Troubleshooting Guide for Food Truck Exhaust Fan (All that You Need to Know)

A lot has to be considered when wanting to start a food business. One of those will be a food truck exhaust fan. If this relates to your business, you should read through this article carefully.


Commercial exhaust fan devices are frequently quite dependable, but issues can occasionally occur. 

Many times, you may easily troubleshoot and resolve the problem yourself rather than calling a service.

Examining the exhaust fan’s different parts to see if they are functioning properly is an excellent method to start your diagnosis when researching an issue. Additionally, make sure none of the components are acting improperly.

Using the owner’s manual or service manual might be beneficial. Work your way down from very visible, accessible spots.

The secret is to concentrate closely and then create an idea of what would typically occur while the fan was running.

Here are some issues you may assess and resolve on your own:

Troubleshooting Guide for Food Truck Exhaust Fan

The Fan Motor Won’t Run

This could indicate a damaged motor or power supply. Some of the solutions are: 

1. Short in the line

Check the breaker first. It only requires switching the breaker off, removing the supply cables from the motor, and switching it back on to complete the task.

If the breaker trips, there is a line short. Go to #2 if the breaker holds.

2. Line Failure

Use a voltage detector to verify the power supply wire if the breaker holds. Voltage detectors are practical, affordable, and accessible. 

Also, they are simple to use. It will buzz or light up when you hold it next to an active wire; if the line is dead, there is no current for the voltage detector to detect.

Depending on your fan, you should try one of the following lines:

  • Test single-speed fan motors’ ungrounded lines
  • Evaluate the high-speed line using two-speed motors.
  • Check for fans with three-speed settings on each of the three incoming lines.

The most frequent reason for a deadline found by your voltage detector is a broken wire in the conduit. 

Turn off the power before visually verifying this or physically inspecting the wires to see if they have been burned or severed.

The magnetic motor starter’s blown fuse is another typical reason for line failure. Simply click the reset button to restart the starter if that is the issue.

3. Burned-out Motor

If, after doing all of this, you still haven’t resolved the issue, it is probably a burned-out motor, and replacing it is your only option.

Make sure you have the motor numbers from the old model on hand when buying a replacement exhaust fan motor. 

Select a replacement motor whose specifications and dimensions correspond to those of the old motor. 

With just a set of Allen and open-ended wrenches, a jaw puller, and the wiring diagram on the motor itself, you should be able to replace them.

The Fan isn’t Properly Drawing Air

When a fan doesn’t draw air properly, there are three basic causes.

  • The fan is moving in reverse.
  • Either filthy, blocked ducts or clogged hood filters.
  • The speed of the fan is too slow.

Possible Solutions will include;

The Fan is Running Backward

The purpose of fan blades is to cut the air and sweep it up to create air movement. The air will be pushed around rather than propelled if the blades are installed or otherwise operating in reverse. 

More so, the instructions for the fan motor should explain how to adjust the blade rotation if necessary.

The Fan is Running too Slow

The amps are used to calculate the proper fan speed. The quicker the fan spins, the harder the motor is working and the more resistance and heat it is producing.

Compare the number of amps the motor is now drawing to the number of amps that the motor can withstand by clamping your amp meter to any of the motor’s power lines (usually listed on the motor itself). 

You can increase fan speed by adjusting the motor’s pulley till it is screwed closer together if the motor can take higher speed and, consequently, more amps.

Due to the shorter distance, the fan’s rotation will be enhanced, increasing airflow.

– Is there no more room to move the pulley? The issue can be resolved by installing a larger pulley.

– Disappointed that the motor and airflow are already operating close to the maximum recommended amps? 

Avoid pushing the motor past the recommended maximum because doing so will only result in a burned-out motor. Instead, think about upgrading to a motor with additional horsepower.

4. Clogged Hood Filters or a Dirty, Obstructed Duct

Either filthy, blocked ducts or clogged hood filters. Hood filters that are heavily greased will significantly restrict airflow and give the appearance that the fan isn’t functioning properly.

Cleaning your hood filters on a daily or weekly basis is a fairly simple remedy to this very prevalent complaint.

Similarly, if the duct is blocked or very unclean, this can also limit airflow (and create a serious fire hazard). 

The remedy is the same: routinely clean the vent hood and duct (usually every 3 months).

Exhaust Fan Accessories

food truck exhaust fan

To prevent significant issues like negative pressure, backdrafting, and the development of lethal fumes, it’s crucial to have your kitchen exhaust fans serviced and in good operating order.

A conventional exhaust fan can be upgraded with a variety of attachments to enhance performance and help with maintenance requirements. Here are a handful of them:

Exhaust Fan Handles

This may be installed on any fan to make opening and closing it simpler and safer. When it’s time for maintenance or repairs, the handle also offers a better approach to getting to the inside parts.

Exhaust Fan Access Panels

They are simple to install from the fans outside. They make it easier to access fan blades for normal maintenance or inspection.

Also, they are frequently referred to as exhaust fan “ports” or “plugs.”

Hinge Kits

Make sure your exhaust fan complies with NFPA fire codes. Additionally, installing one will make routine fan maintenance and cleaning easier without endangering the integrity of the fan’s housing, wiring, or parts. 

To fit every occasion or fan type, they are available in a variety of styles and sizes.

Grease Containment Boxes

assist in managing and containing surplus grease that could otherwise harm the environment or your property, or result in destructive grease fires. 

Grease containment containers hold grease until it can be safely and environmentally friendly disposed of.


Kitchens on food trucks are notorious heat sinks. In front of a busy grill, temperatures can reach well over 105 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Make sure your food truck kitchen is as cool as it can be by following these suggestions. Do you know any food truck vendors with hot kitchens? 

Do you think you fixed the issue on your own or did someone else? Please tell us a story in the comment section below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, it does require a hood vent.

Sure, it does.

Yes, you do.

The back door, roof vents, fans, and service windows all opened together can effectively reduce the temperature inside the truck.

Yes, but you need a hood in your restaurant if the food you cook emits smoke or grease vapors.

  • Freezers and refrigerators.
  • Food prep surfaces.
  • Food prep equipment

Yes, it does.

Sure, it does.

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