Exactly who are they and what do they do? They are not hood cleaners. They seem to be an organization that has meetings to get large companies together to force their agendas down the small companies throats. I am sure they have a great deal of influence on the NFPA. Example, read the description for filters. Steel or equivalent material. Who thinks aluminum is equivalent to steel? Will not distort or crush. Aluminum filters after a few years of cleaning are nothing more than aluminum foil in a frame. Filters are the first line of resistance to a flash fire. The hood must be made of steel, the duct of steel, but the filters? NooooOOOoooo Why do you think? Whose agenda are they fulfilling? Not the fire fighters that are in the building. Aluminum melts at a significantly lower temp than steel. Aluminum emits toxic fumes when it melts. Why aren’t all the filters made of steel?

Another example of whose agenda is Metal Fab duct. Round duct in sections that are caulked and bolted down. The seams are caulked, not welded. How long do you think caulking lasts when power washed? How often do you think the caulking is applied correctly? Ever try to power wash a round duct, double duct at that? A spinner is kinda nice but you can never let the grease accumulate or harden up cause you can’t efficiently scrape a round duct. But they are in the NFPA as code. Whose agenda? Not the people that purchase or have to maintain this. Surprise!

How about those laser operated fans? We shorted one out so I called the mfg. and they said they were sure they were liquid tight and he would send me the specs. Lets see, its been over a year now. Mail must be really slow. Another package of BS they managed to sell and not be held accountable for.

Lets talk about water wash systems. Ever see one really work? I have encountered many and when they are installed in a high volume facility, they just do not work. The spray nozzles within the hood get blocked with grease and eventually don’t work. Never ever saw a contractor come back and replace the nozzles. Because it is spraying water within the hood they don’t want any to get out. That means you can’t get in to clean!! And they really need to be cleaned. When the chemical engineer (lol) they hire to keep the proper chemical in the water wash hood, filled and operating, changes jobs or forgets, the grease congeals in the discharge pipes and the gray water backs up into the hood and overflows. Call a plumber, open the pipes. So I called someone from Captive Aire and spoke to them. I said those water wash hoods do not work. They agreed. I asked , “why do you keep making them and selling them”. Answers was… Because our competition Gaylord keeps making and selling them. And of course IKECA says nothing… NFPA… nothing. Whose agenda? Not the small hood cleaner for sure.

So far the absolute best system I have seen is a captive aire high efficiency filters with compatible fan. It really knocks the airborne grease down into the catch pans in the hood. Anyone have any experience with these filters? Stainless steel, more baffles tighter together. The filters have to be cleaned more but so far the system doesn’t get much grease. I have absolutely nothing to do with captive aire. Hood cleaner for over 25 years.

Overall I figure most hood cleaners are small guys scraping out a living trying to do a good job. The bigger guys are sending crews out hoping they are doing a good job but not really caring about anything but getting paid. I have yet to see a hood cleaning company sending out crews where they are consistently doing a good job. Guys sleeping, power washing the filters in place, never removing them. Never removing or installing an access door cause who checks? The only time someone can check is during the job. The owners sure as hell are not going to go on the job because they have several going on at the same time. The only thing that I can see to do right now is before and after pictures, but who takes them? The guys doing the job! Surprise, what do you think those pics will show? But who has the influence with IKECA and the NFPA. Golly I just don’t know. The big companies owners do not want accountability. Ignore it, let the responsibility code sit there to help, who? Sure doesn’t help the owners of the restaurants. Sounds like it makes them keep the systems up to code but what restauranteur do you know has purchased a copy of the NFPA 96 Codes. Just who? Lets all guess who knows the codes and how they can be applied.

Just remember this code: The owner of the system is ultimately responsible for the fire safety, maintenance and cleanliness of the system. Except if it is transferred in writing to another party. We, the small guys should make any potential company needing hood cleaning aware of this and really suggest a contract that transfers the responsibility to the hood cleaner for their work. We do a code job. You know the quality of your work because you are out there. Try to make the big companies responsible for the quality of their crews work. One step at a time, level the playing field.

Interesting Post. Smaller companies drive this country… Always have and always will. These are companies with less then 50 employees. I agree with you that the larger companies pretty much tend to give us smaller guys a bad name because of the lousy quality of work they do. It hurts this Industry as a whole… Plus they can, believe it or not, drive down pricing.

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Hey I live in Ontario and am thinking about starting my own company but the regulations are a little unclear, so my question is do I need to get certified (eg. IKECA, PWNA, Phil Ackland and CHDCA) before I start my business or can it wait till I have a client base? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

Hey Ryan, I live in eastern Quebec and I’ve been in the KEC industry for the last 3 years… I can tell you that in Quebec no certification is needed in order to perform KEC and it’s pretty much the same in all the other provinces of Canada excepts BC, AB and ONT. Check with the AHJ, the fire marshalls and fire dpts in your area to make sure about what is needed to operate a KEC business.


In Massachusetts after two firefighters died in a restaurant fire the state has adopted the NFPA96 codes. It has really opened up the business.
Everyone with a commercial hood has to be at least inspected once per year. No more grease pits. They have to be cleaned according to the codes.