Often overlooked and neglected or just not known about is the requirement to install commercial exhaust fan hinge kits. Required by the NFPA the code is outlined in Chapter 8 of the NFPA 96 Standard for Ventilation and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations. “18.104.22.168 Approved up blast fans motors surrounded by the airstream shall be hinged, supplied with flexible weatherproof electrical cable and service hold-open retainers, and listed for this use.” – NFPA 96.
So why are these required by the NFPA? The purpose of these hinge kits is to provide a way for up blast exhaust fans to be opened and closed without lifting the entire thing off of the roof curb. With this easier access to your kitchen ventilation system it makes it easier to clean and maintain. This reduces rooftop grease and oil build up which protects your roof and ultimately reduces the risk of fire.
When a fan is easier to clean it will have less grease and oil build up. If less grease and oil builds up it won’t seep out onto your roof which would greatly increases the fire hazard in your building. Your fans will also run more efficiently, when they are not cleaned the buildup leaves residue on the fan blades and makes them become unbalanced. Unbalanced fans became noisy, are less efficient, and eventually the fan motor just stops working. They can also lead to misaligned block bearings, premature wear of fan belts, and damage to the fan base due to excessive vibration. Installing hinges on your fan can help you avoid costly repairs and replacement costs. It also makes fans more stable and adds strength and rigidity to the fan base which minimizes metal fatigue. Along with added support to the areas of your fan base that are most often prone to failure. It can also protect your fan and roof due to moving the fan on and off the base and being placed or dropped on the roof. Installing hinge kits also protects the expensive housing, fan wiring, and the base of your exhaust fan.
More than protecting your roof it can protect the technicians doing maintenance and cleaning your fan. Exhaust fans are big and bulky and can weigh upwards of 75 lbs or more. Hinges make accessing your exhaust fan both safer and easier. This alone is reason enough to install hinge kits.