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  • Grill is breaking apart

     olivero updated 1 year, 6 months ago 1 Member · 23 Posts
  • guest

    Member
    April 20, 2018 at 12:00 am

    Hey Guys,

    I got an interesting one, I have 3 of these VACB36N-21 Vulcan Grills.

    Seems lt’s kind of dying out on me.

    For one, the grates seem to be disintegrating, notice the top center section, what is breaking off? Rusty metal or is there some kind of coating? Its on the bottom, not the top.

     

    Then there is the center back section

     

    Is this normal? Been using these for about 4 1/2 – 5 years now.

    Looks to me like I need a new grill.

  • fixbear

    Member
    April 20, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    Why isn’t there any carbon on the grills?  normally they get coated with a coating of oil that turns to carbon as a non stick protective layer.  These look like they have gone through repeated degrease and high temp cycles.  Also check that you don’t have a oxidizing flame.  Excess O2 with high heat will erode the best of metals.

  • olivero

    Member
    April 20, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    That I don’t know, these units get cleaned pretty thoroughly every week, I know they got a grill brush they use on the top part of the grate pretty much daily or whenever they are using them. The flames are pretty blue, I believe that’s how they should be?

     

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they use degreaser and stuff like that.

  • fixbear

    Member
    April 20, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    It shows it.  Normally with cast iron grills they wire brush and re-season.  Never soap or chemical cleaners. Cast iron is porous and absorbs the cleaner.  When they get a build up you can turn the heat up and they will burn off, but need to be seasoned again.  Because they are porous, any soap or chemicals will be absorbed and wind up in the food when cooking.  Just like a Cast Iron Pan. Oil and bake at 400 till dry.

     

    Your going to have to replace them before they break.  But teaching the cleaning staff may be a problem.

  • fixbear

    Member
    April 20, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    You could extend the life of them by soaking in veg oil, then heating slowly to make carbon.  Your cooks obviously turn to high to get going fast.

  • olivero

    Member
    April 20, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    Okay, well that makes sense I guess.

     

    Any idea as to why the grates are breaking? The back section is stainless, how come it rusted up and cracked like that?

  • fixbear

    Member
    April 20, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    because it is not a 300 stainless.  It is a magnetic stainless.  In other words it has some iron. But it also has experienced a lot of heat.  My god, the heat deflectors/drip shields are even twisted and warped. The had to be red and gotten a quick cooling to a small area from probably drippings or marinade.  The same way we bend heavy steel beams.  Lay out a wedge with soapstone, heat the wedge dull red, quench with water towels.  Thais how the arch in a bridge is made.  I’ve bent some big iron that way.

     

    It also looks like there is a lot of heat getting pushed oput the ends of the deflectors.  Gapping may be off from age and corrosion of the deflectors forcing the heat out the ends.

  • olivero

    Member
    April 20, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    Right, I am definetley aware of the effects of cooling steel too fast or suddenly cooling it compared to letting it cool off on its own.

     

    The superchargers as they call them or the burner seperator pieces are definetley warped as well, no doubt about it, so are the radiants. I understand the grates, radiants and the superchargers to get warped and worn, it happens over time. But for the grill to crack in the spot it did, that’s what concerns me the most, I can replace the 3 parts but I can’t replace that.

     

    Vulcan said the only way to fix it is to buy a new grill. I am sure I COULD make something and weld it in, probably cut out that section and so forth, I just want to avoid it happening again.

     

    Regardless of the grade of stainless, obviously the metal will get hurt, just find it odd to be rusting the way it is, any stainless has iron it.

  • ectofix

    Member
    April 20, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    olivero:

    • Do you have cleaning crews scurrying about your kitchens during the wee hours of the morning? 
    • Do your cleaning crews seem intent upon blasting degreaser solutions and water in unfathomable ways ONTO, INTO and UNDER any and all cooking equipment – gas or electric?
    • Are your cleaning crews so devious that they’ll quickly attempt to hide their maligned cleaning methods if YOU so happen to walk in, since (although they don’t speak English) they KNOW that what they’re doing is WRONG?
      • Do you have to go behind them to repair said equipment? 
        • Waterlogged switches and thermostats?
        • Electrical sparks from when cooks first try to turn equipment on in the morning?
      • Puddles under ranges and convection ovens of the brown water dripping from them in the morning?
      • Ovens with steam blasting from around their doors during their initial pre-heat in the morning?
      • Stove-top gas burners and pilots not working because they’re filled with water?
      • Stainless steel panels and fryer doors rusting when they obviously shouldn’t?

     

    Well, I do…

     

    I’ve seen ALL of this and SO much more.  I feel your pain.  The cleaning methods delineated in equipment operator’s manuals are apparently are NOT part of the repertoire of whosoever is in charge of those folks.

     

    Your char-grill grates and radiants can be replaced. 

    That stainless rear panel?  I don’t know. 

    Additionally, you might find the damage is more far-reaching if you tear into it.

     

    EDIT: So Vulcan says to replace the grill.  I sorta expected that.

  • fixbear

    Member
    April 20, 2018 at 8:26 pm

    The problem is if it is a high temp stainless.like 309, 310 or 330.  They are considered non weldable due to the high carbon level

  • olivero

    Member
    April 21, 2018 at 4:02 pm
    • Do you have cleaning crews scurrying about your kitchens during the wee hours of the morning? – No
    • Do your cleaning crews seem intent upon blasting degreaser solutions and water in unfathomable ways ONTO, INTO and UNDER any and all cooking equipment – gas or electric? – No
    • Are your cleaning crews so devious that they’ll quickly attempt to hide their maligned cleaning methods if YOU so happen to walk in, since (although they don’t speak English) they KNOW that what they’re doing is WRONG? – Not that I know of.
      • Do you have to go behind them to repair said equipment? -No
        • Waterlogged switches and thermostats? – No
        • Electrical sparks from when cooks first try to turn equipment on in the morning? – Lol, no.
      • Puddles under ranges and convection ovens of the brown water dripping from them in the morning?- No
      • Ovens with steam blasting from around their doors during their initial pre-heat in the morning? – No
      • Stove-top gas burners and pilots not working because they’re filled with water? – No
      • Stainless steel panels and fryer doors rusting when they obviously shouldn’t? – No

    I get where you are coming from, are staff are a little more trained than your commonfolk kitchen cleaners, they all have to read the manuals and get checked out on the cleaning of the equipment prior to being let loose. There can occasionally be someone with a bright idea that cleans “more effectively” than what the manual says but actually damages the equipment, that I have seen before but I do tend to police the kitchen and make sure they don’t go full retard on their cleaning.

     

    These grills are luckily super simple, no electronics at all. I’ve been through them before and they aren’t all that bad, now that these things are happening to the grill, especially the back cracking, I just don’t know if its worth trying to fix or just better to replace.

  • olivero

    Member
    April 21, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    I have a strong and potentially not very smart idea that anything can be welded.

     

    except for Zamak alloys, that stuff is just plain awful.

  • fixbear

    Member
    April 21, 2018 at 8:17 pm

    And 480 maganese. No matter what you do it  cracks.

     

    Tend to agree with Vulcan on the replacement.  Doesn’t mean you have to do all at once.

  • olivero

    Member
    April 22, 2018 at 8:44 am

    Yeah, I haven’t done too much of the exotic oddball alloys but one day I might.

     

    Yeah, seems more logical to replace but we’ll see what ends up happening.

  • fixbear

    Member
    April 22, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Seems simple.  You price out the parts, shipping and labor.  The price a new one.  If repair comes in more than 60% one has to think about it.  But if it comes in higher, hands down a new one is more cost effective.

  • olivero

    Member
    April 22, 2018 at 10:35 am

    Well, a new VACB36 os about $3620.00 online so 60% of that is $2172.00

     

    It costs about $2000.00 for the parts (replacing all 6 grates, 6 radiants and 8 superchargers) and throw shipping into that. So I’d say it’s about there and that doesn’t fix the crack in the back center either. That would still have to be resolved.

  • fixbear

    Member
    April 22, 2018 at 10:59 am

    Do you work at a educational facility or state entity.  If so they get a price break on equipment.

  • olivero

    Member
    April 22, 2018 at 11:48 am

    No, but we do have vendors that can discount some of it.

  • guest

    Member
    April 27, 2018 at 5:35 am

    I have similar issues but not to that extent. There might be several reasons for this. In my case they were putting pots of water/soup on the grill, to keep them hot. They would spill or boil over and the thermal shock would cause the metal to spall. Degreasers will remove any curing that has been done to the grates. Starting their cleaning while the grates were still hot…..like ten minuets after closing. The last would be using a lower grade of iron than they should during production.

    As for the rear heat shield, it is replaceable.

  • fixbear

    Member
    April 27, 2018 at 5:46 am

    That would explain the twisted superchargers.

  • guest

    Member
    April 28, 2018 at 5:44 am

    Yeah, usually they become banana shaped and I have to cut them in half to get them out. This was the first twisted one that I’ve seen.

  • fixbear

    Member
    April 28, 2018 at 9:16 am

    Yea, the twist have to be generated by rapid cooling in one spot. Like a pot of liquid boiling over, stopping for reheat, and boiling over again. Small amounts repeadedly.  Once it twisted the supercharger changed to side gaps and made direct flame to the frame. Surprized that Vulcan doesn’t have end caps on the superchargers to prevent that.

  • olivero

    Member
    April 29, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    Yeah, sounds very likely. They definetley don’t use pots and pans on the grills, only actual meat goes on them and only a couple of times a week. I’ve never seen any water get near the grill but perhaps the juice from the meat could do something? 

     

    But again, it’s been 4 1/2 years so It might just be time.

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