In a high-volume setting, the service life of a carbonated beverage dispenser is between 7 and 10 years, similar to an ice maker.
Fountain units don’t require a great deal of maintenance; however, like all equipment, it’s important to follow daily, weekly and monthly maintenance tasks to maximize the beverage dispenser’s service life.
Mixing takes place at the soda guns and fountain heads, so clean these daily. For this task, use a mild detergent appropriate for equipment as well as a sanitizer to break down sugars and syrup. In self-serve models, drain the troughs, too.
The appropriate amount of hot (not scalding) water can clear the lines and should be run through these daily. Keep in mind, if the water is too hot, it will melt the lines. Regular cleaning of the lines will help control odors and kill fruit flies since this is where they tend to hibernate and grow.
Regularly test the syrup to carbonated water ratio formula to ensure the unit works properly. If the taste is off, there may be a malfunction.
Another important factor is the water condition in terms of filtration, which can impact the taste and odor of beverages. Operators will need specific filtration systems that address the water condition.
Because it displaces liquid in the glass, make sure ice is fully formed. Half-formed cubes or those with divets won’t replace the liquid properly and will eat into beverage profits.
Clean the ice dispenser weekly since bacteria can wreak havoc in this area. This is even more important in bakery operations with heat and airborne yeast, which are drawn to ice and can create black mold.