Installing vent hood in small deli.

I am a member of the local natural foods co-op in the small town of Bemidji Minnesota. They have a very small deli and the health department is requiring them to install a vent hood. The manager noticed that I am handy and has asked me to install the thing. He has not bought it yet but is hoping to find a used one. I asked him if he was planning to go through the roof but he said he wants to go through the wall. I told him that I had never installed one but he said that he wants me to do it anyway.
It is a commercial style building probably of 1920's vintage. I am almost certain the interior walls and ceiling are plaster over lathe. The exterior walls are brick and the roof is flat. There is a very small space between the co-op and the neigboring building, just enough for a ladder I'm guessing. They only use a small kitchen style stove in this very small deli. I am a fine handyman and I figure I have all the tools and skills neccesary to complete the job. I am, however, concerned with some of the details. I want to do a very professional job for the co-op especially since there are some damn fine women who work there that I would like to impress.
What criteria should be used to select the hood? That is, how large should the hood itself be and how large should the fan be? Do you think it makes sense to go through the wall in this situation? I have seen other hoods that vent throught a wall but not in such a small space. What technique should be used to make a neat hole in a such a wall or ceiling? Plaster and brick can be somewhat unforgiving materials. How should the hood be attached to the wall or ceiling? I'm thinking it should be screwed directly to the studs. Would wall anchors be adequate? These people are super concerned with energy efficiency. How can I mitigate any heat loss created by punching a hole in the exterior of the building? What about the electric? I'm guessing that the hood will need to be on it's own devoted circuit. I think the panel is in the basement. Shold I just try to fish some Romex through the wall into the basement? Thanks any advance for any ideas or advice.
Lawrence
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snipped-for-privacy@paulbunyan.net wrote:

Post a picture. If they're that damn fine, you might get someone on here to do it for you! ;)

It's really not that big of a deal as far as punching the holes. Use a chisel or screwdriver with a hammer and cut the perimeter of the duct opening in the plaster. Then use a keyhole saw to cut the lath. Use a hammer drill or rotary hammer to drill the brick, then cut the sheathing with a keyhole saw or reciprocating saw.
The real deal with the installation is getting the details right. You will need to look up your state's mechanical code and read up on the exhaust hood requirements. http://www.doli.state.mn.us/bc_minnesota_state_building_code.html You'll need to get a permit and there will be probably be at least one inspection to verify the air flow.
Tell the manager that he should check with a used equipment or restaurant supply house. It's obviously important to know what you need before he goes out and buys something.
Venting into that side alley may or may not be a problem, depending on whether there are windows on your building or the neighboring one and whether your code/inspector will allow it.
Good luck with it.
R
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Better start with your health department instead of asking general questions to the world. Then call some licensed contractors in your area. This might be bigger than your talents.
If there is a grill then there could be interlocks needed. Last grill I did had a sail switch, as long as the hood operated the gas would work. If the hood was shut down then the grill shut down. Same applies to electric grills.
Some hoods required by the Health Dept require make up air on the roof, something like 3 times the exhaust volume.
Commercial work where I live is done with conduit and wire NOT Romex. Your location will probably be the same when you enter into the health department rules. You have not even mentioned the tile for the floors and the stainless steel for the walls.
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said:

here to do it for you! ;)
LOL, now that is funny. I appreciate any humor in these forums where you are just as likely to get flames and insults. I posted to a forum called sci.engr.heat-vent-ac and got a very disrespecful reply. Now I'm kind of sorry I said anything about the women of the co-op but I'm telling you I get a woody every time I go in there. I don't have any pics but I wish I did.
He also said:

exhaust hood requirements. http://www.doli.state.mn.us/bc_minnesota_state_building_code.html You'll need to get a permit and there will be probably be at least one inspection to verify the air flow.
Thanks for the link. I searched that site and am unable to find any information specific to exhaust hood requirements. If you can find this specific information, I would be most interested and grateful.
He also said:

inspection to verify the air flow
Now I know it's not right but here's the deal. I'm pretty sure this guy wants to do this job "under the table". Up here in the northwoods folks do thinks differently than anywhere else I have ever seen. Our population is thin and money is short. While it is true that the health department is requiring this hood to be installed, it is not like you think.
This health department guy has given us a year to install the hood. The year is almost up. He is a good friend of the co-op and a very nice guy and probabley just needs to see a hood to cover his ass. He is unlikely to be concerned with a lot of details like codes and inspections.
It may not be right, but such things are routinely ignored in our area for practical reasons. Since there is no budget for inspections and no enforcement people build whatever they want and sort out any problems after. Having said that, I would surely want to do a good job that would stand up to whatever the applicable codes and requirements may be, within reason.
He also said:

restaurant supply house. It's obviously important to know what you need before he goes out and buys something. Venting into that side alley may or may not be a problem, depending on whether there are windows on your building or the neighboring one and whether your code/inspector will allow it. Good luck with it
Yea, he is looking into it. There is a company in our rural area which deals in used equipment. I'm guessing the main things which need to be known are the size of the hood, size of the fan, and whether it is wall venting or roof venting. Does that sound right? The wall vent would not be venting into an alley but into a small space between buildings. There are no windows on either building in that in that in between area. Thank you.

to the world. Then call some licensed contractors in your area. This might be bigger than your talents
That is a good idea. See my above rant for my thoughts in this area. This deli is very,very small. There is only a small (electric) stove like you would find in a residential kitchen. They only use it a few hours each day.
It can be hard to hire someone in our very rural area. There are only a few contractors in our area and they seem to fall into two undesirable categories. Those who want the work but are drunk all the time and those who don't need the work and may not even have the time to answer calls. I would be happy to leave the job to a pro but Greg the manager seems to have ruled that option out. You are correct to say that this might be too big a job for me but I have good skills and all the tools. With that said, I am planning to make a careful analysis of the job requirements before accepting this challenge.
he also said:
Some hoods required by the Health Dept require make up air on the roof,
something like 3 times the exhaust volume. Commercial work where I live is done with conduit and wire NOT Romex. Your location will probably be the same when you enter into the health department rules. You have not even mentioned the tile for the floors and the stainless steel for the walls.
As stated above, this kitchen is very, very small. They only use the stove a few hours each day. There is no grill. The health department guy just wants to see a hood. It sound like you are saying that two holes might be required by some health departments so that an intake would be provided. That sound reasonable for a true commercial kitchen but may be more than is neccesary or required in this situation.
Having said that, I still would want to do the job in such a way that it would fulfill any codes or requirement that may exist, within reason. The co-op doesn't have much money. I have not mentioned tile on the floor or steel for the walls because we have not been asked to do these things by the health department and have not considered them. Do you think it would be neccessary or desireable to make these improvements if they are not required? Using conduit is an affordable option and probably easier to install than Romex but there are unlikely to be any permits or inspections of these items.
In summary, I'm pretty sure the health guy just wants to see some kind of hood and is unlikely to be concerned with a lot of details like codes or inpections. It may be a good idea to ask him for the actual requirements but more likely that he will be satified with whatever we install. If we were to ask for the requirements in advance he might be obliged to actually enforce such requirements which might be a situation worth avoiding. Thanks.
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snipped-for-privacy@paulbunyan.net wrote:

C'mon, man, you're not trying. Walk in with your digital camera and take some pictures of the location where the vent hood needs to go, and use a likely lass to show the scale. It's research.
If the guy is that relaxed about the requirement, you should just ask the guy. I doubt he's going to get tight just because you asked what's the easiest, cheapest way to do what he needs to see. Might help if you had one a brace of likely lasses looking all concerned and looking to him for help. He's the guy that will tell you what's typical in exhaust tech in your neck of the woods.
Don't rule out eBay. http://cgi.ebay.com/Used-Stainless-Pryne-Kitchen-Range-Hood-Exhaust-NR_W0QQitemZ7586094063QQcategoryZ57082QQtcZphotoQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem http://cgi.ebay.com/stainless-steel-commercial-kitchen-exhaust-hood_W0QQitemZ7585754221QQcategoryZ57082QQtcZphotoQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem That category is the one you want.
R
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RicodJour said:

take some pictures of the location where the vent hood needs to go, and
use a likely lass to show the scale. It's research.
Ha ha, OK. I will take a pic of that kitchen even though it might be tricky to get one of the babes in the pic. You have to be careful these days not to come off as a stalker. I don't go to town again until Thursday so look for my post after that.
he also said:

the guy. Don't rule out eBay.
Thanks for the reply. As far as I know, the only requirement is that we have a hood. The rest is probably just up to us. It is Greg's job to interface with the authorities and he has the skills to do so. I am just a backwoods guy and my social skills are minimal. I will look to him for any requirements but I doubt if there are any.
Concerning ebay: Obtaining the unit is also outside my responsiblity. These folks are in the ultra politically correct category and probably want to deal locally if possible. They likely also need a liberal return policy which seems to rule out ebay.
Lawrence
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On 30 Jan 2006 13:19:14 -0800, " snipped-for-privacy@paulbunyan.net"

Don't hire hoods. Next thing you know you'll be in the middle of loan-sharking and protection and all kinds of mob problems
Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let me know if you have posted also.
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Lawrence,
Sorry to be negative but I think you should pass up this job. You don't know how to cut the holes in the wall. You don't know what the requirements for the hood are. You don't know what permits will be needed. Your belief that the health dept (and the building inspector, and the building's owner) will accept anything, no matter how bad does not seem likely. You do not seem prepared to do it right so you should not do it. Since the co op has a limited amount of time to do this they should hire experienced labor.
Dave M.
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You know I don't mind a negative post as long a you are polite, and you have been. I don't mind pointing out, however, that I have not asked for opinions on whether or not to accept the job. What I have asked for is advice and suggestions on the actual job.
I'm quite sure my post makes me look more inexperienced than I am. Be assured that I am a professional and well equipped handyman. The reason I have asked so many basic questions is not because I don't know how to do the job. It is because I am just today starting to think about this job and am looking for any ideas and suggestions that others may have.
I am always learning and one thing I have learned is that there is more than one way to skin a cat or to perform a task. Another thing I have learned is that it is can be quite helpful to ask questions in order to learn new things and quit possiblly to improve upon my techique and the technique of others. If I have come off as ingorant in the process, it is a small price to pay in pursuit of the larger goal of doing a good job.
A lot of contractors and handypeople think they know it all or that the way they do things is the only way. I think this is wrongheaded. OK, just because I asked a lot of questions doesn't mean I don't know what I"m doing. The pupose of this forum is for asking questions and you have answered none.
While I have not installed a range hood before, I do know how to cut holes in the wall and have performed the task for other purposes. I have performed the basic carpentry that will be needed and I know how to install the neccesary wiring. I have divided the task in to thees threee basic areas in order to plan the task effectively.
I do not know what permits are needed but this is not my area of responsiblity. I have not suggested than anyone be willing to accept a bad job. What I have suggested is that codes and permits may not be particularly relevant in my situation since there is no budget for inspections or enforcement in our very rural area, making such thing less important than what you or most people may be used to.
You say that I am not prepared to do the job right. That is true at this exact moment but this process of asking questions and brainstorming the project is the first step towards that preparation and will be helpful to m in any truly well planned project. You can be sure that I will not take the job unless I am confident I can and will do so. If you have any ideas or suggestion, I welcome them.
I have come up with a few ideas of my own since my last post. For example, there are hoods and there are hoods and I have come to the conclustion after looking at a lot of range hood websites that a commercial hood would be uneccesary in my example. The type of stove being and the amount of btu's being used does not justify it. A high quality residential hood would be plenty. Since this example is more like a residential intallation than a commercial one perhaps this will temper your opinion of my ability to complete the project.
"Commercial style" residential hoolds come in all sizes and the fans range in speed from 400cfm to 600cfm and come with extensions and other accessories making them suitable for any height ceiling. It may be necessary to open up the wall enough to intall blocking to accomodate the wall mounted hood. These are the type of detail I am looking for and have researched without your help. So you see, I am not a total wanker. I am just someone who like to examine and re-examine all the details in my effort to achieve a well done job. I encourage and ideas or suggestions that are are out there but for sure can do the job and flesh out the details without it. It is just my attempt to be thoughtful about it and to ask some basic question that has made me look like a dumbass. I hope this explantion will help to dispel that notion.
Lawrence
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Lawrence,
My first suggestion is to find out if the co op has the building owners permission to do this project. If this was a home DIY job I'd advise looking here http://www.easy2diy.com/cm/easy/diy_ht_index.asp?page_id5720146&parent=Task&child=Venting&parent2=Brand for a general idea on how to approach it. I admit that I was taken aback by your initial questions since they were so basic. Don't understand why you feel it's necessary for the fan motor to be on it's own circuit breaker. But I have no idea about the requirements for a commercial restaurant. I'm not sure that this is the right newsgroup to ask about such stuff. I don't think sizing the hood to meet the stove's BTU output is wise since the stove may be replaced some day. Don't presume that the small town does not have inspectors, assume that the county does. The co op is putting in this hood because the inspector warned them. Do the work up to code.
Dave M.
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David Martel said: >>My first suggestion is to find out if the co op has the building owners permission to do this project. If this was a home DIY job I'd advise looking here http://www.easy2diy.com/cm/easy/diy_ht_index.asp?page_id5720146&par ...
for a general idea on how to approach it.>>
The co-op owns the building and has been in the same location for almost 30 years. Thanks for the helpful link.
he also said:

feel it's necessary for the fan motor to be on it's own circuit breaker
I just try to be conservative when running new circuits since I am not a real electrician. One thing is that the existing circuits likely have refrigeration and freezers on them. I would not want to place an additional load on such critical circuits. I haven't looked at the breaker box yet but if there are no free breaker locations available then I am capable of performing an inventory of the existing circuits and their cooresponding breakers in order to determine what is appropriate.
he also said:

don't think sizing the hood to meet the stove's BTU output is wise since the stove may be replaced some day.
This is not a commercial restaurant but a very small kitchen with one residential style stove which they only use a few hours each day. I have considered the fact that the stove might eventually be upgraded and plan to suggest that this might be an opportunity to upgrade to a bigger stove, possibly a gas range. But I doubt if they want to spend any extra money because the co-op doesnt have much extra money and also they plan to be in a larger building someday and therfore may want to limit the dough they spend on this one.
he also said:

the county does. The co op is putting in this hood because the inspector warned them. Do the work up to code
I don't presume anything, actually. I'm just saying that such things are routinely ignored where I live. Inspections and enforcment receive little funding. I don't defend it. I am not a liscensed contractor and don't claim to be one. The co-op will be acting as contractor in this case and I work for an hourly rate or even for barter. It is their job to be concerned with codes and inspections and I do not have that responsibility.
I know that is is the standard advice to be concerned with all relevant codes and and regulations and that it would be irresponsible to give any other advice so that is the advice I expect. My place is to plan the job as best as possiible and to get it done. It is their responsibility as contractor to supervise me in any way they wish and to change the plan according to what they think is appropriate.
By the way, we were not warned by the building inspector but by the health department, which is totally different.
Thank you for your ideas and for giving me consideration.
Lawrence
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Thanks any advance for any

A couple months ago I installed a residential range hood that vents throught the wall. Not a huge deal. I cut away a large area of lath and plaster to install studs in the necessary locations to hang the hood. Cut a 6" dia hole through the ext wall (in your case, you'll drill holes in the brick and chisel out the hole). Run a 15A dedicated circuit into a box behind the hood. Patch the area w/ drywall, run your ductwork (I had a little trouble sourcing a 6" dia exterior vent with a self closing closing flapper), hang the hood. Obviously, you want the unit in hand before you start cutting anything.
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Thank you for that helpful reply.
Ranieri said: >>A couple months ago I installed a residential range hood that vents throught the wall. Not a huge deal. I cut away a large area of lath and plaster to install studs in the necessary locations to hang the hood.
Some of the worries I have include the condition of the wall. I just took a quick look see today and it looks like there is some rough sawn wood paneling over part of the plaster. This makes me think that it was placed there to hold the old crumbling plaster in place and to prevent it from further crumbling. I have to take a closer look at the wall to be sure of what it's like but if this is the case then it will complicate matters. My concern is that the plaster dust may contain lead or other contaminants that should be prevented from getting on any surfaces or foodstuffs as much as possible.
The stove will be moved to a wall where there are now a lot of shelves and foodstuffs. My current thinking is that it will be necessary to remove any paneling and everthing else from the work area. This is problematic because it may involve unecessarily expose this crappy plaster but I think it might be a better idea than trying to cut through the wood paneling.
Then I could enclose the work area with floor to ceiling polyethylene plastic. I might use an old but sharp wood chisel or masonry chisel in order to attempt to carefully score the perimeter of the hole and then to do a neat job removing the plaster necessary to do the blocking. I could use a helper with a HEPA shop vac to vacuum the dust at the source during the actual demolition, actually have them hold the vac right next to the chisel while I am working.
This is a food co-op and an organic kitchen and this plaster dust must be prevented from getting on any food. This maybe part of the reason they want to hire me ( a co-op member who obviously gets it) rather than some contractor who may not feel they can afford the inconvenience. If you have any ideas on how to carefullly enclose, remove, and mitigate this plaster dust please let me know.
he also said: Cut a 6" dia hole through the ext wall (in your case, you'll drill holes in the brick and
chisel out the hole). Run a 15A dedicated circuit into a box behind the
hood. Patch the area w/ drywall, run your ductwork (I had a little trouble sourcing a 6" dia exterior vent with a self closing closing flapper), hang the hood. Obviously, you want the unit in hand before you start cutting
anything.
Thanks again for a nice post. After the demolition and carpentry are complete I'm thinking I could just cover the entire wall with drywall and paint. It would be better to cover the area behind the stove with stainless and perhaps the entire wall and someone said that it may be code but drywall could be installed in any case.
I will admit that I have never cut hole in a brick wall but it seems straightforward enough. Just drill holes at close intervals around the inside perimeter of the hole then use a masonry chisel to carfully remove chisel the small part that can't be driled and to remove the bricks in the middle.
Please let me know if you have any replies to my ideas or if you have any other ideas or suggestions.
Lawrence
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