When you decided to open a restaurant, you probably did so because you had a passion for cooking (Hopefully, because it certainly isn’t for the profit margins!). You know your way around a Santoku and chinois, and can set up a proper mise en place blindfolded. From spatulas, knives, mixing bowls and more, you’ve got all the tools you need to whip out wicked dishes your customers crave.
What you may not have expected, however, was the need to strap on another kind of tool belt. Get ready, because a little DIY is easier than you think and could save you some serious change. Let’s get started with one of the most important restaurant parts in your commercial kitchen: gas connectors and hoses.
A safe and secure gas connection is one of the most important safety features you should focus on in your kitchen. When it comes to gas safety, flexible gas connectors are key—so much so, that in 2006 the National Fuel Gas Code standards and codes were changed to specify the use of flexible, commercial-grade gas connectors on all foodservice installations. Why? Flexible gas connectors enable you to safely move heavy restaurant equipment away from walls for cleaning (by the way, this task is even easier if your equipment rests on casters).
For many years, commercial restaurant equipment sat on immobile legs and utilized hard-piped gas connectors which were tricky to disconnect (and reconnect correctly), making it challenging to adequately clean behind. Failure to clean your equipment thoroughly could lead to an excessive buildup of grease, oil and other flammable materials, posing a serious fire hazard for your kitchen. Not only that—dirty kitchens are a hotbed for rodents, pests and foodborne illnesses. I’ll take a pass.
The key in all of this, however, is utilizing a commercial-grade flexible gas connector. Your equipment at home have long used flexible gas connectors, but these were not designed for the heavy duty wear and tear seen in a commercial kitchen. And trust me, your health inspector will not OK the use of any gas parts not commercial-grade. A flexible gas hose like the Dormont Blue Hose® is made of heavy-duty, flexible and corrugated stainless steel tubing that prevents stretching when equipment is moved back and forth. You’ll also find many commercial gas hoses are treated with antimicrobial coating for that extra level of cleanliness. Pair your new, flexible gas hose with a quick disconnect type of gas connector (think Dormont’s Safety Quik® which is easy to remove and prevents staff from disconnecting the hose until the gas valve is shut off) for an extra level of safety.
How do you diagnose leaks in your gas hose? Check out our video below:
When you’re ready to install your gas hose and connector make sure it’s easily accessible and not hidden from view. You want to be able to easily see if your gas connection is loose or the hose is damaged—gas could potentially seep through a damaged hose, setting the scene for a terrible disaster. Also be certain you buy the right gas connector because mismatched parts could restrict gas flow and affect your equipment’s performance and efficiency.