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Office of Energy Efficiency Links


Business: Industrial


Warewashing Equipment – Commercial Dishwashers and Pre-Rinse Spray Valves

Purchasing Tips

Purchasing new commercial kitchen equipment is a significant decision for many businesses.  When in the market for new equipment, please consider the following:

Commercial Dishwashers

  • The choice of a high-temp or low-temp dishwasher depends on the specifics of your establishment, but many users select high-temp units because the added energy costs of the booster heater are typically lower than cost of the sanitizing chemicals for low-temp units.

  • There is currently no ENERGY STAR® certification program for commercial dishwashers, although the DOE is considering adding them to the list of qualified commercial kitchen products. Development of product specifications is ongoing and you may wish to check the the U.S. ENERGY STAR website  for updated information.

  • In order to find high efficiency models, you may search the NSF International list of commercial dishwashers certified to the NSF/ANSI Standard 3 – Warewashing Equipment  . While this standard only measures water consumption, this rating is generally a good indicator of energy use.

Pre-Rinse Spray Valves

  • Pre-rinse spray valves with high velocity spray patterns will show substantially better cleaning performance than those which simply use a flow restrictor to achieve the recommended flowrate.  Cleaning performance is defined as the number of seconds per plate required to remove solid food residue.

  • Check that the pre-rinse spray valve been tested in accordance with ASTM F2323-03: Standard Test Method for Pre-rinse Spray Valves and meets the efficiency and cleaning performance recommendations as outlined by the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP).

  • The Food Service Technology Center (FSTC) maintains a list of pre-rinse spray valves   that meet the water usage criteria set forth by the FEMP (maximum 7.6 Lpm or 2.0 gpm).

  • Note that as of January 1, 2006, all pre-rinse spray valves in the U.S. must meet the maximum flow rating of 6.1 Lpm (1.6 gpm).  The top three PRSV manufacturers in North America are U.S.-based and sell the same product range in both the U.S. and Canadian markets.

  • Because the cost of a high-efficiency pre-rinse spray valve is low in comparison to the cost of water saved, there are several rebate programs in place that will provide free pre-rinse spray valves to commercial users.  These include:
  • The Region of Waterloo, which is the largest municipality in Canada that relies on groundwater as its primary water supply, used data from a 2004 pilot study to conclude that $300 in water and energy costs could be saved per year with a high efficiency PRSV.  Therefore it is offering a continuation of the pilot program, in which 350 restaurants in the Region are eligible to receive a free PRSV replacement.  To participate, an interested restaurant or foodservice establishment may call (519) 575-4021.

  • “Spray n' Save”:  Enbridge Gas Distribution, Inc. offers a free PRSV replacement program to its full-service restaurant customers.  For more information, visit the Spray n' Save website by using the Business Programs and Incentives.

  • CoolShops”: The Clean Air Foundations's CoolShops program is a market transformation program in Ontario designed to identify and implement energy management measures that allow small businesses to save on utility costs and reduce energy consumption.  As part of this program, CoolShops will offer free pre-rinse spray valves for restaurants.

  • “Rinse and Save”:  Manitoba Hydro is offering to install free of charge energy efficient pre-rinse spray valves in restaurants and any commercial food service establishment in their service area.  This can include schools, hospitals, grocery stores, and hotels.