We are trying to pick out a range for the kitchen of our new home so that we
can design the kitchen around it. We have been looking at the Thermador and
DCS line of 36" dual-fuel ranges, but balk at spending nearly seven thousand
dollars on it with the options we'd like.
Now I'm leaning toward a commercial gas-only unit, which should save me a
few thousand, but I've been told that the requirements for a commercial unit
installation are quite different from a unit designed for home use. What
are they, has anyone done it, and does it void the warranty? I have plenty
of experience *using* commercial-grade appliances, but zero experience in
installation and building/code requirements.
I suppose I should be asking this question relative to the other appliances
we would like to have in-kitchen - namely, all commercial products.
Specifically, a fast-cycle commercial dishwasher, under-counter
installation, and a remote compressor refrigerator/freezer unit. The house
is in the planning stages now, and we are concentrating our design of the
main floor around the kitchen. The cabinets will all be full custom to
accommodate our current and anticipated future cookware and dishes, and we
are gadget freaks as well. So, it is only fitting that we pick out the
appliances first and design the remainder of the kitchen around them. Any
suggestions, folks that have commercial units in your house, what do you
Give a call to the town/city bldg dep't for specific requirements.
I would expect the high heat output capacity may require ducted
hood w/fire suppression.
Find out what gas line pressure is needed and have someone
calculate the pipe size req'd and ask the utility if the
meter can supply the load.
We redid the kitchen in our last house and put in the thermador 36" gas and
gas with a griddle. A big reason these cost so much is that they are "zero
clearance", meaning that cabinets can touch the range. A true commercial
range in a commercial kitchen needs separation from other things. You will
need a commercial style hood. We went with a 40" Thermador hood and had the
blower mounted on the roof, much quieter.
Actually we moved into a new house that the range won't fit into and the
people buying our old house do not want to pay extra for the stove so I need
a palace for it. Where are you located I'd give you a hell of a deal.
You may want to ask on rec.food.equipment This had been discussed there
often in the past so even a google search may find the proper answer. Yes,
it can be done
IIRC, you need a larger gas line than most ranges, clearance from cabinets,
ventilation, perhaps fire extinguisher built in the hood like the
restaurants have. I would think the manufacturer has at least some basic
information but check your local codes, of course.
We own four restaurants. We would never put such a big expensive
thing in our house as a true restaurant stove or grill, although we do
have a somewhat commercial-looking home kitchen (stainless appliances,
with restaurant type tile floors).
You didn't ask, so I'm not presuming to tell you that you shouldn't,
but it will sure be an expensive hobby. In addition to purchase
price, hoods, maybe fire suppression, gas supply, there is also
operating cost. These units are intended for high load long cycle use
(cooking many meals all night long). It sure must be expensive per
plate to fire them up for one family's meal! Also, there is an added
HVAC operating cost which is related to cooling (or heating) all the
makeup air that is needed to replace the high air volumes that need to
be blown out the exhaust to keep the stove area cool and the products
of combustion removed.
Whatever floats your boat, as long as you don't mind paying.
This is the kind of stuff I need to read. Right now, we have a moderate
consumer-grade of appliances, a white kitchen, and we are leaning toward
something more commercial-appearing, as well as higher capacity. The
current stove is a nice GE Spectra model with a flat glass top (electric),
but we want gas, and a higher capacity (i.e. more pots). The hood, a Broan,
top-of-the-line, but still, a higher capacity model would be nice. We need
a huge refrigerator, we have two right now for a large and growing family,
one small one in the basement and a 17 cubic foot model in the kitchen. The
dishwasher, as has been mentioned in a previous thread, is a KitchenAid and
it's a total piece of trash.
So maybe, what I should be leaning toward is a 5 or six burner cooktop, a
smaller wall oven, a large refrigerator/freezer (my wife will not live
without an ice dispenser in the door) and the best dishwasher I can find.
My A-number-one, primary concern is reliability. Features aren't worth shit
when the thing is broken. Our cooking leans a lot toward stovetop work
anyway, a lot of stirfrys and sauces, and a significant amount of outdoor
barbecue and grilling, even in the winter. The oven gets used once or twice
a week at most.
Thanks all for the input, it will make our decisions that much easier. BTW,
how is the tile in the kitchen? What did you use?
On Mon, 07 Jul 2003 21:03:11 GMT, "Jon Endres, PE"
look at dacor for a cooktop/oven,
near commercial grade, but made for a home
look at sub zero for a large refridge
over priced, but you get what you pay for
look at bosch for a dishwasher,
the best out there and priced right
We have a reddish quarry tile with black grout. It seems to be the
same tile that is in some of the restaurants. For home use, the
embedded abrasive grit anti-slip feature was a challenge; with the
lower residential traffic levels, it took years to wear down to a
comfortable level, that also did not tear up residential mops. For
the first couple of years, I was the only one in the family that was
comfortable going barefoot on the kitchen floor.
Whoever said to use a wood kitchen floor for cleanliness is wrong;
commercial kitchens, dairies, all types of food service areas, are
built with tiled floors for durability and cleanliness (you might see
wood in a restaurant kitchen if the building had been converted from
another use, though I'd be surprised if modern health inspectors
allowed this). In a residence, a wood floor is legal and can be
serviceable, though probably need a lot of maintenance, but it is for
looks not cleanliness.
To answer another post, commercial eq is also supposed to be reliable,
ours go about 17 hrs a day 7 days a week and intended to last for a
decade or more (sometimes, much more). The openers fire them up, do
breakfast, and help with lunch; the midshift cooks lunch, the closers
do dinner and break down each unit for daily cleanup. We have also
run 24 hour operations. With that kind of beating, sometimes service
is needed, but the units should be durable. I think in residential
service, the problems would more be from dis-use than wearing out.
BTW, I also spend thousands of dollars per restaurant per month to
simultaneausly heat those appliances all day, and aircondition the
kitchen. The rooftop exhaust blowers run constantly. (HINT HINT
putting the squirrel cage & motor at a remote location makes for a
quieter kitchen) When a belt breaks, we know it immediately because
the kitchen smokes up (spare belts are kept inside each blower unit).
This is the kind of service a restaurant appliance is built for. I
personally do not see the point for a house.
IMHO, for about 99.9% of residential applications, a "near-commercial"
stove would be a better choice to sufficiently impress their friends
and fulfill the owner's actual service needs, but this is a free
I was watching HGTV over the weekend and one of the discussions was the use
of commercial ranges in a residence. The BTU's are a lot higher than the
residential demands, so the larger gas line is a must. Since the units are
hotter than others, additional clearance is required from adjacent
cabinetry, a *very efficient* exhaust hood to remove the excessive heat,
However . . .
There are two types of "commercial" gas ranges available for residential
useage. One is strictly commercial (with all the ups and downs described
above.) The other is called a "Pro" line - has all the appearances of the
commercial line (stainless, legs, etc.) but only draws approximately the
same BTU's as the residential unit. The burners are more efficient and the
insulation on the oven is of a higher grade. You might want to to go
www.hgtv.com and have a look. If I can remember the show, I'll bump you
back. Good luck with the new place . . .
Jim Mc Namara
I wouldn't touch any of the commercial ranges for reasons mentioned by other
people that post here.
Given the chance, especially since I'm in the HVAC/R business, I'd install
remote condensing units in a heartbeat if my bride would let me. Get the
heat and noise outside. And while I was at it, I'd install a absorption
type cooling system so I'd have a small cooling tower. That way, I'd have
water cooled condensers instead of air cooled.
I'd cost about 3X what a 'normal' system would and I'd never be able to sell
the house because I'd be the only one that could work on it.....
That brings me to another question, if you don't mind:
The house will be a traditional timber frame with stress-skin panels,
sitting on a basement foundation made of insulating concrete forms and
poured concrete. I am putting radiant floor heat in the basement floor and
using Warmboard panels (or something similar) in the first floor. The
second floor will be plumbed for radiant panels or baseboard but not
installed unless we find that the area gets too cold.
My difficulty lies with cooling. I would like to centrally cool the house,
but am finding it very difficult to find a system that will work in a
timberframe. I have looked at mini-splits (Mitsubishi) and Unico/SpacePak
systems, but I guess I need some more opinions and feedback. You mention
water-cooled condensing units, a cooling tower. Without getting
ridiculously pricey, can this be done effectively in a residence? Also,
what about makeup and excahange air for a tight house? How is this done?
Thanks for the advice.
I have no experience with the things, but the dual-use
heating/cooling radiator systems shown here:
Looked really nifty to me.
Fan driven radiators, which you run, hot/cold
water through according to the season, with
boiler/chiller somewhere else, with both built-in
and free-standing units.
I don't know much about timber frame construction.
Responses in line.....
And if I do? You owe me an adult beverage for payment.....
There ain't much better than Warmboard, IMHO. I'd go ahead and put the
radiant in the upstairs now. Those warm floors don't warm the upstairs
In a word, no. You have a choice. Quiet, even and expensive or noisy,
drafty and 'inexpensive.' Given an open checkbook, I'd put in a water
chiller and fan coil units for every room. They'd be near the ceiling and
blow straight out into the room. The hall ceilings would be the standard
height and the rooms would be 10 or 12 feet.
That's a real can of worms. There are air exchange units (also called heat
recovery ventilators [HRV's] or energy recovery ventilators[ERV's]) out
there and they all do the job, but they aren't cheap. I have heard of one
state that now requires these in every new house. That's mainly because the
new houses are so tight, there is no natural respiration. That makes the
houses more energy efficient, but can also lead to mold and mildew growth.
Energy recovery is super efficient in a residence. We have baseboard
heat (some hot water and some electric). The use of the energy
recovery unit saved us money (about $50 a month), and had the effect
of reducing a sometimes noticeable musty odor in one part of the
house. We looked a any number of products from Lifebreath, Renewair,
and Venmar (if I have the names right - please excuse me if they are
not spelled correctly). We ended up purchasing/installing a new type
of energy recovery product. It works with moisture and heat. It is
core made of some type of space-age plastic. The unit is a Conserv and
it is made by a company in Florida (near where our home is located)
called Dais. One thing we noticed right away once the unit was
installed (cost us $1,412 for the total installation by a licensed
HVAC contractor) my daughter's sneezing (she has all forms of
allergies) just about stopped. Pretty cool stuff - anyone with a few
extra dollars - I would recommend you install energy recovery. I do
not know fully how it works but it sure does well by us.
Well, I wouldn't touch anything but a commercial range despite (or
because of) the reasons mentioned here and others. A few months ago I
replaced my 50+ year old commercial Garland (6 burner, 3 burner
salamander (broiler), 2' * 2' griddle, 2 large ovens) with two GE
Spectra gas home ranges. What a mistake! If I could relive the last
couple of months as far as the kitchen is concerned I would and I'd
keep the 50+ year old in preference to any domestic range.
Same gas line (3/4), same meter, same range hood (custom SS exhausted
outside). Oh yeah and maybe 1/4 clearance to cabinets on the side and
no heat problem (on the Garland) but then I don't worry about codes
What I didn't realize, not having cooked on a domestic range for over
20 years, is how anemic the burners are. Probably nanny trying to stop
us burning ourselves. How the vast mass of people cook with the
current domestic ranges is beyond me. Water takes double the time to
boil, searing anything--well, forget about it, and the broilers--first
time I used them I checked to see if they were really lit they took so
long. And the burners are the wrong shape; the flames should be
concentrated into the center. Most pans do a good job of spreading the
heat so why do the domestic ranges make it nearly impossible to heat a
small diameter pan (such as one used to melt butter)? Doing (say) four
large fish fillets in two 12 inch frypans is also very difficult
because of the back to front measure on the domestic models--all of
them. Be careful of Maytag especially; it has an overhanging lip at
the back which restricts the pans even more. Oh yeah and let's not
forget the exhaust for the ovens. At least in the Garland there were
chimneys venting all that grease up into the hood. On the Spectra the
ovens vent over the timer panel. What idiot...oh, never mind.
You'd think at least the current domestic model would be easy to
clean, wouldn't you? After all that's the main reason we changed. Not
on your Nelly! The first thing you notice in the fine print in the
user manual is that you can't put any of the parts (burner tops, pans,
grilles) in the dishwasher. Uh? Wha.... Oh well they must be easy to
clean by hand, eh? If you believe that there's a bridge for sale in my
neck of the woods. Basically you can consider the burners as
disposable--after a couple of years they'll be so crudded up that you
have to buy new ones.
Oh and to the guy who thinks you don't need all that heat. If you boil
water you transfer BTU's from the combustion source to the water It
doesn't matter if you transfer 60,000 BTU's in one minute or 1,000
BTU's in 60 minutes. Sorry that's wrong. It's more efficient (and
hence cheaper) to transfer them all at once because of the heat losses
from the top. Again a commercial range will do better. Then there's
the question of searing steak and other meats under the
broiler/salamander. Frankly you can't do it on the domestic version;
it's just not hot enough.
Only the ovens seem to be equivalent to the Garland and that's not
saying much. One hour at 325 is the same on either range.
My wife, also chastened by the entire horrible experience, says that
the ideal, taking some level of cost to account, would be two domestic
wall ovens separate and a commercial 6 burner range with nothing less
than 20,000 BTU burners--oh, yeah maybe one low heat simmer burner of
about 5000 BTU with a flame like a propane torch (i.e. centered)--and
an eye level salamander with at least 60,000 BTU, and maybe a big oven
for the monster turkey once a year. We saw a Vulcan on the Bowery like
this minus the salamander for $875 unfortunately a week after we
installed the Spectra's. Add a salamander for four or five hundred and
we're not that far away from the $1200 the two Spectra's cost us.
there are a couple of brands that are made for non commercial use that
are pretty good, viking, dacor and thermidor all come close to
commercial grade units without the hassles of upgrading the rest of
your home to install
Speaking of poor heat output....
Has anyone else noticed how anemic outdoor grills are? The only proper way to
cook a steak is on a very hot grill, yet the largest burner I've seen recently
is only 40,000 BTUs.
Wasn't that long ago I had a 44,000 BTU unit, but I couldn't find one of those
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