Recently Tower installed a new Palux Combi Oven in a small restaurant near Warwick Castle.

The install would have been quick and simple except for one ‘minor error’ in the pre-installation survey conducted by the Restaurant owner. The owner knew that the building had a 3 phase electrical supply and assumed that the kitchen was on that circuit. Unfortunately, the 3 phase stopped outside the kitchen.

So, before installing the Palux, it was necessary to run the 3 phase power into the kitchen. If there had been no 3-phase in the building then the project would have proved to be something of a nightmare.

This is one example of why a professional pre-installation site survey is always recommended prior to the purchase and installation of new commercial catering equipment.

During October Nottingham Girls School (NGS) will be having their old Zanussi flight dishwasher replaced with a new Meiko machine. As with other well run commercial catering operations the kitchen equipment at NGS is on a rolling replacement program.

Tower Engineers performing the contracted preventative maintenance work identify which equipment is coming towards the end of its useful, efficient and reliable life. The catering manager is informed of any equipment which is getting heavily used and wearing quickest in plenty of time (usually 12-18 months in advance of possible issues) to allow effective financial planning for replacement.

This approach allows the identification of problematic areas & equipment with a view to minimising any issues of unreliability or downtime in expensive and critical kitchen equipment. The aim for both the catering manager and Tower is to ensure that the catering operation is as cost effective as possible over the long term.

San Carlo, Granby Street Leicester, a high class Italian restaurant recently needed an upgrade to their gas supply to give a better flow of gas to their well used equipment.

To avoid disruption to their daily operations the work was performed, by a Tower Gas Safe Registered Engineer, in the early morning (starting at 4.00am). It involved moving from a 1/2″ main to a 1″ main and the fitting of an electrical gas solenoid ECV (Emergency Control Valve) linked to the stop switch.

Definition: An ECV provides a safety feature allowing someone evacuating the premises in an emergency to simply punch a button to cut off all gas supply to the facility. An ECV is fitted in addition to the mandatory manual Off Lever which also cuts the supply.

After the extended summer break it isn’t unusual for commercial catering engineers, like Tower, to get called out to schools and colleges to re-start some equipment.

Ovens & flight dishwashers, and other key pieces which have been worked hard during term time, deep cleaned and then left sitting for up to a couple of months don’t always start-up without problems. Not unlike many cars which have been driven hard & then left unused for a few months.

The process of cleaning can itself cause problems if the equipment is simply cleaned and then left. We always recommend that after a deep clean catering equipment is fired up again to ensure that everything functions properly and that any moisture is removed prior to an extended shut down.

Safecontractor says of itself  “…a leading health and safety pre-qualification assessment scheme, we are dedicated to promoting higher standards of competence and compliance through the provision of relevant industry specific and tailored health and safety assessments for all professions and sectors…”

In the recent subcontractor members newsletter they reminded us all of the dangers of asbestos.

Commercial catering engineers are a relatively small group among the plethora of contractors out there. Also, we are fortunate that much, possibly most, of our labours do not put us at risk of asbestos poisoning. However, it is a sad reminder that many contractors die from coming into contact with asbestos through their work on client sites.

It is a reasonable hope and expectation that if a client is aware of asbestos in their building they will inform the visiting contractors! That is the belief we work on anyway!


The Safecontractor website can be found at

Palux 10GN Combi Ovens
Harlaxton Manor, Lincolnshire

Harlaxton Manor, Lincolnshire

Harlaxton Manor, nr Grantham in Lincolnshire, recently upgraded their Olis Combi Ovens.

Having previously worked with the team at Harlaxton it was great to go back in again, with EuroCatering, to install two of the latest Palux 10 Grid Combi ovens which take approximately half the physical space but provide the same oven capacity (10 GN – Gastronorm Trays).

Palux 10GN Combi Ovens

Palux 10GN Combi Ovens

Registered Gas Engineer June 2013Gas Safe Register has published figures (Registered Gas Engineer, June 2013) showing an increase in inspections / investigations compared to the previous registration body (Corgi). Note: The figures quoted are primarily based on the domestic market (rather than the commercial market).

A key point is that Gas Safe are reportedly checking the quality of work, nationally, in greater numbers – 25% more annual inspections is a significant increase.

They are investigating:

  • illegal gas fitters
  • consumer complaints

The main focus of the Gas Safe Register is on improving and maintaining gas safety to the highest standards. To that end Gas Safe appear to have ‘more teeth’ than CORGI, who they’ve replaced, or they are simply using them more actively / effectively.

The impact on the confidence in engineers of the general public and trade clients is very positive. Knowing that there is an effective body checking on the standards of Gas Engineers provides increased confidence and raises the profile of properly registered engineers.

Gas Safe set minimum standards and it is always possible to exceed their standards – by doing this and by more rigorous enforcement legitimate engineers are able to thrive and cowboys are driven out of business or further underground.

One question remains though – Where are the numbers for the cowboy engineers who have been put out of business, fined or even put into goal as a result of the activities of Gas Safe?

Ladywood House Kitchen
Ladywood House Kitchen

Ladywood House Kitchen – the finished article

Tower recently assisted Euro Catering Equipment Ltd in the installation of a new kitchen at Ladywood House (near Oakham, Rutland).

Equipment installed included:

  • Fryers
  • Solid tops
  • 20 grid combi oven
  • Table top water boiler
  • Fridges
    • double door upright fridge
    • double door upright freezer
  • Assorted sinks & tabling
  • Mobile hot cupboards & overhead light gantries

It was a pleasure to work with the Euro Catering team (a fairly frequent occurrence) and a delight to be at Ladywood House.

Ladywood House - as work commenced

Ladywood House – as work commenced

Ladywood House - work in progress

Ladywood House – work in progress

Ladywood House - kitchen nearly finished

Ladywood House – kitchen nearly finished


GRANULDISK DiplomaTower Engineer, Paul Surman, recently completed the extensive training program in the installation, repair and servicing of GRANULDISK’s range of pot washing machines. The training took place at the manufacturers facility in Sweden and Tower are now approved and recommended by GRANULDISK to undertake warranty work on this type of equipment across Leicestershire / The Midlands.

Continuing Tower’s long-standing policy of working with innovative and market leading manufacturers of commercial catering equipment the technology behind the GRANULDISK equipment provides kitchens with a viable alternative to conventional potwashing solutions.

The range of equipment includes: Granule Smart, Granule Gastro, Granule Combi, Granule Flexi & Granule Maxi and covers the requirements of commercial kitchens from the small to the seriously large. The technology behind the range uses Granules (small, blue plastic pellets) and hot water to mechanically scrub pots and pans clean – and eliminates the need for pre-washing. The blasting power (of the granules) together with high temperature water washes pots and pans hygienically clean in a matter of minutes, using far less water, energy and chemicals than traditional pot washing methods.




Gas Safety Week takes place in 2013 on 16th to 22nd September.

This is the one week of the year where even more effort is put into raising awareness of gas safety and the importance of taking care of your gas appliances. It is a national campaign supported by the main players in the gas industry including manufacturers, retailers, consumer bodies and the public.

The main message is that badly fitted or poorly maintained/serviced gas appliances cause gas leaks, fires and explosions and also can lead to the build up of the deadly carbon monoxide (CO). Using an illegal gas fitter can put lives at risk, only a Gas Safe registered engineer should carry out gas work.