The Ultimate Guide to Choosing IMC Stainless Steel Compartment Sinks
Whether your commercial kitchen is large or small, a sink is a mandatory piece of equipment. In fact, most commercial kitchens have more than one. But with so many different varieties, from wall mounted to free standing, finding the ideal one for your facility can be tricky.
More specifically, a stainless steel compartment sink is one of the most important items to have present in any commercial kitchen. The FDA actually requires them to be on site. But how do you know the number of compartments or the stainless steel material/gauge to choose from?
Essentially, the number of compartments you’ll need for your sink will be determined by the tasks that your sink needs to do. Three compartment sinks are the standard norm for most kitchens to wash, rinse, & sanitize, but there are several options available.
Here’s a quick guide to help you out in your search.
The first question you probably have is: “how many compartments do I need?” Here’s an explanation of the uses & advantages (& some disadvantages) of compartments:
The most compact & space efficient option available. However, these sinks cannot be used as a dishwashing area, as they don’t have the number of compartments needed to meet FDA standards.
One compartment sinks are best used for very, very small kitchens & can act as a compact utility sink or a hand washing station. Common tasks may include vegetable or utility washing.
With two compartments, you’re able to use these sinks for food thawing & preparation purposes. However, dishwashing is still not possible because of the lack of compartments.
Other tasks may include vegetable cleaning or meat thawing. But keep in mind that you cannot use the same sink for vegetables & meats because of the inherit risk of cross-contamination.
The three compartment sink is the classic favorite. It is mainly used to wash, rinse, & sanitize dishes in a commercial kitchen. The three compartment sink is extremely versatile while keeping a small footprint.
It’s important to note that keeping each step of the cleaning process separate ensures sanitary results in every kitchen. This sink layout is one of the most common in the industry because it’s so easy & intuitive to use. It’s also able to hold almost any kind of dishware, cookware, or flatware in each compartment.
Four compartment sinks offer greater flexibility for locations with room to spare. If you have a lot of dishes to clean, then a four compartment sink can fit into your business easily.
Furthermore, the extra compartment allows utensils & smaller items to be isolated. The extra compartment can be also used to scrape any excess particles from your utensils.
Stainless Steel Material & Gauge
So you’ve decided on the number of compartments you will need, but what about the stainless steel material & gauge? In fact, the material & gauge is just as important as the number of compartments.
The best material to go with is Type 300 Series stainless steel. Type 300 series is a heavy duty material & is most reliable because of the extra rust & corrosion resistance. This makes it better for use in damp environments, where it will be able to stand up to the constant moisture.
The gauge is a measurement of the steel’s thickness, with lower gauges indicating a thicker metal & higher gauge indicating a thinner metal. 14 & 16 gauge are the best options to choose from when considering a compartment sink.
14 gauge is the thickest material. It is needed for those who want a sink that can stand up to heavy use. It is often the sink of choice for larger operations.
16 gauge steel is a traditional choice due to cost effectiveness & durability. It is generally fit for most tasks.
18 gauge is not recommended for compartment sinks as it is not ideal for heavy weighted items.
We HIGHLY recommend that all compartment sinks be NSF approved. This ensures that your sinks meet sanitary & safety protocols. We always encourage an environment that is healthy for your employees & guests!
At IMC/Teddy, we manufacture a variety of customizable compartment sinks to meet the needs of your facility. All compartment sinks are constructed from type 300 series stainless steel & available in 14 or 16 gauge. Furthermore, all compartment sinks are NSF approved & proudly made in the USA. Check out our line of compartment sink products here.
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