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Regulations for self-built stills and equipment


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Hi guys,

Anyone know where I could get information on regualtions that distilling equipment must comply with. I may build some of my own equipment or modify second hand equipment. I'm base in Ireland so presumably the regulations would be specified by the EU.

Best regards,


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Plenty of rules here in the states. I envy you guys running in jurisdictions where you can get away with "just about anything". This is not universal, and interpretation can differ widely. I'm not from the EU, but here is my 2 cents anyway.

I suspect this difference in interpretation extends to Europe as well, so no better place to start than your local authorities, since in many situations it will be their interpretation of the rules, regulations, codes that you'll be expected to comply with. In some cases the interpretations can be argued, in some cases personalities involved make it difficult. Raise a glass to you and hope you are in a jurisdiction where the authority doesn't know, and can't be bothered to know.

On the electric side - ATEX is a good place to start, we spent quite a bit of time brushing up on NEC Article 500 for the same reason. The difference between ATEX Zone 1 (Class 1 Division 1) and Zone 2 (Class 1 Division 2) is a big one, and can be a costly interpretation. We ran into this situation specifically, and it's not an easy debate, because the authority will lean to Zone 1, and the budget will lean to Zone 2.

On the plumbing side, if you are steam all those regulations will apply to your still boiler. You may be required to fit and plumb pressure relief valves on your still boiler in addition to any jackets. Not sure what the equivalent of the ASME vessel rules are in Europe, but I'm sure there is a Directive that governs vessels that can potentially be under pressure.

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Great point, there are rules but the ones I have seen are in the hook up, and not the design. This is coming from someone that builds and sends them all over the USA and Canada.

Panels- in some state have to be UL listed or inspected.

Wiring- must meet NEC code, normally done by a local electrician.

I have never run in to problems with the stills ( the metal section IE- boiler, column, condenser). It is a closed process ( goes in as liquid and exit as liquid), open system (open to atmosphere) that can never build pressure (IE- not a bomb).

Great Conversation

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