Fume hoods are used to eliminate potentially harmful or hazardous fumes and vapors from a laboratory working environment by drawing fumes away from technicians and the lab and either expelling the contaminated air or filtering it before recirculating it into the laboratory. The use of fume hoods can help lab techs to remain unharmed and safe while handling harsh chemicals and viral agents and can help to preserve the quality and purity of products and test results.
Fume hoods are integral tools for labs in virtually every industry and are considered a standard piece of equipment for most facilities handling chemicals, organic/biological compounds, and harsh contaminants. At OnePointe Solutions, we specialize in helping our clients to find the perfect furniture and equipment to outfit their labs, which includes premium fume hoods and biosafety cabinets.
Here, we’re going to share a few pieces of advice for successfully installing a fume hood, and share how we can make the process way easier.
Create a Worksurface
The first step to installing a fume hood is to choose/create a work surface. Many fume hoods are designed to be placed on top of regular lab workstations or are sold with workstations designed to be compatible. If you are using an already existing worksurface, be sure it is the appropriate size, material, and strength.
If you are unpacking and installing a new worksurface to go with the fume hood, carefully remove it from the packaging before choosing where to place it.
Choose a Location
Choosing where your fume hood will be in your laboratory is a super important step that will impact the safety of your lab and the convenience of using the fume hood. Fume hoods should be installed no closer than ten feet from any door or exit, should never face high-traffic areas, should sit away from tight corners, and should not affect the workflow of the lab.
Similarly, fume hoods should not be placed anywhere where a breeze or rapid movement could impact the hood’s ability to capture contaminants.
In addition to choosing a place where the fume hood can operate freely and without disturbance, the location you choose should have adequate access to the facility’s ductwork. Ducted fume hoods are connected directly to the building’s HVAC system in order to funnel air out and away from the lab.
Accessing this ductwork can be tricky if the building is not already set up for fume hoods, so some additional work may need to be done to give you access to the ductwork. Similarly, there should be a nearby electrical panel or access to wiring in order to hook the fume hood up to the facility’s electricity.
Mount the Fume Hood
Once you have selected an appropriate space for the fume hood, away from workstations and high traffic areas, it will be time to mount the fume hood on top of the workstation. Before lifting the hood itself onto the workstation, take a moment to check the sash to ensure that it functions properly.
Carefully align the fume hood, making sure that it is flush with the workstation in the back with a small front overhang to promote proper ventilation. Push back on the hood to be sure it is sitting against the wall.
Wiring & Ductwork
Next, it is time to wire electrical services to the fume hood. For this step, bring in a certified electrician that is familiar with local codes. During this step, you will also begin to connect the fume hood to the facility’s ductwork/plumbing.
Seal the Hood
Once the fume hood has been connected to the building’s cables and ductwork, it is time to seal the fume hood. Using an approved sealant or caulk, carefully seal all cracks and gaps between the fume hood and worksurface to ensure no contaminated air leaks out back into the lab.
Finally, replace all removed paneling, and your fume hood is ready to use.
Work with a Professional
Though you can certainly try to install your fume hood yourself, the best way to guarantee your fume hood will function properly and efficiently is to hire a professional. At OnePointe Solutions, we work with electricians, plumbers, and technicians to install high-end equipment and furniture solutions for our customers, and are proud to offer some of the best and most reliable services in the region.
When you purchase a fume hood from OnePointe Solutions, you receive more than just a high-quality product, you receive premium customer service and attentive professional assistance to set-up the lab of your dreams. Our professionals have worked with lab equipment for decades, and have created lasting relationships with some of the best electricians and tradesmen in the region to bring premium installation services to our customers around the country.