New member with a fryer problem

2
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Joined Jun 5, 2018
Hi all.

I'm an off-premise catering chef primarily, but I took the executive chef position at a large summer camp for four months. I joined the forum to get some advice with a few fryers but I'm sure I'll have more questions as I try to manage overseeing three meals per day for up to 500 people through August.

The camp has 3 fairly new 60 lb fryers and I've been using one of them for several days for a small pre-open staff. It works fine, but when I fired up the second one I noticed a small but steady leak. I thought it was the valve and showed it to the equipment repair guy. He went to tighten it and found that it was actually a tear in the hopper. The fat is running down the outside of the hopper, onto the drain pipe and then to the floor. It's clearly from the hopper and not the drain system.

I'm told that the tears can't be welded and that the only option is to replace the units. The repair guy seemed very knowledgeable and like a decent person but I want to get more opinions. He works as part of a company that also sells restaurant equipment so he's given me a bid on two new units.

Do you agree that this type of damage can't be repaired? I'll be up to about 400 in a week and the menu has a lot of fried items. I'm worried...

Thanks in advance!

Jerry
 
113
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Joined May 30, 2015
It could also be a case where it can be repaired but his company won't authorize him to repair it from a liability standpoint. Get a second opinion before buying new fryers, especially for a short-term gig like this. Our restaurant has contracts with Alliled and Hobart for repairs. If it can theoretically be fixed but they aren't authorized, we have a contractor who works exclusively for our restaurants (a dozen or so within a 3-4 hour drive) and does equipment repairs as well as building maintenance/construction for this very reason (it usually can be fixed from a physical stand-point - the trouble is finding someone to do it).
 
658
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Joined Sep 26, 2017
I wonder what caused the tear in the first place. Is it some kind of a cheaply made fryer?
 
983
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Joined Jun 23, 2015
Anything can be welded by the right person. I would check with the camp manager on liability of a repair vs new.
 
1,282
812
Joined Mar 1, 2017
If the fryers are relatively new, are there any warranties you could look to?

In most cases, a tear in metal can be fixed with a weld. But, this is a fryer and the weld or welding materials cannot expose the fry oil to any harmful or toxic metals. in addition, the metal the fryer is made of must be strong enough to take and hold a weld. I suspect that if the metal was thin enough to "tear," it may not be strong enough to take a weld. But, I'm no expert. You should have it looked at by an expert.

In the meantime, you should be able to limp along with two fryers, if necessary. Its not ideal. But, it should be doable. Worst case scenario, fry stuff in a pot to take up the slack of the missing fryer.

Good luck! :)
 
704
21
Joined Apr 17, 2006
Hi all.

I'm an off-premise catering chef primarily, but I took the executive chef position at a large summer camp for four months. I joined the forum to get some advice with a few fryers but I'm sure I'll have more questions as I try to manage overseeing three meals per day for up to 500 people through August.

The camp has 3 fairly new 60 lb fryers and I've been using one of them for several days for a small pre-open staff. It works fine, but when I fired up the second one I noticed a small but steady leak. I thought it was the valve and showed it to the equipment repair guy. He went to tighten it and found that it was actually a tear in the hopper. The fat is running down the outside of the hopper, onto the drain pipe and then to the floor. It's clearly from the hopper and not the drain system.

I'm told that the tears can't be welded and that the only option is to replace the units. The repair guy seemed very knowledgeable and like a decent person but I want to get more opinions. He works as part of a company that also sells restaurant equipment so he's given me a bid on two new units.

Do you agree that this type of damage can't be repaired? I'll be up to about 400 in a week and the menu has a lot of fried items. I'm worried...

Thanks in advance!

Jerry[/Q
Usually leaks occur in the welded seam at the bottom of the fryer pot. They can almost always be welded. The weld in most states has to be a food grade weld. Restaurant equipment repairmen and sometimes people who work for HVAC companies can usually do it. If you can't find anyone to weld it, the fryer pot is replaceable. You should never need to scrap out a fryer over a leak. I've worked with fryers that were up to 40 years old and still worked fine.
 
2
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Joined Jun 5, 2018
It could also be a case where it can be repaired but his company won't authorize him to repair it from a liability standpoint. Get a second opinion before buying new fryers, especially for a short-term gig like this. Our restaurant has contracts with Alliled and Hobart for repairs. If it can theoretically be fixed but they aren't authorized, we have a contractor who works exclusively for our restaurants (a dozen or so within a 3-4 hour drive) and does equipment repairs as well as building maintenance/construction for this very reason (it usually can be fixed from a physical stand-point - the trouble is finding someone to do it).
I'm replying so late because I've been working almost nonstop. Haven't had a day off since May 12th. I could have, I'm just not comfortable with the progress so far. Short days have been 12 hours...

I did some research and it's possible to repair a leaky tank, but it requires a skilled welder, and even then there are no guarantees. And you'll spend more than half of what a new unit costs. The end result is 2 new fryers will be here in a day or two.

As to what caused the tears, I learned that too. Quick expansion/contraction can break the welds. This can be from shocking a hot tank with cold water, or running it too low on fat.

So my crew of foreign college students arrived on the 8th. A few have cooking experience but most not so much. Anyway, they seem like good people and our first two days have been good. Only feeding 180 now. Camp sessions start on the 17th and the headcount will be 350 to 450. It's family style service and very simple food.
 
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