Maintenance Tips: Keeping Up Proofers
Following a few daily and periodic maintenance tips will keep your proofer in top shape. Start by wiping the unit down daily with a mild, non-abrasive soap and warm-water solution or factory-approved cleaner. If the unit appears heavily soiled, you may need to use an emulsion-type (non-abrasive) cleaner. Rinse with warm water. Do not pressure wash, hose down or spray the cabinet unless authorized by the manufacturer as this may void the warranty.
On a monthly basis, or more often if necessary, remove and clean the water pan in the base of the proofer. Change the water you use during proofing; this eliminates the buildup of bacteria in the stagnant water. Keep the water pan filled. If a cabinet temperature exceeds a specific point set by the manufacturer as a result of situations such as not having water in the base pan or a faulty thermostat, the high-limit switch will activate, killing power to the unit. Some high-limits are designed to reset automatically when the temperature is back to a safe level, but others require a manual push button reset. Be aware before you make a service call.
One option available on some units is an auto-fill, where the unit is plumbed to add water to the pan as needed without having to monitor or babysit the water level. Auto-fill units are built with a probe that senses the water level of the pan. The probe has a minimal electrical charge going through it from the control board and it completes its circuit by grounding through the water in the bin. When the water level reaches the probe tip, the control board sends a signal to the fill valve to shut off.
However, if the water coming into the pan is too highly filtered, for example, through a reverse osmosis system, the water is stripped of the mineral content needed to trip the sensor. This can cause an auto-fill unit to overfill or shut down. A simple solution is to add a level tablespoon of salt to the water pan and mix it around. A more permanent solution would be to patch in an electrolyte or other mineral additive device in the fill sequence. Consult with your equipment supplier as to what solution would work best for your situation.
Overall, proofers are relatively simple pieces of equipment. With minimal and consistent care, it should offer you years, if not decades, of trouble-free service.
Copyright FER March 2017