, filter, etc. Run Faucets for 20 minutes or longer if resin is still coming out. Sinks without mixing valves are: 

i.    Mop sinks (hot water only)
ii.    3-comp sinks (hot water only)
iii.    2-comp sink (hot water only) 
iv.    Bar 3-comp sink (hot water only)
v.    Bakery, Bar & Expo Dump Sinks (hot water only)

c.    Once the majority of the resin is believed to be removed from the system, then purge hand sinks with mixing valves (hot water only) making sure the aerators have been removed. The resin may get caught up in the mixing valve, if this happens a plumber will be needed to clear the mixing valve.  

3.    It can take days for resin to fully purge from the system, if this is the case repeat section #2.


Steps to Sand from the Plumbing System

1.    Validate the resin tank is in good order. A resin tank has gavel in the basin and sometimes the PVC pipe within the tank basin may become damaged and allow resin to pass through.
2.    If resin tank is not repaired, bypass the soft water system until tank is repaired.

a.    Note: If sand is coming from the cold water points of use only, including toilets and urinals, it is nearly impossible for gravel from the resin tank to make its way into the cold water system. 
b.    If sand is coming from points of use of the cold water lines only, focus energy on the main water line leading to the restaurant. 

3.    If sand is coming from the city:

Y Strainer

a.    Contact the city to research and solve the problem/breach in the system leading to the space.
b.    Contact a plumber to inspect proper operation of back flow and see if a ‘Y’ strainer can be installed in the water supply line prior the restaurant to capture any heavy sediment/sand/etc. 
c.    If water flow /pressure slows down then the back flow may be clogged and will need to be serviced.  

4.    Flush hot & cold water lines throughout restaurant. Typically sediment/sand won’t make its way to the hot water lines but if you have a problem with CrossOver (see our CrossOver blog) then you may see sediment/sand in the hot water lines. 

a.    The first night of the incident have the boiler company drain the boiler tank until empty and drain out any sand or sediment that may be in the tank. If you don’t see sediment/sand when hot water is running then skip this step.
b.    Remove all aerators from faucets and flush /turn on all the kitchen faucets without mixing valves first. This will draw the sand/sediment out of the plumbing lines keeping most of it from getting clogged in faucets with mixing valves, pumps, filter, etc. Run Faucets for 20 minutes or longer if sand/sediment is still coming out.    

Sinks without mixing valves are: 

i.    Mop sinks (hot & cold water together)
ii.    3-comp sinks (hot & cold water together)
iii.    2-comp sink (hot & cold water together)
iv.    Bar 3-comp sink (hot & cold water together)
v.    Bakery, Bar & Expo Dump Sinks (hot water only)


c.    Once the majority of the sand is believed to be removed from system then purge hand sinks with mixing valves making sure the aerators have been removed. Sand may get caught up in the mixing valve, if this happens a plumber will be needed to clear the mixing valve.  

5.    It can take days for sediment/sand to fully purge from the system, if this is the case repeat section #4. 

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Fruit Flies In Your Commercial Kitchen?

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Fruit Flies In Your Commercial Kitchen?

Once You Understand What Small Fly You Have, The Solution Is Easy!

Drain Fly / "Clogmia Albipunctata"

Overview

These small flies are found in floor drains and floor sinks, especially when P‐Traps are broken. These flies are not commonly found in restaurants.

Prevention

“Prevention is best accomplished by removing food sources such as hair clogs in drains”…Wikipedia. If you have these drain flies in your restaurant use a mixture of ½ Chlorinated
liquid sanitizer ½ H20 to clean your drains along with a bristle brush. Special products such as liquids and drain inserts may work but cleaning the drains and making sure the P‐trap has standing water to hold back odors, bugs and drain flies will solve the problem. A P‐Trap that does not hold water means you have a broken pipe.

Red Eye Fly / "Drosophila Melanogaster"

Overview

This is the most common small fly in restaurants that are rarely found in floor drains or floor sinks. The Red Eye Fly is drawn to organic matter, alcohol, soda, fruit or anything sticking.

Prevention

Prevention is achieved by cleaning surfaces that are sticky with particular focus to such locations as bars, soda stations and dry storage rooms. Use as mixture of
½ Chlorinated liquid sanitizer and ½ H20 to kill fruit fly eggs and stop the cycle.  

Red Eye Fruit Flies infest establishments where fruit, soda, alcohol and organic matter are found . The Red Eye Fly is the MOST common fruit fly found in restaurants. Removal of an infestation can be difficult as larvae may continue to hatch (up to 400 eggs) from a single adult fly. 

The Red Eye Fruit Fly typically reproduces in indirect drain lines (the drains that lead to from the soda machine or counter tops to a floor sink), fruit and moist areas. Typically these flies do not dwell or reproduce in floor sinks drains or floor drains due to high water flow and chemical discharge used from cleaning equipment making it undesirable for this fly.

Evidence can often be found where these flies are hanging out by the droppings they leave on ceiling tiles and walls (black specs). Removing the smell of organic matter that these flies are drawn to will stop continued infestation. Once a deep cleaning is performed a pest company may be needed to “knock down” the adult population that are active. (A “knock down” is done with a safe fogging chemical that fills the room killing these flies. While this fog treatment will kill the fruit flies that are on walls, ceilings or airborne, it will not kill the eggs nor take away the need for deep cleaning).

Helpful Hints

Find out what kind of fly you have. Believe it or not, when shining a flashlight on these fruit flies you will see its red eyes. Buying products such as chemical disks, liquids, and drain inserts (drain inserts are designed for masking an odor of a failed p-trap) will prove to be ineffective. Experimenting with these varied products to kill the red eye flies will find that the infestation has not been eliminated. Ask yourself. “If floor drains or floor sink drains are the source, why don’t all drains in restaurants have the problem?” You may have heard about sticking cellophane over the drain hole to catch flies. Try it, you be shock to find the drains not the issue! If you do catch any small fly it will most likely be the “Drain Fly” not the “Red Eye Fly.”

What to Clean
 Indirect Drain Lines
(Counter top drains leading to floor sinks)
 Beer Scupper & Bar Gun Drains
 Sticky Alcoholic Bottles /Bottle Tops
 Counter Top Surfaces
 Soda Towers & Their Drains
 Place Fruit In Sealed Lexan Containers
 Foam in Soda Chase Is Dry
 Clean Walls & Ceilings
 Sticky Soda Lines
 Under Cabinets & Within Cubbies
What to Repair
 Clean & Caulk Cabinet Seems
(where organic matter can build up)
 Recessed Grout & Broken Tile
 Remove Problems of Standing H20

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