Commercial glass washer buying guide

Commercial glasswasher buying guide

Anyone can make an informed glasswasher purchase with the right product knowledge and the means to interpret it. Catering Appliance Superstore provide all the guidance you need in the form of a general warewasher purchasing and installation guide, this specific glasswasher buyers guide, and clear and detailed product information for each glasswasher.

These elements are covered in our separate commercial warewasher guide for installers and purchasers, and are the minimum factors you should be familiar with before making your purchase.

  • Break tanks and WRAS legal requirements
  • Servicing valves
  • Water pressure
  • Drain pumps
  • Water softener
  • Electricity supply
  • Hot vs cold water supplies

Once you're comfortable with the above, you can use this commercial glasswasher buyers guide to narrow your options based on more specific aesthetic and performance related factors, such as

  • Size and positioning
  • Capacity
  • Boost pumps
  • Energy efficiency
  • Water efficiency
  • Double skinned door and frame

Size and positioning

Whether the commercial glasswasher will actually fit in the space you have is obviously of critical importance. Remember, you need to allow space nearby for catering size cartons of glasswash detergent and rinseaid, and if you are in a hardwater area then possibly a water softener unit too (although some machines have built in water softeners if you have extremely restricted space).

Catering Appliance Superstore clearly displays the external dimensions of all our commercial glasswashers in the product description.

When considering the position of your glasswasher remember to account for the door being open and whether there is room for staff to pass by the machine when it is being loaded and unloaded. Positioning on a general purpose universal washer stand to raise the glasswasher to a more convenient working height is recommended, to increase the speed of loading and unloading and reduce the risk of manual handling injuries.



The wash capacity of your glasswasher is a product of its internal dimensions and wash speed. Internal dimensions are most usefully expressed in terms of basket size and number of pint glasses that will fit in the machine (if you don't wash many pint glasses you can still use the basket size to see how many wine or other glasses it will wash in one go).

Wash speed is expressed in terms of racks per hour or simply a cycle time. A commercial glasswasher with a two minute cycle time might claim thirty racks per hour, for instance, but be cautious of wash speed given in racks per hour as they rarely include the time to load and unload. Catering Appliance Superstore provides a clear cycle time for each glasswasher so you can calculate your own racks per hour figure.

Some washers have variable cycle times, like the Hobart Bar Aid 400 with a 75 second or 150 second cycle time, or the Hobart Ecomax G502 with 60 or 180 second settings. Selectable cycles can be very useful when you want to extend the wash time for any reason, for example if using a glass renovator product to restore a high shine to your glassware.

You need at least two baskets for your glasswasher, and if you have the space for more then up to three or even four is useful. You'll save time stacking glasses directly into trays rather on a shelf or in a sink, only to have to load them later.

Basket sizes are standardised across the industry in a range of set sizes (so whatever washer product you choose you can get your racks from anywhere).


Boost pumps

If you have slightly low water pressure (close to 2 bar or 28psi) then a rinse boost pump is a good idea to ensure the rinse arm rotates properly and the glasswasher rinse cycle is effective. Many of our customers opt for a boost pump in any case, to guarantee the highest quality of washing and rinsing. This is especially important for glasswhere, which will come under high scrutiny from your customers, and shows up spots and water marks caused by inadequately rinsed detergent more easily than crockery.


Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency is a complex area, but with energy prices only going in one direction it becomes more important each year. Catering Appliance Superstore are proud to stock manufacturers who are serious about their responsibilities to maximise energy efficiency. As the name suggests, the Hobart Ecomax Range offers excellent performance in this area, but none of our models perform badly.

If you want to judge how much energy in total is used by a particular commercial glasswasher, just look at the Watt or Kilowatt figure given. In basic electrical terms, this is the amount of work being done by the machine. However, don't be misled into thinking higher Wattage figures equate to poor energy efficiency. You also need to compare that to the results the machine achieves. How much clean glassware will you get for that energy usage? You can use the information you've already gathered on capacity (see above) and divide the Watt figure by the number of glasses washed per hour to get a useful figure for comparison.

There are other factors to consider as well, for example the efficiency of the machine in a resting state. At least some of the time, and possibly more than you think, your commercial glasswasher will be switched on but not in use. It will be using energy to maintain its temperature, and so models with insulated wash tanks and double skinned construction will not only be quieter but more energy efficient as well. Such features are clearly stated on the Catering Appliance Website. For example, the DC Standard Extra models are constructed with a double-skinned cabinet and door as well as dual element configuration and an insulated boiler for excellent temperature maintenance (not to mention quick start up and recovery times).


Water efficiency

Water efficiency is also important in a commercial glasswasher. If you can get the same results using less water then so much the better. Look for products like the Hobart Ecomax G502, which fills quickly and has reduced water consumption, and as the name suggests is very economical to run overall.


Hot vs cold water plumbing

The vast majority of the glasswashers supplied by Catering Appliance Superstore can be plumbed in to hot or cold water supplies. The simplest option in the majority of cases will be to plumb in to cold water, and let the internal heating element bring the water up to temperature, although this is not necessarily the most energy efficient approach.

A lot will depend on how your hot water is supplied. Drawing hot water from a combi boiler can reduce water pressure to other hot water appliances, but if you have large hot water storage tanks and good water pressure this is less of an issue.

It might also be the case that you have a good supply of very cheap hot water, perhaps heated by solar power, a biomass boiler, or other renewable source. In these cases, the energy savings might make it worth the slightly increased complexity of connecting to the hot water supply.

Remember, whichever you choose there are tolerances for maximum temperature in each case (both cold and hot water feeds). As a rough guide cold is maximum 30 degrees C and hot is maximum 60 degrees C, but please check the information given for each model.

By Philip Wearmouth | Catering Appliance Superstore