Duct Work & Access Panels

Services

HADPRO can install the access panels necessary to properly clean grease from kitchen exhaust duct work.

One way to tell a great hood cleaning company from an average one is if they ask how many access panels (or clean outs) your duct work has before giving you a price estimate for cleaning. Many hood cleaning companies neglect duct work because customers and fire marshals rarely inspect it, but HADPRO provides a thorough cleaning of your entire exhaust system, including the duct work. Cleaning the duct work is important because grease build up in duct work can:

  • Act as a fuel source to spread fire from one part of the exhaust system (usually the kitchen) to other parts of the building
  • Corrode duct and create holes
  • Leak from holes and access panels seals that aren’t grease-tight, damaging ceiling tiles and other surfaces
  • Clog the duct work and prevent the exhaust fan from operating as efficiently as possible

Of course, nobody can clean duct work without access panels, so if HADPRO finds portions of duct work that cannot be properly cleaned you will be notified of the number and location of access panels your system needs for NFPA 96 compliance.  HADPRO can then install these access panels during your regularly scheduled cleaning service.


Top 3 Frequently Asked Questions about Duct Work

How many access panels are in my system?

If your kitchen is in a single story building with the fan on the roof chances are pretty good you don’t have any access panels. If your kitchen is located in a multi-story building you can either call HADPRO for a free system evaluation, or you can count them yourself by tracing the duct work throughout the building from the hood to its point of termination at the exhaust fan. Fortunately, access panels are usually pretty easy to spot; just move the ceiling tiles and start counting!

How many access panels should my system have?

NFPA 96 states that access panels (also known as cleanouts) should be located every 12 feet of horizontal duct work and at every change of direction in the duct work. International Mechanical Code and International Fire Code state that access panels on straight horizontal duct work shall not be more than 20 feet apart. HADPRO follows NFPA 96 code as it is the more stringent requirement (every 12 feet instead of every 20 feet) and is guaranteed to satisfy all fire marshals, insurance inspectors, and other relevant authorities.

What’s the proper way to clean access panels and duct work?

There are three main ways HADPRO cleans access panels and duct work, and each has its own benefits & drawbacks:

  PRO CON
Magnetic Scraper
  • Safe method for ducts with holes & leaks
  • More effective when removing extremely thick grease
  • Much more time & labor intensive than power washing, increasing cost of service
  • Limited reach
Power Wash
  • Much faster than magnetic scraping, reducing cost of service
  • Not suitable for leaky duct work because leaks can cause water damage to ceiling tiles and light fixtures, or contribute to mold
Spinner Jet
  • Very effective for cleaning long stretches of vertical duct work
  • Not suitable for leaky duct work because leaks can cause water damage to ceiling tiles and light fixtures, or contribute to mold
  • Not useful for cleaning horizontal duct work