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Thread: NEMA 4 and breweries

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    NEMA 4 and breweries

    I'm working on a brewery and I have a question that's in the scope. There is a note that says " NEMA 4 watertight electrical connections and conduit are recommended". Would EMT with raintight fittings and watertight bell boxes apply in this case?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rdubamos View Post
    I'm working on a brewery and I have a question that's in the scope. There is a note that says " NEMA 4 watertight electrical connections and conduit are recommended". Would EMT with raintight fittings and watertight bell boxes apply in this case?
    The word "recommended" is an odd one to see in a specification. Recommendations can be ignored and usually will be if it makes the bid higher.

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    I haven't ever been in a brewery, but if like many other food/beverage industries 4X enclosures may be a very good idea, even if NEMA 4 passes initially, when it is showing signs of rust inspecting agencies (doesn't need to be electrical inspections) don't like to see that sort of thing, nor do they like to see flaking paint if that is what you once used to try to cover the rust with. Stainless don't give you these issues with outside certification people.

    PVC and fiberglass are lesser expensive options, but aren't as durable so amount of potential physical abuse needs factored into deciding to use those.
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    But no, “rain right” does not mean “watertight”. NEMA / UL Type 4 means hose down proof, defined as able to resist 100GPM from a 1” nozzle (roughly 60 PSI) aimed at any surface from from any angle. Rain tight / weather tight just means falling rain and if it DOES leak, the water will drain out again. You can’t have that in any facility where food or drink is being processed. Nobody wants their IPA to come with a salmonella chaser...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jraef View Post
    But no, “rain right” does not mean “watertight”. NEMA / UL Type 4 means hose down proof, defined as able to resist 100GPM from a 1” nozzle (roughly 60 PSI) aimed at any surface from from any angle. Rain tight / weather tight just means falling rain and if it DOES leak, the water will drain out again. You can’t have that in any facility where food or drink is being processed. Nobody wants their IPA to come with a salmonella chaser...
    Yeah, I hear you. I had already run all the conduit feeding the brewhouse control panel (which will frequently be hosed down) and all the components (3 phase motors, temp sensors, 120V and 24V limits and sensors, etc.) in EMT and a little sealtight with RT fittings and bell boxes and the inspector signed it off with flying colors. This was my first brewery and hopefully my last. It was not an enjoyable project. Looking back, there were a lot of things I would've done differently.

    For reference and future, would it be best to do an install like this in PVC or GRMC? What is the best style pull/splice boxes?

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    At AHB we used galvrig and ss.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rdubamos View Post
    Yeah, I hear you. I had already run all the conduit feeding the brewhouse control panel (which will frequently be hosed down) and all the components (3 phase motors, temp sensors, 120V and 24V limits and sensors, etc.) in EMT and a little sealtight with RT fittings and bell boxes and the inspector signed it off with flying colors. This was my first brewery and hopefully my last. It was not an enjoyable project. Looking back, there were a lot of things I would've done differently.

    For reference and future, would it be best to do an install like this in PVC or GRMC? What is the best style pull/splice boxes?
    What kind of washdown frequency will there be, will there be use of caustic and/or acid agents when washing?


    The more corrosive potential you have the more stainless and plastics/fiberglass become a must.

    You may pass electrical inspections with less, but other certifications from food and beverage industry may demand more, or you at least find that having things that don't corrode will be easier down the road to pass such certification inspections as they don't deteriorate in same fashion as other materials.

    Done a lot of work in dairy plant in the past. Stainless is always preferred, easy to keep clean, doesn't rust, flake off into product, etc.
    Third parties that give you a score for use by potential clients are very particular. You can have some of the things that aren't preferred, but mild steel needs painted or treated so it doesn't rust. After time even that paint will tend to flake off and even if you don't have a severe rust problem, they don't like flaking paint that potentially can end up into product. Having things made out of non corrosive material and designed so it can easily be washed and not have "dead spaces" that are hard to clean and potentially house bacteria are the best way to pass these third party inspections, this has little to do with the electrical itself, but as an electrical installer in this kind of place you need to know what kind of needs your client/boss/etc. has. Unless they have some rather extreme penny pinchers running the place, they should understand some of this is going to be expensive up front, but will be better to do it right from the start.
    I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

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