Exhaust fan

Exhaust fan

Wake up call

Last Friday we got a call at 11pm from a restaurant. They were frantically trying to find someone to come and look at the exhaust fan which had stopped working. 5.30 on Saturday morning,  off we went….and found the exhaust fan working and the make up air pushing air into the kitchen! So, why the panic call the night before, and what had changed between then and now?

Well, closer inspection to the exhaust fan revealed that the pulleys and belt were so warm that the belt was slipping a little. Not too bad at that time in the morning, but you can imagine the heat build up after it had been running all day! When we checked the make up air it was also found to be in desperate need of attention.

Discussing all this with the manager his face fell, and he told me he has a maintenance company who come to the premises twice a year. It seems the company had been missing a lot of the equipment, but why? Well, what usually happens when you employ a new company to do your maintenance work is that a journeyman will come out and do all the work needed. He usually comes for the first few visits to sort out any major problems. Then the company will just start sending an apprentice to change the filters etc. Only sometimes are the apprentices shown what to do!

Restaurants are especially vulnerable to this, the apprentice can’t turn off the exhaust fan when the kitchen is cooking, and the make up air in this case was hidden in the ceiling. So, unless the apprentice knows to look for it or has been told its location, the equipment remains untouched. Years go by…..and then the equipment waits until a busy weekend in the middle of summer, and stops working!

It really is worth investing in an hour of someone’s time to have them check that all your equipment IS being maintained, otherwise it could cost you thousands of dollars to replace all your uncared for machines.

Caledonia Integrated Services is an Energy Management, HVAC and Electrical company, serving Vancouver and BC area.
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