Vent-A-Hood Owners - Is Your 22 Gauge Rangehood too thin?

vivi68April 10, 2012

I am leaning towards a Vent-A-Hood pro rangehood for my 36" Wolf rangetop. When I called the local Vent-A-Hood distributor, he told me that the Vent-A-Hoods are a "heavy" 22 gauge stainless steel. I expressed my surprise because I thought 22 gauge lightweight. I understand Wolf hoods are 16 gauge.

I then went back to my local dealer and lightly tapped on rangehoods from several different manufacturers, including Vent-A-Hood and Wolf. Sure enough, the Vent-A-Hoods seemed light weight and sounded "tinny". Wolf was manifestly of a much heavier gauge.

According to several sources, including Home Depot, "thin steel (22 gauge) may dent more easily and show scratches". Another source described 22 gauge "a bare minimum, builder quality".

If you own a Vent-A-Hood, do you find the lighter gauge of the Vent-A-Hoods a problem?

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Call Trevor at Euro stoves. I spoke to him today about hoods and he has some made for him by modern-aire that he designed himself and from what he described they sounded like an excellent product.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 11:10PM
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I've had my VAH for 9 years & no dents. Are the ss skins on your refrigerator & dishwasher 16 gauge? I suspect they are not & IMO they're far more prone to damage than a hood. Just because 22 gauge is thinner than 16 doesn't mean that it's flimsy; up until a few years ago the average ss sink was only 22 gauge.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 12:38AM
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The question is not what the gauge of VAH SS is, but rather, why would you buy a VAH when there are so many superior options?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 7:56AM
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Antiquesilver, maybe when the stainless steel is only a panel or "skin", like in the case of my refrigerator, the backing material helps protect it. In the case of a rangehood, there is no backing. It's probably not very likely that I would drop something on the hood, nevertheless, I wonder why Vent-A-Hood would use such a thin gauge, particularly when there are hoods on the market that use 16 gauge as a standard. That's about twice as thick as 22 gauge. That's a big difference. Thinner is more susceptible to damage.

While at the dealer's, I went around with a magnet to test the type of stainless steel used in different rangehoods. The 300 series stainless steel contains nickel which improves corrosion resistance. The 300 series is austenitic - it is non magnetic.

The 400 series stainless steel has no nickel and can rust. It is a much cheaper grade of stainless steel. My previous rangehood developed lots of rust spots. The 400 series is ferritic. A magnet will stick to it. Surprisingly, most Viking appliances I tested were ferritic.

Clinresga, what are the "superior options"? On this forum, Vent-A-Hood has its fans and its detractors. Modern-aire gets lots of good reviews on this forum but I think it is out of my price range -and I don't think there are any dealers anywhere near me.

Antiquesilver, is your Vent-A-Hood hard to clean? Do you find it terribly noisy?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 10:11AM
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Below is a link from several months ago concerning VAH cleaning issues.

Here is a link that might be useful: VAH Cleaning

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 12:18PM
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No to sure the true benefit you would get from a hood shell weighing twice as much,

The Wolf hood is twice as thick as some others for sure, but just as easy to scratch, 300 SS has the same finish on the surface be it in 16 g or 22 g, as for denting once the hood is in place not sure how it could dented. I don't really see a problem or a huge benefit between the two.

The hood in essence is a shell, the main thing to think about in my opinion is capture area, blower type and size, lights (power, angle to the range top, baffles (if applicable)and cleaning (how easy it is to clean.)

Just my opinion.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 1:23PM
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Trevor, you are right - the hood is only a shell and thickness has no bearing on how well the fan exhausts moisture, smoke and grease. And once the hood is in place, it's not likely to get banged up - although appliance dealers do call the 27" deep models like we will be getting, "headbangers". LOL

I called Modern-aire and discovered that they too, use 22 gauge for their hoods. I called Viking. Viking hoods are 18 gauge but they confirmed that they use type 430 stainless steel. (My magnet never lies).

I checked a few websites and found that GE Monogram uses 22 gauge as does Broan Elite. However Broan Elite uses 430 stainless steel whereas the Monogram is 304 - at least in the models I looked at. Air King is 23 gauge; Sirius 20 gauge. Rangecraft uses either 20 or 18 gauge stainless steel in their hoods but they cost in the range of $4000! So I guess 22 gauge is not so thin after all for a hood.

Having had a thin stainless steel rangehood that rusted, I want to avoid that experience in my next choice. These pro style hoods are large and occupy a lot of space., and thus are very visible.

As for the really important features that Trevor mentioned, I have yet to visit a showroom which had a hood that was operational. And it seems that every dealer I've been to, touted Vent-A-Hood as the quietest and easiest to clean. When I asked if they had one at home, none did. I'd like to see a Modern-aire hood but no one in my area sells them.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 4:43PM
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Dealers tout Vent a Hood because its a brand name you recognize and have a comfort zone with which makes it easy to sell. Don't be sucked in by the least noise or vastly inflated cfm claim.

AS for 27" Head banging some sales people speak of what they don't know, we have a 27" depth hood over a 48" range in our cooking school set 31" above the counter top, as of today i do not know of anyone who banged their head, so would disregard worries on that score. In fact when people fly in to cook on this range they don't even notice the hood depth until I tell them. Again remember that capture area is the king when it comes to hoods, bigger is better in width and depth.

From all the Modernaire hoods we have sold I have yet to have anyone tell me it's too noisy or hard to clean. Noise can very often be contributed to duct runs, you should consider carefully which blower location you use, that in its self can reduce noise dramatically.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 5:16PM
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Flimsy and dentable are somewhat different issues. Thinner steel will in general dent more easily when struck by a sharp object. Whether the thinner steel hood is flimsy, that is lacking structural strength, also depends on its internal construction. Thinner steel structures including box-like or pocket-like features can easily exceed the bending strength of a single piece of steel of heavier gauge.


    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 10:48PM
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P.S. A 400 series hood provides a place for all those magnets that your wood overlay refrigerator door can no longer hold.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 10:51PM
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