Navigating Utilities and Selecting Equipment
Gas cooking equipment remains the dominant choice for most commercial kitchens. Commercial gas hoses provide safe connections essential in these commercial environments. There are many reasons to choose gas cooking equipment over electric. Preference and available utilities play an influential role in this decision. The projected cost of utilities is another important deciding factor. Some rural locations may only have electric or limited propane available. An urban location may have the electrical requirements, but an undersized gas main. These utilities can be cost-prohibitive to convert. No matter the situation, always be sure to explore all options and stay on budget.
Gas cooking equipment also has the benefit of being more energy-efficient versus electric. This equates to lower operating costs, putting more profit in the bank and not the utility bills. Before purchasing gas equipment, check the facility’s gas supply and the BTU rating of the equipment. Output demand at the cookline is often overlooked during planning. This can result in gas-starved equipment and improper equipment performance.
Commercial kitchen designers can help determine the gas requirements of your facility. Once they discern the supply-demand, they will often categorize cooking equipment as stationary or movable. It’s important to consider safety, serviceability, and mobility when planning the cookline. Many independent business owners choose not to hire a design team to try to cut the cost of opening. This may work for an experienced operator. But, each facility still needs an experienced person to manage purchasing and installations. This should be someone with both the skill set and the time to manage these decisions. This will help avoid costly mistakes affecting the safety and serviceability of equipment.
Safety and Mobility
Commercial gas hoses are the only appropriate connections for commercial equipment. Sometimes, operators buy residential gas hoses to save money for their gas connections. This may look like a viable cost saver, but consider the consequential costs down the line. A stressed residential gas hose on movable equipment could crack or break. This is a dangerous scenario with the potential to cause equipment or facility fires.
Safety is the number one reason not to use residential gas hoses in a commercial setting. Residential gas hoses are designed for a one-time connection. They are not to be removed until the connected home appliance is no longer operational. Residential hoses are made from stainless steel dipped in PVC coating. They lack the strength, flexibility, and reliability to withstand a harsh foodservice environment. In a commercial environment, residential hoses become deformed and develop stress points. This is due to the constant removal of equipment for cleaning or maintenance. These hoses are not acceptable for safe gas connections in a commercial kitchen.
Serviceability and mobility of equipment are key factors in planning a commercial cook-line. These two factors relate. The more mobile the equipment, the more serviceable it is. Adding casters to equipment and equipment stands increases the efficiency of both these tasks.
Dormont Safety Systems
There is one gas hose solution for commercial cooking equipment and it isn’t a residential gas hose. Instead, install a commercial duty, reinforced, flexible gas hose on any commercial equipment. There are many manufacturers of commercial gas hoses, but none compare to Dormont. The Dormont Blue Hose™ is part of the Dormont Safety System all-in-one kit. Dormont’s Blue Hose™ kits are complete and easy to install and the kits come in different configurations to meet your specific needs. Depending on which all-in-one-kit you buy, your kit can include the following accessories:
- SnapFast® Quick Disconnect – Has a simple, push-to-connect feature. It can be disconnected with one hand.
- Swivel Max® 360° Rotational End Fitting – Allows increased movement with a 360° range of motion and reduces stress on the end of the gas connector.
- Safety-Set® Equipment Positioning System – Ensures caster-mounted equipment is returned to its precise location. The precise location is important for positioning under ventilation and fire suppression systems.
- Safety Quik® Disconnect Valve – A quick disconnect with an added safety feature requiring the user to close the gas valve before he is able to disconnect it.
- Restraining Device – Prevents equipment from moving too far and putting stress on the gas hose.
If you’re planning a commercial kitchen, contact us to learn how our design team can help in your planning process. For more information, call (866) 591-3463 Monday through Friday, 8 am-6 pm EST and speak with a knowledgeable sales associate. You can also click here to shop our online store.