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6 Ways to Troubleshoot Your Commercial Kitchen Ventilation System

How to Troubleshoot Your Commercial Kitchen Ventilation System

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Denver, CO – The success of your commercial kitchen relies heavily on your ventilation system. If your vent system isn’t working properly, the air may become unbreathable or downright unsafe. Then there is the risk of fire due to the buildup for grease and other flammable materials. This means that, whether you run a restaurant in a hotel or hospital, or your vent system keeps your food truck running like clockwork for your hungry customers, you must inspect your vent hoods, fans, and other ventilation components regularly to ensure everything is working as it should.

If you smell smoke, the air has become too hot, there is a buildup of grease, or you merely suspect that your ventilation system isn’t working as it should (as in your energy bills are sky-high), these are the steps to take to troubleshoot and fix your problem as soon as possible.

Common Ventilation System Problems to Watch For

  1. Check for Power: This may seem like a silly tip to give to a professional in charge of operating a commercial kitchen, but we don’t just mean check the power switch. Check the breakers, wiring, and all other power components that keep your vent hoods and fans operating efficiently. If anything looks amiss, a professional vent hood maintenance crew should be called out immediately.
  2. Call the Power Company: A 3-phase hood motor could shut down due to what is known as a “Phase Loss.” You’ll know this is the problem if there are sections of your restaurant where the lights are out or if there are other kitchen components that aren’t working, such as an electric oven. If you suspect a phase loss is your issue, call the power company to resolve it.
  3. Defective Motor: In some cases, a motor that is going out of whack will trip your breaker. If you find yourself continually resetting the breaker, it may not be a fuse issue at all. The best move would be to call a professional ventilation motor specialist to repair or replace the faulty component entirely.
  4. Check the Motor Starters: The motor starters are typically located behind an access panel on the right or left side of the vent hood. Once the access panel is removed, you should see a “trip button” and reset button. Push the button if the system has been tripped. If the motor starts up again only to “trip” once more, you likely have a defective ventilation hood motor. Call a specialist to replace the motor to get your commercial kitchen back up to quality standards.
  5. Inspect the Service Switch: On the roof of your commercial establishment, you should notice a service switch. If the switch is off, turn it on. If it’s on and your ventilation system still isn’t working, the professionals are the ones to call.
  6. Listen for a Rattle: When running your vent hood fans, do they make a rattling sound? If so, you might have something loose that could soon break free. It’s best not to wait. Your fan or the components that operate the fan may need to be replaced.

Regular Maintenance Prevents Future Problems

The best way to keep your commercial kitchen running optimally all the year through is to schedule frequent maintenance by the ventilation hood experts. These maintenance service calls can be completed on your schedule so that downtime is minimized, and convenience maximized. Your staff and customers will thank you, and your kitchen will maintain optimum efficiency, even during the busiest lunch or dinner rushes.

To learn more about ventilation system maintenance, repair, and troubleshooting, call Hood Builder, the leader in vent hoods, food truck construction, and more, serving Orange County, CA & Denver, CO. Get a free quote today!

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