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Bowing to client pressure Paul Surman of Tower Commercial Catering recently became certified to “install, exchange, disconnect, service, repair, breakdown and commission Domestic Gas Cooking Appliances” in a commercial environment.

Across the Midlands there are a significant number of organisations which use domestic gas cooking appliances:

  • in a demo or training environment
    • schools and colleges training chefs and providing domestic science (or cookery) classes
  • in a development (R&D) environment
    • food manufacturers who make for the domestic food market – microwave meals, boil in the bag etc and need to do development work on domestic appliances

Such organisations have found it difficult to retain the services of qualified gas engineers to support their businesses.

  • Domestic engineers are rarely able to service this equipment because the insurance / liability requirements that commercial enterprises place on them are too high to be affordable / viable.
  • Commercial gas engineers are rarely correctly certified to work on domestic gas appliances.

CKR1 Certified

With the CKR1 certificate which Paul now holds (and the necessary insurance cover of Public Liability – £5,000,000 / Employers Liability – £10,000,000) he is now able to provide organisations with the full range of certified gas engineering services covering both commercial and domestic cooking appliances.

A Tower client recently had an all electric kitchen fitted and the LPG gas disconnected. This may be the way forward, as the cooking rings are all induction, combined with Rational combis and electric fryers.
A very beautiful show-piece kitchen.

Church kitchen complete

The Rugby Christian Fellowship contracted Tower (through partner Euro Catering Ltd) to transform an empty room into a complete kitchen during November.

When our engineers arrived the room was a complete void, with just a few pipes sticking out of the wall. When they left (3 days later**) it was a working kitchen with:

  • Palux 4 ring Induction hob
  • Palux Vario Pad
  • Giorik 10 Grid Combi Oven
  • Hot Cupboard & Light Gantry
  • Dishwasher
  • Extraction System
  • Sinks & waste disposal

Tower performed all of the electrical, plumbing and waste connection work. All equipment in the kitchen is electrically powered.


**Taking just 3 days for a complete kitchen installation project such as this one is unusual. Tower don’t generally recommend that clients plan for such a short turnaround time unless they have very unusual circumstances and the budget to support such a project.

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.

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?

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.