Since 1914, when Hobart introduced its first mixer, commercial cooks and bakers from around the world have come to depend on the reliable brand. With such extraordinary longevity, it’s only natural that many serviceable parts wear out over the decades. Agitators, attachments, bowl guards, bowls, lifts, and a bevy of working parts that make it all work need to be repaired or replaced over time.
With proper ongoing maintenance, however, you can keep your Hobart mixing up your favorite breads, pizzas, and more for years to come, while also extending the life of its parts and minimizing the need for replacements.
Five Tips for Preventive Maintenance
What should you be on the lookout for when checking over your Hobart mixer? Take a look at a few of the top money-saving tips in preventive maintenance:
Changing Lubricants – Lubricants are important to your mixer, because they help displace heat during mixing and preserve parts that touch each other. Lubricants should be used regularly. Bowl clamps should be lubricated twice a year. Bowl lift sliderails should be lubricated more frequently. Often, the rails get splashed with dry, doughy, or wet ingredients. It’s important to keep them clean and lubricate them monthly. Keeping moving parts lubricated is one of the best ways to extend the life of your mixer and its parts.
Replacing Seals – If there is evidence that seals are leaking, which will be noticeable around the planetary assembly, the auxiliary attachment hub, and other points, you will have to go beyond simply replacing the grease. You can do it yourself with the help of one of their training videos, or call a tech. Even a local mechanic can do this job for you. If you do it yourself, it is recommended that you replace the grease with a synthetic food grade grease.
Periodic Deep Cleaning – Before cleaning any part of a Hobart mixer, unplug the power cord. Never clean the mixer with a hose. Disassemble the apron, splash guard, and wire cage assembly, and wash in soapy water in a sink along with bowls and agitators. Wipe the mixer down thoroughly with a clean damp cloth. Additionally, periodically deep clean:
- Fan and Protective Grid – The protective grid around the motor easily clogs with repeated use and gets blocked, which causes the motor to get too hot. Even the fan itself can be coated with flour and other ingredients that inhibit the air intake and the motor’s ability to cool down. Clean trouble spots to keep the motor running smoothly longer.
- Switches and timers – Thoroughly wipe down switches, timers, auxiliary attachment ports, bowl attachment locks, back rails, and other areas vulnerable to a buildup of gunk. Do this at the end of every day. Disassemble parts that show buildup and clean. Wipe-downs should be done daily, and deeper cleans monthly.
- Planetary assembly – Open the underside of your planetary assembly with a screwdriver and thoroughly clean it periodically. While you have it open, check for lubricant leaks that need attention or any evidence of moisture that may eventually result in rusted parts. If you feel confident to do it yourself, remove the whole assembly and check the gears for possible grease replacement too.
Keeping Parts Dry – Always unplug the power cord before cleaning. It’s common for condensation to build up on the mixer, and it’s important to keep it dry. After wiping down the mixer at the end of the day, take the time to also wipe it dry. After removing and washing the splash guard, wire cage assembly, and other removable parts, take the time to thoroughly dry each one before replacing them. Avoid letting the mixer sit in liquid, and make sure all surfaces that have been wiped clean are also dried.
Inspecting Safety Features – Periodically check the safety features on your Hobart mixer, including the power cord. It can be replaced for under $100 – a small price to pay for safety. The wire safety cage should be undamaged. It works with magnets, so make sure the magnet is secured tightly, and check the white plastic bowl guides to be sure they’re secure and in position. Each of these fixes can cost about $50 to replace. Having to replace the entire wire cage bowl guard can be quite pricey, but a lawsuit resulting from employee injury will cost a lot more.
Honoring Your Hobart Mixer’s Limits
Trying to push your Hobart mixer to the limits by overfilling is a surefire way to cause damage to it. Each mixer comes with a user’s manual that includes a scale of weights. You’ll find the dough weights that can be used with each agitator accessory without harming the machine. To go over those limits is to invite a major repair, like a motor replacement. Understand that even parts that don’t give out at the moment are undergoing stress that weakens them and makes them more vulnerable with each use. It’s better to consider batch size before you buy your mixer, and stay within those limits.
Getting Step-by-Step Maintenance Instruction
Hobart issues user and maintenance manuals with each new mixer they sell. If you bought your mixer used, or you misplaced your mixer manuals, you can access them online. Enter your Hobart mixer model at ManualsLib, a library of maintenance and user manuals, for up-to-date information.
Visual learners may want to access Hobart’s library of maintenance and DIY videos covering everything from stripping down a mixer’s gear box to changing the oil on a Hobart mixer. You’ll find several videos that take you point by point through nearly every maintenance process you can imagine on a Hobart mixer. There are also videos for making all types of repairs on a variety of Hobart mixers, including planetary mixers.
Although Hobart field technicians don’t make house calls, you can request a tech for your commercial kitchen Hobart appliance needs. So, if the job gets too complex for your skill level, there are qualified techs you can call on. You can even get advice and instruction through consultations.
If you care for your Hobart mixer with regular cleaning and preventive maintenance, it can last you a lifetime.