May 18, 2017
Three Common Options vs. One Long-Term Solution. One of the challenges kitchen designers face on a regular basis is the ability to install electrical power in the middle of the kitchen. Here are a few of the potential solutions:
1. Have the electrician stub up a line from the floor, (minimum of 3” AFF), and wire outlets into the backs of the work tables / counters.
2. Have the electrician install drop cords from the ceiling, strategically placed over the areas that require power.
3. Have the electrician install pull-down cord reels from the ceiling to feed the areas that require power, or have the electrician install a sub-panel somewhere near the middle and run individual connections to the equipment necessary.
Taking a look at these options, the electrician can easily run a connection over to the table / work counter in the middle of the room and install a couple of 120 outlets for use by equipment placed on the table; however, this limits the end user to 120 volt pieces of equipment on that work table and certainly precludes the use of 208 volt toasters, mixers or slicers.
Drop cords can be placed strategically in each location and can be whatever voltage the equipment requires; however, not many designers or end users like drop cords hanging from the ceiling of their kitchen (oh, and don’t try moving any of the higher voltage pieces of equipment).
Pull-down cord reels can be retracted to clear the visual space; however, they are expensive and the spring that retracts the cords typically wears out in the long run (leaving you with an extra expensive drop cord).
A remote panel box with prewired connections is a better solution than those previously described; however, finding a location for it may be difficult, and after everything is wired it’s a completely inflexible design.
So what’s the best solution? Avtec’s lighter-duty utility distribution systems can be mounted on the back splash of a work table, suspended above the work table, run ceiling to floor next to a work table area, underneath a counter, or as a pedestal from the floor. They can be designed to have complete flexibility to power any piece of equipment your client needs to use at that location. The point-of-use breaker and outlet, combined with our compact design, allows for multiple voltages, phases and amperage. There are no drop cords hanging from the ceiling, and the electrician makes the same single connection to the UDS. Even portable power is available!
A consultant recently called with a challenge that involved moving equipment “pods” to different locations in a large room. He needed to figure out how to get power to the service areas without having drop cords or floor receptacles in multiple locations. The perfect solution was the Avtec Electrapole unit, which plugs into special ceiling outlets and can be removed when not in use. By strategically mounting the ceiling outlets throughout the room, he was able to relocate the serving areas to wherever they were needed without unsightly cords and floor outlets.
Let Avtec help you design a solution for your customer’s electrical power needs. It’s the easier, more flexible long-term solution that adapts with the ever-changing needs of today’s foodservice operations.