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Explosion proof requirements

14 posts in this topic

I'm looking for the standard requirement for setting up controls, vfds, switches and outlets near distilling equipment. Basically what needs to be explosion proof and what doesn't. Our electrical inspector is throwing a fit about controls and conduit running near our fermenters and mashtun, nowhere near our still.

From my understanding anything over 3 ft from the ground and outside a 6ft radius of the equipment isn't required to be explosion proof. Ideally it would be, but I'm looking for written regulation to bring to my inspector.

Any help is appreciated.

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Feel free to call me on my cell phone: 623-5I2-5737. I just went through this and would be happy to help you with what I know. Every city is different, but I think I have a handle on it.

Chris

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Hey all,

The only definitive guide that will give you the real and actual answer is the "Recommended Fire Protection Practices for Distilled Spirits Beverage Facilities 3rd Edition", available from DISCUS for a small fee.

Anyone other than an engineer with a PE in Fire Protection, Mechanical / HVAC, or Electrical will not be able to give you answers enough to satisfy your Fire Marshall. And additionally, anyone offering you advice without those qualifications would be liable for any future damages or injuries incurred as a result of their advice.

The best reference is the DISCUS doc. Get it.

Cheers,

McKee

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Both Appleton and Killark publish guides to NEC Articles 500. It's a good guide to understanding the kinds of equipment you would see within classified areas, as well as what the commonly understood boundaries based on typical situations. Sometimes your local electrical contractor supply house will have the printed versions of these books on hand for free. Generally these will give you some good insight into the kinds of things your AHJ are insisting. The intent isn't to make you an expert, but to understand their position.

http://www.killark.com/literature/2011NEC.pdf

http://www.emersonindustrial.com/en-US/documentcenter/EGSElectricalGroup/brochures_flyers_pdf/nec-code-review-2014-appleton.pdf

Also critical is the NFPA 497, you can get free access here. If you haven't yet, take a look at the last 20-30 pages or so, you'll find them very helpful.

http://www.nfpa.org/codes-and-standards/document-information-pages?mode=code&code=497

Typically, the crux of the argument is what is considered a classified area, and for what reason, everything else is secondary.

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I always suggest that chillers or motors without proper wiring not be placed anywhere near possible spirit fumes. Partitioning off usually is a method used.

It's not just the distance of the equipment, it is where the fumes may possibly travel.

I know of an instance at a chemical plant that fumes traveled from an open door to their substation that resulted in an explosion and a death.

All of the above comments apply.

Mike

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The only definitive guide that will give you the real and actual answer is the "Recommended Fire Protection Practices for Distilled Spirits Beverage Facilities 3rd Edition", available from DISCUS for a small fee.

Anyone other than an engineer with a PE in Fire Protection, Mechanical / HVAC, or Electrical will not be able to give you answers enough to satisfy your Fire Marshall. And additionally, anyone offering you advice without those qualifications would be liable for any future damages or injuries incurred as a result of their advice.

The best reference is the DISCUS doc. Get it.

Which is exactly what I just went through. I already purchased it and was willing to share that information. Some people on here actually have been to law school are simply offering some basic help and direction without charge. You comments about liability are unfounded and ridiculous in this situation. Chill out.

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Lucidi,

The only time I'm not chill, is when the ADI Forums are used in the same way as homedistiller.org. This is a forum for professionals to share professional advice. If you aren't a PE in at least one of the areas I mentioned above, then you are not qualified to offer professional advice....especially on something so important, period.

The advice I was giving, which is the advice we all should be giving, is "seek out a professional opinion" especially in an area as important as the safety of your future distillery, its employees and your well being. The horrible accident at Silver Trail Distillery is your wake up call.

Humbly,

McKee

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"Humbly" McKee,

I have literally shopped out and priced well over 70 different explosion proof items/options for my distillery. I put in the work. I made my selections, based on what my PE recommended, and what was for the MAXIMUM amount of safety, not the foolish state/city minimums I happen to have here where I live. I own and have read the "Recommended Fire Protection Practices for Distilled Spirits Beverage Facilities", as obviously as my PE has. That being said, I have hundreds of hours invested into researching the equipment, availability and pricing. For example:

The lighting in my distillery is Dialite Safesite Wide-Lens Highbays. I was quoted pricing anywhere between $1,511.11 and $4,560.00 for the EXACT same products, from different vendors. The original poster is building a distillery, so that kind of information and the source in which he can buy it AT the best price, might be of some use to him, you think? Especially if it turns out he need 4 of them to achieve his desired luminous emittance. I'm pretty sure he would want to save that additional $12,000 or so for barrels maybe in that scenario. This is a forum to HELP each other. Plenty have helped me, and I intend on helping others.

And that is one of many examples...

Silver Trail is not a wakeup call to me. While it is unfortunate that people were hurt/killed, did you even look at that equipment they were using? It doesn't surprise me. It should be expected when you operate in a manner less than safely professional, you are going to suffer the consequences... eventually.

As for you previous comment, that I would be held liable for such advice, we can always test that. My advice to you is to pull that stick out of your butt and jump off a cliff. Then you can have your next of kin try and sue me because I recommended and advised it. Your call on the stick though... you can leave it in while you jump if you'd like.

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If the advice is only to "seek out professional opinion", why not just put that on every forum topic post and close the thread?

I appreciate the valuable assistance offered in many posts, that I believe is what this forum is for.

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Distilling is completely safe if YOU know what you are doing. Most the people "inspecting" writing codes such as 3ft off floor etc havent a clue about distilling. Flash arc will be an issue provided you have flammable vapor in the air. Having an emergency shut down, the knowledge to use ONLY the emergency shut down and the switch for the proper exhaust fan are things you should practice on a regular basis. As I posted in another post www.schnappstills.com is now making CERTAIN electric controllers, with explosion proof contactors that will shut the unit down. Nothing else other than the E switch and exhaust fan (located as far away as possible in the same room) and the switch preferably around the corner in another room) should be touched until the issue is cleared. Good luck and be safe. 

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On 7/1/2015 at 3:56 PM, John McKee said:

Lucidi,

The only time I'm not chill, is when the ADI Forums are used in the same way as homedistiller.org. This is a forum for professionals to share professional advice. If you aren't a PE in at least one of the areas I mentioned above, then you are not qualified to offer professional advice....especially on something so important, period.

The advice I was giving, which is the advice we all should be giving, is "seek out a professional opinion" especially in an area as important as the safety of your future distillery, its employees and your well being. The horrible accident at Silver Trail Distillery is your wake up call.

Humbly,

McKee

Just FYI if you read the report on Silver Trail you would see one thing in particular that does not make sense. The manufacturer of the still said it was rated at 8 psi I think it was. The still had a 150 psi WATER HEATER pressure relief valve!! The report did not say who installed the PR valve but I am guessing the distillery. Most small still guys will not install safety equipment to avoid the liability. 

A still should be an OPEN system and the pressure will not go above maybe 1/4 psi. It is necessary to have some pressure to move the vapor through but it will not go above 1/2 psi unless you have some blockage or something. You can get Apollo PR valves for 5 psi that are more than you will need unless you have a still made from tin foil. 

You have to remember that one psi spread over the surface of a 36 inch diameter still is about 1,000 lbs of actual force over that area! 

By the way the one thing the report does not clearly state is whether the injuries sustained were from fire or from hot water. Water at 200 degrees will cause severe burns as well. And the suspicious thing about the report is that the still blew out of the building. At 8 psi or even 10 or 20 psi it would most likely split open and not "blow up."

There are a lot of unanswered questions. 

Above all get a pressure gauge and relief valve with LOW psi. Very low.

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Heck, it could even be a propane tank from a forklift! I saw a building wall blown out from one.

Ethanol fumes can be really dangerous if they can move to a small area and concentrate. 

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GCD is correct, you should have a 5psi pressure relief valve on your inner boiler.  We go farther than that now and put one on top of all of our larger columns, as well as the inner boiler.  It is a very good idea to vent these pressure relief valves to the exterior of the building with PVC.  If anyone needs 5 psi pressure relief valves please click here https://shop.distillery-equipment.com/collections/parts-and-replacement-parts/Valves  We are Apollo dealers.  If you need help sizing pressure relief valves just give us a call 417-778-6100 or email paul@distillery-equipment.com.  Pressure relief valves must be sized according to the maximum volume of vapor that your still will produce.  A  1/2" pressure relief valve is not going to work for a 300 gallon still.  Also, it is a very good idea to have a vacuum relief valve on your stills inner boiler.  Some people have learned about the need for vacuum relief the hard way  We carry Apollo vacuum relief valves.  We also carry section VIII Apollo safety valves for steam jackets.

http://distillery-equipment.com

http://moonshine-still.co

 

 

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