Foodservice Equipment Applications

HydroBlendBooster Heaters – Since booster heaters increase water temperature to 180° F, they are very susceptible to the formation of scale deposits on heating elements and on wetted metal surfaces. As scale forms on the elements, it acts as an insulator and the water is not heated efficiently. In electric booster heaters the heating elements must heat the water for longer periods to achieve desired temperatures. The higher the temperature, the more scale will develop. When an excessive amount of scale forms on the element, heat will not dissipate off the element quick enough causing it to dry-fire which leads to eventual replacement. In gas booster heaters, scale build up will reduce capacity and greatly reduce its efficiency since scale also acts as an insulator from the heat source.

Dish Machines – Dish machines spray hot water along with chemicals to remove food from dishes. The fact that heated water is being sprayed encourages the formation of scale. Scale build-up decreases the life and efficiency of dish machines. As the water is being sprayed inside the machine, one can expect that scale will form everywhere as well as causing problems from plugged nozzles to sticking mechanical parts.

Booster heaters are hot water fed and are placed prior to the dish machine. The flow rates for this application will vary depending on the dish machine. As long as the flow rates average 1.5 gpm +, then the proper unit applied will be the HBW.

HydroBlendHBW – This unit is primarily used in booster heater / dish machine applications. It does not utilize a clear housing as the water temperature exceeds 125° F. The high-temp red housing is used. The HBW uses a flow-thru head. This means that you can see straight through the filter head. The RSC-10 HydroBlend cartridge is used in the HBW. Ensure that the holes in the cartridge cap are pointed upward when placed in the housing.

In most cases, it is advantageous to treat the water prior to the water heater on the cold side. Since the majority of hot water used in food service applications is for dish machines, the unit can be placed on the cold water line feeding the water heater. This protects the water heater as well as the booster heater and dish machine. In this case, the standard SC-610 unit is used with the clear housing as opposed to the red hot housing. This allows for a quick visual inspection of the HydroBlend cartridge without having to unscrew the housing. The SC-610 also uses a flow-thru head. This means that you can see straight through the filter head.

Note: If placing a SC-610 before the water heater, it is recommended that the water heater be drained and cleaned prior to placing the unit online. This will increase the effectiveness of the unit in the booster heater and dish machine.

When applying HydroBlend on booster heaters and dish machines, the results may vary depending on the water hardness, alkalinity, and other water characteristics. Since booster heaters maintain water pressure, one can expect lime scale reduction and possibly the elimination of lime scale inside the booster heater. In dish machines where the water is being released from pressure, expect a dramatic reduction in the amount of lime scale formation. As HydroBlend shows some wetting agent capacity, it may help with some spotting issues. However, spotting will relate to other factors beyond HydroBlend’s control, so do not promote HydroBlend as an anti-spotting solution.

When using HydroBlend, it is recommended that the equipment be de-limed prior to application. This will increase the initial effectiveness of the product. Although not visible, one must remember that the internal plumbing of the dish machine will have scale accumulation as well. The amount of time required for the removal of this scale in the internal distribution system by HydroBlend will vary depending on the severity of the scale accumulation.


Most importantly, ensure that the product is inspected periodically to ensure that the cartridge is being depleted and changed when empty. Upon inspection ensure that the feed holes in the flow-thru head are not clogged. This can be checked by turning on the water with the housing removed and ensuring that two small water streams come down from the feed head. If one or both of the feed holes appear clogged, insert a paper clip and unclog the feed holes. Handle the HydroBlend cartridge with care trying not to disturb the product inside.


* Steamers and Combi-ovens – Steam equipment is very susceptible to poor water quality situations as a steamer evaporates water by driving it through a phase change. All dissolve solids will precipitate out when the water changes state. Any sediment flowing with the water will also have to settle within the steam generator leading to clogged orifices and acceleration of scale formation. Scale formation plagues steam equipment more than any other water quality issue.

There are a number of failure modes that result from scale build up:

Most steam generators use a mechanism (usually electronic probes) to sense water levels. These probes get coated with scale leading to over-fill and dry firing.
Drain valves may clog from loose scale deposits.
Scale may form in the condenser affecting steam flow.
Gas and electric units may also suffer from accelerated stress, corrosion, & cracking from scale formation and other chemicals present that accelerate corrosion in boiler metals.
Harsh cleaners which are employed for removal of scale can present a safety hazard, and harm equipment as well.

These factors result in:

Frequent maintenance requirements leading to downtime.
High service and repair costs.
Increased energy use.
Slower cook cycles.
Uneven cook cycles resulting in poor food quality.
Warranty issues as most manufacturers will not honor warranty agreements where the water does not meet stringent quality requirements.

Most steamers and combi-ovens are considered low flow applications (average flow rate < 1.5 gpm), therefore, the ScaleStick would be the correct HydroBlend cartridge used. The ScaleStick can be utilized in a variety of different configurations depending on the application. The inlet water temperature and usage parameters will determine the type of housing used and the correct ScaleStick configuration. Plain ScaleStickThe Plain ScaleStick is slightly longer (1/8”) than the Wrap ScaleStick which accepts a carbon wrap or sediment wrap. An O-band at the top of the Plain ScaleStick is used when the ScaleStick is used by itself. The Wrap ScaleStick does not use the O-band.

Chlorine in the water supply can contribute to corrosion in steamers and combi-ovens because when the water is heated, mild hydrochloric acid may form. The removal of chlorine is essential in helping prevent corrosion inside the boiler. The Carbon Block Filter Wrap effectively removes chlorine from the water supply as well as sediment. Use of the carbon wrap should be limited to small counter top steamers or combis and only when space dictates a single housing, otherwise use a ScaleStick Twin System.

Sediment WrapThe Sediment Wrap is used in non-chlorinated water supplies. Sediment present in the water supply may contribute to the formation of scale and also collect and clog orifices effecting equipment performance. The Sediment Filter Wrap effectively removes sediment from the water supply. Both the Carbon Wrap and Sediment Wrap may need replacement prior to the ScaleStick needing replacement depending on the water quality. Both wraps can be removed from the ScaleStick and replaced with new wraps.

Steamers and Combi-ovens are either cold water or hot water fed.
Hot Water Feed Line – A high temp housing must be used (PF-10-EHT-SS). This housing is the same as the HBW housing except that the head is not a flow-thru head, it is a standard pre-filter head (you cannot see through the head). The plain ScaleStick (SS-10) is the only model intended for use in hot water fed systems. If sediment filtration is desired, a separate housing must be used with a wound sediment filter designed for hot water (SD-510 W).

Cold Water Feed Line – In a cold water application, the ScaleStick can be used with or without a sediment wrap or carbon wrap depending on the application.

Low Usage – is steamer or combi-oven applications where the equipment is used for less than 4 hours per day. If chlorine or sediment filtration is desired, then a carbon wrap (chlorinated water) or sediment wrap (non chlorinated water) can be used. Any standard 10” pre-filter housing can be used.

Plain ScaleStick Medium Usage – In steamer or combi-oven applications where the equipment is used for less than 6 hours per day, then either a plain ScaleStick in a single housing or a Twin ScaleStick System using a standard 10″ carbon block filter (chlorinated water) or sediment filter (non-chlorinated water) should be used.

Twin ScaleStick Systems allow for higher chlorine and sediment removal capacities plus added flexibility in the choice of carbon and sediment filtration.

Twin ScaleStick System
Plain ScaleStick High Usage – In steamer or combi-oven applications where the equipment is used for more than 6 hours per day, then either a plain ScaleStick in a single housing or a Twin ScaleStick System using a standard 20″ carbon block filter (chlorinated water) or sediment filter (non-chlorinated water) should be used.

Twin ScaleStick Systems allow for higher chlorine and sediment removal capacities plus added flexibility in the choice of carbon and sediment filtration.

Twin ScaleStick System

ScaleStick MAINTENANCE (Steamers & Combis)

When installing or replacing filters, please make sure that the manager or operator is aware that they should do the following:

  1. Periodically change the pre-filter or wrap as they become dirty.
  2. When using the PF-10-BP (valve-in-head), occasionally check to ensure the knob is on filter and not by-pass.
  3. Change the ScaleStick before the product runs out.
  4. Instruct them how to change the filter, placing it on by-pass, releasing the pressure, etc.
  5. Make it clear that the product will perform better if the steamer/combo is turned off once per day allowing it to blow down.


The following are reasons why the product may fail to prevent scale build up.

  1. The filter head is on by-pass- PF-10-BP (valve-in-head housing). If you cannot read the knob because of where it is installed, to place on by-pass turn the knob clockwise, to filter turn counter-clockwise. This is only a half of a turn until it stops.
  2. Sediment / Carbon Wraps are not changed. If these wraps are not changed as needed, they will restrict water flow causing a vacuum on the ScaleStick side which will cause the product to be drawn out faster, eventually depleting the product. At this point the equipment is unprotected.
  3. Some very high usage on boilers will prevent optimum benefits from using HydroBlend. The steamer or combi-oven must be turned off and allowed to drain after 6 hours of operation. The equipment cannot be left on for the duration of a day. This is most important on atmospheric boilers.
  4. The ScaleStick is not changed when empty.

    1. Do not over-sell the product. In many cases, the ScaleStick will prevent any scale build up from occurring, however, this is not always the case. Depending on the type of water, usage, and equipment, the ScaleStick may decrease de-liming from 50% to 100%. Tell the customer that it will dramatically help the situation.
    2. Drill into the customer that the product will work as long as 1) The unit is not placed on by-pass, 2) The ScaleStick cartridges are replaced as needed, and 3) The equipment is not used all day without blow down in the case of steamers and combi-ovens.


    As described in the HydroBlend / ScaleStick specification sheets, this product works by sequestering or “tying up” hardness molecules and not allowing them to form hard scale deposits. It accomplishes this in two ways:

    1) Keeping the hardness in solution as the water is heated, not allowing it to come out of solution forming a scale deposit.
    2) If the hardness comes out of solution when HydroBlend is present, it will settle to the bottom of the heating chamber as a powder-like substance, instead of forming scale deposits on heating surfaces.

    HydroBlend’s ability to hold hardness minerals in solution is dependent upon many factors, among these are:

    1) Hardness Level – the harder the water, the more hardness will precipitate out of solution. When HydroBlend is present, this will settle to the bottom of the tank.
    2) pH Level – High pH levels (7.5 +) increase the rate that hardness comes out of solution.
    3) Temperature – the higher the temp, the more hardness will come out of solution.
    4) Pressure – The lower the pressure the more hardness will come out of solution.
    5) Equipment Type & Usage Characteristics – as in hours of operation, type of boiler, frequency of blow down, etc.

    HydroBlend’s ability to control scale is put to the test when there is high hardness, high pH, high temperature, low pressure, and high usage. This is most illustrated in atmospheric boilers used in many steamers & combi-ovens.

    Hardness is less likely to come out of solution in pressure boilers than in atmospheric boilers. The hardness that does come out of solution in either boiler will settle to the bottom of the chamber when HydroBlend is present. When the equipment is shut off at the end of operation, the boiler chamber is drained of water – this is called a blow-down. At this point, the accumulated precipitated hardness should exit the drain. The amount of precipitated hardness and the force of the blow-down will determine if all the precipitated hardness is removed.

    In most atmospheric boilers, the blow-down is a simple gravity drain, where a drain is opened and the water drains without pressure being applied. The force of the blow-down is minimal. In pressure boilers, the blow-down has more force as the water is being forced down the drain. Obviously, the pressure boiler will remove more precipitated hardness than the atmospheric boiler during blow-down.

    In atmospheric boilers there are two factors that act in favor of scale formation -1) More hardness will come out of solution and settle to the bottom of the tank, and 2) the blow-down is just a gravity drain. In atmospheric boilers, expect to find upon inspection that there remains some of the precipitated hardness accumulated at the bottom of the boiling chamber which can be usually cleaned by scooping it out. Occasionally this precipitated hardness may clog the drain if enough of it accumulates at the bottom of the tank. To reduce the amount of precipitated hardness at the bottom of the bottom of the boiler in atmospheric steamers or combi-ovens, it is recommended that the equipment be blown-down after 6 hours of operation.

    In high usage environments, often the steamer or combi-oven is turned on early in the morning and not turned off until the late evening not allowing the equipment to blow-down. This not only prevents the precipitated hardness to be flushed out as it builds up, it also greatly increases the rate at which the hardness comes out of solution.

    As water is evaporated in the boiling chamber, it leaves behind the mineral content. The more water is evaporated, the higher the concentration of dissolved minerals will be found in the boiling chamber. The dissolved mineral concentration will increase as the day progresses and eventually reach a point where the water is too saturated with minerals and will begin to release them at an accelerated rate. The rate of hardness coming out of solution will continue to increase unless the boiler is flushed or blown-down and new “fresh” water is allowed to enter the boiling chamber.

    This is why it is extremely important that in high usage applications where steamers or combi-ovens are used, that the boiler is blown-down after 6 hours of operation, otherwise, HydroBlend will not perform at maximum effectiveness. If the equipment is not blown-down after 6 hours of operation, one can expect that eventually, even though HydroBlend is present, that scaling will occur in the boiling chamber, albeit less scaling than if no HydroBlend was used at all. In this case, HydroBlend would decrease the rate of scaling dramatically, however, the end user may assume that the product does not work based on the equipment needing de-liming.

    Placing an atmospheric boiler in a high hardness area with high pH, and operating the boiler all day without a blow-down is inviting scale to form in large amounts. HydroBlend will help only to a point in this scenario. It must be drilled into an operator that they MUST ALLOW THE BOILER TO BLOW-DOWN AFTER 6 HOURS OF OPERATION.

    Take into account all factors when applying HydroBlend on steamers & combi-ovens, especially when water or usage characteristics are friendly to scale formation. High hardness, high pH, high usage, and atmospheric boilers should alert the person specifying HydroBlend that certain steps must be taken to ensure the most scale prevention possible. Do not promise more than the product can deliver in such cases. HydroBlend does in many applications completely prevent scale formation as long as the product is maintained and conditions are not extreme. However, in hard water areas where atmospheric boilers are used, it is important to educate the operator of their responsibility to allow the boiler to blow-down after 6 hours of operation.

    HydroBlend will help prevent scale in all applications. The degree of help is dependent on all the previously explained factors. Even in the worst case scenario, one can expect a 50% reduction in the amount of scale build-up. In order to ensure the optimum performance, please stress to operators that boiler blow-down is a very important part in controlling scale build-up in steamers and combi-ovens, especially in high usage applications.

    In cases where the water hardness is high enough that ScaleStick results may be unsatisfactory, the use of reverse osmosis is warranted. (SFES RO-150)

    ICE MACHINES (see also AquaPrime™ Systems)

    Ice is 100% water, and as much as 70% of service calls on ice machines are water quality related. The three main water quality issues plaguing ice machines are lime scale accumulation, chlorine, and sediment. Both cubed and flaked ice machines suffer from the following water related problems:

    * Scale accumulation on evaporator plate or auger reduces efficiency by slowing the freezing process requiring the compressors to run longer.
    * Scale accumulation causes ice to “hang up” and “bridge” in the bin.
    * Sediment and scale deposits clog distributor tubes reducing ice harvest.
    * Sediment and scale deposits affect the operation of the float valve, circulating pump, and purge valve.
    * Chlorine present in municipal supplies can cause corrosion in ice bin, evaporator plate, auger, and cabinet.

    Through proper filtration, the efficiency and life expectancy of the ice machine can be dramatically increased. Benefits include:

    * A reduction in maintenance requirements and service related costs.
    * Prolonged equipment life.
    * Increased ice production.
    * Decreased energy use.
    * Higher quality of ice produced.

    HydroBlend effectively prevents scale accumulation in ice machines as well as protecting wetted surfaces from corrosion. The HydroBlend ScaleStick is the correct choice in ice machines applications. Due to the higher water volumes needed in ice production, ScaleStick sediment wraps and carbon wraps should not be used – ScaleStick twin systems should be applied.

    Ice machine applications can be divided into two main categories:

    Moderate Usage – 400 lb to 800 lb capacity.
    High Usage – 800 lb – 2,400 lb capacity.

    Moderate Usage

    FA-SS-SD-TW (non chlorinated water supply) – utilizing a standard 5 micron filter (SD-510) for sediment removal and a ScaleStick for scale and corrosion control.

    FA-SS-CB-TW (chlorinated water supply) – utilizing a Carbon Block filter (CB-10) for sediment and chlorine removal and a ScaleStick for scale and corrosion control.

    Twin ScaleStick System
    High Usage

    FA-SS-SD20-TW (non chlorinated water supply) – utilizing a 20″ 5 micron filter (SD-520) for sediment removal and a ScaleStick for scale and corrosion control.

    FA-SS-CB20-TW (chlorinated water supply) – utilizing a 20″ Carbon Block filter (CB-20) for sediment and chlorine removal and a ScaleStick for scale and corrosion control.

    Twin ScaleStick System

    Ensure that Carbon Block and Sediment Filters are changed as needed. Ice machines use high water volumes and filter changes are important to correct operation. This is especially true in Hoshizaki Ice Machines where water demand is higher than in other makes.


    Ninety-eight percent (98%) of a cup of coffee is composed of water, so the quality of your coffee is most dependent on the quality of the water. Chlorine ruins the taste of coffee. Moreover, scale build-up on heating elements does not allow high enough water temperature for brewing which is as important for high quality coffee. Untreated water forms lime scale in the brewing equipment necessitating expensive descaling procedures, and/or shortening the life of the unit.

    Since most Coffee & Espresso applications are low flow, the ScaleStick with either a Sediment Wrap or Carbon Wrap should be used. As chlorine ruins the taste of coffee, the Carbon Wrap should be used in municipal water supplies.

    In Coffee & Espresso applications, the life of the ScaleStick should be calculated in time units as opposed to gallons. In these applications one can expect a ScaleStick to last for a period up to six months depending on usage.


    Hot water machines are basically mini water/ booster heaters used in many foodservice applications especially where dry goods are used. For example, mashed potatoes, gravies, refried beans etc. are often made by mixing pre-packaged dry ingredients with hot water. The water temperature must be close to 200° F in order for the consistency of product to be of high quality. If the heating elements are scaled in this equipment, then these temperatures are not obtained, leading to poor quality and consistency. Often, the foodservice operator must wait for the equipment to achieve dispensing temperature which is not acceptable during busy time periods.

    The same ScaleStick unit used in Coffee / Espresso machines are used in Hot Water Machine applications.


    Unlike other scale prevention treatment units, the ScaleStick works effectively along a wide range of flow rates making it ideal for many foodservice applications. However, the wide range of applications makes it difficult to estimate the exact total water volumes treated.

    The ScaleStick specification sheet has the total water volumes treated ranging from 2,000 to 6,000 gallons. This variation in capacity may be even wider when very low (less than .5 gpm) or moderately high (2 gpm +) flow rates are encountered. The rates at which the ScaleStick is used will depend on a variety of factors.

    * Flow Rate – Feed rates of HydroBlend will vary according to the flow rate. In slow flow applications, more HydroBlend is fed.
    * Water usage frequency. The more water is turned off and on, the more HydroBlend product is used. Less HydroBlend is used in continuous flow applications.
    * Water Temperature – In hot water inlet applications, HydroBlend will dissolve quicker than in cold water feed.

    Since there are so many variances in foodservice applications, one should expect a ScaleStick to last anywhere from 3 months to a year. In high usage scenarios, the level of the ScaleStick should be checked once every 3 months. Once the life of the product is determined by actual use, then a replacement schedule should be put in place. The ScaleStick will perform well as long as it is changed once the HydroBlend is spent.

Southeastern Filtration & Equipment Systems • 158 Railroad Street • Canton, GA 30114 • (770) 720-2800 • US (800) 935-8500

Copyright © 2012-2018 Southeastern Filtration & Equipment Solutions All Rights Reserved. Sitemap