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Downdraft Vent Module (DVM) FAQ’s

Vollrath’s Downdraft Vent Module provides the venting and fire protection needed to create the stage for front-of-the-house cooking. The Downdraft Vent Module is available with one or two induction ranges, and in either Vollrath’s V-Class Custom base or Signature Server® base. Vollrath’s DVM meets agency standards for emissions and fire containment and fire suppression. It is an extremely safe way to cook in front-of-the-house applications.

Agency Listings

  • UL710B: Electrical, Fire, Mechanical, and Operational Safety specifically related to recirculating systems.
  • UL197: Electrical, Mechanical, and Operational Safety specific to Commercial Electric Cooking Appliances.
  • UL1046: Grease filters are UL1046 listed.
  • UL Sanitation: Certified by UL to be in compliance with NSF 4, Commercial Cooking, Rethermalization, and Powered Hot Food Holding and Transport Equipment
  • NSF4: The system is NSF4 listed, in addition to the UL Sanitation listed to NSF4 standards.

Meets Requirement of:

  • EPA Test Method 202: Test method to assure the grease laden effluent will not exceed an average of 5.0mg/m3 of exhausted air sampled at a maximum product capacity over a continuous 8 hour test cooking period.
  • NFPA96: National Fire Protection Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Appliances.


When I receive my DVM, is it ready to use? Are there any things the operator needs to do to get started?

The DVM comes with a factory installed and inspected Ansul fire suppression system. It ships without fire suppressant and without a cartridge. You must call a local ANSUL distributor who will fill the suppression system, add the CO2 or nitogen cartridge, inspect the unit, and commission/tag it. Find your ANSUL dealer at www.ansul.com, click find a distributor, click find a US distributor, enter your state, county, and choose R-102 restaurants pre-engineered systems.

Will this system work with other items like fryers, or countertop equipment like sandwich presses and Panini makers?

Right now, the system is set up per UL to work with two Vollrath 59501 drop-in induction ranges. Fire safety aside, these ranges offer the widest flexibility allowing frypan/sauté applications, saucepot/stockpot applications, individual stir-fry, griddle-pan usage, even warming stations with buffet ware or chafers for hot-food holding. Going forward we will take feedback and look at line extension within the category, but induction and the induction ready cookware and buffetware allows a very wide list of applications.

This is unlike anything I have seen before, how does it work?

It’s an integration of multiple technologies to create a safe means to cook front of the house. Induction cooking itself requires no flame, and temperature moderation within the unit makes creating a grease-fire very difficult. The integrated ANSUL R-102 fire suppression system is a mechanical system with fused links to detect high heat. If a sustained fire situation occurred, the system would expel the suppressant on the cooking surface and within the downdraft vent. This combined with the fire containment provided by the foodguard, makes for a very safe product. Finally, the downdraft vent system both captures grease laden air and is a vacuum-interlock system for the DVM. A high efficiency airpump draws grease-laden air through a grease filter and a particulate/carbon filter. Clean air exits out the bottom of the unit. A vacuum switch shuts the system down if filters are clogged or removed completely. All filtration is at counter level, for easy inspection and cleaning or change-out.

How are you seeing these being used?

Compatible with most serveries in the industry, and lines up with Vollrath’s V-Class Custom Serveries, or Signature Server® Serving line equipment, these modules should be used as a stand-alone station or purchased as a part of a Vollrath serving line, or add adjacent to other manufacturers stations. We have also seen these slid behind a façade in a cart/kiosk.

Does this system require make-up air?

No. It is a downdraft system, recirculating room air through multiple filters to capture grease, particulates, and odor. The system would allow for exhaust set-ups which would require make-up air, but the system works well without it and allows for mobile use, or use in serveries.

Do the filters come with the system?

Yes, 2 grease filters and 2 particulate/carbon filters.

What are the options available?

Options Include: Countertop material choices, base colors, breathguard heights. For more options, see AutoQuotes or the Vollrath Spec Sheet.

What is the voltage?

With one induction range you have a 5-15P plug, making this system basically work in almost any commercial foodservice environment. With two induction ranges it ships with a 5-30P plug.

Are these approved for my area?

UL710B is the definitive standard for fire safety for this type of product. Passing EPA Test 202 is the definitive standard for allowable grease beyond the grease filter, satisfying requirements of NFPA96. Vollrath vent systems should be allowed for use in most areas in the U.S. But please confirm their acceptance locally prior to purchasing a made-to-order DVM system. Forwarding the agency information should gain acceptance. These are called out on spec sheets and on our web-page.

Can I purchase just the components and put it into fabricated equipment?

This system is not available as a component and must be purchased as a module for two reasons. The first is the UL710B requirements for venting and emissions capture. This had to be listed as a complete product with specific dimensional requirements (which could not be guaranteed with outside fabricated construction). The agency tests are very specific and the same results could not be guaranteed with components put into various fabricated pieces. The second reason is the fire suppression. ANSUL requires Vollrath factory installation and inspection to insure systems are installed correctly, and work properly leaving the factory. They would not allow a fabricator solution where quality control could not be assured. And this also allows allows any ANSUL dealer selling R-102 systems to add suppressant, cartridges, and inspect and tag the unit. Like any fire system, it should be inspected every 6 months.

Where are these made? What is the lead-time? What is the warranty?

These are made in the USA at Vollrath’s Sheboygan, WI facility. They are made-to-order based on your feature specification. The lead time is 8 - 10 weeks. Units are shipped FOB factory. The warranty is one year parts/labor.

Contact Us


Thank you for considering Vollrath’s new award-winning downdraft venting system. It is the product of years of research and development and we believe we have created a solution for front-of-the house cooking.

If you have further questions or would like to request a quote, please feel free to contact us.

Contact Vollrath