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Hatco Booster Heater Troubleshooting & Resolutions for Technicians

Hatco Booster Heater Under Sink Hatco Booster Heater Troubleshooting and Resolutions for Technicians

When you get a call from a client who is having issues with their Hatco booster heater, more often than not it’s a simple fix. However, sometimes the issue requires a bit more care. Seeing as how commercial kitchens use these booster heaters to expedite the dish washing process and sanitize, getting these units back up and running is important.

If you’ve received a call about an issue with a Hatco booster heater, here is how you can troubleshoot each problem, possible causes and resolutions for each. For additional instillation and servicing information, refer to the Hatco booster heater manual.

Issue: Water Heats Up to 180 ° F, but Doesn’t Last Through the Entire Operation Cycle

Possible Causes

  • Low incoming water temperature
  • Drop in incoming water’s temperature
  • Flow pressure is too high
  • Undersized booster heater
  • Incorrect voltage

Solutions

  • Increase temperature of incoming water
  • Increase the supply of primary hot water for the unit
  • Adjust the flow pressure to 20 psi (138 kPa)
  • Booster heater will need to be properly sized for rinse requirements and incoming water temperature
  • Make sure the booster heater is getting proper voltage supply. Check the voltage requirement on the serial plate.

Issue: Dish Machine Water Isn’t at the Proper Temperature

Possible Causes

  • Improperly working gauge(s)
  • Thermostat is set too low
  • Water pipe from booster heater is longer than 5 linear feet, causing the water to cool inside the pipe

Solutions

  • Check the water’s temperature to see if gauges are working properly. If not, replace the gauge(s)
  • Recalibrate or adjust the thermostat. If it isn’t recalibrating properly, replace the thermostat
  • Wrap the pipes in insulation if they are longer than 5 linear feet. You can also install a recirculating system.
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Issue: Dribbling Relief Valve

Possible Causes

  • Pressure build-up inside booster tank, caused by an incorrect valve, or no pressure reducing valve installed
  • Blocked bypass in pressure reducing valve
  • The check valve or anti-siphon valve is installed in the feed line

Solutions

  • Install a pressure reducing valve with high pressure bypass to the incoming water line
  • Clean the bypass, or replace it with a new valve that has bypass built-in
  • Remove the check valve or anti-siphon valve, or install a back pressure relief valve on the incoming water line

Issue: Relief Valve Opens

Possible Causes

  • Booster heater is overheating
  • Heater isn’t cycling off due to the contactor being stuck in the closed position

Solutions

  • Thermostat is set too high or is sticking. Recalibrate or replace the thermostat
  • Replace contactor(s)

Issue: High Temperature Limit Safety Switch Trips

Possible Causes

  • Defective temperature limit switch
  • Thermostat is set too high
  • Incoming water temperature is too high and causing nuisance tripping of high temperature limit switch

Solutions

  • Replace high limit safety switch if booster heater isn’t overheating
  • Adjust or recalibrate thermostat
  • Incoming water temperature needs to be adjusted, and should not exceed 160° F

Issue: Chattering from Contactor or Low Water Cutoff Circuit Board

Possible Causes

  • Loose connections, or wire connection has insulation under crimp
  • Low voltage
  • Faulty or fouled probe
  • Bad contactor(s)

Solutions

  • Tighten all connections and check crimps
  • Check the control circuit voltage, or secondary voltage with transformer
  • Bypass probe by removing the wire from the low water cutoff probe and grounding to the tank. 
  • Test contactor coils and replace if applicable
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Issue: Burned Out Heating Element(s)

Possible Causes

  • Tank drained inadvertently, leaving element(s) in a dry state
  • Lime buildup has caused element(s) to split and burn out

Solutions

  • Replace element(s) and ensure the tank is full of water at all times. Check low water cut-off system 
  • Replace element(s) and clean/delime the tanks, and use a water softener or blended phosphate treatment system

Have any insight on troubleshooting Hatco booster heaters? Leave your tips in the comments below!