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#175533 - 03/03/08 06:05 PM Kitchen Hoods (Commercial)
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5299
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Forgive me if this seems like a rant .... I've just had a series of experiences that, IMO, are inexcusable.

The topic this time may involve commercial kitchen exhaust hoods - but the potential for this sort of problem arises every time more than one trade is involved in the installation of something.

I'll try to be specific in my 'rants' as I describe the chain of events.

For nearly 6 months, I've been involved in building a place that includes a commercial kitchen. During all this time, I never received and specifications from the (invisible) "Hood guy." The only function of the "hood guy" was to hook up the fire suppression system. I never saw his print until literally seconds before the first inspection, and still lack a copy.

Nor have I ever, on any of these jobs, received a 'sequence of operation.' You can forget about ladder diagrams. There is ZERO communication between the 'hood guys,' the HVAC crew, and the architect. I guess they draw it, and I'm the guy who's supposed to figure it out. The experience is like buying a car - then having to assemble the dashboard from parts found at the hardware store.

RANT #1: If the equipment is supposed to operate a certain way ... and is supposedly a complete unit ... it ought to have complete instructions, and I ought to need to do no more than bring power to it!

RANT #2: I need copies of ALL prints and specifications - before the work is done.

Anyway, the big day comes. I've cobbled the hood system to the HVAC, so that tripping the hood kills the HVAC that brings fresh air in. Tying the HVAC into the hood so that it operates whenever the exhaust fan operates is a bit of a problem; I have a control conflict. That the thermostat is in another room doesn't help.

Minutes before the inspection, the hood guy comes in, and hangs a bell on the unit - a bell that I need to wire. Naturally, there are NO instructions specifying WHEN the bell is supposed to ring. The hood guy also gives me a spiel as to how much better, more code conscious, more competent, etc., his firm is than the competition. He also implies that I have never done any of these systems. His sermon is full of 'code say this' and 'code says that', with a sprinkling of 'local amendments' thrown in.
I ask: What code are you referring to? He not only lacks a copy, he does not even know the name. He does assert something erroneous about the NEC - I offer to get my copy from the truck. He declines my offer .... and the AHJ arrives.

Naturally, we fail. We're not ready. Hood guy tells the GC there will be a charge for his return visit. I ask the inspector what code they're using - I'm getting tired of vague generalities about how the system should perform. Especially since the hood guy has made an assertion that the system needs to do "X".
The AHJ does not know the name of the code. He knows not where / how to get a copy. He is unaware of any local amendments.

RANT #3: I expect any inspector to at least know the name of the law he's enforcing!

Thanks to the wonder of the internet, I have a copy of the appropriate code the next day. It was referred to in the fine print on the hood guy's drawing.
Remember I told you the hood guy insisted that the system was required to do "X?" Guess what? The code (NFPA 96) specifically states "the system will NOT be required to do "X"!"
BTW, "X" is discussed in 8.2.3.2 of NFPA 96. I've left out a detailed description so as to keep on track.

I discuss this with the AHJ, and he agrees. Re-inspection is scheduled.

The bell the hood guy gave me is bad. He replaces it, and says I wired it wrong. I make the necessary changes.
I still have that control problem with the HVAC unit. Thanks to a lot of help from the HVAC guy, we get it worked out.

The inspector arrives, and the hood guy goes through his 'dog and pony' show. Purely by chance, I'm sure, the first thing he does is show the bell operation. Amazingly, it works the way he wants.
He continues his demonstration, repeatedly drawing attention to the fact that the system failed to do "X."
I really, really enjoyed trumping him with his own code!

Now ... remember the control problem? Well, without getting into the details of the specific application, it appears, from 8.3 of NFPA 96, there was no requirement to tie this HVAC unit into the hood system! I doubt that the hood was capable of drawing the required vacuum ... nor was the fresh air supplied internally to the hood.
Lesson: You not only need to know the other guy's code, and have a copy of it, ... you need to plan ahead, and teach them their own code!

Talking to the hood guy's boss was of little help. Himself also but a tiny cog in a monster firm, I don't think he has ever seen NFPA 96 either.

If you've read this far, thank you for your patience. I am open to comments - as well as feedback as to whether my experience was unusual.

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#175535 - 03/03/08 06:49 PM Re: Kitchen Hoods (Commercial) [Re: renosteinke]
sparkyinak Offline
Member

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 1286
Loc: Alaska
Now the you vented, do you feel better? Did you keep the GC and your shop on everything that happened, when it happened? Was the design (hood) ever reviewed by the fire marshall and approved?
_________________________
"Live Awesome!" - Kevin Carosa

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#175538 - 03/03/08 08:03 PM Re: Kitchen Hoods (Commercial) [Re: sparkyinak]
leland Offline
Member

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 856
Loc: Lowell area, Ma. USA
Hi&&*R? From Alabama?

Was It in your scope, specs,or thrust upon you?
Typicaly,The Suppresion guys will tell you nothing until they need it (I know, I used to be one . (still am kinda))

#1) This would depend on the size of the hood. Typicaly, Provide a shunt-trip for the gas and power,leaving the exhaust runing.

#2) RANT #2: I need copies of ALL prints and specifications - before the work is done.

----Good luck with this!!!----

Anyway, the big day comes. I've cobbled the hood system to the HVAC, so that tripping the hood kills the HVAC that brings fresh air in. Tying the HVAC into the hood so that it operates whenever the exhaust fan operates is a bit of a problem; I have a control conflict. That the thermostat is in another room doesn't help.

--Control power to the contact for the EF first,Then the relay for the shut down, then to T-stat and make up air.---

Minutes before the inspection, the hood guy comes in, and hangs a bell on the unit - a bell that I need to wire. Naturally, there are NO instructions specifying WHEN the bell is supposed to ring.

--On Discharge--- thru the normaly open in the unit.---
but, without direction, don't assume.

The hood guy also gives me a spiel as to how much better, more code conscious, more competent, etc., his firm is than the competition. He also implies that I have never done any of these systems. His sermon is full of 'code say this' and 'code says that', with a sprinkling of 'local amendments' thrown in.
I ask: What code are you referring to? He not only lacks a copy, he does not even know the name. He does assert something erroneous about the NEC - I offer to get my copy from the truck. He declines my offer .... and the AHJ arrives.

------Most in this feild are one dimensional! Most, not all,Consider the source. I know. They know what they know and... thats about it.
Most are licensed thru the fire marshal and have little to no electrical experience. The CO. I worked for... I was the ONLY journeyman, and only 2 "D" licenses!!!! 1 was a supervisor who was Grand fatherd in!!!!! (30 field guys)

Trained Monkeys comes to mind. But very good at 1 (one) thing.------


Naturally, we fail. We're not ready. Hood guy tells the GC there will be a charge for his return visit. I ask the inspector what code they're using - I'm getting tired of vague generalities about how the system should perform. Especially since the hood guy has made an assertion that the system needs to do "X".
The AHJ does not know the name of the code. He knows not where / how to get a copy. He is unaware of any local amendments.

----Wow, Imagine that!!! Here the fire marshals do all the fire related inspections. And They (most) ARE VERY SHARP!!!
I like that, you can have a good stimulating intelligent conversation.-----

Good luck Reno.

Good luck with this!!!

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#175539 - 03/03/08 09:14 PM Re: Kitchen Hoods (Commercial) [Re: leland]
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5299
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Great reply, Leland ... I really appreciate it.

I don't want to get side-tracked into the specifics of that HVAC unit; suffice to say I could shut it down, but not re-start it.

Good luck? Not needed. System is working to AHJ's satisfaction - thanks to the HVAC guy.

I've been rather vague as to the jurisdiction, and the contractor involved - simply because that should not be relevant. No sense in going off in that direction!

The fact is, we often work along with other trades. Whether it be the plumber and his lift station, the HVAC/ reefer guy, the sign guy, the alarm guy .... and we need to know something of their trade, something of their codes, in order to do our job properly. As this example so aptly illustrates, we cannot assume that they know their own trade!

So ... since I've done several hoods over the past few years ... I really should have read NFPA 96 a long time ago. I've been lax.

What other codes do we need to know? Or. will we continue to depend on what someone once told us? Here are a few examples; see if you can cite the code that:

A) Tells us where exit signs and 'bugeyes' are needed?

B) Tells us when we need to use the red putty pads on our boxes?

C) Tells us that piping inside a walk-in cooler can't be run flat on the surface?

D) Tells us we can't use lots of recessed (incandescent) lights?

E) Tells us where to place the alarm strobes?


(Winner gets a free invite to the evening chat \:D )

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#175540 - 03/03/08 09:45 PM Re: Kitchen Hoods (Commercial) [Re: renosteinke]
whocares Offline
New Member

Registered: 03/03/08
Posts: 4
Loc: tx san antonio
I had the same type of issue, and did more than my share fare of the work, more so out of my scope just to get the job done. It seems to me that EC has to know everyone's job, yet the other trades can be clueless of ours??? Guess it shows who the leader of the craftman'mens,s. is. Rest assure this happens all over

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#175575 - 03/04/08 05:48 PM Re: Kitchen Hoods (Commercial) [Re: leland]
leland Offline
Member

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 856
Loc: Lowell area, Ma. USA
 Originally Posted By: leland

------Most in this feild are one dimensional! Most, not all,Consider the source. I know. They know what they know and... thats about it.
Most are licensed thru the fire marshal and have little to no electrical experience. The CO. I worked for... I was the ONLY journeyman, and only 2 "D" licenses!!!! 1 was a supervisor who was Grand fatherd in!!!!! (30 field guys)

Trained Monkeys comes to mind. But very good at 1 (one) thing.------



I would like to PUBLICALY RETRACT this statement.
"Trained monkeys"

The guys I worked with in the suppression business were/are very good at what they do.
This Industry is 2 fold- And I forgot that.

1) Is the mechanical end (kitchens,gas stations,chemical tank farms,portables,Dry chem,foam,water mist, etc.) some very large.
And serious calculations needed-on site to confirm the design-

The other is the high end DATA ctrs and the like.I personaly have done some systems with over 1000 (1 Thousand) devices,including actuation and detection(excluding notification).With as many as 6 or more coverd hazards.

The mechanical guys are on top of all the current codes in their field. But no others.

Suppression is a field of its' own.With it's own set of rules.NFPA yes, The life safety, NO.Property protection is key. (well paying too).
I had a bad taste with my former employer and unfortunately that blead thru.

But I stand by the fact that there were only 3 (three) state licenses on board.
The rest were state fire marshal "certificates" for fire suppression. Thats well and good.

This state, no suppression work for you unless the FM authorizes and tests you for it.

5) catagories)
1-self serve facilities 9GAS STATIONS
2-PORTABLES
3-Engineered fixed systems. (fm 200-Inergen-etc. (data ctrs) old halon.
4-Pre-Engineered fixed systems (Kitchens)
5- Hydrostatic testing- For pres cylinders before refill.
One will not allow you to do the other, you need each specific one .

However,they have technitions crossing the line with service and modifications.

Should I push the issue with the state? Or let it go on?

I have my answer. Would like your thoughts.

List this: RANT:5

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#186786 - 05/27/09 02:49 PM Re: Kitchen Hoods (Commercial) [Re: leland]
fireguy Offline
Member

Registered: 02/02/06
Posts: 19
Loc: Baker City, OR 97814
Hey Reno, lay off that fire guy. He is my competion, and my best salesman. If he actually knew what he is supposed to know, and did what he is supposed to do, my business would not be as successful as it is.

Not all of us fire guys operate like that. If you ask me to show you the code, I can. I have the codes, NFPA, Oregon Mechanial, Oregon Fire Code, and Mfg installation manuals, that pertain to the scope of our work, as do my techs. If there is confusion, I do not hesitate to get the book out and learn something. We also take classes that apply to our work.

Like you, I am continually am amazed at the trades that do not know the code issues and never attend any classes. This year we have attended classes on exhaust system installs and maintanence, and will be attending classes on extinguishers this weekend.

30 years in the trade, and still learning.

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#186797 - 05/28/09 07:17 AM Re: Kitchen Hoods (Commercial) [Re: fireguy]
ghost307 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 876
Loc: Chicago Illinois USA
Fireguy; I hear you, I understand you and I agree completely.
An older and wiser E.C. than me once told me that he absolutely loved those DIY books from Sears...they guaranteed that he'd have plenty of work during the winter months fixing things that the novices messed up trying to save a few bucks.
_________________________
Ghost307

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#186853 - 05/31/09 02:25 PM Re: Kitchen Hoods (Commercial) [Re: ghost307]
Tesla Offline
Member

Registered: 06/16/04
Posts: 1280
Loc: Sacramento, CA
Ghost... you're right on the money with regard to DIY books.

The number one error I keep seeing: a switch leg brought to the outlet box as white but banded black.

Those who can do; those who can't illustrate a book.
_________________________
Tesla

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#187901 - 07/13/09 07:09 PM Re: Kitchen Hoods (Commercial) [Re: Tesla]
ChicoC10 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/30/07
Posts: 169
Loc: CA
Quote:
The number one error I keep seeing: a switch leg brought to the outlet box as white but banded black.


I'm not sure I follow. It's legal to use the white as an ungrounded conductor as long as it stays that way, not switching it on and off, even without phasing it another color. If it gets switched then phasing it black is OK.

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