Warewashing is an important part of your food service, and the improved efficiency and labour savings will quickly repay your outlay. But it’s vital that you choose the dishwasher and glasswasher that’s right for your organisation. Anglia Catering have put together this mini-guide to help you choose the dishwasher or glasswasher that’s right for you.

All good manufactures of warewashing offer a range of features and add-ons to each dishwasher and glasswasher specifically designed to meet your local environment, your needs and your establishment.  This can appear complicated  but it is important you choose the correct one to meet your legal requirement, the power supply you have, the water waste system and water supply and importantly what your establishment needs.


What is a break tank?

A break tank prevents the possibility of contaminated dish washing water back flowing into the fresh water supply.  The break tank is a tank into which the fresh water from the mains supply is supplied into first, and then pumped into your dishwaher.  If there is a backflow from your dishwahser, any dirty water would go to the break tank which has an air gap at the top to accommodate additional water flow.  this means that dirty water is never able to enter the mains fresh water supply.

Do I need a break tank?

WRAS (the UKs Water Board Regulatory and Advisory service) require a break tank to be fitted where your organization is rated as being a class 5 level of risk or higher.  This generally applies to places such as schools, nursing homes or hospitals, but businesses are responsible for assessing their own level of risk depending on the likelihood of the danger of contamination to the water supply and then complying with the water board legislation.


Hard water Area map

Hard water Area map



If you live in a hard water area such as Norfolk where Anglia Catering are based you’ll be familiar with the effects of limescale.  This map gives you an idea of the main hard water areas in the Uk but check with your water supplier if in doubt.

Limescaale leaves streaky chalky marks on crockery and cutlery, which will not impress your customers, and may even adversely affect your food hygiene rating.  The high temperatures that your dishwasher needs to run at to provide effective sanitation (temperatures of 82.2°c) mean that limescale deposits are even more evident than they would be in a domestic setting.

The limescale and other mineral deposits also build up on the elements of your dishwasher, significantly shortening the life of the machine.  It can clog the pipes and even blow the heating element.

The solution to this is to add a water softener which will remove the calcium, magnesium and any other ions from the water leave pure soft water.  This softened water will also work more effectively with the detergents for your dishwasher, leading to a cleaner more consistent wash.



A dishwasher that is too small for your business will hold you up and will not wash enough items quickly enough, and one that is too large will cost more than you need to spend and will take up more room.  You know your business best, but our short guide to selecting the optimally sized dishwasher for your business will help you to make the best choice:

Front Loading Dishwashers 

Useful for Coffee Shops, Cafes, Small Bistros and offices 

This smaller dishwashers take up little room and are great for smaller premises.  The small size of the dishwasher means that larger server plates may not fit, but these are perfect for glasses, mug, side plates and cutlery.  The wash cycle generally takes between 1 and 4 minutes.


Ideal for: pubs and bars

These are great for pubs and bars requiring quick turnaround.  Washes up to 16 pint glasses in 2 min programme. Combining high performance with low running costs.

Pass Through Dishwasher / Hood Dishwasher

Found In: schools, large organizations, dedicated wash spaces 

These dishwashers are loaded via a lift up hood rather than through a door that opens at the front.  This means that they are able to load larger items, and be used in a corner position or against a wall.

Power requirement: 3 phase or single phase


Utensil Washers / Pot and Pan Washers

Great For: Larger kitchens, ice-cream shops, Food Processing Centres, patisseries and butchers.

Utensil dishwashers or tray dishwashers as they are often known, have a larger height to fit bulkier items such as trays, pots and pans and bakery equipment.

Power requirement: Will need to be hard-wired into the mains supply (either 30 Amp or 3 Phase)

Conveyor Dishwashers / Rack Dishwashers

Great for: Hospitals, Hotels, Schools, Larger Organizations

These dishwashers, designed to obtain the maximum production in the minimum space are capable of washing between 1,800 and 5,000 plates in an hour depending on the model, and are perfect for the larger organization with large volumes of crockery and cutlery.


Your choice of gravity or pumped waste will depend on the location where you are installing the dishwasher.  Put simply, if your dishwasher waste outlet will be lower than the drain standpipe, then you will need a drain pump to pump the waste water away as it will not be able to drain away using gravity alone.


If the height difference is small, you may wish to consider adding a dishwasher stand to your dishwasher, which may raise your dishwasher enough so you will not need a drain pump, and this can have the added advantage of making the dishwasher at a more convenient height for unloading and loading.