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#89115 - 09/03/04 09:19 AM Opinions on Class & Division
DougW Offline
Member

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 1083
Loc: North Chicago, IL
Just found out that we had a business operating in the "old" industrial park in town that is re-packaging flammables (solvents and such) from 55 gallon drums into quart containers for distribution and sales.

I haven't been down there yet to see the process in action, but I asked the Fire Inspector if he was going to require Haz Location wiring in the fill room. He gave me a blank stare and responded that he didn't know. He then asked my opinion, stating that it was an "open" type fill (I believe an automated open type fill nozzle into individual container spouts... no fancy "vapor proof" system.) I am also unsure about the absence or presence of positive pressure ventingm but the structure was not set up for any Haz Location before, so I don't anticipate anything other than EMT raceways and 12AWG conductors... our "commercial" requirements under City Electrical Code ('96 NEC Ref.).

We have another business in town that repacks quarts and 55's from supply tanks up to 5,000 gallon in capacity. Their fill rooms have improved "provable" ground systems (about time... the last three fires there were due to improper grounding practices :rolleyes , and Class I Div 1 wiring - everything is sealed, RMC/IMC and XP fixtures.

I realize that I can't make a true determination until I go down there and physically see the facility; I also realize that I'm not a "Real" AHJ and am serving more as an advisor to the Fire Inspector. But, at least I know my limitations, and have ECN as a resource!

Any opinions are welcome.

Thanks in advance, Doug.

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#89116 - 09/03/04 10:40 AM Re: Opinions on Class & Division
Ryan_J Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 1355
Loc: West Jordan, Utah, USA
What are the materials that are present? Can you be more specific than "flammables and solvents"?
_________________________
Ryan Jackson,
Salt Lake City

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#89117 - 09/03/04 12:27 PM Re: Opinions on Class & Division
DougW Offline
Member

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 1083
Loc: North Chicago, IL
According to the Inspector, the products include Acetone, Methyl Ethyl Ketone, and Lacquer Thinner, among others.

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#89118 - 09/03/04 02:15 PM Re: Opinions on Class & Division
Ryan_J Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 1355
Loc: West Jordan, Utah, USA
I beleive you haev a class 1 division 1 location, based on the transfer of the materials.

Here is some more info for you that I hope you will find helpful.


Acetone: Group D
Mehtayl Ethyl: Group D
Ketone: Not classified (from what I can tell)
Lacquer Thinner: Not classified (from what I can tell).

Both of the classified items have a heavy vapor density, so they are heavier than air.

Acetone has a very cold flash point (-4 degrees), and Methyl Ethyl has a flash point of about 16 degrees, both measured in Faranheit.

Both have average upper and flammable limits (about 2-15%).

Acetone has an auto ignition temp of 869 and Methyl Ethyl has an auto ignition temp of 759 (F).
_________________________
Ryan Jackson,
Salt Lake City

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#89119 - 09/05/04 06:05 PM Re: Opinions on Class & Division
harold endean Offline
Member

Registered: 02/16/02
Posts: 2248
Loc: Boonton, NJ
Doug,

IMHO if this is a new installation, then a drawing sign and sealed by a lic. engineer would tell you if the area is a haz location or not. If this is just an add on electrical install and there are no prints, then I would talk it over with my local fire sub code or fire prevention person and get an answer from them. As Ryan pointed out, some of those materials look like they should be in a Haz. location and if I were doing the electrical work, I would make sure that I did all my work as per the right NEC sec. (Class 1, 2 or 3)

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#89120 - 09/05/04 08:24 PM Re: Opinions on Class & Division
DougW Offline
Member

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 1083
Loc: North Chicago, IL
Harold... I'm not installing this job, I'm assisting the FD in making a determination of Class & Division.

I work for the Fire Department as a FF/PM every third day, and am an EC the other two. This new business was noticed by our haz-mat guy, who was snooping for chems. Since he isn't an "inspector" per se (no state certification), he referred it to the Bureau guys.

The head Fire Inspector is my Shift Commander, and I often flag electrical violations for him during licensure inspections, since he's more BOCA and less NEC. This business went into an existing industrial park that is really a series of separate buildings that used to be a hardware foundry with lots of separated shops. IIRC, this was a boat building company before, and possibly a metalworking shop before them. The place is a mess, and for years the city didn't conduct routine inspections. We just started getting into gear about 2 years ago.

If it was up to me, I'd just call it a Class I Div 1 for the mixing area and be done with it, but the guys in this industrial park are real quick with the lawyers who want you to "prove" it by adopted Codes. Plus, I haven't had a chance to actually see the facility yet - I'm just trying to get other opinions before I do.

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#89121 - 09/06/04 06:39 AM Re: Opinions on Class & Division
capt al Offline
Member

Registered: 06/20/04
Posts: 203
Loc: Norton, Ma USA
Doug, sounds like you are on the right track with Div 1. I agree you need to walk the place with your code book in hand. Also I would take as many other inspectors with you as possible. Shouldn't a place like this applied for permits with your Haz-Mat guy? If no permits the Fire Inspector should be able to stop them until they comply.

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#89122 - 09/06/04 07:10 AM Re: Opinions on Class & Division
earlydean Offline
Member

Registered: 12/22/03
Posts: 749
Loc: Griswold, CT, USA
I don't believe these vapors are not too healthy to breathe in either. Has OSHA been notified about this? Maybe you should invite them along for your look-see.
_________________________
Earl

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#89123 - 09/06/04 06:08 PM Re: Opinions on Class & Division
harold endean Offline
Member

Registered: 02/16/02
Posts: 2248
Loc: Boonton, NJ
Doug,

As a Fire Prevention guy, I think that you guys would have the say what the hazards would be. The Fire Prevention people in my state have a lot of power. I would ask the people who operate this business, to either provide you with an engineers OK to work here or else follow all of the rules and Regs of a hazard zone. If they can't get an engineer to sign off, the I think you would have every right to shut them down. Do you have a state board of fire prevention? If so , why not ask them their opinion? In my state (NJ) the fire prevention people have the right to shut down business, if there is a hazard. The construction people do not. We are not allowed back into a building once there is a Certificate of Occupency.

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#89124 - 09/06/04 11:11 PM Re: Opinions on Class & Division
DougW Offline
Member

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 1083
Loc: North Chicago, IL
Thanks to all for the feedback.

I think my FI is overwhelmed by the details of the Code - he's going to refer it to the City Electrical Inspector.

Thought about OSFM (Office of the State Fire Marshal), but they are somewhat limited in their scope of inspections in an instance like this.

They're on a "stop work" order pending proper license application and completion of inspections.

Thanks again, guys.

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