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Requirements for a Commercial Dishwasher

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Standards set forth by the public health and safety company NSF International and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) establish conformity for a wide range of products used commercially and recreationally. The NSF/ANSI standards divide commercial dishwashers into two types: hot water sanitizing and chemical sanitizing. Federal, state and municipal entities generally adhere to these standards to determine regulations for commercial dishwashing machines.

Energy Star Certification

In order for a commercial dishwasher to receive Energy Star certification, it must be, on average, 25 percent more efficient in both energy and water usage than standard models. Energy Star has requirements for both high-temperature and low-temperature commercial dishwashers. Low-temperature water consumption requirements must be less than or equal to between 1.7 to .54 gallons per dish rack, depending on the style of dishwasher. High-temperature efficiency water consumption rates must be less than or equal to between 1 and .54 gallons of water per dish rack, depending on the type of dishwasher.

Chemical Sanitization

According to NSF/ANSI Standard Number 3 for Commercial Warewashing Machines, the minimum requirement for dish sanitization depends on the type of solution being used. For chlorine sanitization solutions, the solution must be at least 50 parts per million (ppm), and the dishwasher water temperature must be at least 120 degrees F. The temperature of machines using an iodine solution of at least 12 ppm and a maximum of 25 ppm must be at least 75 degrees F. Machines using a quaternary ammonium solution must rinse at a minimum of 75 degrees F, and the solution must be at a minimum of 150 ppm and a maximum of 400 ppm.

Hot Water Sanitization

NSF/ANSI Standard Number 3 mandates that single-temperature commercial machines with one stationary rack have a minimum wash temperature of 165 degrees F. Dual-temperature machines with a stationary rack must have a minimum wash temperature of 150 degrees F. Commercial machines operating with a conveyor but with a single tank must have a minimum wash temperature of 160 degrees F, while conveyor-operated washers with multiple tanks require a minimum wash temperature of 150 degrees F. For all types of commercial dishwashers, the maximum temperature for the final sanitizing rinse is 195 degrees F.


Based in Atlanta, Pamela Henman has been writing marketing- and advertising-related articles since 2006. Previously, she covered arts and entertainment news for "AUC Magazine," "The Signal" and "The Urbanite." She received a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Georgia State University.

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