(The following information was forwarded by Rory Wilson of Derby Pressure Wash, who experienced a situation where the fire suppression system went off during the exhaust system cleaning. There is a little known “recall” by Ansul on McDonald’s systems. If the Ansul system goes off, Ansul will pay the suppression company to make repairs – customers are not to be billed. Having this information saved Rory $900.)
In isolated cases, unwanted R-102 system discharges at McDonald’s restaurants have occurred due to apparent detection cable fraying and eventual fatigue.
Ansul has completed numerous tests with new, used, and frayed cable. Test results suggest that the tensile strength of both new and used cable is more than adequate. Failed cables have been analyzed and confirmed to be 304 stainless steel as specified. Cable temporarily exposed to saturations of McDonald’s Hi-Temp cleaner have not shown any chemical cable-strand deterioration. In the opinion of an independent cable consultant, cable failures may be caused by abrasion, crushing and cutting of the wires as they are installed and serviced in the ventilators. Detection systems utilizing the clip-on style detectors have experienced the majority of all reported failures, although a few hinged style detection systems have had problems. The incidents of failures that have been reported, however, are primarily in griddle or clamshell grill hoods and almost exclusively in McDonald’s restaurants. Testing to date has not determined the exact cause of the failures nor are there conclusive solutions.
At your next scheduled maintenance examination and at subsequent examinations thereafter, thoroughly inspect the installed detection cable for signs of fraying. If there are any frayed sections, replace the cable. If the cable is found to be frayed on a system utilizing clip-on style detectors, the linkage assembly must also be replaced with scissors style linkage (Part No. 415817). Remove the existing clip-on style linkages as well as the cable, leaving the existing brackets and conduit intact.
Only detectors located over griddles and clamshell grills should be affected. Detector linkage changes should not be required for fry stations or any other type of cooking equipment. However, while this is a relatively rare and unusual occurrence, all detection systems must be adequately checked at every examination.
“Detection systems utilizing the clip-on style detectors
have experienced the majority of all reported failures,
although a few hinged style detection systems have had problems. “
Ansul will credit the Authorized Distributor’s account whenever replacement is required. Additional labor costs, as well as the cost of the replacement scissor style linkages and cable will be credited to accounts after the service has been rendered. Credits will include $20 for the labor to replace cable in each griddle or clamshell grill cooking station, $2.50 for the cable, as well as $1.30 for each scissors linkage replaced.
To receive credit, send the frayed cable and documentation to Ansul, including a copy of the previous inspection report. The documentation must also include a signature from someone at the store (preferably the owner or manager) verifying the work was completed, the national store number, store address, phone number and the style of hood and station affected. Make certain that your company’s name, address, phone number and contact name is also included.
If cable failures occur between now and your next scheduled maintenance examination, replace the cable and linkage (clip-on style only) and recharge the system but do not bill the store operator or manager. Instead, Ansul will credit your account $350 for recharge and replacement due to cable breakage, that is documented and completed. This price includes all recharge and replacement materials as well as labor and mileage within a 50-mile radius. Ansul will only offer credit for cable failure and recharges that occurred after an Authorized Ansul Distributor maintenance inspection. If a failure occurs and the system was last serviced by a nonAnsul Authorized Distributor, the store owner or operator will be responsible for payment.
As the possibility still exists that cable failures can be caused by the way the cable and linkages are installed and serviced, it is imperative that steps be taken to eliminate any possible abrasion. Due to the design of the ventilator over griddles and clamshell grills, there is little room to install and service the system. Therefore, please take extreme care in the replacement process and in future installations.
If anything unusual is observed during service examinations concerning the cooking process, the cooking equipment, hood cleaning, other equipment retrofits in the same area, the fire suppression system, or anything that you feel could be a potential contributing factor to cable fatigue, please document it with as much detail as possible and forward it to Ansul Incorporated.
One Stanton Street
Mahnette, WI 54143
This item appeared in the IKECA Journal, Summer 2001 edition.