Why Being Familiar with Your Electrical Breakers and Gas Values is Vital in Commercial Kitchens

Electrical & Gas Breakers
By The Editor

For a field service technician there is only one priority higher than fixing equipment and that is safety. From experience, there is one component of safety that I am passionate about because it sits right at the top of the safety tree and that is electrical breakers and gas shut off valves.

Electrical Breakers

The first and most important thing for anyone working in a commercial kitchen is to know where your breakers are. This might sound super obvious, but it is more common than you might imagine that the kitchen crew cannot locate them. Secondly, it is extremely helpful if each breaker is marked with what it is connected too.

Why do you need to know this, well if you ever smell that electrical burning smell, see smoke, or hear any form of sparking, then you need to shut that piece of equipment down right away. Not only will that prevent further damage to the unit, it will also reduce the risk of fire and injury to employees.

One good tip is to have a laminated sheet with your equipment listed. The list should include panel location and the breaker number that each piece of equipment is connected too. Not only will this keep workers safe, it will also save you time and money when your equipment needs to be serviced. Many pieces of equipment need to be fully powered down for a technician to safely work on it. More time working on the equipment and less time looking for the breaker is a good deal for any customer.

Gas Shut Offs

Just like breakers, it is always safer to know where your gas shut offs are. For maximin protection every piece of gas equipment should have its own shut-off and preferably a quick disconnect style valve. If you smell gas, the faster the valve is closed, the better, knowing where they are supports good kitchen safety. Hopefully, you will never smell gas, but if you do, follow your kitchens safety procedures.  These procedures will likely include shutting the gas valve in question as well as all burners, then venting the kitchen as quickly as possible. Reminder:  Always leave your extractors and hood running to clear the gas more quickly.

Why do we recommend individual gas valve and quick disconnects? Simply, they offer more protection, it is better to have more valves so any failure will affect less equipment. When it comes to quick disconnects there are a host of reasons, but the top line is, they are safer, take less time to install and allow equipment to be moved easily for cleaning, maintenance, and repair.

Thank you for reading these tips and tricks, I hope they help keep safety front of mind and perhaps even save some time and money along the way!

If you feel it would be a good idea to undertake a safety audit of your kitchen and would like to have a General Parts Group technician present to give advice relating to your foodservice equipment, then please call your nearest General Parts location at (888) 498-1238