Service Agent Q&A: Doug Thompson, office manager at Jones-McLeod Inc., Birmingham, Ala.

FE&S: What are the planned maintenance recommendations for juicers?

DT: There really is no set PM protocol for juicers since each manufacturer has their own protocol. It also depends on the type of model and whether it uses real fruit or concentrate and water. We recommend quarterly PMs with fresh juicers. Countertop models rarely require a service call; operators tend to bring these into our shop to fix.

FE&S: What are the cleaning requirements with this equipment?

DT: These machines should be broken down daily, emptied and cleaned with soap and water, then lubricated with food-grade lubricant. Some types have seals that require relubrication, and some don’t. Also, those with built-in compressors and condensers need these components thoroughly cleaned on a monthly basis.

FE&S: What are the signs a service call is needed?

DT: If the juicer’s circulating pumps stop working or if a refrigerated unit stops cooling, the machine needs service. Also, if a fresh-squeezed juicer stops squeezing product or cutting it properly, it should be looked at by a service agent. Although these units are easy to care for, it’s still important to follow manufacturer recommendations for cleaning, maintenance and service.

FE&S: What is the average service life of commercial juicers?

DT: Depending on the type of model, usage and how it has been maintained, juicers can last 8 to 10 years if operators properly care for them.

FE&S: What is a common mistake operators make when caring for these units?

DT: When breaking them down for cleaning or preventative maintenance, it’s important not to discard any parts. Operators will then run the risk that the unit may not be able to be reassembled or its operation will be compromised.