Spray Booth Characteristics

A finisher wonders if the price he's been quoted for a spray booth is too good to be true. Colleagues chime in about the components, quality, and cost of a good booth. October 2, 2005

I've moved into a 6300 sq ft shop that I share, and we are looking to put in a spray booth. I built my first one, with Dayton fan, filter walls, etc, and I tried to follow codes, but this booth is not legit. We are looking at a 14 wide by 9 high and 26 ft long crossflow spray booth. All components are approved by various bodies and the price looks substantially less than other brand name manufacturers.

In my experience, the spray booth is just a room with the right filters, fans and materials. What else do you need to pay for? It looks like the unit I'm looking at meets all the required safety specs - fan, explosion proof light (in the ceiling), etc, but the price is $5500, far less than I expected and I think I may be missing something. What options are there in a spray booth?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor J:
I agree that all things do vary in price, but $5500.00 does seem like an awfully good deal. What kind of lights - are they mounted in the ceiling of the booth, sealed from dust? What type of bulbs? It's a big booth for the money.

From contributor L:
Ask your local building code inspector what's required. Also, the fire marshal would be happy to assist in info. He will, after all, be inspecting one day, sooner or later. Normally in most areas, a sprinkler system is required in the booth, or some sort of fire protection.

From contributor E:
Don't forget about fire suppression systems. My spray booths have 3 sprinkler heads each - one towards the front, one towards the back, and one at the top of the exhaust stack. Also, the concrete floor is sloped down toward the back of the booth to accommodate water in case a head discharges. Again, you might have to check with your local fire marshal to see what your local regulations are.

From the original questioner:
The booth comes with 10 48", 4 tube fixtures mounted on the outside with tempered glass. Is this sufficient light or have you needed more or a different light source in your booths? A fire suppression system will be part of our shop. We are looking at a sprinkler system with a 4" water main, which is to code. I didn't find other quotes included the fire suppression system.

We have an existing concrete floor, but it probably does not have a slope to it. The booth manufacturer was advertising in the recent issue of Cabinetmaker - that's how I found them. They are manufacturing in the USA, and shipping to me on the west coast is big, but still the package is very attractive. My next step will be to bring the info package to our fire department for their approval before I order.

From contributor D:
If everything meets code, I suggest you grab it before they rethink things. My list price for what you are saying is around $9,000 with 8 lights, all to code, from a top manufacturer.

From contributor K:
I have been looking, too. I'll share some things off my quote for a brand name booth with similar size. It includes the booth at $6,431. An electrical control panel, (3) 30" x 3' plain stack, (1) 30 x 3 with cleanout, (2) connecting rings, flat roof flange, ARV, and air solenoid valve bring it to $8,165. The dry chemical suppression system adds another $3,000. Other options include $170 to mount the motor on the roof, instead of inside the building, to keep the noise down.

You will also have to coat the inside, and maybe even paint (or powder coat) first. You have to be able to clean the walls.

The guy I talked to said that this company uses a 30" fan with some room for expansion, instead of a 24", run to its limit.

Other things that I have noticed is how the walls are put together. I have been told that those that are held together with sheet metal screws will eventually 'wallow out' and create loose joints. The better ones use nuts and bolts. I have also noticed differences in the filter banks. Some use what looks like two corner units that run vertically. Others have a unit that makes up the back wall and extends wall to wall. I am not sure of the advantages/disadvantages of each.

The shop that I am looking at is 6000 sq ft, and we are required to have a 6" waterline to the building. The sprinkler guy said that this will cover 5,000 - 50,000 feet. I found that the space that I am looking at must be sprinkled, and they want $30,000 to get the water to the building, and another $15,000 for the insides. My plans are on hold for now.

From contributor W:
You might want to look at a used booth. We bought one from an auction for $1500 delivered. Our booth is 8x14' and has a 3hp fan. It is a DeVilbiss. We could not be more happy with it. Try IRS auctions.

From contributor J:
I had a booth with 48" fluorescent lights mounted on top with tempered glass. They are the worst ever. Dust and junk will build up on the top of the glass, making the light almost ineffective. My new booth came with sealed fixtures, 6 bulbs each, and mounts
inside. No dust.

From contributor B:
The price you have is in line with any good quality booth of this size. Depending on the options you chose, it should be between 5500 and 8000.00.

Spray booths are not some thing you should try to buy online. There are too many things to look at. It is always best to work with a local distributor who can help you through the process and make sure you have thought of everything. The main thing you need to think of is where the air that is going to be exhausted will come from.

From contributor Z:
A customer of mine found a booth online with an incredible price. I looked into it and it did not meet the OSHA requirement of 100 ft/min cross sectional air flow. It was about half of what is required.

From contributor H:
Better be careful. A buddy of mine just bought a booth on the net. It was not to code with the air velocity, and it was put together with sheet metal screws. Take some time here, and get an estimate on shipping first.

From contributor J:
I recommend you deal locally with a reputable company. I would not be bargain hunting for a tool like this. I bought the booth that I have now from the folks that installed

my last booth. They are a phone call away, as well as being 30 miles away... Means a lot to me.

From contributor O:
We are currently researching an almost identical size booth. Our location is on the east coast. It is my understanding a heated, air make-up system is also required. This is an additional (considerable) cost you may want to research further. It will easily double the overall expense! Verify your local county code in addition to state requirements. Make every attempt to talk to local businesses that have recently installed a booth.

From the original questioner:
Thanks for all the comments and info. We are not putting in an air replacement system, which certainly would add substantially to our costs. We do have to put in a sprinkler or a gas suppression system, and this cost is in addition to the booth and not from the booth supplier.

The unit is rated at 12,600 CFM, the appropriate airflow for its size. I have received a stack of documents that say the components used in the manufacture of the booth meet certain approvals, yet it looks like the complete booth is not certified or approved. I'm not sure if this is significant or just red tape and bureaucracy.

I'm looking into the layout of the exhaust filter wall (vertical towers on the sides or across the floor). What is the difference?

Thanks for the point on the fasteners. They are included, but I don't know what type yet. I am very leery of "too good of a deal." I will go back to local suppliers and firmly price out a unit. My last estimate from a local supplier was more than 50% higher in price and I have yet to receive the promised info in print. I have been looking at auctions and used units also, as I have a fan if I need to replace one. Nothing has come up locally yet.

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor A:
Be sure to consider a suppression system for explosion and fire. I just completed a hearing with OSHA in Ohio where the company received a citation to the tune of $7,000 for no suppression system even where the spray booth system had all the proper filters, lighting and such with a huge label that stated the system was OSHA approved. They paid the fine and are now trying to add a suppression system to the OSHA approved spray booth.