A company in New York who does some business with us at Majestic Grill Parts recently contacted us with a list of Viking gas grill item numbers that I did not recognize. Me, being me I found it unthinkable there are item numbers I do not recognize and I assumed they must have made a mistake. It turned out the item numbers referred to parts of the built in accessories from Viking sold to be installed into custom outdoor kitchen islands. Most companies sell a built in drawer and they may have an item number to allow us to buy a replacement handle or a replacement slide or a hinge but these numebrs referred to the facia of the drawer. The item numbers this company received from Viking were the outer panels of stainless steel that is the area of the built in door and drawers we see from outside the outdoor kitchen.
The explanation I eventually heard was muriatic acid that was being used to clean the deck and the new pavers was splashed onto the stainless steel. Stainless steel — especially high quality stainless steel — has several chemicals added to the material to make it look better outdoors and resist weather conditions. Some chemicals are going to have reactions with the chemicals in the material and the acids used by pool and paver companies are a common problem. Stainless steel that comes in contact with these chemicals or even the fumes from these chemicals will be scarred with obvious marks and discoloration. The damage does not clean off the stainless because it is not an external damage but a chemical reaction affecting the structure of the stainless.
At least a few times a year some pool or paver contractor comes in to tell us they were doing work for one of our clients and they damaged the doors, drawers, cooler drawer, refrigerator or even the built in gas grill. We usually sell the replacement built in accessories for a very low cost because we know this contractor is going to have to pay for the replacement out of their own pocket. Unfortunately many companies that use muriatic acids and other powerful cleaning agents do not do the research to know what can be damaged by the cleaner. They find out on the job.
This company was luckier than most becauseViking does actually make the pieces of the grill island accessories available. We ordered a few doors and drawers for them and they did not have to buy an entire built in three drawer set and several sets of double access doors. The replacement parts arrived and we shipped them to the contractor only to find out they mistakenly ordered less than they needed. They did not order enough drawer panels.
When we — or any other contractor — are building custom outdoor kitchens, outdoor bard, fireplaces and fire pits on site the clients will generally pay the invoice based on a schedule designed to solidify a commitment on both sides of the transaction. This means there is usually either 50 percent or 30 percent of the total bill due when the work is completed. When there is a problem like this cleaning acid marking up the Viking grill island accessories it is very difficult for the contractor because by the time the final payment is due the contractor has spent all the money on labor and materials. They need the final payment to recoup the expenses. As soon as they were able to repair the damage to the island accessories they could collect their final payment — except now we just realized they forgot to order a replacement piece.
Rather than wait another 2 weeks for the final product to be ordered and arrive I reiterated a suggestion I made at the beginning. Clean the built in doors and drawers. Of course the contractor treated me like I did not know what I was talking about because everyone knows it is impossible to clean chemical damage from high-quality stainless steel. However, my suggestion was not to attempt to scrub away the scar but to fabricate a counter-chemical reaction that will allow the stainless steel to regenerate its coating. This is a Big secret because anyone working outdoors knows it is not possible to clean stainless when there is chemical damage. I’ve met people who have been working with stainless steel for 40 years and have never seen any products capable of working with stainless steel that has been damaged by acid.
A colleague of mine works with maintenance crews working on the ocean for long periods of time and there us a product they use to clean chemical damage from stainless but it has not been sold much. We sent a bottle to our friends in New York and it arrived yesterday afternoon.
This morning they sent me the “after” image showing the effect of the solvent we mailed them.
The liquid we use is white like milk and it rubs on, sits a bit and rubs off like the chrome polishes we’ve used to make a shine. The chemicals (bases) are designed to counter common damage from acids and other chemicals that can cause damage to stainless steel. Essentially stainless that is physically damaged can be repaired physically: sanding, polishing and buffing the material. However, stainless steel that is chemically damaged needs a chemical reaction to counter the damage. This is that solution.
Extremely damaged material can often take several applications The damage in these before and after images is not too bad but it is obvious enough that a homeowner will not accept it so it needs to be replaced or repaired. Depending on how bad the damage has affected the material the repair propcess can take a few hours or a few days — but it can be reversed and the stainless can be mad eto look brand new again.
If you need further information let us know at:
Majestic Grill Parts