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thoughts on commercial gas ranges

We are renovating an older home and are looking to put in a commercial gas range. We thought we would purchase a Viking, but after reading some reviews I am leary. ANy thoughts?

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  1. Some friends have one and it throws an enormous amount of heat into their kitchen, even just from the pilot lights. Check to make sure that you have adequate AC to the kitchen. You may need a larger gas line to the kitchen, possibly heavier service to the house. Also fire codes for residential use of the range may differ. Clearances to cabinets could require special installation.
    The sales staff at the supplier also told me they were much harder to clean than the residential models. More nooks, crannies and exposed parts.

    4 Replies
    1. re: MakingSense

      Have your friends had problems with the actual reliabilty of the range, ie, burners going out and then troubel with the repairs. Also any thought on gas oven versus electric

      1. re: MakingSense

        I agree that it isn't a good idea to take a range made for commercial use and install it in a home kitchen. However, some manufacturers such as Wolf have modified some models of their ranges and equipped them with features such as heavy duty heat insulation so that they conform to established standards for home use.

        1. re: MakingSense

          Making sense is 100 % right. I had to buy a Semi Commerical stove from Wolf ($$$$$) instead of a commercial stove from Garland. It is insluated and will be cover under my ins policy in NYC.

          1. re: MakingSense

            My Viking does not have pilot lights but rather electric ignition for each burner.

          2. Check your local zoning and fire regulations, which may require additional fireproofing of your kitchen or ban commercial ranges outright. Also, check with your insurer; a commercial range may void your home insurance policy.

            1 Reply
            1. re: carswell

              I am glad to hear about the warnings - but I was unclear when I posted my question - we are looking at a commercial style not straight commercial so the zoning will not be an issue. Bravo for those who do the actual commercial ranges though.

            2. When we remodeled our 80 year old kitchen I put in a 30" Garland, 4 burner, gas oven. That was as big as I could go. There is no pilot light, has ignitors. It does put off some heat, especially the oven. And, being a gas oven, it's not self cleaning. But, I wouldn't trade it for anything, nothing beats cooking on those super burners. Oh, there was no problem with insurance to my knowledge. This remodel was done 8 years ago. Have never had a burner go out but have had to replace the ignitor in the oven one time.

              1 Reply
              1. re: rtmonty

                I would love to know more. I looked at the garland website -- I don't think they make a 30" range any longer but I may consider a 24" one. Anything larger than 30" is out of the question for my small kitchen. What do you have around the stove, since it appears from the specs that you have to keep a clearance of at least 14" of flammable materials on either side and 6" behind?

              2. Since you mention Viking as your example, it's unclear whether you're talking about a "commercial-style" range or a true commercial range. Viking falls into the former category. Most true commercial ranges aren't insulated as well, as Sam D mentions. They aren't intended to be slid in between cabinets because of the heat they throw off. You may get into issues with your insurance, fire inspector, et al, unless you incorporate features into your home kitchen that'll make it look a lot more like a restaurant kitchen.

                Lots of folks have commercial-style ranges and love them. Just realize that the much-higher price tag is in part a result of adding those features that make it safer for installation in a home environment.

                We have a 36" Bluestar, which is descended from the home version of the Garland restaurant range. It's all gas, and we love it so far.

                1 Reply
                1. re: ted

                  thanks, to clarify we are talking about Comm-Style not straight commercial. I should have made that clearer because a lot of respones relate to actual commercial not comm-style.

                2. I have a 10+ year old Dynasty commercial four burner which I purchased used. The gas oven does throw out a fair bit of heat, but it's fantastic to cook on. Our kitchen units are freestanding with ample ventilation and a powerful range hood, so there's no problem. I need to use the hood when the oven is on, it makes a huge difference to the temperature in the kitchen. In winter that's no problem of course, we just turn the heating down.

                  It does have ignitors, so no problems with a pilot light. A domestic gas line is more than adequate for most cookers - your central heating and hot water will pull way more gas than a stove.

                  1. Whatever you decide. Do not buy a DCS!

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: winston1

                      Why? A couple of years ago when I asked the "which range" question on eGullet, Wolf and Viking were pooh-poohed and DCS lauded, especially by people who take their ranges seriously. Based on that discussion, their own research and the ranges' feature sets, the friends for whom I'd asked the question bought a DCS and couldn't be happier with it. I've cooked on a number of commercial and semi-commercial stoves, and that DCS ranks among the best.

                      1. re: carswell

                        I love my DCS. But repairs have been an issue since that company changed hands. They did come through , but it was months. The stove itself is great, high heat, easy to clean, 5 burners on a small stove.

                        1. re: Janet

                          Be advised that, if you want a DCS and you're worried about repairs, some of the stuff in the GE Monogram line is actually DCS. You can thus buy GE and get DCS. You can tell what's what just by looking.

                      2. re: winston1

                        I think you should respond with some facts. I've been a DCS owner for five years now. My 5 burner 30" all gas stove has performed flawlessly. No repairs, no complaints...and I cook A LOT!

                        There are lemons everywhere. Does that mean if one is bad, the entire line is bad?

                      3. I guess I didn't realize when i said commercial range that that could mean something out of a restaurant. I learn as I go through this process. I don't think that codes should be an issue as we are looking at the types of ranges you can buy at the Expo Design Center or Weststar (i.e. made for home kitchens but have the industrial look and high BTU capacity) But one of the concerns I have which has not been specifically addressed is Viking in particular. There seems to be some difficulty people have in getting these ranges repaired and many posts that Viking is pricy and you are not getting what you pay for. Any thoughts or personal experiences with Viking, Wolf or Thermadore units

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: gchiker3

                          Skip all of those brands and go straight to Bluestar. You won't regret it.

                        2. Also another question - any thoughts on all gas versus dual fuel. I have had dual fuel in a GE Monogram and loved it, but wonder when ou get into the higher end ranges if all gas is more effective in the oven.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: gchiker3

                            I've baked, roasted and broiled with the DCS gas oven I mentioned above and have to say I find it every bit as good as a high-end electric oven.

                            1. re: gchiker3

                              We have a new Wolfe dual fuel and love it.

                              1. re: dimples

                                I am trying to decide between a Wolfe dual fuel and an All Gas. I've heard some people think that all gas moister heat, so gas is better for meats and vegetables and broiling, whereas electric is better for baking...What has been your experience?

                            2. I have had Garland commercial ranges in my home for twenty five years. Currently I have a compact commercial range restored ten years ago. You really need to have one of these domesticated commercial style ranges.(Wolf or whatever brand you dig. But truly all of the issues the other folks have mentioned do apply. Ventilation is a huge issue with true commercial equipment. Make up air and fire supression are considerations as well.
                              When I had my current range restored the restoration expert installed all new gas controls and related equipment. Then we had to have the range recertified by the local inspector.

                              The issues related to trying to put a true commercial range in most homes is not worth the hassle.(not to mention the no warranty or insurance) I don't like the prices of a lot of fancy ranges. But you must follow your local building codes to ensure your safety.
                              The best you can do is really research hard for yourself before you buy. Try to find suppliers that have some equipment operable.

                              Currently I'm converting to separate ovens and cooktop. Looking at some induction cooktops and gas burners. I hate to lose my wonderful old garland but new technology makes it a must do.

                              The new setup will have dual convection ovens with broiling,five gas burners and a dual convection hob.
                              I'll really miss the old unit which had a small oven, four open burners, a large griddle, broiler and storage.
                              Make sure you have adequate ventilation most homes I've seen have poorly planned vent systems.
                              Big hoods without makeup air can be problem.
                              When you build a nice kitchen it helps to have a real good mechanicals guide around.
                              Good Cooking to ya

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Magnapro

                                Congradulations--you are one of the few people who have ever mentioned the subject of make up air.

                                What is a convection hob? Isn't that some sort of UK term?

                                1. re: johnb

                                  sorry the beer was kicking in
                                  I meant Induction hob(UK) which is a UK term.I like the USA made Magnawave stuff but it'sa little pricey. If people have energy efficient homes make up air is a real consideration. Only if you don't want to kill your family with Carbon monoxide. I am a contractor who has built many kitchens.Thank you for being very well informed.

                              2. Ventilation is not a problem w/ high-end home ranges that have some attributes of commercial models but without some of the challenges. I have a Viking (about 10 years old) -- four burners, electric ignition, self-cleaning oven, dual-fuel oven. It's easy to clean, sturdy, well insulated and vents automatically when you turn the oven down to a lower temperature in the middle of the baking process rather than waiting to cool down "naturally." I love my Viking.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: ClaireWalter

                                  Think about what I said. An very air tight home. Average highend direct exhaust hood 700-800 cubic feet per minute. Where do you think all that air comes from? In a tight closed up home it can easily be backdrafted through vent pipes for any fuel burning appliance. I solve these problems for many people. You should not tell people ventilation is not a consideration! You would not believe the amount of so called higher end homes that have these types of problems. Your situation may differ but most homes are getting much tighter these days and your advice can hurt people. So if you have a high CFM range hood you can perform some simple tests to prove what I'm saying. Please talk to a reputible HVAC contractor when planning a new kitchen or any new hood installation.
                                  This a very overlooked part of renovation kitchens.

                                  1. re: Magnapro

                                    In cold cold Minnesota where houses are built very tight, I understand there are state regulations related to make-up air for residential hood installations. That is the only place I know of in the US where the subject has been given specific attention. Very few people give it any thought when doing kitchen plans. One hopes this will change. I insisted my contractor provide me some make-up air (I'm in North Carolina). I suppose most folks just open a window when they are running their hoods, but that is a very poor substitute.

                                    1. re: johnb

                                      Hey John try Alberta at -35c once in a while.Perhaps an informative thread for people to tell them your experience? Maybe a new subject of renovation kitchen ventilation.And hopefully get a few of our HVAC professional food lovers to help educate all of us a little more on modern considerations.

                                      1. re: Magnapro

                                        Well Magna, Alberta eh; tight houses up there-- that explains why you are familiar with the concept of make up air. Brrrr.

                                        Unfortunately, I'm far from expert enough on the subject to hold forth on it for very long. I became interested when thinking about my own hood installation, and understood enough to think it would be a good idea to have some inflow below the range top to help grease and smoke vent out OK. That led me to do some research on the subject. Basically, as Carswell says below, you need to let as much in as your are trying to vent out--otherwise the vent won't work. As you pointed out earlier, if the inflow comes through by backventing from other gas appliances, you may have a big problem. If your house is old and leaky, perhaps no problem, but since everybody ought to be trying to seal up his house these days, the problem does occur.

                                2. I finally made the plunge & purchased a 36" 6 burner all gas self cleaning Viking in an open crate department of the SW distributor for under $3800. This unit is brand spanking new and was delivered, but not the correct model which was ordered so sent back to the supplier with only the front piece of plastic removed. I am excited and think we got a great deal. Probably not the exact model we would have ordered if we had all the money and were not remodeling an entire house but it will definetly serve the purpose. Thanks for all the input.If you all have any thoughts on other appliances ie built in refrigerators, dishwashers, and wine cellars share your thougts.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: gchiker3

                                    Congratulations, gchiker3. You got yourself quite a deal. Would I had stumbled on, or sought out, something like that. My 4-burner Viking cost more than that about 10 years ago! I hope you cook happily on it ever after.

                                  2. A better choice is a semi-commercial range designed for a home kitchen but with commercial features. I have a Blue Star and love it. It heats water in record time. The electric igniters work beauitfully. The heat in the oven is level and constant. It has a large oven. The star burners are really worth looking into, especially with the double row of gas jets to bring the heat up to 18K on two burners. What a joy to cook on a stove that responds immediately. Easy to clean up, great big sheet pan under all the burners. A big oven. The steel back against the wall and the shelf and the casters all make it a wonderful appliance. Expensive, yes, but after I read the putdowns by Consumer Reports about Wolf and the other "in between" restaurant and home kitchens, I opted for the Blue Star and have never been sorry. It even has a convection oven and a radiant burner in the broiler. The star design really gives heat out to the edges as well as the center of the pot, look at it closely and when something is boiling you can see the bubbles mirroring the star pattern of gas underneath. I've never spent so much on a stove and never enjoyed one so much as this one. I have the 36" six burner. E-Mail me for questions if you want to talk with a very satisfied owner. Website is http://www.prizer-painter.com/pages/b... You can pester them with questions and get their specs from this site.

                                    1. I'm renovating a kitchen in a brownstone and thinking of putting in a 36" Wolf rangetop. Any comments positive or negative would be greatly appreciated.

                                      1. Oh, and a few of the previous posters when discussing ventilation mentioned 'make up' air. What does that refer to?

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: micki

                                          For an exhaust fan to work properly, you have to have an inflow of as much air as you're venting out. That's the make-up air.

                                          1. re: micki

                                            read the thread back a bit or look at new topic over the next few days regarding ventilation.

                                          2. I have had two Dynasty ranges, high BTU and a lot like Viking. I highly recommend against a Dynasty range because its oven igniter is faulty, causing it to shoot fireballs out the oven door. The company knows this and the Consumer Products Safety Commission does too. Viking I hear has had similar problems. There are many really nice looking stoves these days that don't have these problems. Either way, best of luck.