Pressure fryers show a variety of signs the unit is at the end of its service life. One of the main indications is a leaking tank or well. Signs a tank is leaking include hardened oil under the fryer and behind the unit’s door. This is due to carbon buildup that will not only cause leaks but will also impact the fryer’s productivity and can be a fire hazard.
While most fryer components, such as the thermostat, are inexpensive to replace, vats or tanks are cost prohibitive to install.
Oil quality and regular filtering or replacement of oil is especially important when using a fryer in terms of product quality.
It is the fry pot life that usually dictates a pressure fryer’s service life, which is generally 7 to 10 years. If it starts taking longer for a fryer to reach proper cooking temperatures or it has difficulty maintaining that temperature during normal use, it should be serviced. Visual inspection of the fry pot should include looking for signs of oil leaks or anything that affects frame integrity, such as rust, dented sides or bent supports.
Cooking at too high a temperature also can compromise the unit. Even though the thermostat can be turned up to 375 degrees F, satisfactory results can be achieved at 325 degrees F to 350 degrees F. This will result in oil lasting longer and lower operating costs.
Using vat covers when fryers are off prevents light and heat from darkening the oil. This prevents more frequent oil filtering and replacement, decreasing costs.
Faulty thermostats need attention since they will set off a fryer’s high limit sensor. If the fryer temperature goes over 400 degrees and the thermostat is not working, this sensor will shut the fryer down. If both the thermostat and high limit sensor are not operable, it can cause a fire.
Another potential problem that signals a fryer is on its way out is cabinet rust. This typically occurs when fryer surfaces have regular contact with water. Because costs are high to tear down and replace major fryer parts, a severely rusted fryer will most likely warrant full replacement.