Can You Fix Your Commercial Food Steamer Yourself?

Restaurants and other food-related businesses can get super busy at the peak hours. You can’t afford to delay the orders or the customers will leave dissatisfied. A commercial food steamer not working when required can directly affect customer satisfaction. So, you should not only rely on a commercial appliances repair expert but also train yourself or your staff to fix it if they can. Let’s know the common issues encountered with commercial steamers and which ones your staff can fix.

Commercial Steamer Won’t Turn On

Detecting why your commercial steamer is not turning on can be tricky, you can check these things before getting an expert involved.

Tripped Circuit

Circuit breakers are the safety features in houses and commercial buildings to protect the electric wiring and prevent fires or explosions. If current levels go high, power to the circuit is cut off for safety. So, due to a power surge or any problem with the steamer, the circuit breaker might trip.

This fix is easy and any of your staff members can perform it. All one needs to do is access the breaker box of the facility, spot the circuit breaker that supplies power to the steamer or the region of the building where the steamer is installed, and turn it on (if it’s off).

Power Cord And Outlets

Another thing you can check is the power cord and the outlets. Make sure there is no visible damage to the power cord and the cord is not kinked or tangled. Try any other power outlet as well to make sure the outlet is fine.

When To Consult Experts?

If the above two solutions don’t fix the commercial steamer not turning on issue, it can be a blown fuse, a faulty high-limit control, a bad water level control, or any other defective component. So, only let an expert check out your steamer so they can identify the cause of the steamer not working and fix it.

Moreover, if the circuit breaker was tripped and you turned it on, but it kept tripping continuously, then a bad circuit breaker could be to blame or there could be any other issue. You should leave this to an electrician.

Commercial Steamer Won’t Steam

Even if power to the steamer is fine, it might not steam which can make it useless until the issue is fixed.

Press The Turn On Switch

Get started by checking the turn on button/switch and make sure it’s pressed or turned on.

The Door Is Open

Some problems have easy fixes and if your commercial steamer is not steaming, you should also check the door. The unit only begins its work and produces steam if the door is properly shut.

Instruct your staff to check the door in case the steamer doesn’t steam. However, if the door gasket is damaged or the hinges are faulty, then you will need an expert for this.

Dirty Steam Generator

Lack of cleaning is one of the main reasons commercial steamers stop producing steam. With usage, lime and scale buildup occurs inside the steamer. It hinders the ability of the steamer to heat up and produce steam. Therefore, it’s essential to clean the steamer periodically.

Keeping the steamer clean is not only good for the performance of the steamer but also for the food quality as well. The remnants and whatnot in the steamer can impact the taste of the food. So, never ignore cleaning.

Daily cleaning includes wiping the steamer with a cloth after every cycle of steaming, and cleaning the entire appliance at the end of the day after emptying the water. Moreover, you should regularly inspect the steamer for loose covers and cracked seals to avoid quicker lime and scale buildup. After the daily cleaning, leave the door open for it to air dry.

Once a week, you should delime the steamer with vinegar or a specialized deliming solution. You should have an expert delime it first and let your staff members see how it’s done so they can carry this out themselves.

Water Supply Problems

What if the steamer is not producing steam because there is not enough water or no water in the reservoir? Instruct your staff to check the water supply of the facility and if there is an issue there. Then, move to the part where you will have to check if the steamer and the water supply hose are properly connected.

After checkmarking that, inspect the supply hose. It shouldn’t have any sharp bend or leaks. If there are tangles, remove them, and check the steamer again. However, in the case of leaks or a damaged hose, get an expert to repair or replace it.

Low Water Pressure

Even if the steamer is receiving water from the water supply, it might not be steaming due to the low water pressure. To determine the reason for low water pressure, first check the hose that’s connecting your steamer to the water supply. If there are kinks, remove them, but in the case of leaks, either use something to put on the leaking area or get the hose replaced.

Moreover, check the water pressure your facility is receiving. If it’s lower than 30 PSI, then there’s a problem. If you’re checking the water flow, then anything lower than 1.5 GPM is bad.

Commercial Steamer Overfills With Water

Another issue with steamers is the opposite of no steam or not filling with water, it’s the steamer overfilling with water.

The Steamer Is Not Level

In case your steamer starts overfilling with water, instruct your staff to check if the unit is level. It could also be that the surface where the steamer is placed is not level.

High Water Pressure

The next thing you can check yourself or by your staff is the water pressure. If the water pressure in your facility is higher than 60 PSI, the steamer will overfill with water. In that case, discuss it with your water supply company.

Control Display Problems

If your commercial steamer has a control display, it can also show different types of problems.

Blanked Control Display With No Indicator Light

When the control display is completely blank and you can’t even see the indicator light turned on, the unit is probably not receiving power. So, check the power cord if it’s plugged in and also inspect it for damages. Plus, make sure the circuit breaker isn’t tripped. Then, check the power on the switch of the steamer.

The Control Display Is Blank But The Indicator Light Is Turned On

If the indicator light is on and you can’t see anything on the control display, this is something that should only be fixed by an expert because it could be faulty internal components like the transformer or the control board itself.

The Control Display Shows “ERR”

This usually denotes that the programming for SHO or H2O is changed and it’s not correct. Try to reset the control board by referring to the user manual or hiring an expert.


If your commercial steamer breaks down at busy hours, you can use the above-mentioned tips to fix some of the issues. However, make sure to hire a commercial steamer repair Fairfax technician if you can’t detect the problem or want to get the unit fixed by an expert.