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Fire Code Questions


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Hey, all

I've poring over the fire code here in my town (Fort Collins, CO), and it's nice because they have recognized that craft distilleries are going to be popping up all over and have compiled a very useful handout with the relevant codes on it. It is for the most part, very self-explanatory. The local fire marshall is known to be a stickler, though, and I want to be as safe and compliant as possible, so I have a question for anyone out there who might have some knowledge.

I have a friend who is a blacksmith, and I really want him to manufacture my still. The problem with this is, I have found some code requirements I'm not sure how to meet. I'll quote them:

"Process poping in connection to boilers and pressure vessels shall be regulated by the International Mechanical Code. Piping, tubing, valves and fittings shall be identified in accordance with ASME A13.1 to indicate material conveyed"

....This one seems a little tricky, but I'm guessing if I look up that ASME code I'll be able to get a handle on it.

These are a little less straight-forward, though:

"The design, fabrication and construction of tank(s) shall comply with NFPA 30. Each tank shall bear a permanent nameplate or marking indicating the standard used as the basis of design. Tanks shall be designed for the pressures to which they will be subjected in accordance with NFPA 30."

....here's what I wonder: does this mean my friend will have to get some NFPA rating or inspection? Or does it simply mean he needs to document the methods in which he complied with those standards?

I'd kind of like to get somewhat of a handle on this before I approach him to tell him this is part of the bargain.

Thanks in advance for any advice. I'm really hoping I can have a traditional-looking (yet modern in usage) still as a center-piece for my stillhouse. One of those awesome-looking stainless steel behemoths just wouldn't fit the motif.


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I think that you will need to approach your still as an atmospheric process vessel, i.e. under 15psi operating pressure.

Here in NC the state wants to inspect your boiler up to the point of the first operating valve. Ours is right on top of the boiler. They had no interest in our still kettle. There is a requirement for inspecting steam jackets larger than a certain size, something like 5 cubic feet? MUCH larger than our jacket.

There is a good bit of info on state requirements for boilers and pressure vessels, not a difficult search on the web.

Our Dept of Labor - Boiler Safety office was very helpful to me when I was building last year.

I did find out after installing our compressed air tank that it required inspection, but that wasn't a big deal and he just wanted to be sure there was an appropriately sized safety relief valve.

Both of our stills were manufactured without being ASME stamped.

good luck

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You should chat with David at Feisty, he spent a lot of time working with the Fire Marshall up there to educate him that a still is not a pressure vessel. Although I still think the fire marshall won't like that you are building your own still.

As a alternative, you are welcome to move down to Loveland and leave beer for Fort Collins...

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I will definitely stop by and talk with David. He's a super nice guy. Also, as we discussed I will not be mentioning this to the FM. That's why I wanted to clarify the meaning of all this: so my friend can make it look perfeshnul. It's not like it won't be manufactured by a professional, though. He is a trained blacksmith that has worked with many types of metals before.....

And sorry, but I want to bike to work once this is up and running...it would just take too long to bike to the Land of Love.


Thanks for the input. That definitely helps me wrap my brain around it.


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I am thinking of having him build me a steam-jacketed kettle with and agitator, hopefully. So the steam lines will need to be rated. There is also the issue of my design: I want a thumper. I won't be using it all the time, but it will be there so there will be the potential to build up some pressure on the pot side.

It sounds like I will need to get some kind of rating, and this might be a deal breaker for my friend's capabilities. We'll see.



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