Your 2021 Planned Maintenance Guide for Foodservice Equipment

Refresh your program to help keep your facility safe and save money.

Ray Munk of EMR services a grill
Ray Munk of EMR services a grill. (Photo courtesy of EMR)

As if there aren’t enough reasons to keep up on your equipment planned maintenance program, here’s one more: it keeps things clean. And in the days of COVID-19, cleanliness is more important to diners than how good the food tastes, says market research firm Datassential.

Matt Gingrich, service technician with EMR, Baltimore, says, this coming year, planned maintenance programs will focus on sanitation. “Especially [when it comes to] ice machines, or anything else that has to do with water, because water can cause scale buildup and create different types of mold. And anything that can hurt anybody, you really want to watch out for that. People just want to make sure everything’s as clean as possible.”

Gingrich adds, planned maintenance also can help save money in the long run. And with many operators reeling from the pandemic, keeping costs low matters.

He recalls a facility that didn’t perform planned maintenance on a deep fryer. The grease tank started to leak everywhere. It was an expensive fix to replace the tank and clean up the mess, he says. Had a service technician been out to perform planned maintenance, however, the issue could’ve been avoided.

Resolve to refresh your program in 2021. The following checklist will set you on the right path. Keep in mind it doesn’t address daily cleaning routines and is not all-encompassing. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations



✔ Check the grill is level and adjust as needed


✔ Check and calibrate the thermostat


✔ Visually inspect the top and bottom of the griddle

✔ Check for stress cracks in the cooking surface

✔ Check gas pressure on gas grills and amp reading on electric grills

✔ Check knobs for wear and replace as needed


Combi Ovens


✔ Check for grease buildup

✔ Check heat exchanger for deformities

✔ Check for loose or disconnected pipes

✔ Clean filter


✔ Test draining from oven cavity and check lines for leaks or clogs A


✔ Replace steam bypass hose

✔ Check drain lines and solenoid hoses

✔ Check knobs, handles and gaskets and repair as needed

✔ Tighten bolts

✔ Inspect electrical connections


Soda Dispensers


✔ Clean ice bin


✔ Flush and clean syrup lines

✔ Test syrup/water ratio

✔ Clean connectors at the bag-in-boxes




✔ Check that the water temperature and rinse pressure are within the manufacturer’s guidelines

✔ Make sure drain lines are clear of debris


✔ Check chemical dispenser is working properly


✔ If unit has curtains, change them if worn

✔ Check pump motors


Walk-In Coolers and Freezers


✔ Vacuum condensers

✔ Check and clean evaporator fin blades

✔ Check that fan motor is running properly


✔ Check space at the top of the door for proper alignment

✔ Check door hinges, floors and walls for signs of wear and replace or repair if necessary


Reach-In Refrigerators


✔ Clean condenser coil

✔ Check for torn gaskets and inspect seals

✔ Clean evaporator fans


✔ Check temperature controls

✔ Check head pressure on the compressor to ensure the correct amount of refrigerant


Convection Ovens


✔ Clean air intake vent

✔ Clean and remove obstructions from flue

✔ Check door seal for any damage


✔ Check venting system for possible deterioration

✔ Check thermostat and temperature probes for correct calibration

✔ On some models, lubricate the oven-door chain with high-temperature grease




✔ Power off fryer, pull it out and clean the back wall

✔ Clean controls to keep free of grease buildup

✔ Replace broken knobs

✔ Check power cord and connections

✔ Check that pilot light maintains proper flame

✔ Check O-ring integrity and drain pan connection

✔ Clean blower, vents and combustion components


✔ Hire a certified technician to conduct a fire suppression inspection


Ice Machines


✔ Clean and sanitize bin liner


✔ Descale water system and change filters

✔ Clean remote- or air-cooled condenser coil

✔ Clean or change air filters


✔ Change hoses and O-rings as needed

✔ Inspect auger and top bearing on flake-ice machines


08 2023 AP Blog Refrigeration July23 optimized

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