Category Archives: Hotel Engineering




            Hotels constitute major Part of the hospitality industry. For proper management of hotels the Hotel Engineering Department plays very important role along with other constituent departments.

Scope of maintenance areas:

            Such scope is very comprehensive and includes several activities like inspections adjustments, replacements, repairs, keeping records etc., the broad areas of hotel engineering maintenance work include civil, mechanical, electrical, safety & security, energy and waste management, fire protection etc.

            It may well be emphasized failure amounts to management failure inane kind of industry. Due such failures, the customers and the working personnel alike shall be irritated and dissatisfied.


            Engineering department of a hotel has great importance in as much as it provides utility services like electricity, steam, hot water, air-conditioning and refrigeration, maintain engineering and services of various other equipment. Provisions of proper services and proper maintenance affairs in hotels have great impact on the attitude of the guest. Therefore, hotel engineering department has big responsibility in satisfying guest demand and be instrumental in maintaining the profit level of hotels up to reasonable standard.

            Some important works that fall under the department are as under:

      • Civil engineering,
      • Care of grounds and swimming pools,
      • Mechanical-Maintenance: such as Heating, Ventilation, Refrigeration, air-conditioning etc.
      • Electrical system and appliances.
      • Audio-Visual equipments,
      • Heavy Cleaning,
      • Communication and networking Systems,
      • Fire prevention and fighting equipments,
      • Waste management,
      • Energy management,
      • Minor repairs,
      • Painting and patching works and so on…

            The department is required to be in constant contact with other departments of the hotel like Safety & Security, Food & beverage, House Keeping, Kitchen, conference & Banquet, Power Plant, etc.


            Concerned with correcting the trouble or fault that might occur any time during the functioning of all equipment or machine; Such breakdown repair activities include dissembling of the equipment or machine, its inspection, repair, replacement of parts, reassembling, and test to make sure that equipment or machine again fully functional.

            Breakdown maintenance work may be of major or minor type. Minor one requires less effort, expense & time while it is obvious that reverse will be the case in the matter of major repairs.


            It concerns with preventing troubles before it occur, through well anticipated plans of check-ups, repairs, replacement, top or major over hauls, cleaning, proper cleaning, proper lubrication etc. of machines and equipments.

            The idea behind such maintenance is periodical time scheduled inspection of machines equipments to detect wear and tear in them in advance of actual breakdown with planned worn out parts replacement, servicing, repairs etc. so as to minimize the interference in the performance of the equipment and machines and at the same time it would economies maintenance expenses.

            Routine check ups and repairs are part of preventive maintenance. It is to be noted that preventive maintenance is more important than breakdown ones, as it is more convenient, useful and less costly in the long run. It resembles the proverb – “A stitch in time saves nine.”



            Main objective of the department is to keep the hotel property up; and maintenance and repair costs down.


  1. To give proper direction to different section of the department.
  2. To draw up and check work-programme.
  3. Adequate supply for maintenance works.
  4. To do preparations for contracts.
  5. To keep necessary contact with the general Manager and needs of various related departments of the hotels regarding maintenance works.
  6. Organize training of maintenance personnel.


            The Head “Property operation and maintenance” include all costs of operation and maintenance which is incurred in hotel engineering.

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Refrigeration is removals of heat. Used for food service at homes, hotels, restaurants, health care facilities, air-conditioning, industrial works etc. cooling is done by removing heat from any objects.

                Before dealing with refrigeration process some related scientific terms are being discussed below.

Heat and temperature:

                It is necessary to distinguish between the above terms. Heat is a form energy while temperature is a measure of intensity of heat. Quantity of heat is measured in heat units like British thermal units (BTU) and also centesimal heat units (CHU). Temperatures measured as degree centigrade, Fahrenheit etc.

Sensible heat and latent heat:

                When a substance does not change its physical state but there is change in its temperature due addition or removal of heat, in that case the heat absorbed or rejected is called ‘sensible heat’.

                Latent heat is the heat that is absorbed or given off a substance while changing its physical state with no change in its temperature.

                So, sensible heat is the heat that affects the temperature of a substance and latent heat the physical state but not temperature.

Boiling point of liquid:

                It is the temperature of a liquid at which the liquid starts vaporizing at certain pressure. At higher and higher pressure the boiling point of the liquid will be higher and higher.



Refrigeration system:


                Mainly two systems. Vapor absorbing and vapor compression. The later type more efficient with lower operating cost. This type is mostly used nowadays. But then maintenance cost rather on higher side. Normal interior temperature inside refrigerator about 40of while that of freezer compartment is kept at about 0of, components of compression type consists of vapor compressor, condenser, expansion valve, evaporator, different compartments, shelves, crisper at bottom, freezer at top etc.refrigerator_business_0001

                Various compartments and shelves accommodate different food materials. Crisper is used for vegetables and fruits etc. Freezer for making ice, ice-cream and also for keeping fish, meat etc in condition for considerable time.

                In refrigerators different refrigerants like ammonia, carbon-di-oxide, Freon gas etc. utilized. Most commonly Freon gas used in vapor compression refrigerators.

                Regarding vapor absorption cycle the insulated box inside of the refrigerators is more or less the same for storage of food materials. It differs in the matter of refrigeration process. The main parts are- “generator” where dissolved ammonia solution is heated, “condenser” where ammonia gas get condensed giving out heat, “evaporator” where liquid ammonia boiled producing cooling effect in refrigerator, the gaseous ammonia then flows down to the “absorber” where water absorbs the gaseous ammonia and then drains to the “generator” and the cycle repeats.


Care and maintenance of refrigerators:

                In refrigeration cycle the refrigerant undergo number of changes in its state to produce refrigerating effect. Such changes constitute the refrigeration process. For carrying out the process the system is provided with components and control devices for efficiency of the machine. These controls and components are to be checked and repaired as and when necessary. Similarly any leek in the system to be taken note and rectified accordingly.

                There are safety devices like high and low pressure cut outs, motor overload switch, relief valve, oil safety switch etc. which are also to be taken care of. The valves and safety devices constitute the controls.



                The refrigerants are actually the heat-carrying medium. Refrigerants absorb heat from place at low temperature level and reject it at place having higher temperature. Such heat rejection is managed at the expense of heat energy.

                Desirable properties of refrigerants are- non-explosive, non-toxic, non-flammable, non-corrosive, odorless, non-injuring to human being, food, fabrics etc. Must posses suitable boiling point and high latent heat.


Refrigerator defrosting:

                Simple method to do it is to shut down the refrigerator until all frost in it melted and then cleaning done by wiping. But this takes long time.

                Other methods like: (a) pressure defrosting, (b) temperature defrosting, (c) electrical (d) automatic defrosting are there. The most favorable one is the automatic type.




Comfort conditions:

                Whether summer or winter, the following factors matter so far as physical human comfort is concerned-

  • Temperature,

  • Heat production in human beings,

  • Heat and moisture losses from human body,

  • Air humidity (relative humidity).


Relative Humidity:

                It is defined as the ratio of actual weight of water vapor in a given volume of air, to the weight of water vapor contained in the same volume of air if the air is saturated with the water vapor at the same temperature.

Humidification and de-humidification:

                Humidification of air means introduction of moisture into it. The reverse is what is called de- Humidification.

Dew point Control:

                In practice dew point temperature taken as the temperature at which the condensation of water vapor will begin when the moist air under consideration is cooled at constant pressure. So controlling of temperature (dew point) of the air vapor mixture shall determine the change of state of air vapor.

                Air conditioning systems are employed to tackle with above factors to bring about desired comfort conditions.

                Unit of air conditioning is “Tons”.

Window type air conditioner:



                Window or room air conditioners are designed to air condition separate rooms of a house or a building.


  • Separate temperature control exists for each room unit.

  • Ducts are not required,

  • Simple installation,

  • No plumbing necessary.


  • Window space needed,

  • Fixed air quantity,

  • Wall appearance effected.

Central Air-Conditioning:


                The equipment for such air-conditioning are centrally located in a suitable place of the building. The units are combinations for both cooling and heating with desired objective  of making comfort conditions.

                These have following advantages:

  • Comfort condition for whole building from a central unit.

  • Very efficient and less noise, being located at suitable distance from living area.

  • Automatic central control.

  • Easy maintenance as cooling and heating equipments in one place.

  • Better air distribution.


For summer, air pass through filter, refrigeration cooling coils, and then dehumidified and blown through ducts to different rooms. Temperature and humidity of air kept at certain level for human comforts. For winter after filter air pass through hot furnace then Humidifier or dehumidifier as necessary and then through ducts to rooms.

                Disadvantage mainly in higher cost for equipments and installation.


Preventive Maintenance:

                This is important for any type of air-conditioning units. Points to be noted for such maintenance are as below;

  1. annual cleaning,

  2. filter and condenser coil cleaning, periodically. Also changed when necessary.

  3. fan motor lubrication by say SAE-20 oil at bearings in the beginning of each operating season.

  4. manufacturer’s service instruction to be followed properly.

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Water supply in hotels:

                It may be effected through public utility authority. The concerned authority do the drawing of water from available sources and the filtration and treatment follow, after which treated water supplied.

                Hotels can make their own arrangement also by sinking deep tube wells, digging of ring well and use of available ponds.

                There are two common systems for distribution of water (i) up-fed and (ii) down fed.

                In up-fed type sufficient supply pressure necessary to supply water to upper floors of building. If pressure not adequate at times then additional circulating pumps are used. In down-fed type water is pumped to high level storage tank. From this tank water flows down to various distribution points due gravity. Circulating pumps may also be used for better flow of water.


Cold water systems in India:

                Gravitation system applicable when water available in abundant quantity at sufficient elevation. These require minimum maintenance cost. Hilly regions have this benefit.

                If water source is a lake or river at lower level then water pumped to an elevated level reservoir and water distribution done using gravity. For even distribution the reservoir or tank is to be located in central place and water pumping station located as close to reservoir as is possible.

                In both cases water must be properly filtered and treated before supply of same.


Water hardness:

                Hardness of water caused by calcium salt present in it. So far as drinking and washing water concerned such water may affect adversely. Temporary hardness of water can be removed by boiling. But for removal of permanent hardness, suitable chemical treatment necessary.

Water softening- base exchange method:

                Zeolite or Base Exchange process is the most used method of water softening as at present. Zeolite sand (kind of rock) and also artificial zeolite has the property of removing lime, magnesium, iron, manganese etc from water. Presence of these cause water hardening. Hard water passed through a filter containing zeolite sand and thus, the hardening elements removed. It is a very effective process while cost incurred also favorable compared to other methods. But this is not for turbid water and is suitable for clear water only.


Cold water cistern swimming pool:

                In certain standard hotel swimming pool facilities are also provided.

                Average capacity cold water swimming pools are of size 75ft x 30ft, up to 7ft deep at one end and 3ft 6inch at other end. Water area approx. taken at 27 to 36 sq.ft. per person using the pool tank. Tanks are made with slope towards diving side. These are designed with constituents like – spring boards, dressing boxes, toilets and lavatories etc. Water purification system is important. Purification involves addition of bleaching powder or chlorine in proper proportion i.e. 0.2 to 0.5 parts per million parts of water.

                The size of swimming pools may be as 50ftx25ft, 75ftx30ft, 100ftx42ft, 132ftx48ft, 165ftx60ft so forth.


Hot water supply in hotels:

                There are three system most commonly used as at present i.e. hydronic hot water, warm air and electric resistance system. In resistance or warm air system a separate hot water heater required. But in the hydronic boiler hot water system all the hot water can be supplied from the boiler itself. A hydronic system is easily adaptable to heating swimming pools and greenhouses.

                Another efficient system is heat exchanger connected with water supply.

                Geysers can also be fitted in bathrooms independently.

157910 026 (Small)

Flushing system:

                All pucca drains are to be cleaned by proper flushing with water time to time obviously for health reason, as such drains are breeding places of mosquitoes.

                Suitable methods to be applied to clean sewers by flushing. flushing cistern connected with water closets are used to flush away foecal matter. A flushing cistern usually provides a flush of 3 gallons or so of water at a time. After every use it gets refilled from overhead water at a time. After every time use it gets refilled from overhead water tank.

                For flushing public latrines, urinal etc. automatic flush tanks that can discharge 5 to 8 gallons of water are used.


Water Closet:

                This device is for receiving and carrying away foecal matter by means of water. At present sanitary practice the basin and the siphon trap are made in one piece and manufactured in porcelain. A good closet does not give out foul smell; work with minimum water and of simple construction.

                Two types – European one standing at a height from floor and Indian one squatting pattern placed over the floor.

Water trap:

                For house, drainage works such traps used. Made of cast-iron usually “R” or “P” shaped used in soil pipes. Object of such traps is to prevent foul sewer gas finding its way inside dwellings.

                The water from bathrooms wash-basins, water closets etc. are discharged through the traps which are siphon type in make.

Water Taps:

                Are used for receiving, collecting and also discharging water. May be of metallic or plastic make. Due negligence taps may cause wastage of water. This is to be taken care of.

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