5 Things You Need to Know About Cleaning Electrostatic Precipitator Cells

If your commercial cooking exhaust system uses electrostatic precipitator cells to eliminate the smoke, grease, and odor generated by a commercial kitchen those cells are going to get dirty. Extremely dirty. Especially if you are cooking with solid fuels such as wood or charcoal, they will get covered with a residue that can’t be scrubbed away with a little soap, water, and elbow grease.

Commercial kitchen exhaust system in action in Sacramento, CA

Here are some things that every commercial kitchen with an electrostatic precipitator filtration system should know about cleaning the ESP cells used by your unit.

1 – Don’t Use a Pressure Washer

The wires and plates within an electrostatic precipitator cell are tough, but can’t handle the high-pressure blast of most power washers. This may damage the wires and plates of the ESP requiring you to repair or replace the cell.

2 – Hot Water is a Must

Another reason a pressure washer is a bad idea is that most of the time, they are hooked up to cold water sources. Cold water cannot loosen the grease and other stubborn deposits that build up on the cells. They require hot water–around 150 degrees Fahrenheit works best–to help melt away the grease and loosen the stubborn deposits sticking to the wires and plates of the cell.

3 – Use an Aluminum Safe Cleaning Solution

As stated previously, simple soap and hot water is not going to be enough to clean these cells. Some cleaners and degreasers such as Simple Green are not effective in providing the cleaning punch to get the job done. On the other extreme, some cleaning solutions are caustic and can eat away at aluminum if used with ESP cells. You have to make sure the detergent you use is aluminum-safe, such as the Matrix SP7C detergent.

4 – Install an Automatic Wash System

Most commercial kitchens use exhaust systems with an automatic wash system installed. These systems can help keep your cells clean and grease-free for months between service calls. Your ESP cells can be cleaned frequently depending on the cooking load in your kitchen. If you don’t have an automatic wash system already installed on your SmogHog ESP unit, they can still be installed because SmogHog ESP systems are designed to be modular.

5 – Hire an Electrostatic Precipitator Cell Cleaning Company

There are businesses that specialize in cleaning electrostatic precipitator cells. They come out to your business, collect the dirty ESP cells and install clean ones in the unit so there is no interruption in the use of your kitchen. The cells are taken back to a cleaning facility where they are pre-soaked in a hot, aluminum-safe detergent solution to loosen up the grease and char, and then cleaned using a specially-designed, enclosed ESP cell cleaning unit, and then rinsed in hot water, inspected for damage, dried and stored until swapping them with the dirty ESP cells during the next scheduled service.

Matrix Systems Provides Electrostatic Cell Cleaning Solutions

Not only does Matrix Systems provide ESP cell cleaning and exchange for businesses in the San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento, and the Northern Nevada areas, but they invented Matrix SP7C detergent, the only automatic wash system detergent specifically designed for SmogHog and Trion ESP units. We also install automatic wash systems for SmogHog commercial kitchen exhaust systems. For more information, please give us a call at either (510) 822-5167 for Bay Area customers, or (530) 273-5474 for Sacramento Valley and Northern Nevada area customers, complete our online contact form, or email us at mquinlan@2mxs.com.