Design Strategy - Kitchens - Electrical Notebook

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Design Strategy - Kitchens

Design Strategy – Kitchens
The following is a basic check list for the design of electrical services within kitchens for restaurants or dining halls.

Estimated loads
Typically from experience a connected load between 750-1000 W/m2 may be expected
For a restaurant in London of 2016, allowing 890 W/m2 of kitchen space, or for an equivalent allowance of 300W/m2 Restaurant space
For a mining camp dining hall in Western Australia, allowing 1000W/m2 of kitchen space, or for an equivalent allowance of 350W/m2 Dining Hall space

Where possible, gas kitchen equipment may be preferred as a more economic, sustainable and eco-friendly fuel source.  This will evidently reduce the electrical W/m2 load

Load Distribution
Split the load to distribution boards serving:
  • Kitchen equipment – May be isolated by an EPO at the main
  • Fridges may be installed on a separate board to maintain operation during maintenance periods
  • Mechanical services
  • Lighting and Power – Kitchen
  • Lighting and Power – Dining Area
These zones may be split further to afford an efficient and safe electrical installation
BEWARE – kitchen suppliers may install sub distribution boards on pre-fabricated benches as ‘a good idea’ but discrimination faults and unbalanced phases will need to be assessed.

Heavy Loads:
  • Larger loads
  • Cookers
  • Ovens
  • Hobs
  • Microwave Ovens
  • Kettles
  • Coffee Machines
  • Freezers
  • Dish Washers Commercial
  • HVAC
Lighter loads:
  • Mixers
  • Degreasing Dispensers
  • Fridges
  • Dishwashers Domestic
  • Fans
  • Lighting
  • IT connections
  • Controllers
Ensure all equipment has an accessible isolator
Ensure isolators will not be affected by extreme heat or cold conditions
Ensure power outlets are 300mm above the working planes to avoid splash back
Ensure under bench equipment with plug & socket connections will not be affected by water seepage from above
Ensure three phase power connectors are of the lockable type
Phase balancing rules:
1 – Balance the electrical phases as close as possible
2 – All single phase outlets on any one bench, working area or island shall be of the same phase
3 – Three phase equipment naturally remains as is regardless of rule 2
4 – Consider diversity
5 – Review and go back to rule 1 until designed for the best result

  • Earth all metallic conducting equipment, benches, shelving, drainers, brackets and supports
  • Earth all water facilities with conducting metallic parts
  • Earth the required intakes for water and gas as per the wiring regulations
Health and Safety
Emergency Power Off – EPO to kitchen equipment with moving components. Provide with a key reset mechanism.
  • Cleanliness      
    • Insectocuter
    • Dust prevention by using equipment with smooth surfaces, drifting downwards.
  • Rus prevention
    • Stainless steel accessories
    • Plastic ABS accessories where out of physical danger
    • Stainless steel enclosure for electrical controls to be housed
  • Dust free environment
    • Electrical services to IP56 to enable washing of walls
    • Suspension chains to lights collect dust – use conduit or sheath
    • Suspended lights, install off side of work benches to avoid falling dust
    • Avoid dust trap features

  • Emergency lighting around kitchen equipment benches
  • Emergency lighting enhanced to 15 lux
  • Multi-way light switching for staff access
  • Motion detector lighting control, if required, should include a long delay to OFF
  • Co-ordinate with equipment extract hood ducts
  • Luminaire lamps to be enclosed to prevent falling shattered glass or dust.
  • External Emergency egress lighting

  • All cable shall use LSF sheathing
  • All cable shall be protected mechanically as the risk of damage is greater within a kitchen.
    • Use high temperature cable within galvanised steel conduit or high temperature MICC around hot surfaces and appliances
    • Three phase equipment shall be wired using steel wire armoured cable to the point of connection
    • Cable containment shall be of stainless steel where exposed
  • If      necessary, grade Listed Buildings, use fire resistant cable

Fire Alarms
  • Essentially od extracts
  • Manual Break Glass Units
  • Fire Extinguishants
  • Local isolators with knock off facility

  • CCTV
    • Install cameras to cover all areas between benches
    • Install cameras to cover all windows
  • Access
    • Install secure access to staff only doors
    • Do not install electronic locks to kitchen / restaurant swing doors to prevent accident
  • Intruder Detection
    • Install intruder detection to cover all areas between benches
    • Install intruder detection to cover all windows

Disabled Persons Call
  • Include for all disabled persons toilets
    • Pull  cords
    • Alert  signal outside of the room
    • Alert  confirmation within the room
    • Alert remote to the manager’s office or manned counter

Audio Visual Facilities
Allow space for a standard rack to accommodate audio visual players, mixers, amplifiers and signal splitters
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Data Communications
Allow for
  • Data points
  • Wi-fi for customers and chefs
  • Point Of Sales (POS)

    • Allow for Data and Power to cashier equipment

If required, ensure that exhaust gasses are not able to return to fresh air intakes.
    • Critical and dangerous gasses 20m clearance
  • Typical distances
    • For an upward directional exhaust
      • 10m  clearance planar
      • 3m clearance vertical

Russell Fox
Chartered Electrical Engineer
B.Eng.(Hons), C.Eng., MIET, CPEng(Aust), MIEAust, NPER.

Engineers note and disclaimer: This webpage is a record of design requirements experienced whilst working on specific projects. Although serving as a guide, local standards, requirements and regulations should be adhered to and referred to throughout the design process for any particular project.
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