If you work with volatile chemicals in a lab, it may be a good idea to install an explosion proof hood over your working area. In fact, it may still be a good idea to install one even if you don’t work with volatile chemicals. It will make the lab a much safer place, and may even make it easier to ventilate the area.

Step 1: Gather the Materials

This job is not particularly hard as long as you have both the correct instructions (which this article will provide) and the correct materials. The tools you will need are:

  • Pen
  • Screwdriver
  • General purpose drill bit
  • Tile drill bit
  • Drill
  • Hammer

The supplies you will need are:

  • Masking tape
  • hood
  • Wall screws
  • Wall anchors
  • Caulk

Step 2: Determine the Location of the Hood

For this step, you must take two things into account: the location of studs, and the height of the user. Most experts recommend that the hood be roughly head high to the user. Once you have determined the proper height, it’s time to check for studs in the wall. The easiest way to detect these is to use a stud sensor, but those with some experience may be able to detect the studs by knocking on the tiles and listening carefully to the sound produced. Studs are generally laid out in a straight line 16 inches apart. Use a piece of tape to cover the studs, and mark their location on the tape. You’re one step closer to installing your explosion proof hood!

Step 3: Drilling the Pilot Holes

You’ll need the tile bit for this part. A diamond-coated bit is preferable, but a normal metal bit will work fine as long as it isn’t too worn. Match the drill bit to the size of the screws that came with the hood. Most kits will come with standard 1/8 inch screws. Drill through the tile over the studs, then change to the general purpose bit. Continue drilling for another inch or so. This will provide optimal hold for the screws.

Step 4: Installing the Anchors and Screws

Hammer the wall anchors into the holes you just drilled, and insert the screws through the holes in the hood’s mounting plates and into the wall anchors. Tighten the screws.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

Seal around the mounting plates with the caulk. Let the caulk dry for 24 hours, then give the hood a firm yank to test its integrity. If installed properly, it shouldn’t move at all.