Servicing and Maintaining Hand Sinks

In the last decade, most local codes began requiring hand sinks in commercial kitchens to mitigate the spread of bacteria and incidences of foodborne illness. These are important tools for foodservice operations to be proactive in preventing the spread of pathogens and bacteria.

Here, Dan Cone, owner of the Dan Cone Group, based in Moline, Ill., talks about the importance of hand sink care and maintenance.

  • Most commercial faucets are designed to be easily fixed. Hand sinks don’t require a lot of maintenance and are simple to maintain with available repair parts.
  • What wear out most often are the washers, and these generally aren’t repaired properly. It is an easy job, but sometimes people take shortcuts, and it’s not unusual to see water constantly running.
  • It’s important to make sure the faucet nozzle is taken apart and delimed occasionally. How often depends on the water quality, but it’s easy to tell when lime buildup is restricting water flow. The nozzle can be unscrewed, soaked in lime remover, rinsed and replaced.
  • Most sinks are rugged and constructed of a good quality grade of stainless steel, which can be cleaned with a household cleaner. It’s important not to use a harsh abrasive for cleaning.
  • Sanitizing is a different issue than cleaning. Hand sinks should be sanitized daily. The faucet is the most important part to disinfect as this is where bacteria is more easily transferred.
  • If the faucet handle is difficult to turn and shut off, this may indicate the washer is worn and needs replacing. If the faucet is shut off and there’s a slow drip, that’s an indication that it may eventually start leaking more. This warrants a service call.
  • The gooseneck that attaches to the sink is where water sits. Over time, this component can corrode and start leaking. Plastic goosenecks tend to be more durable than the chrome type and won’t corrode like metal, which oxidizes. In either case, there are fittings that connect the pipe to the sink, and these can leak over time and need replacing.
  • If the faucet’s rubber gaskets are leaking, a service call may be needed to replace these. 
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