If you own or work in an automotive repair facility of any kind you can understand the value of vehicle exhaust extraction system. A running vehicle releases hazardous toxins into the air that are magnified when put into a confined space. These toxins can pose a serious danger to people working in the facility if not properly ventilated, most obviously to the technicians working in the immediate vicinity. Most jurisdictions require vehicle exhaust capture systems be installed in vehicle maintenance facilities, especially for facilities working on diesel engines. That said, this article is not intended to argue the need for a system, but rather how to choose a system that will work best for your automotive repair facility.
Types of Vehicle Exhaust Capture Systems
When considering adding a new or replacing an existing system there are three primary designs to consider.
- Direct Door Mount
Each of these systems have their advantages and disadvantages depending on factors like, size of the facility, aesthetics, ceiling height or budget. Also take into consideration if your facility is a new build or will you be adding into a current working facility. These are important factor that will lead into your decision.
Direct Door Mount
This is the most basic system. In basic terms you have a hose that connects one end to the exhaust pipe of a car and the hose runs through a port hole in the bay door and out of the building. This is the most price competitive set up and will work if the vehicle is parked directly in front of the bay door. If you have working maintenance bays deeper into the interior of the facility this system will not be a good option as there is no door close to exhaust out of. Any distance over 10’ of the exhaust force will begin to be insufficient to push through the hose end out the door.
This is probably the most common system you will see. A simple description is spiral duct work running along the ceiling with hoses that come down to capture the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle and a blower fan pulling that exhaust fumes through the duct work and out of the building. The advantage to this system is the easily accessible hanging hoses and duct work that makes it easy to install and repair in a new or existing facility. It also gives every technician access to system in any bay regardless of proximity to a door. With that concept in mind there are options of how those extraction hoses can be configured.
- Fixed hose drop– Hose coming down from a saddle cut into the duct work. This can be in the form a single length of hose or a telescoping hose system. The telescoping hose allows for smaller diameter hose to nest into smaller diameter hose with a stop on the end. This allows you to store the hose up of the ground and out of the way.
- Fixed Reel– A steel drum with hose that is wrapped around it up near the ceiling. The technician will have access to the hose by either having a spring-loaded drum that is manually pulled down t or electric pendant control that automatically uncoils or recoils hose with a motor. The advantage is hoses can be stored completely out of the way. The disadvantage is the reels come with a higher price tag.
- Rail System– Hoses or reels mounted on an overhead track that can be slid along a overhead rail system. This allows your facility to have minimal amount of hose drops that can be transported the exact bay the technician needs it at. The rail component adds expense to the ducting but reduces the amount of drops purchased.
The concept of the in-ground system is similar to the Overhead system. You still have ducting, drops and a blower motor, but the difference can be inferred in the name. The ducting is installed in the ground below floor level and the exhaust hoses are pulled up from the floor through small port doors. The advantage to this system is the clean look of nothing hanging from the ceiling and all the hoses are tucked away in the floor. It will give your shop a nice clean look. The disadvantage here is the cost of installations. It makes more sense if you are building a new shop from the ground up, so that the underground piping or duct is laid in the ground prior to the floor being poured. Otherwise, you will be saw cutting the floor, excavating, and re-pouring concrete. Maintenance and repairs can be more costly if floor doors break or debris gathers in the underground pipes.
Conclusion: Which Vehicle Exhaust System Is Right For You?
All three systems are viable options for your facility depending on the factors discussed above. Each system has its advantages and disadvantages. We recommend reaching out to a source that has experience supplying vehicle exhaust removal systems, as there are many brands to choose from. A knowledgeable can help guide you in the best option for your facility. Also once you decide what system is best fit, it is important that the duct, exhaust hose and blower are sized correctly to accommodate your needs. Even though the exhaust system is not a revenue generating piece of equipment, it is important for the safety of your work force and keep you shop in compliance with safety regulations.