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Thread: Does NEC Article 511 Apply

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    Does NEC Article 511 Apply

    I am working on a zero turn lawnmower factory assembly area design. They also have a "Running Inspection" area. The mowers are assembled, gasoline is put in the tank from a portable gas can, and the mowers are ran for inspections. There is also a service area for the mowers. My question is does Article 511 apply to this building? They will do minor repairs in the service area. They are pouring gas into the tanks in the inspection area. However, transferring gas from a small gas can to a small tank does not seem to be the same risk as draining a automobile fuel tank into an open pan. Thanks for your help and opinions!

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    Quote Originally Posted by als45 View Post
    I am working on a zero turn lawnmower factory assembly area design. They also have a "Running Inspection" area. The mowers are assembled, gasoline is put in the tank from a portable gas can, and the mowers are ran for inspections. There is also a service area for the mowers. My question is does Article 511 apply to this building? They will do minor repairs in the service area. They are pouring gas into the tanks in the inspection area. However, transferring gas from a small gas can to a small tank does not seem to be the same risk as draining a automobile fuel tank into an open pan. Thanks for your help and opinions!
    That is a very good question. So let me ask one first. How long has this operation been going on?
    "Bob"
    Robert B. Alexander, P.E.
    Answers based on 2014 NEC unless otherwise noted.

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    The company is currently performing the assembly and testing in a different building. This will be a new building. I found out this morning that where they add the gasoline and test is NOT in the small service repair area. It is actually between the assembly area and the shipping/storage area. Basically a very large open area, with walls and air curtains between the assembly and inspection/storage areas. We will have three large makeup air rooftop fans and 3 rooftop exhaust fans for exhaust fume control. However, they do not pull their suction from down low because this is a pretty open area.

    I am still trying to determine what NFPA code (if any) applies to this situation. I am more familiar with NFPA 497, but it does not seem to apply here. I have looked at NFPA 30 and 30A. The most applicable thing I can find that would seem to apply is 30A - Major Repair Garage because it includes fuel transfer or the "Incidental" use section of 30. Nothing seems completely applicable. I don't think the risk is the same as a Major Repair Garage, but I am not sure it is so low it can be ignored. All of our electrical equipment/devices are above 18", so it really won't matter for my design. I am really just trying to help my client understand the risks. They will use battery powered tools and fork trucks in this area. If I need to label this as a Div. 2 area up to 18", it will change how they operate and I don't want to do that if it is not necessary.

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    511.1 Scope. These occupancies shall include locations used
    for service and repair operations in connection with self propelled
    vehicles
    (including, but not limited to, passenger
    automobiles, buses, trucks, and tractors) in which volatile flammable
    liquids
    or flammable gases are used for fuel or power.
    It appears to me that there are two things that have to be the case simultaneously to make it an article 511 location and both are present in your application.

    Service and repair operations in connection with Self propelled vehicles
    Flammable liquid used for fuel
    Bob

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    You description of the facility's opration experience and NFPA's description that all points of evaluation are "low" [See NFPA 497(2017), Part 5.8 & Table 5.8.4] leads me to suggest classification is not necessary.
    "Bob"
    Robert B. Alexander, P.E.
    Answers based on 2014 NEC unless otherwise noted.

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    Thank you!

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