One great trade: Swap out your old pre-rinse spray valve
Highly water-efficient pre-rinse spray valves can make a big difference in overall water usage in your restaurant.
The devices rinse food particles off dishes before dishes go through the dishwasher. Given their heavy use, the valves can carry a heavy cost, accounting for nearly a third of the water used in a typical commercial kitchen, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's WaterSense program.
Traditional valves spray water at rates of anywhere from 2.5 to 5 gallons per minute (gpm). The recommended low-flow models use less than 1.6 gallons per minute. And the low-flow valves are designed to distribute water pressure effectively so performance isn't lost with the water savings.
You can save hundreds of dollars a year by installing this easy-to-replace, inexpensive piece of equipment, says the Food Service Technology Center.
A few tips as you shop for new valves:
Many utility companies offer rebates for the low-flow models, and sometimes give spray valves to restaurateurs for free. Check with your local utility company.
The WaterSense program now labels pre-rinse spray valves, so look for the WaterSense label when shopping.
Video: Install high-efficiency pre-rinse spray valves
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