Planning a New Combi-Oven Installation

Comi ovens in a commercial kitchen
By Pat Finley – Master Certified Lead Technician
The goal for any combi-oven install is to have a smooth and quick installation day which gets you up-and-running as fast as possible. Following are a few pre-planning points to help in achieving that goal.

Every combi-oven install is different. Some are new construction; some replace an existing unit or are an addition trying to squeeze under an existing exhaust hood.

In general, you need to consider three things.

1. How will the unit get into your building, is there enough space and a clear path?

2. The specification of the services the combi-oven needs to be connected to, such as electricity, water, drainage, and ventilation.

3. Where will the unit go, is there enough space, are the services you need nearby?

New construction should be the easiest. Everything mentioned above should be specified from the kitchen designer and on the blueprint.

Replacing an existing unit should also be straight forward if the units are similar in size. You should already have water, floor drain, and electrical. However, you should verify voltage of supplied power and amperage of circuit breaker. Some consideration does need to be given to the logistics of moving the old unit and bringing in the new. It is better to have your new unit uncrated by your service company off site. This will speed up the install day, remove the need for the clean-up of packaging and should mean that your service company already has the means to haul away your old unit if you have agreed for them to do so.

Adding to an existing kitchen, this generally presents the most challenges. We commonly experience not enough electrical to supply the new oven or an undersized gas system that is struggling to keep up before adding another piece of equipment. Also, water and floor drain issues being either not present or too far from unit, and the biggest thing of all, a lack of space under the hood. Cramming too many pieces of equipment close together will be a big issue in the future when it comes to accessibility for servicing and maintenance.

To avoid all these headaches and delays we highly recommend having a site survey or pre-installation check. This is a requirement of many combi-oven manufacturers and is well worth the effort. Generally, a manufacturer authorized service company will call you to verify the site services are available and then the technician is sent to perform this survey.

Site Survey – As part of the survey your service company should firstly verify that the oven can get inside the building. I have seen a few instances where we could not get a new unit into the kitchen because of hallways being too narrow, fixtures and fitting obstacles, or tight corners we couldn’t navigate. Your site survey will include checks in the following areas.

Power requirements – Voltage and breaker rating must be checked to ensure there is enough amperage to support your new piece of equipment. Then, how the electrical is to be connected, via receptacle or disconnect or hardwired straight into the wall?

Water supply – This will also be checked as problems are common here too. If you look on the specification sheet for any oven, it will list required water connections. Most require 2 ¾ inch hook-ups, however, some want garden hose style hook-ups, and some want standard pipe thread. It is important that the correct hook-up is there or there may be an additional charge for extra materials.

Water Filtration – If unit is getting a water filtration or R/O set up, please let your installer know as it will require additional material.

Drains – Your drains will need to be within so many feet of the unit. You do not want them directly under the unit, as your combi-oven will have cooling fans that may draw in the steam and damage sensitive components. Your unit may only come with 6 to 8 feet of drain material, and there will be a charge for additional drain material.

Exhaust – We also need to make sure your exhaust hood is working as we cannot start up a unit if it is not working. The steam produced will not get drawn out of the kitchen space, and it may be hazardous to attempt to run a gas unit without the proper ventilation.

If you need further advice about your combi-oven install project, please do not hesitate to call your nearest General Parts Group Location and we will be happy to assist.