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#154496 - 01/23/06 03:21 PM oil burners in single family homes  
earlydean  Offline
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 751
Griswold, CT, USA
Has anyone out there ever thought about where the rules for the electrical part of an oil burner installation come from? What are the rules, what are the myths? For example: Do you need a switch at the top of the basement stair? Do you need a high temperature cutout above the oil burner? Do these rules apply to gas, too?


Building Codes & Related References

#154497 - 01/23/06 10:04 PM Re: oil burners in single family homes  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
My best guess is that the governing document would be the ASME "Boiler and Pressure Vessel code."

#154498 - 01/25/06 11:14 AM Re: oil burners in single family homes  
earlydean  Offline
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 751
Griswold, CT, USA
NFPA 31 has the rules, anyone interested in them? Has NFPA been adopted in your jurisdiction?


#154499 - 02/26/06 05:28 AM Re: oil burners in single family homes  
iwire  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
North Attleboro, MA USA
In MA yes we have to have a high temp cut above the burner and yes we have to have a shutdown switch outside of the room containing the burner, if the burner is in the basement at the top of the stairs outside the basement is the location.

These rules are in MA fire regulations.


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician

#154500 - 02/26/06 10:25 AM Re: oil burners in single family homes  
earlydean  Offline
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 751
Griswold, CT, USA

In CT, we have adopted NFPA 31. We require the switch at the unit, the switch at the "entry to the oil burner room" (which could be the same switch), but the high limit mounted above the oil burner is only recommended, not required.



#154501 - 03/07/06 06:42 AM Re: oil burners in single family homes  
Steve Miller  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 325
Loudoun Cty, VA
In my part of the world we have a switch at every point of entrance to the burner room as well as on the machine. The classic mistakes our apprentices make is to 3way or 4way them rather than putting them in series. It's a new concept to most apprentices.
These rules do not apply to gas burners (other than the switch at the unit).

#154502 - 04/14/06 08:10 PM Re: oil burners in single family homes  
CTwireman  Offline
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 840
Connecticut, USA
I'm sure this thread has been long forgotten, but being a southern New England guy myself, I wonder about these issues all the time!!

There seem to be far more myths than facts on this issue. The biggest misconception is where a Firomatic is required. It seems like they get installed above all gas and oil burning units, but I cannot locate a code that requires them. Although I see how they are necessary for oil burners, they have absolutely no purpose for a gas burner.

Also, I don't see what good the customary switch at the top of the stairs will do either. By the time a fire starts, the best thing to do is get the heck out of the house and call the fire department.



#154503 - 04/15/06 06:45 AM Re: oil burners in single family homes  
earlydean  Offline
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 751
Griswold, CT, USA

The rules for oil burners are found in NFPA 31 (which CT has adopted statewide via the Office of the State Fire Marshal)). The switch is required to be at the entrance to the oil burner room, not necessarily at the top of the stair.
You are right about getting out of the house if there is a fire! But, what if there is only a smell or noise? Wouldn't you want to be able to shut the thing down without getting too close? I know my oil burner has sometimes made terrible noises (and smells). My wife has had to use the switch at the top of the stair, and then call the repairman, not the fire department. On the down side, when my sister-in-law visited, she shut off the boiler, thinking it was a second light switch to the basement! (even though this switch has a red faceplate, and is on the opposite side of the stairway.) We still love her anyway.

These rules are for oil burners, rules for gas burners are much less stringent electrically. Only the NEC rules for a worker's disconnect switch apply.

If you are interseted in other CT codes and regulations, check out the Fire Marshal's web page at:
Follow the links to his list of regulations. Tent regulations may also be of interest to we electricians.
Also, the CT State Building Code has amended the NEC. You can check this out at the same web site, but follow the links to the Office of the State Building Inspector. Look for the CT State Supplement.
If you are interested in free seminars, follow the link for the Office of Education and Data Management (my office). We offer seminars for continuing education to CT building inspectors of all types (including electrical inspectors), fire marshals, fire investigators and hazardous materials investigators. Contractors are welcome, but you have to register via fax or mail.
I am doing a 3-hour seminar in June at four different locations statewide on Building code rules pertaining to electricians. Hope to see you!



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