THE Quarterly Product Knowledge Guide: Power Sinks

Also called agitating sinks, power sinks tackle food soil with hot, soapy water and agitation to clean pots and pans, eliminating about 90 percent of the hand scrubbing typically needed. It’s important to note that these units do not serve as garbage disposals, so staff need to pre-scrape items prior to placing the wares in the wash tank.

Manufacturers have different names for these units, but they all work essentially the same way: by moving water vigorously for more thorough and consistent cleaning. Operators can utilize power sinks to reduce the amount of dirty pots and pans that stack up during busier periods, which helps ensure quicker throughput. Not only does it shorten the cleaning process and decrease labor, but this approach can also help save money by allowing fewer items to be washed in in a dishmachine.

These three-bay sinks include a large wash tank and smaller rinse and sanitizer tanks. Operators typically use power sinks in conjunction with warewashers. In fact, power sinks can take over for a warewasher when the latter is out of operation. Operators also use power sinks in conjunction with utensil washers. Some operations use power sinks as a first step for heavily soiled ware before cleaning it in a dishmachine.

The advantage of power sinks over utensil washers is that the sinks don’t require a 180 degree F booster or ventilation. The drying time for pots and pans is the same in a power sink as in a standard three-bay sink.

Power sink tank sizes generally come in increments of 6 inches ranging from 30 to 72 inches. The most popular sizes include 36, 42 and 48 inches. These units usually measure either 18 or 21 inches deep.

For greater cleaning capabilities, power sinks pump water through the soak bowl at a rate of 300 to 400 gallons per minute. The majority of these sinks’ wash tanks use standard container heaters, which run on either 2.5 or 7 kilowatts. Because the tank water remains at 115 degrees F, it can become a petri dish for bacteria growth. To combat this, staff should empty the water at least every four hours. Standard wash tanks require draining and refilling every two hours.

The standard return on investment with power sinks is about a year and a half, and the service life is long — approximately 20 to 25 years for some models.