Customer has a propane heater he wants installed in a well house which has non-explosion proof pressure pump motors and related exposed starters relays etc. Need help in explaining to him this is a bad idea.
The problem is potential fumes escaping from a wall mounted propane heater within 10 feet of pressure pumps and elecrtical controls. None of which are explosion proof. My concern is we will blow up the well house if fumes are present and a pump starts up. A pump starts and stops around every two minutes. Tried to tell them they would be better off to use a portable generator and a small electric heater if there is ever a power outage.
How is this different for a central unit that is natural gas or propane fueled or water heaters or fire places. Lots of gas fired appliances are approved for domestic use and do not require explosion proof wiring. The only classified componenet in gas systems is the pressure regulator vent. Natural gas installs require a 1 meter clearance and propane needs 3 meters from any spark producing device like a switch or outlet.
I would share Ken's concerns. Propane, unlike natural gas, is heavy and any leakage will tend to collect at the lowest point. Get the right air mix plus a spark and it could spoil your whole day! I would suggest seeking advice from a gas appliance installer.
LarryC The chance of freezing is remote. Many well houses in the Branson MO area don't even have electric heaters. The well house contains several pressure tanks,two pressure pumps, the well and a chemical tank to service a 60 home subdivision. Old timers in the area think the idea is stupid. I feel if the board wants to be protected in case of a power failure a portable generator with a electric heater is a safer way to go. The propane gas leaking is a small possibility, but why take it. One electrican said it's a good idea if you want to blow the roof off. There are homes in close proximity to the well house along with residents walking by on a regular basis. The Board dosen't even know if our insurance will cover explosions. Resort owners don't even turn on their well house electric heaters as they feel it is a waste of money during the winter.
Not sure how big this building this but if clearances can be met and the heater can be put in to code. I don't see a problem. If propane explosions are a big worry because of non exp prf enclosures, motors, etc. Why don't propane heated homes explode on a regular basis??