Consultant Q&A: Justin Silverthorn, Principal, Advanced Foodservice Solutions, Mountville, PA.

FE&S: Do heat lamps require significant maintenance?

JS: This is simple equipment, so there’s usually not a lot of maintenance or upkeep with heat lamps, other than regular cleaning.

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

JS: Grease tends to build up, especially in back-of-house applications. Lamps can be wiped down at the end of each day with a damp cloth and either a degreaser or general cleaner. This will help extend the service life.

FE&S: What can operators expect in terms of the service life for heat lamps?

JS: The length of service depends on the operator and use, but on average, heat lamps last about five years. This equipment can operate indefinitely with proper care.

FE&S: What are the typical service issues with this equipment?

JS: Bulbs need replacing every three to
six months, and operators can do this themselves. If bulbs are burning out more quickly, then the heat lamp needs servicing. We’ve run into situations where bulbs burn out weekly, which may entail taking the heat lamp apart to look at the socket, wiring and components. In some cases, rewiring may be needed.

FE&S: What are the signs operators should look for that indicate the heat lamp needs replacing?

JS: If continuous maintenance is needed or bulbs are burning out quickly, a new unit may be needed. Also, cords can fray on heat lamps that are moved around a lot. Another thing to watch for is the switch. If it becomes loose, the heat lamp should be replaced; otherwise it may fail at the worst possible time. If it’s a major job to rewire or replace parts, then replacement is recommended because this equipment is not very expensive.

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