Fumehood Tests Required, What are fumehood test rules,
Why are fumehoods tested

Fumehood tests required speaks to what are fumehood tests rules and why are fumehoods tested.

In my position as mechanical technical specialist, I deal with laboratory systems, especially fume hoods both constant air volume and variable air volume types. From questions and comments I receive, there seems to be some confusion as to how fume hoods should be dealt with. This is offered to provide clarification.

Existing fume hoods require verification to be done annually with gas trace tests being required once every 5 years. Annual fume hood tests usually cost between $100 to $125 per fume hood. The 5 year gas tracer tests usually cost between $1200 to $1500 per fume hood. Work is done by contractors who specialize in this type of work.

MD15128 released in 2004 by PWGSC is the suggested guidelines for design and testing of laboratory fume hoods in government buildings in Canada. Although built on ASHRAE 110 principles it supercedes ASHRAE 110 and adds to the document. MD15128 actually details what causes a fume hood to pass or fail.

ASHRAE 110 last updated in 1995 explains tests to be done for fume hoods. It does not offer what constitutes a pass or fail of the fume hood. It is used by government and private industry in a lot of countries, but not by PWGSC in government buildings in Canada.

ANSI (American National Standards Institute) which provide a catalog of voluntary standards on many varied subjects from technical to agricultural processes. Their standards on fume hood testing was simply drawn from the ASHRAE 110 document.

NFPA 45 (Standard On Fire Protection For Laboratories Using Chemicals) stipulates that a minimum air flow rate of 125 l/s per square meter of fume hood work surface area (25 cfm per square ft) must be maintained through the fume hood when it is not in use, to avoid build up of fumes from products in the fume hood. This requirement is included in MD15128.

CSA Standard Z316.5-04 (R2009) (Fume Hoods and associated Exhaust Systems)

This Standard specifies (a) safety requirements for fume hoods; (b) test methods for assessing fume hood performance; (c) requirements for the selection, use, and maintenance of fume hoods; (d) requirements for the education of fume hood users and maintenance personnel; and (e) requirements on information to be exchanged between suppliers and users of fume hoods to ensure that installation, function, and maintenance are compatible with the intended use.


Users of this Standard should note that fume hood requirements are also established by regulatory authorities. Note: Other fume hood requirements can be found in, e.g., the National Building Code of Canada, the National Fire Code of Canada, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, and the Nuclear Safety and Control Act.

Completion Fume Hood Test Guidelines

Return to Laboratory Control

Return to home page.

Hard copy and E book for sale. Introduction to Building Mechanical Systems. Click here.

Hard copy and E book for sale. What's Killing You and What You Can Do About It. A humourous look at ageing and disease. Click here.