The Importance of Water Filters for Your Restaurant Equipment

Water Filter

A filter system is an integral part of your restaurant equipment's water tank! Here at WebstaurantStore, we get a lot of customer orders asking why, or if, a filter is even necessary when they purchase a commercial ice machine, coffee brewing equipment, or steam equipment. Filters not only ensure that you have sanitary, great tasting water and ice, but they keep your equipment working longer.

These purification systems block mineral deposits, scale, sediment, cysts, and other contaminants from entering the water line and equipment. This helps prevent odor and chlorine taste in your ice and beverages. Blocking these substances not only helps with water sanitation, but keeps equipment running smoothly. Machines with mineral buildup will run less efficiently and break down sooner, which means you lose money. In fact, poor quality feed water will actually void the warranty on most ice machines. In short, spending a few hundred dollars on a filter system now will save you several thousand dollars in the future! Luckily, we make it easy to choose the right filter by automatically pairing a compatible C Pure AQUAKING filter system to your ice machine order.

Need more proof as to why a filter is needed? Take a look at the gunk we found in the water tank of a standard office coffee urn. The images below show what a water tank will look like after approximately one year of use without a filter. The buildup was so thick, it had to be scooped out. Avoid this mess by installing a water filter prior to using your equipment!

View our ice machine filters and our hot beverage equipment filters to find the best filtration system for your machine.

Filter Types

Although U.S. drinking water has been protected under the Safe Drinking Water Act since 1974, many experts warn that water from a tap source does not meet health guidelines. While you cannot always control the source of your water, you can certainly add an extra layer of protection from contaminants by purchasing an efficient filter. Here are the most common filter types:

A carbon filter replacement cartridge for an espresso machine water filter kit.A carbon filter replacement cartridge for an espresso machine water filter kit.

Carbon Filter Systems:

Carbon, a porous material, absorbs impurities as water passes through these point-of-entry systems. They generally remove lead, PCBs, chlorine byproducts, certain parasites, radon, pesticides and herbicides, certain gasoline and dry cleaning additives and solvents, some levels of bacteria, and traces of pharmaceuticals.

A reverse osmosis water filtration system for coffee, espresso, and tea brewers.A reverse osmosis water filtration system for coffee, espresso, and tea brewers.

Reverse Osmosis Systems:

Often used in conjunction with carbon filters, these systems push water through a semipermeable membrane to act as an extremely fine filter. One disadvantage is that these systems waste more water during the filter system (4 to 9 gallons for every 1 gallon filtered). They generally remove more finite chemicals that carbon filters might miss, including perchlorate, sulfates, fluoride, industrial chemicals, heavy metals, chlorine byproducts, chlorides (which give water a salty taste), and pharmaceuticals.

A UV light system for bacteria reduction.A UV light system for bacteria reduction.

Ultraviolet Light:

These units disinfect water by killing microorganisms with ultraviolet radiation. They are often used as a pre-treatment option or a polishing step in the filtration process and are recommended for use in conjunction with carbon filters to help remove other solid contaminants.

Filters For Your Ice Machine

Ice Machine Filters

You wouldn't serve a refreshing cold beverage without ice, would you? In turn, you shouldn't purchase an ice machine without also using a filter. This will increase customer satisfaction by eliminating funky flavors caused by mineral buildup in the water used to produce the ice. Additionally, blocking mineral deposits and contaminants from entering the machine ensures that it stays running longer, avoiding breakdowns. Take a look at the main reasons to purchase a filter for your ice machine:

  • Better tasting beverages (because ice has no contaminants)
  • Higher ice production
  • Lower energy usage, since the machine works more efficiently with a filter
  • Longer ice machine life
  • Poor quality feed water will void the warranty on most ice machines

View our water filtration systems and cartridges for ice machine filters here.

Ice Machine Maintenance Tips

Even with the proper filter kit, mineral deposits and scaling can gradually develop on the ice machine's interior. This harms performance and efficiency. Protect from this buildup with an ice machine cleaner, like Noble Chemical Arctic Ice Machine Cleaner. This solvent is safe for use in all ice machines and will remove buildup, while at the same time protecting tin and nickel plated evaporators. Plus, it's available in both concentrated cleaner and a ready to use formula.

Filters For Your Coffee Pot

Coffee Machine Filters

Coffee brewed in dirty decanters, urns, and airpots can taste bitter and even rancid. Be sure to delime your brewer and sprayhead regularly. A water filtration system used in your coffee brewer blocks contaminants to ensure that your beverages are sanitary, safe, and great tasting! Filters prevent minerals and other sediment from clogging the internal components or your machines to increase its efficiency, lower your energy costs, and extend the life of your coffee equipment. Here are the advantages of purchasing a filter for your coffee machine:

  • Produces consistent quality beverages without bitter flavor caused by contaminants
  • Maintains water quality even in the event of high water hardness levels
  • Compact design fits many standard machines
  • Filters are designed for both cold beverage and coffee/espresso machines
  • Built in bacteria inhibitors ensure that drinks are sanitary

View our coffee machine water filters here.

Coffee Machine Maintenance Tips

To avoid mineral buildup and oil deposits in your coffee pot, clean your brewer and sprayhead regularly with a deliming/ descaling agent. Klearly Coffee not only cleans coffee pots, but airpots, teapots, glass bowls, plastic coffee bins, and stainless steel, porcelain and ceramic brewing and serving equipment. Use it for crystal clear glass pots to enhance the appeal of beverages.

Filters For Your Steam Equipment

Coffee Machine Filters

Having pure water is the most crucial component in any steam cooker. The majority of maintenance issues and breakdowns for steam equipment are due to sediment buildup and calcification in the boiler component of the unit. A proper water filtration system for your food steamer can prevent unwanted buildup of sediment, cysts, lime, calcium, and chlorine taste and odor to keep your machine running in peak condition. With the right water filter, not only will your machine run more efficiently and last longer, but it will also produce better tasting, safer food for your customers. These are a few reasons why you should install a filtration system for your steamer:

  • Produces purer steam, and fresher, more healthy products
  • Filters out sediments and contaminants found in hard water
  • Larger filtration systems that can handle much higher volume of water
  • Filtration systems work with Combi Ovens, Commercial Steamers, Steam Kettles, Braising Pans, and all other direct-connection steam equipment
  • Low quality feed water will void the warranty on most steam equipment
  • Prevent calcification around the heating element for better heat conduction and efficiency

View our water filtration systems and cartridges for steam equipment here.

Steam Equipment Maintenance Tips

Although a filter system will catch the majority of contaminants and minerals, over time there is bound to be a buildup of sediment and minerals. Have a professional perform preventative maintenance on your steam equipment every three to six months, and change your filter cartridges often to keep water as pure as possible. Also, try using a delimer / descaler according to the instructions in your equipment manual to keep your steamer clean and high-functioning.

Related resources:

Ice Machine Buying Guide

Five Things to Avoid When Buying an Ice Machine

Hot Beverage Equipment Buying Guide