the existing electric service sufficient to support new
equipment? Most auto booths run a minimum of 10 HP motors.
Questions to ask include "What kind of power do I have?",
"Is it high or low voltage?" and "Do I have enough power
to support what I have in mind?". Contact your local power
and light company to discuss boosting power supply to the
service panel or increase (or establish) the ability to
heat the booth with natural gas. They have technicians and
designers on staff that can assist you with determining
costs for increased loads and meter sets
existing wiring must be able to support the new booth or
other equipment (e.g. air compressors). Provide electrical
specifications to an electrician for the equipment you have
in mind and ask that an audit be performed. An audit will
identify what is available in the existing panel, the current
power requirements, and what the power requirements will
become with new equipment factored in.
natural gas is not an option, a survey can be conducted
to see if the shop can safely accommodate a propane tank.
The tank must be situated a required number of feet from
the building and must be surrounded with (in some situations)
1,000 feet of "buffer zone".
The Pitting Process:
the floor of the building render any surprises when digging
begins for the pits? Old piping? old foundation that would
have to be removed in order to continue with the pit work?
Resolution of surprises like this are the responsibility
of the shop owner, unless otherwise anticipated and negotiated
with the concrete team. Utility locators are a good resource
in the event original building plans don't tell you everything
you need to know. Concrete x-ray is another option but may
be a costly approach.
Preparing a building to receive a paint booth can be more
involved than acquiring the equipment itself. "Why didn't
I know about this stuff?" is a familiar refrain. A shop
becomes subject to visits from all sorts of local authorities.
It's no secret that requirements differ from county to county
and state to state, with several counties in the U.S. having
already established themselves as impossible to please.
Shop owners have often found plans reviewers to be totally
unsympathetic, making it both necessary and prudent for
a shop to retain the services of a permitting company -
if only to make the whole situation bearable.
The vision of the gleaming new booth or prep deck is more
easily recognized if the equipment buyer is better prepared
for what lies ahead. Making a good decision about a building
not only helps the shop owner head off problems, it also
makes it easier to anticipate building or refit costs.
© Tara L. Munro. All Rights Reserved.
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