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Dear members;

I am wondering what electrical codes and classifications has your facility or specially your filling line subject to?

My city officials are considering this Vodka or spirits filling line as Class I, Division I. SO all electrical within the 3 feet must be explosion proof and sealed.. and all equipment within 10 feet of that unit must be 18 inches off the ground (that produce electricity).

any ideas or comments from your own experience is much appreciated..

Amir

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http://www.mikeholt.com/

http://ecmweb.com/design_engineering/nec-guidelines-commercial-garages-20101201/

You can see from the "ecm" site that 18" relates at least to UNVENTILATED commercial garages per this particular aspect of the NEC code so if your process generates gasses heavier than air (read:propane) and you have spaces that do not "drain" you can generate interestingly explosive environments....Holt's site seems to have info for the non-regulatory amongst us.

So there probably are valid methods to keep from launching yourself into an unintended orbit. Air diaphragm pumps (when grounded) should afford you some protection from errant electrical spark sources with the added benefit of being able to run dry when you find yourself changing diapers instead of making mash.

http://www.ingersollrandproducts.com/IS/Category.aspx-am_en-24753

When specifying pumps and any other equipment that touches your solvent a.k.a. ethanol make sure that ALL wetted parts are neutral to the solvent aspects of your process.

Found a very cute little ARO diaphragm pump to suck up the unbottled waste from our filler....was less than $200.00.

Here is a source for easy to understand "code books" http://www.amazon.com/Code-Check-Complete-Illustrated-Mechanical/dp/156158911X?tag=dogpile-20

These books are for the "homeowner" and don't address aspects of handling chemicals that burn, but at least they should help keep you from making some potentially deadly decisions.

Best,

Brian

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First of all, the 3 foot clearance should not really be a problem, because you should have a 3 foot clearance around distilling apparatus anyway for general safety (egress, avoid confined space) and maintenance. By the way, you did not say which code. It doesn't sound like the electrical code, but the fire code. And the requirements may often be tied to other boundary conditions, such as the existence or lack of sprinklers, etc. If it is fire code, and you have potential issues, get an expert to assist you to determine the most practical and economical way to address the issue.

Dear members;

I am wondering what electrical codes and classifications has your facility or specially your filling line subject to?

My city officials are considering this Vodka or spirits filling line as Class I, Division I. SO all electrical within the 3 feet must be explosion proof and sealed.. and all equipment within 10 feet of that unit must be 18 inches off the ground (that produce electricity).

any ideas or comments from your own experience is much appreciated..

Amir

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This reply is related to the packaging line only!

The last few spirits packaging lines we have built for customers vary greatly based on what local codes and the knowledge of those codes are. Some customers have required Class 1 Div 1 and some are Class 1 Div 2. Some customers didn't care what the codes were and either weren't inspected, didn't have any special requirements or ...

When we manufacture packaging equipment, most is available in a few formats.

1. All pneumatic - meets Class 1 Div 1/2 requirements but has less advanced features and can be trickier to control / set up.

2. Intrinsically safe - we place the control package and all the electronics in a remote location control box or pressurize the electrical enclosures. This option doesn't add a whole lot more to the project and meets most fire marshal's requirements.

3. Do nothing. Standard machine.

Some machines cannot be manufactured to Class 1 / Div 1/2 standards due to the incredible cost - machinery like labelers, case erectors, shrink tunnels ect... In this case the customer will have a specific area that is classified for Hazardous Environment and place the filler and capper in this area and all the extra equipment either upstream or downstream outside this "area".

The hazardous area typically is very well ventilated area. Worst case scenario requires a cinder block room that has a weak exterior wall that will "blow out" in case there is an explosion. This insanely high cost type environment is typically only used by highly volatile filling operations such as Isoproply Alcohol or acetone based products.

Bottom line is you can find out what the codes are going to require before hand and work with the packaging machinery manufacturer to meet those codes or purchase the packaging machinery and work around the requirements after the fact. Keep in mind that it is more expensive to rework a piece of machinery after it has already been delivered.

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Just bumping this, as I've run into a bit of a roadblock. I'm north of the border, and around here there is virtually no experience with small distilleries, or indeed distilleries of any kind.

A couple of folks have mentioned (or at least implied) that explosiveproof electrical fixtures can be dispensed with if they are located at a sufficient distance from the potential vapor source (ie, the still). Is that part of the national electrical code, or is that a local-jurisdiction modification? In Canada, we share a great deal with the US/International code, but so far both engineers I've spoken with are pretty convinced that it doesn't matter how far away from the still the fixtures might be, they *have* to be explosiveproof. Again, I have found zero local resources who have experience dealing with distillery setup, this is new ground for the community.

If I have to go all-XP, fine, I will, I'm not exactly safety-opposed! :) But this is a very small facility and I'd rather spend the money elsewhere, if possible.

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On 17/06/2011 at 11:01 AM, Dado said:

Just bumping this, as I've run into a bit of a roadblock. I'm north of the border, and around here there is virtually no experience with small distilleries, or indeed distilleries of any kind.

A couple of folks have mentioned (or at least implied) that explosiveproof electrical fixtures can be dispensed with if they are located at a sufficient distance from the potential vapor source (ie, the still). Is that part of the national electrical code, or is that a local-jurisdiction modification? In Canada, we share a great deal with the US/International code, but so far both engineers I've spoken with are pretty convinced that it doesn't matter how far away from the still the fixtures might be, they *have* to be explosiveproof. Again, I have found zero local resources who have experience dealing with distillery setup, this is new ground for the community.

If I have to go all-XP, fine, I will, I'm not exactly safety-opposed! :) But this is a very small facility and I'd rather spend the money elsewhere, if possible.

Hi! 

I too am North of the border and am in the same predicament.  What info did you find out? What did you decide on?

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There is a loop hole that will allow you to convince the local building/planing department to relax the explosion proof designation. It is however, going to cost you at least $10k and require that you work with an engineering firm who knows the building code system and distilling - a rare combination. So if you are going to be a big operation, by all means spend the money. However, if you are small, it may be cheaper to just go the XP route, if for no other reason than self preservation. We went XP and although it did cost more, any additional costs will be insignificant in the long run.

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2 hours ago, Silk City Distillers said:

Sometimes it's just easier to remove the electrics, compared to replacing what's there with explosion proof everything.

This is good advice.

After careful consideration, what we did was to install a very limited number of XP 110 outlets. We hardwired everything else including the stills and scales and we eliminated all switches of any kind from inside the production area. We put our fans on the exterior of the building and we negotiated a deal with the planning/building dept to install a 3 hour fire wall between the tasting area and the production area. That allowed us to treat the tasting area as a regular code environment which saved us a ton of cash and hassle. Also, we were adamant that the XP wiring was installed inside the walls. Normally, this kind of wiring is done through conduit mounted on the walls. Very ugly. Our solution made for a much cleaner space and made the final electrical inspection easy. We have a very safe workspace and we're pleased with the results. It did cost more, but much, much less than we might have spent if we just followed the code book blindly.

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On 6/17/2011 at 10:01 AM, Dado said:

A couple of folks have mentioned (or at least implied) that explosiveproof electrical fixtures can be dispensed with if they are located at a sufficient distance from the potential vapor source (ie, the still). Is that part of the national electrical code, or is that a local-jurisdiction modification?

Specifically in aircraft hangers, yes. But, not distilleries. You would think it would be the other way around, but - stupid rules right?

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Ethanol is class 1 division 2. Normally the class 1 div 2 hazardous environment for ethonal is considered to be 6' away from any part of the still and 36" off of the floor and 24" above any part of the still. For ethonal EX is required inside that area unless it is a non arcing electrical component.  Typically if it is a non arcing electrical component then NEMA 4 enclosures and liquid tight conduit are required inside the class 1 div 2 area.  Normally outside the class 1 div 2 area around the still, only NEMA 4 enclosures and liquid tight conduit are required for all arcing electrical components.  NEMA 4 enclosures are liquid tight and many are wash down rated.

EX motors are not that much more expensive however EX enclosures and some other components can be incredibly expensive.  We have over 130 electric bain marie stills in distilleries all over the US.  I learned the above from dealing with inspectors.  You will have to research the codes yourself because I do not know exactly were these rules are in the NEC and other documents.  This is my understanding of the requirements in most areas but that does not mean that it is correct for your area.  It is just what I have grown to expect from inspectors in the North Eastern States, California, Canada and the majority of large cities and the state of Kentucky, however in many places, possibly even the majority, especially in rural and small town areas in the midwest and southeast, some inspectors do not require anything explosion proof and in some areas those inspections don't seem to be required.  However, there is OSHA to think about if you are going to have employees.  Also there is insurance to think about.  Your rates could possibly be higher if the insurance company feels that things are not safe around your distillery.  Also, the times they are a changing.  Safety inspectors. states and municipalities seem to be pushing the safety requirements much harder than they did 6 years ago when I started selling distilling equipment, however you are almost always going to have an easier time in a more rural area.  If you are putting your distillery right down town in a densely populated high traffic area, the powers that be are going to look at you with a very fine toothed comb.

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It is all and can be quite a complicated mess. We were put as Class 1 Division 2. The plant area runs with 100% outside air and balanced exhaust [supposedly].

With a certain range of the Still, all the electrical and conduit is NEMA 7 rigid. Beyond a certain range, like 8 Ft. we have a NEMA 4 control panel that is set up with no open contact devices inside. Everything entering and leaving the still room is NEMA 7 rigid with sealoffs, and all the power points in the room even beyond the 8 Ft. zone are NEMA 7. Depending on what kind of scruitny is being applied, there are safer and less safe ways to set up and operate as discussed in this forum.

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