Foodservice Equipment Reports
Heavy Cooking Equipment

Back Story: Motherboard Mystery

After receiving the third call complaining that the motherboard on the gas range had failed again, Shannon Sykes, President of Authorized Commercial Equipment Service, Charlotte, N.C., her technicians, the range manufacturer, and the frustrated operator were at their wit’s end trying to figure out the problem.

“We’d replaced that board twice already with brand new ones supplied by the manufacturer. We checked and double checked connections, wiring—everything,” Sykes says. “But it kept failing and we could not for life of us figure out why.”

The gas range was pivotal to the cookline of the restaurant, one of a chain of popular, high-end, broad-menu concepts. “The chef also reported that the bricks in his salamander above the range had cracked, so that added to the puzzle as well.” The problems were reflecting badly on the equipment manufacturer.

One of Sykes techs was scheduled to head over—for the third time—the following day when he received another early-morning service request. “He decided he’d see to the range problem first, before going on the other call,” she says.

It was 4 a.m. and he arrived just in time to see the overnight cleaning crew blasting the heck out of the cookline with a power hose. “I guess you know what water does to electronics,” Sykes says. “We finally had our answer.”

The cold water, blasted on still-hot bricks in the salamander, also explained why they cracked. She and the tech sat down with the operator to tell him what was happening. The operator didn’t believe them—until it happened again.

“The cleaning crew had absolutely no idea of the damage they were causing with that power hose—four service calls and three expensive electronic consoles later,” she says. “It was pure chance that my tech happened on them at that crazy early hour.”

Sykes understands the convenience of high-power hoses in the kitchen, but she recommends that operators make sure to warn their own employees and especially their cleaning crews that the hoses should only be used to clean the floors!


Copyright FER January 2013

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