General Parts Group Provides Check-list for Site Inspections Prior to Commercial Appliance Installations
By Dean Wayne – Regional Sales Manager
At General Parts Group we not only conduct commercial appliance repair, but we are also experts in commercial appliance installations. Our greatest lesson learned regarding the installation process is the value of a pre-site inspection before scheduling the installation work. Recognizing there are situations that may convince you to NOT bother with a site survey, but unless you’re swapping out an exact piece of equipment including the utilities, then a site survey is well-advised and prudent. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen installations GO-SOUTH because the site inspection was either forgotten or decided against when working out the purchase agreement. If there is more than one piece of equipment being replaced, or the equipment has different manufacture’s specifications, then you will certainly need to do the site visit. What we have found is it is better to not be hasty and just play it safe, get the pre-site inspection completed so you avoid situations such as the one we recently experienced.
Recently our installers arrived on a job site at a high-profile national chain customer to install two, two-bank fryers. Upon arriving at the restaurant’s kitchen to begin the job, the technician discovered the new units would not fit down the cook-line without removing four, reach-in coolers and a chef-base with two flat-top griddles on top of that! Clearly, this small discovery, with a tape measure showed the technician that he had 24” clearance on the cook line, but he needed 33” to replace the old fryers. This “reality check” brought the installation to a complete halt. They knew at that point the job would take some additional time, probably another two hours which wasn’t an option since the cook line was being prepped for breakfast! Now we’ll need to reschedule. The worst part of the experience is that we have a very unhappy customer because they don’t have the new equipment promised today. This could have easily been avoided by taking the time and doing the pre-site inspection.
When a site inspection is conducted, ensure the following is checked when the would-be installer is at your facility:
• New equipment spec sheet(s). The spec gives the installer utility requirements, size and weight of the new unit. Some or all of this information is needed to compare with what currently exists at the site now.
• Bring the manufactures Preinstallation Checklist when possible: Many manufacturers provide this checklist and it is a great tool.
• Measurements are taken of where the new commercial appliance will be placed as well as each door’s width and height the equipment will pass through. Those measurements will tell you if the clearances are good and the unit fits in the kitchen.
• Measurements of the utilities including the water, drain and electric to ensure they stubbed in close enough.
• Check the electrical circuit breaker box and disconnect amperage information etc.
• Check the cook line for clearance. Ensure the floor is level. Measure the hood if necessary, for clearance, some ovens may need to be tipped in-order to clear.
• Walk the distance to the kitchen to observe any potential obstacles. Inspect the loading dock, which is a lift gate needed.
• Note the necessary moving equipment to bring, i.e. Johnson bars, four-wheel furniture dolly’s, genie lifts, floor jacks, etc.
• Photos of the area where the new equipment will be installed, include all utilities, door opening, cook line, etc., including the walk up from the outside.
The moral of the story is the ‘devil is in the detail’. The pre-site inspection should never be overlooked for any large piece of equipment as it will pay dividends with fewer return trips for supplies and scheduling and avoiding the unforeseen obstacles that will occur. For assistance with commercial appliance repairs or installations please contact us any time at 1-888-498-1238 or GeneralParts.com/contact us.