The ductwork within a kitchen exhaust system is often overlooked but is notorious among kitchen exhaust cleaners. Accessing this elusive area can be challenging, leading some cleaners to reconsider. When facing challenges related to accessing or maintaining kitchen exhaust ductwork, the accumulation of dangerous grease persists. Below are common issues and solutions to prevent grease buildup in ductwork:

Issue: Limited Access for Cleaning

  • Establish a Regular Cleaning Schedule: Follow the detailed guidelines provided by NFPA 96 to create a routine for cleaning the kitchen exhaust system. Regular cleaning helps prevent the buildup of grease and debris.
  • Install Access Doors: Place access doors strategically along the ductwork, following NFPA 96 requirements. Access doors should be easily opened and marked for identification to allow inspection and thorough cleaning. 

Issue: Inadequate Design

  • Consult with an Engineer: If the kitchen exhaust system has a poor design, consult with a mechanical engineer or HVAC professional to assess the design and suggest modifications for better access.
  • Modify Existing Ductwork: Add access points to the existing ductwork as necessary, following NFPA 96 guidelines. This may involve redesigning certain sections of the ducts.

Issue: Space Constraints

  • Invest in Compact Cleaning Tools: Use compact and flexible cleaning tools designed for tight spaces, such as brushes, scrapers, or vacuum attachments. TEGRAS equipment, including duct brushing robots, can reach areas inaccessible to scrapers and power washers.
  • Consider Duct Redesign: If space constraints are severe, consult with a professional to explore options for redesigning the ductwork to allow for better access.

Issue: Legal Compliance

  • Check Local Codes: Ensure your kitchen exhaust system complies with local building and fire codes to avoid fines and legal issues.
  • Upgrade as Necessary: If your system is outdated and doesn’t meet current regulations, consider upgrading to a compliant system that allows for easier access.

Addressing issues related to lack of access in kitchen exhaust ducts requires a combination of regular maintenance, professional services, the right equipment, and, in some cases, system redesign. Always prioritize safety and compliance with local regulations. Consult with experts in kitchen exhaust systems if unsure about the appropriate course of action. If you have any questions regarding Omni Containment System’s products, contact us today. We would be happy to help your facility become and remain code compliant.