How To Troubleshoot Your Commercial Food Steamer

Steamers are a necessary item in every commercial kitchen. As a commercial steamer is used daily in the kitchen, it’s bound to perform abnormally at some point, which would need immediate attention if you want it to cook food perfectly. In our previous blogs, we have covered various commercial steamer problems. However, as there are so many, we still have a lot to discuss. Before we start, if you notice that the issue is more complicated than removing the removable parts and cleaning the unit, it’s better to call in commercial appliances repair services.

Troubleshooting A Commercial Food Steamer

There are many types and models of commercial food steamers so some solutions listed below might not fix your specific unit. For exact procedures and instructions, refer to the user manual of your commercial steamer.

The Power Indicator Light Doesn’t Turn On

When you turn on the unit, the power indicator light also turns on. If it doesn’t, the issue could be:

Just A Broken Power Indicator Light

If your unit is working fine, but the power indicator light doesn’t turn on, then you may have already determined that it’s just a broken power indicator light. Even if that’s the case, you should not ignore the problem.

A power indicator light is a basic feature in every commercial steamer because it’s a critical one. It shows you visually whether the unit is on or off. If there is no visual clue of the state of the unit, it can lead to accidents. So, have an expert fix the issue before it causes trouble to you or any staff member.

The Steamer Is Not Receiving Power

If your steamer is not turning on at all, the first thing to do is to ensure that the steamer is connected to a power source. Check its power cord and reconnect it to the power outlet if possible. Sometimes, power outlets are blown so look for any signs of that.

If the steamer doesn’t turn on after checking the power cord and the power outlet, then it may be an issue with the circuit breaker. A circuit breaker is an electrical component that allows power to a certain part of a facility. There are many circuit breakers in a breaker box. They work individually so that if an electrical problem occurs in one part of the facility or one circuit breaker, it doesn’t lead to a power failure of the entire facility.

So, locate the breaker box and check the circuit breaker that is responsible for allowing power to the part of the facility where you have the steamer installed. If it’s off turn it on. If it doesn’t turn on or it turns on but trips again, contact an expert.

Broken Controls

If you see that the circuit breaker is not the issue and the steamer is receiving power, then the controls may be broken. A broken steamer control is not a big issue and can be fixed by an expert quite quickly, but it still can cause delays in food preparation. So, call in an expert ASAP to avoid delays.

The Steam Generator Of The Steamer Doesn’t Fill With Water

There are multiple types of steamers like induction steamers, boiler steamers, boilerless steamers, and others. One of the types uses steam generators for producing steam. A common issue in these units is the steam generator not filling with water.

Check The Water Supply

The first thing to check when there is any water-related issue with any appliance is the water valve. Check if the valve of the water line connected to the steamer is on.

Clogged Line Strainer

A Line strainer is usually present at the base of the steamer which keeps solids and particles from entering the steam generator. Over time, it can get clogged. As this keeps happening, you might notice that the steam generator has started taking more time to fill and at one point, it might not fill with water at all. To avoid these problems, regular cleaning of the line strainer is suggested.

Clogged External Filter

External filters are also used for blocking solids and big enough particles that can be trapped in the filter. Check your external filter as well and clean it.

Shorted Water Sensor

There is also a water sensor that is used to keep a certain level of water for the steam generator. With usage, the water sensor shorts due to scale buildup on it. This renders it useless. Due to this, it can’t detect the water levels so either the steam generator won’t fill with water or it will overflow with water. In any case, that’s a problem.

The solution is easy if you know how to descale a water sensor. While you’re at it, descale other parts of the commercial steamer as well.

Broken Solenoid Valve

Problems with solenoid valves can cause water-filling issues. There can be multiple solenoid valves for various tasks so have an expert inspect the unit and fix the solenoid if it’s causing the problem.

Broken Controls

The issue could be as simple as broken water controls. If everything is fine, then the controls may be the culprit.

Too Much Steam Is Coming Out Of The Drain

Commercial steamers are made in a way that condensates the steam when they drain. This keeps the kitchen area from becoming a place filled with clouds of steam. Moreover, this also prevents the steamer’s door from getting smacked open by the steam. So, which part is usually responsible for this problem? The answer is the condensate valve or, simply, the condenser.

The condenser is there to spray water on the drain pipe when the steam is leaving. This condensates the steam which means the steam turns to water for easy draining. So, look for these problems:

Hot Water Supply Is Connected To The Condenser

The condenser requires cold water to efficiently eliminate steam by spraying it on the steam and turning it into water. However, if there is a hot water supply connected to the condenser, the condensation process will be affected. There will still be steam leaving the drain.

No Water Supply

You should also check if the water connection is open to the condenser because if there’s no water, then the condenser can’t spray anything on the steam. Therefore, after checking the water connection valves, also look for any clogs or leaks preventing water from entering the steamer and the condenser.

Clogged Water Strainer

If you haven’t checked the water strainer already, then take a look because it can get clogged and requires regular cleaning. Otherwise, the water supply to the steam will be halted.

Broken Condenser Valve

If everything with the water supply is fine, then the condenser itself may be faulty. Mostly, scale can build up on the condenser blocking its sprayer. However, it’s difficult to check yourself so you should call in a technician to check the condenser and other parts to know why your commercial steamer is draining a huge amount of steam.

Broken thermostat

Thermostat problems are also linked to too much steam production so consult an expert for its inspection.


Commercial steamer problems can be difficult to fix if you don’t know their causes and solutions. We have covered a few problems that usually arise. To avoid problems and accidents, always hire an authorized commercial steamer repair Fairfax technician for maintenance and repairs.



Commercial Food Steamer Fixes You Must Know

Commercial steamers are essential appliances in cafes, restaurants, and food businesses. So, if they don’t function as expected, it can be frustrating and mostly you need a hand from a commercial appliances repair expert to fix your commercial food steamer. Therefore, we are giving you some tips for fixing two common problems with your commercial steamer.

Commercial Steamer Fixes

Commercial Food Steamer Is Overfilling With Water

If your restaurant steamer overfills with water, you should perform these actions:

Level The Unit

A simple cause of overfilling in commercial steamers is the tilting of the steamer in one direction. So, check the steamer and level it. You should also check the floor where it’s placed. Is the floor damaged? Are the wheels or legs of the steamer damaged? To make sure the steamer is level, employ a sprint level.

Check If The Water Pressure Is High

High water pressure will lead to the overfilling of the steamer. You should check the water pressure of the facility. It should not be more than 60 PSI for the proper functioning of your steamer. If it’s greater than that, your steamer will frequently overfill from water causing a mess.

On the other hand, if the water pressure is low, it can cause other problems like no steaming, which means no cooking. Therefore, water pressure is an important factor.

Make Sure The Water Level Setting Is Correct

This is another simple thing that most people take care of, but sometimes, it’s ignored. If your steamer is new and you don’t know what is its minimum and maximum water level recommendation, refer to the user manual.

Check The Water Level Control System

The water level control system is what keeps the water level in check. It has valves and sensors that work with the control unit of the steamer to operate and regulate the level of water in the steamer.

If a valve or sensor malfunctions, there will be water-related problems. For example, if the valve becomes stuck in the open position, water will keep flowing into the reservoir and it will overflow. On the flip side, if the valve is stuck closed, no water will enter the unit and the unit won’t steam at all.

Similarly, if the sensor malfunctions, it won’t detect the correct level of water. This will result in overflowing water or low water levels in the steamer.

Sometimes, these valves and sensors are functional, but malfunction due to limescale buildup in the unit. Other times, they are worn and need to be replaced.

You need an expert to inspect the water level system to know whether the components are dirty or faulty. The professional will suggest the right action after inspecting the steamer.

Check The Drainage System

If the water control system is sound or fixed, but your steamer is overfilling with water, the next thing to check is the drainage system.

Through the drainage system, excess water is removed to keep the right water level inside the reservoir. However, if the drainage system is blocked, water won’t have anywhere to go so the unit will overfill with water.

The blockage of the drainage system including the drain stainer is common. Over time, grease, minerals, and food particles build up on the drain stainer and the pipes of the drainage system causing a blockage. The blockage is not apparent when minor, but when it becomes significant, you notice water drainage problems and overfilling of water.

If you want your commercial steamer to function without problems, you must clean and delime it often. This will prevent all types of blockages.

However, if you clean and delime your steamer as recommended by your manufacturer, but you face drain and water blockages, you should check your water. It may be due to hard water.

Hard water means an excess amount of minerals like calcium and magnesium in water. These minerals stick to the surface of materials when water passes through. This white, yellow, or brown buildup is called scale and it’s hard to remove. This can block valves and pipes causing water problems in your steamer.

So, consult your water supply company for more details and if the water is hard, consider getting a water softening system for your facility. However, even with soft water, you must keep a proper schedule of cleaning and descaling your steamer.

Check The Door Seal Or Gasket

The door seal or gasket creates a seal around the door that keeps the steam and water droplets in the unit airtight. However, if the gasket or seal becomes loose or is damaged, there is some space for steam or water vapors to escape. Due to this, you will notice water outside the steamer and may think that it’s overfilling with water and look for water pressure but the problem could be with the door seal.

Door seals can be damaged due to usual wear and tear and frequent use of the steamer. Other than wear and tear, improper cleaning can also damage the door seal. Using harsh cleaners can cause damage to the seal and other components of the steamer. So, make sure to use the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning solutions for cleaning the steamer.

Commercial Steamer Door Opening During Operation

The door of the steamer opening during operation can be a huge problem. Because of this problem, your steam might not be cooking food as expected. Another issue from this can be steam and water around the steamer.

Close The Door Latch Properly

If this happens seldom, then the person closing the door may not be shutting it properly. Make sure to close the door properly so it doesn’t open when pressure builds up inside the steamer during its operation.

Damaged Door Seal Or Latch

The door seal and latch work together to keep the door closed. If either of the two components is damaged, the door may open during operation. Have an expert check these parts to detect problems with them and fix them.

Adjust The Door Pin

We know that the door seal wears over time. Due to this, you have to adjust the door pin. If not, the door seal won’t shut the door properly and it may open when the steamer is steaming food.

You can consult an expert to know whether your unit requires this door pin adjustment. You can also read the user manual if it instructs about anything like this. If it does, then its door pin does need adjustment with time.

Look For A Clogged Drain Or Vent

A clogged drain line or vent will create pressure in the steamer which can push the door to open up. You should clean the drain line and the vent. Moreover, make sure not to attach more than two steamers to the same drain line.


Two common problems of a commercial steamer are overfilling with water and the door opening during operation. Now you have fixes for these problems. To avoid issues with your steamer, always consult a commercial steamer repair Fairfax technician for inspections and repairs. Moreover, clean and descale your steamer regularly to avoid clogs and blockages inside the unit. Only you use cleaning solutions recommended by the manufacturer of your commercial steamer.



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.



How to Take Care of Your commercial Steamer

Commercial steamers have become popular over time as people opt for more healthy meals and efficient cooking methods. Cooking food in steam especially vegetables will ensure they retain their natural color and nutrients. A commercial steamer is an essential appliance for restaurants and institutions that advocate for healthy eating, and it’s critical that the appliance is working efficiently for such institutions to live up to their mission. Make sure that you follow the commercial appliances service schedule as this will ensure that your commercial steamer is working perfectly

Tips on How to Take Care of Your Commercial Steamer

It’s vital that you keep the steamer clean to avoid food contamination.

  • Switch and Empty the Steamer

Once you have finished steaming, switch it off and Remove the water from the drip tray and let it cools completely

  • Soak the steamer

Depending on the size of the steamer soak it in warm water with soap to loosen any food stuck in the appliance. If your steamer is huge, remove the lid, steaming container and drip tray and soak them in warm water.

  • Wash the steamer

Clean the steamer with fabric and ensure that the electric plug doesn’t come in contact with the water. After cleaning dry the steamer with a dry cloth and let it stand for a while before using it again. You can use vinegar to wipe the interior as it will disinfect the steamer. It’s essential that you delime the steamer regularly as the accumulation of lime may cause the heating element to malfunction. Don’t forget to clean the door, latch and the steamer control knobs

Tips on How to keep your commercial steamer working for long

  • Change the filters regularly
  • Check for loose covers, faulty controls and cracked as often as possible to avoid the problem from degenerating
  • Ensure that steamer is cleaned daily and no food particles remain food tray
  • Use a descaling agent to remove the build-up of lime in the element every week to keep the steamer effective
  • Don’t turn the steamer on when it has no water
  • Get advice from the commercial steamer repair experts on how best to take care of the steamer and the best products for cleaning it.
  • Follow the commercial appliance service schedule without fail to ensure your commercial steamer works well
  • Clean the steamer every day to avoid food build up

Sign that your Commercial Steamer needs repair

If you notice any of the following signs immediately contact the commercial appliances repair, expert

  • The steamer fails to heat up
  • No steam even though the water level is ok
  • Dripping water from the Nozzle. Also, check whether the nozzle is making some burbling sound
  • The steamer has some clicking noises.


Preventative Maintenance Tips for Commercial Kitchen Appliances

Commercial kitchen appliances are the most important assets of any restaurant. However, regular use and nonstop operation inevitably lead to appliance failures and unexpected replacements, immensely impacting the productivity and budget of kitchen. Scheduling regular maintenance visits of commercial kitchen appliance repair technician is the best way of reducing repairs needs. A maintenance program can help you in running your kitchen activities smoothly, maximizing appliances efficiency and avoiding the expensive repairs.

Maintaining commercial kitchen appliances

Maintenance of kitchen appliances is as important as paying bills. Regular maintenance actions, such as cleaning, descaling and calibrating cooking appliances, can significantly increase the life and efficiency of the appliances.

Commercial appliance failures are troublesome and pose several operational challenges. Regular maintenance prevents failures, breakdowns and keep appliances running at maximum efficiency. It is important that your expensive commercial appliances operate with full efficiency to cope up with the business requirements, and only well-maintained appliances can work like that.

A commercial kitchen is comprised of number of appliances, such as:

  • Microwave oven
  • Commercial convection oven
  • Commercial range
  • Commercial refrigerator
  • Walk-in freezer
  • Commercial ice-machine
  • Commercial deep fryer
  • Commercial garbage disposal unit
  • Commercial steamer

All these appliances need to be in tip-top condition to carry on the kitchen activities without any sort of trouble. Each and every appliance installed in the commercial kitchen serves different purpose. Thus, every appliance needs to be in working condition to do their tasks.

If you are new to the commercial kitchen appliances, you should read the user manual provided by manufacturer of the appliances. By doing this, you will learn about the installation, maintenance and cleaning requirements of the appliance. The better you understand about your commercial appliances, the better you will be able to look after them.

You and your kitchen staff can handle the maintenance and cleaning task, but when it comes to repair, you need professional help. Commercial kitchen appliances are very complicated. If you think that you can repair them by yourself, then you are making a big mistake. Only a certified and professional technician can do this task properly. The best thing you can you is to find the best commercial steamer repair Arlington technician when your appliance break downs.  The professionals have sheer knowledge and understanding about the internal structure of appliances. They will provide you the long-term solution of the problem.