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What to Do If Your Paint Booth Isn’t Code Compliant

Compliance is one of the most complex issues that you may deal with as a paint booth owner. There are both local and national regulations that apply to the installation and operation of your spray booth. Making sure your booth is compliant isn’t just about avoiding fines and legal issues. Codes are designed to ensure you operate your booth safely and correctly. By following the relevant codes, you can enhance quality control and protect yourself and your employees.

Ideally, it’s best to have a thorough understanding of all the relevant code requirements before you purchase a new paint booth. However, even the most conscientious paint booth owners may find themselves with compliance issues at some point. Read on to learn how to bring your paint booth into compliance.

Understand the Requirements

There are both national and state-level codes that apply to paint booths. The federal requirements come from several different agencies:

  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules are related to workplace safety. OSHA laws for paint booths are designed to protect operators from hazardous and combustible substances (such as paints and other finishing products). There are rules about ventilation, filters, illumination, and ignition sources.
  • National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes are designed to mitigate the fire risks of spraying flammable materials. NFPA-33 specifically, is intended for fire control for large-scale, indoor spray paint applications such as industrial spray paint booths. This code covers fire prevention, fire suppression measures, cleaning of built-up overspray, and disposal of flammable materials.
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards help reduce harm to the environment from volatile organic compounds that come from improper ventilation and/or disposal of toxic substances. There are filter codes, ventilation standards, and record-keeping requirements.

Your paint booth may also be subject to additional rules based on local ordinances. When you are pulling permits for your paint booth, carefully read through all the building codes so you understand them. You may need to choose an ETL-certified booth and/or have your setup checked by a local inspector.

Even if your paint booth is already installed, it may become noncompliant if you change the layout of your shop, disassemble and reassemble the booth, or start using different types of finishing products. Local codes can also change, requiring you to take certain actions to make your spray booth compliant again.

Mitigate Fire Risks

Local fire codes may be stricter than NFPA regulations. If your booth doesn’t meet fire safety standards, you may need to make some changes:

  • Replace clogged filters and clean out overspray buildup in the booth.
  • Install fire extinguishers, automatic sprinklers, and other fire suppression equipment as directed by the city or county fire chief.
  • Identify all ignition sources and move them away from the booth. Common sources of ignition are light fixtures, switches and certain types of fans. Make sure to store and mix paints and finishes away from spark-producing devices, ideally in a paint mixing booth.

Your paint booth itself should meet national fire safety requirements by including non-sparking fans and lights. However, taking extra fire precautions can help protect everyone in your shop.

Schedule a Field Test

Some states and cities only allow paint booths that have ETL certification. This Electrical Testing Laboratories mark indicates that the booth’s components meet certain NFPA safety requirements. In an ETL-listed booth, the electrical control panel for the lights and fans is designed to meet UL standards.

If your local codes require ETL certification, the easiest way to ensure compliance is to purchase an ETL-listed booth. You can also obtain certification for an existing booth by scheduling an official inspection and completing any required changes. However, this can be a costly certification process. If you are unsure if it will be required, it is best to purchase a booth that is already certified.

Prioritize Regular Maintenance

Once your paint booth is compliant with all relevant codes and standards, preventative maintenance is the best thing you can do to keep it that way.

  • Change filters when necessary.
  • Clean the booth regularly.
  • Check wires for wear and tear.
  • Monitor airflow and ventilation.
  • Inspect fire suppression equipment frequently.
  • Clean any overspray from the exhaust fans

If you’re not sure how to maintain your paint booth, contact an expert.

Get Reliable Support To Keep Your Booth Compliant

Paint booth compliance is about more than just following building codes; a compliant booth is safer to operate. If your booth isn’t code compliant, the best thing to do is remedy the situation right away by scheduling an inspection and completing any assigned action items. When you are purchasing a paint booth, make sure to choose one that meets federal standards and is ETL-certified (if your local codes require it). To learn more about paint booth compliance, contact our experienced team.

Upgrading Your Paint Booth: The Top Options for Improving Efficiency, Safety, and Performance

A high-quality paint booth is a significant upgrade to your shop, making it easy to create products with a gorgeous professional finish. Even if your existing spray booth performs reliably, there are several upgrades you can consider. These products can drastically increase the efficiency of your booth and ensure a top-notch finish. With strategic additions, you can improve your paint booth’s performance.

Lighting Upgrades

Most paint booths have integrated lighting, but you may want to consider upgrading the bulbs that are in your booth. Good lighting provides essential benefits:

  • Color matching is more accurate.
  • Finish issues (debris, blemishes) are easier to see and address.
  • Adequate light improves safety.
  • High-efficiency bulbs reduce operating costs.

With our wide range of lighting options, it’s easy to choose the best upgrades for your paint booth. We carry LED panels and recessed lights along with high-lumen fluorescent bulbs. You can also get clear panes of tempered glass to protect LED panels.

Air Quality Improvements

The quality of the air in your booth is perhaps the most important factor affecting the booth’s operational performance and safety. Air that’s contaminated with dust and debris will compromise the finish. Inadequate airflow contributes to uneven drying and allows the booth to become saturated with overspray. Unbalanced air pressure, inside and outside your booth, can create drafts, temperature fluctuations, and safety issues.

We carry equipment that can address all of these challenges.

These simple upgrades can drastically reduce drying time and improve the finish quality.

Safety and Storage Equipment

A well-made paint booth should meet all federal and local safety requirements and fire codes, but there are some things you can add to make your shop and your booth even safer. Protect yourself and your team with top-quality PPE. We carry supplied-air respirators and reusable full-body shoot suits.

Paint, varnishes, primers, and other finishing products are flammable and toxic. It’s essential to store and handle them safely. A paint mixing room makes it easy. This enclosed space allows you to store chemicals, paints, and other flammable materials in a safe place that’s separate from spraying operations. You can also mix all your finishes in the room. The integrated air filters minimize airborne debris, and the ventilation system continuously removes harmful vapors.

Flooring and Wall Coverings

We carry wall and floor coatings that trap airborne particles and counteract the effects of overspray.

  • Grippy Mat: It’s a padded material that protects the floor of the booth and attracts dust, dirt, and overspray. The padded mat makes standing and kneeling more comfortable, and the green color maintains good light quality in the booth. Just clean it with a vacuum when necessary.
  • Particle Control: This solution is designed for use with the Grippy Mat. Regular application keeps the mat ready to trap dust and debris.
  • White Out: This water-based spray is easy to apply to your booth’s walls, covering up overspray to restore optimal finishing conditions. Removal is easy; just peel off the coating in large sheets.
  • Clear View: Applied in the same way as White Out, Clear View is designed to protect your paint booth’s lights from overspray. It’s easy to peel and reapply as necessary.

Depending on the setup of your shop, you may also want to consider investing in a roll-up door for your paint booth. This specially designed fabric curtain allows you to control the environment in your booth without permanently impacting your shop’s floor space.

Maximize Paint Booth Performance With Smart Upgrades

It just takes a few upgrades to optimize your paint booth for peak performance and exceptional results. Add a few high-quality lights and some equipment to manage the airflow. Invest in wall and floor coatings that support a flawless finish and reduce the time between projects. Not sure which upgrades are right for you? Just contract our team. We’ll discuss your needs and recommend the ideal upgrades for your paint booth.

Choosing the Right Paint Booth Filters & Knowing When to Replace Them

paint booth air filters

Air filters are key elements in any paint booth; they help ensure the booth operates properly, efficiently, and safely. Your spray booth cannot perform with clogged filters or incorrect media. Ignoring filter maintenance can also place everyone in the shop at risk for health and safety problems. Choosing the right filters, installing them correctly, and knowing the appropriate time to change them is essential in preventative maintenance.

Types of Paint Booth Filters

There are several different types of filter media to capture debris, foreign particles, overspray, and other contaminants.

  • Intake filters prevent dust, debris, and other small particles from entering your paint booth. Without a well-functioning filter, these tiny particles can damage the finish quality. Each type of paint booth (e.g. downdraft, cross flow) may have a different style of intake filter, but the purpose is always the same: to protect the finish from contaminants.There will be a different type of intake filters for booths that are heated with an air makeup unit.
  • Exhaust filters trap overspray and other chemicals to prevent them from building up on the fans and from being released outside the booth. There are several different types of exhaust filters, including bags and blankets. Clogged exhaust filters can allow toxic chemicals into the environment, increase the risk of fire, and/or reduce the performance of the entire spray booth.
  • AMU filters are part of an air makeup unit, which provides replacement air into the booth to stabilize interior air pressure. AMU filters capture large particles from outside air before entering the AMU and reducies the load on the booth’s other filters before entering the booth.
  • Optional filters can be added to your paint booth to create a two-sage or three-stage filtration. For example, a carbon polyester filter can capture minute contaminants responsible for unpleasant odors. A pre-filter can take care of sawdust and powder-coating particles before they enter the bag filter. Depending on what you are spraying, this may be required.

The best way to know which type of replacement filters to get for your paint booth is to check the manufacturer’s specifications. It’s vital to choose the correct style, size, and material for the replacement filters to ensure your paint booth continues to function optimally.

When To Change a Filter

By nature, filters will eventually become clogged with debris. It’s essential to replace them when they become full of debris. Using a paint booth with clogged filters drastically reduces the quality of the finish, the operational efficiency, and the safety of the shop’s personnel.

It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for determining when to change your filters. Recommendations may be based on the number of operating hours or on calendar weeks/months. There may also be OSHA, EPA, and/or state guidelines for filter maintenance that you should be aware of and follow.

The exact operating conditions of your shop can affect the time it takes for your filters to get clogged, so you may need to replace them sooner than the average time frame recommended by the manufacturer. There are several visual cues you can rely on to determine when it’s time to change your filters.

  • Intake filters: debris in the booth and/or blemishes in the finish
  • Exhaust filters: overspray remaining in the booth and/or continuous operation of the fan at 100% capacity

In general, you should wait no longer than six months to replace an intake filter. It’s a good idea to replace an exhaust filter at least every month. However, it’s best to conscientiously monitor the filters to determine when they are ready to be replaced. You can use a manometer in addition to the visual cues described above to get a clear and accurate picture of how your filters are performing.

Understanding a Manometer

Installing a manometer on your paint booth can make it easier to see when it’s time to change the filter. All booths from Standard Tools come with a Dwyer manometer to measure air pressure. You should install a manometer at the rear of the paint booth near the exhaust filter so it can measure the difference in air pressure inside the booth before the filters and on the other side of the exhaust filters. The more clogged the filters are, the less air flow there is through the filters.

Once you install and calibrate a manometer, you can monitor when the filter starts affecting the booth’s airflow and interior air pressure. We recommend changing exhaust filters when your manometer reading is 0.5” above the initial calibrated level. Watch how to install your manometer on our YouTube channel.

Proper Filter Maintenance Keeps Your Paint Booth Working Efficiently

You can use the manometer readings and visual observations to determine when the filters are full and need to be replaced. We carry a wide range of high-quality intake, exhaust, and AMU filters for various spray booth models. You can order in bulk to ensure you always have replacement filters on hand. Contact us today; our experienced team is ready to answer your questions and recommend the right replacement filters for your booth.

Expert Troubleshooting Solutions for Malfunctioning Fans and Motors

Following proper operation protocols and performing preventative maintenance regularly can help keep your paint booth in good working order. However, sometimes fans and motors develop issues due to age and general wear and tear. The environment of your shop can also affect your paint booth’s longevity.

If you notice signs that something is wrong with your paint booth, it’s essential to locate and repair the problem as soon as possible. Read on to learn about some of the most common problems with fans and motors and to find helpful troubleshooting tips. If you are ever unsure about any aspect of paint booth operation or maintenance, contact us for assistance.

Common Problems

As in many machines, the moving parts within a paint booth are more likely to develop issues than the stationary elements. Because the fan and motor both operate whenever the spray booth is running, even minor problems can quickly escalate.

There are several signs that may indicate a problem with your paint booth’s filter, motor, or fan:

  • Excessive overspray
  • Loud operation
  • Strong odors
  • Air pressure imbalances
  • Overheating
  • Reduced exhaust airflow

Some paint booth malfunctions can cause problems in your shop’s atmosphere, which can negatively affect your personnel. Take immediate action to stop operation and troubleshoot your paint booth if your employees develop any of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Lightheadedness
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision

Once you realize there is a problem with your paint booth’s fan or motor, there are several steps you can take to find and repair the issue.

Filters

One of the most common problems that can affect the operation of a paint booth is a clogged air filter. The filters in your paint booth are integral to safe and effective operation, and when they become clogged with overspray or dust, air can’t move through as easily. This increases the load on the exhaust fan, which must work harder to pull used air out of the booth. Continuing to operate the paint booth under these conditions can hasten the failure of many mechanical parts due to increased wear and tear.

If it seems like your exhaust fan is operating outside of its normal conditions, a good first step is to check the air filters. With a manometer installed in your paint booth, it’s easy to see the status of the filters. Another indication of a clogged filter is a strong odor of chemicals or paint, especially if the smell is noticeable far away from the booth.

If you find that your filters are filled with overspray, replace them. You can help the air filters last longer by consistently cleaning the other elements of the paint booth: ducts, fan blades, and housing.

Fans

Like any mechanical part, a paint booth fan benefits from regular maintenance. Refer to the documentation for your equipment to find out how to maintain the fan. Even with consistent maintenance, however, the fan blades will eventually wear out.

A sure sign of a problem with your fan is that it is rotating too slowly. It can be hard to judge the fan’s air speed visually, but you can compare the reading from an anemometer to the operating specs outlined in your owner’s manual. If the fan isn’t spinning fast enough, it could point to worn-out blades and/or a clogged air filter.

You can inspect the blades themselves to see if they look worn down or broken. If so, it’s time to sharpen or replace them. Sometimes, it’s more cost-effective to replace the fan itself.

Motors

Even a small problem with the motor can prevent proper operation of your paint booth. You can reduce the risk of a motor malfunction by following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance tasks.

If you do suspect there is a problem with your paint booth’s motor, there are a few things to do:

  • Check all the seals and fix any cracks or leaks
  • Inspect the motor belts for damage and replace them if necessary
  • Ensure that the belts are maintaining the correct tension
  • Check ALL wiring connections

In some cases, you may have to install a new motor in your paint booth. Our team can help you determine which motor you need.

Maintaining Your Paint Booth’s Motors and Fans

Preventative maintenance can help your paint booth operate at peak performance. When you do notice issues, however, follow several troubleshooting steps:

  • Check and replace air filters
  • Fix motor seals and belts
  • Replace worn out fan blades

We carry high-quality replacement parts and can answer your questions if you aren’t sure which parts are correct for your paint booth. If you are still having problems after completing these steps, contact us for advice on how to get your paint booth back up and running.

CHANGE YOUR FILTERS IN A SNAP WITH OUR NEW FILTER MEDIA BLANKET

Blanket Filter Media
Standard Tools and Equipment Co. Booth with Blanket Exhaust Filters Installed.

 

If you’re a high production shop, doing a lot of spraying, naturally, you’ll need to change the filter media in your booth often. Changing your filter media is an important maintenance for your booth…. but let’s be honest, it’s time consuming. Do you wish there was an easier way to change them? Meet the blanket filter….. it’s going to change your life. Never change numerous 20” x 20” exhaust filters again.

Order our filter media blanket by the 100’ roll and a set of quick clips to get started. Just cut the filter blanket to the size you need and clip into the quick clips at the top and bottom and you’re set to go!

The blanket filter media fits over your existing filter grids, so there is no structure changes you need to make to your booth.

Our dense heavy-duty two-stage 22g media is 50% heavier than the 15g counterpart. Manufactured from continuous strands of glass fibers with 2.5” loading area backed with 100% fiberglass scrim backing.

Compliant with current EPA standards as well as many local municipal regulations. The 22g fiberglass construction provides excellent removal efficiency at an affordable price.

WANT TO SEE MORE ABOUT THE FILTER MEDIA BLANKET?

Julie and John also had a little fun with the blanket filter. If you want to see an appearance from Filterman installing the blanket filter, click here.
More filter media is available on our web site at: https://www.paint-booths.com/category/paint-booth-filters.html

Spanish Translation Blog: ¿Por qué son necesarios los filtros de escape?

Uno de los principales propósitos de una cabina de rociado es capturar el exceso de rociado. No quera que escape encima de su edificio. Tus compañeros no quieren que se deposite en sus vehículos en el estacionamiento. Sus vecinos no lo desean en su propiedad. El gobierno no ve favorable que en el rociado entre a la atmósfera, plantas, suelo o agua.

¿Por qué pintar en una cabina sin filtros? Quizás los filtros tienen demasiado exceso de rociado y esperas el reemplazo de filtros. Tal vez le pidieron al pintor que pintara algo mientras se estaba limpiando la cabina. Tal vez el pintor decidió continuar en una cabina de rociadura cuando sabía que los filtros no estaban equipados adecuadamente sobre los orificios del filtro. Estas son las decisiones a corto plazo que conducen a problemas a largo plazo.

¿Por qué nunca debería usted pintar en una cabina de pintura sin filtros? Mira estas fotos que muestran acumulación de sobre-pulverización excesiva en el ventilador, conductos de escape y en un pleno de escape después de diez años de uso limitado. Esto fue sólo una cabina de retoque, no una cabina a nivel de producción, pero el exceso de rociado fue 1.5″ de espesor en algunas zonas. Los peligros de la utilización de una cabina sin filtros es que va a arruinar tu ventilador, motor, conductos,… pero lo más importante, la pintura vieja es apenas tan inflamable como pintura nueva. Pintura vieja dentro de una carcasa del ventilador o red de conductos reduce drásticamente el flujo de aire y la seguridad de la cabina. Permitiendo que el rociado se acumule baja el nivel de las prácticas generales de seguridad. Permitir que se acumule tanto el rociado significa que las tareas de limpieza sean monumentales y es menos probables ser terminado.

La mejor respuesta es rutinariamente vigilar el pleno del escape, filtros, ventilador y ducto de escape. Cambie los filtros según sea necesario.

Mantener filtros frescos es fácil. Tenemos cajas disponibles y el envío gratis.

Visite nuestro sitio web para la compra de filtros para su stand actual.

 

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We Don’t Need No stinking Exhaust Filters

Badges

Treasure of the Sierra Madre is a movie released in 1948 with Humphrey Bogart.  This movie is not rated as one of the best or most viewed, but it gave us a one liner that is often repeated.  In the movie Bogart and his group, along with several other groups of ne’er-do-wells, are looking for a lost treasure of gold.  One group tries to fool Bogart and his gang by acting as Mexican Federales (or mounted police).  “If you are Federales”, asks Bogart, “where are your badges?”  The bandit leader replies, “Badges?  We ain’t got no badges.  We don’t need no badges.  I don’t have to show you any stinking badges!”  Great line, but what does it have to do with spray booths? I feel like that is what customers say about exhaust filters for their booth. “Filters? We don’t need no exhaust filters.”

One of the main purposes of a spray booth is to capture overspray.  You do not want it to exhaust on top of your building.  Your co-workers do not want it deposited onto their vehicles in the parking lot.   You neighbors do not want it on their property.  The government does not look favorably on the overspray getting to the atmosphere, plants, soil or water. Continue reading We Don’t Need No stinking Exhaust Filters

THE PITFALLS OF A USED SPRAY BOOTH

I have had three phone calls in two days from people who have purchased our paint booths second (or third) hand. The problems and costs that they are going through because of poor maintenance, destructive disassembles or their inability to get permitting has made it hard on them. Although our paint booths are of high quality and built to last, there are pitfalls of buying a used booth, no matter who the manufacturer is. Don’t get a used spray booth – it’s more hassle in the end. 

Money is tight.  If your company has survived the Great Recession then you understand this.  Your company may also need a paint booth.  Buying a used paint booth can lead to many unforeseen and unexpected costs.  How do you know what you’re getting?

Standard Tools is in the business of selling new spray booths, but we want to A homemade paint boothlet you in on some of the costs associated with buying a used paint booth. Even if a used paint booth is provided at no cost, the potential costs can be greater than a new spray booth in the end. We have new automotive booths starting at less than $5,000.

CONDITION – A used spray booth is on the market due to one of three situations: a paint booth owner is growing and needs a larger unit, a company is going out of business or a company is no longer painting.  You have no way of knowing if the paint booth was maintained and taken care of. Continue reading THE PITFALLS OF A USED SPRAY BOOTH

Heated Paint Booth: To Add Heat or Not Add Heat, That is The Question

powder coatingIt may seem like there is a lot to consider when you buy a paint booth. It’s easy to get in the “let’s just get going and figure it out later” attitude. Selecting the right type of paint booth and developing a well laid out floor plan will save you thousands in the future. The main thing that folks don’t consider is if they need a heated paint booth to their booth in the future. Right now, they may not need heat because their business only uses it every couple days. But as the business grows and more business coming than you can handle…. you may want to add heat and make your booth work even harder for you. If you buy a Cross Flow, you won’t be able to add heat later. But our popular Side-Down Draft or Semi-Down Draft can be heated at any time… as long you as you consider a few things first to make your life easier later. Continue reading Heated Paint Booth: To Add Heat or Not Add Heat, That is The Question

Monitor & protect your booth 24-hours a day

For anyone who has ever visited our blog, you have already seen a lot of posts about safety. It’s something we take very seriously in the business we’re in…. and we’re hoping you do too.

We KNOW just how dangerous mixing rooms and commercial paint spray booths can be! They comprise of highly flammable liquids, which creates an environment where fire is always a threat. Fumes accumulate, chemicals leak or spill…. if any ignition source is introduced it becomes a potentially devastating combination.

When a fire occurs, systems must be instantaneously shut off and alarms and other electrical devices must be activated in order to save as much property and lives as possible. This type of explosion doesn’t always happen during usage, when someone is there to shut it off manually. What would you do if this happened in the middle of the night? Would you find your shop burned to the ground in the morning?

That’s where a fire suppression system becomes an important component of a spray booth system. (In many cases, this type of system is mandated by local municipalities, and must be installed in your spray booth.)

Generally, a paint booth fire suppression system includes dry chemical tanks that are discharged when heat-sensitive fuses are broken. In the event if a fire, when any one of the fuses break, tensioned cables are released which punctures a C02 canister, thus releasing a chemical fire retardant through nozzles positioned throughout the paint booth and sometimes parts of the exhaust stack. A manual trigger, located at the personnel entrance to the spray booth, allows a user to trigger the system from outside the booth. Other electrical components of the spray booth system may be deactivated when the system is triggered, such as the fan or AMU. The best part, fire suppression systems monitors your paint booth 24-hours a day.

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