Block Heater Receptacles for propane trucks

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romeo

Senior Member
I have been asked to classify a location for outdoor receptacles to supply power for block heaters for tank trucks containing propane gas.

The trucks are in an area where small propane tanks are stored outside. There is also a filling station about 200ft. away.

I looked at NEC section 500.4(A) That requires documentation. My question is who must supply this documentation?

HELP
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
romeo said:
I have been asked to classify a location for outdoor receptacles to supply power for block heaters for tank trucks containing propane gas.

The trucks are in an area where small propane tanks are stored outside. There is also a filling station about 200ft. away.

I looked at NEC section 500.4(A) That requires documentation. My question is who must supply this documentation?

HELP
If by "where small propane tanks are stored" you mean a small cage with a few propane tanks in it, I would argue the area should not be classified at all.

Think about it, WalMart has skids of small propane tanks in their stores that they sell to campers. Is the sales area where these tanks are displayed classified? is the area where they are stored in back classified?
 
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romeo

Senior Member
Block Heater Receptacles for propane trucks

Peterson said:
If by "where small propane tanks are stored" you mean a small cage with a few propane tanks in it, I would argue the area should not be classified at all.

Think about it, WalMart has skids of small propane tanks in their stores that they sell to cameprs. Is the sales area where these tanks are displayed classified? is the area where they are stored in back classified?
Thank you for the reply. The area is a large area with large and small tanks for sale to commercial and residential customers. But that is not my major concern. I am concerned of the classification for 5 receptacles that will supply power to block heaters for trucks that contain gas storage tanks. The electrician is asking not to be required to install ex proof receptacles.

I am also trying to learn who the responsible person is to supply documentation as the classified area.

To clarify this is a commercial plant that transfers propane to tanker trucks for delivery.
 

rbalex

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Mission Viejo, CA
Occupation
Professional Electrical Engineer
I am also trying to learn who the responsible person is to supply documentation as the classified area.
The owner of a facility is always responsible for the safety of the facility. Of course, many aren't qualified to do electrical area classification - but they are nevertheless responsible to have it done properly.


The NEC will not generally tell you how to classify a location. The Standard most likely too apply is NFPA 497. While most would recommend contacting your local enforcement agency, I would recommend contacting your insurer. (They are also an AHJ)
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
romeo said:
Thank you for the reply. The area is a large area with large and small tanks for sale to commercial and residential customers. But that is not my major concern. I am concerned of the classification for 5 receptacles that will supply power to block heaters for trucks that contain gas storage tanks. The electrician is asking not to be required to install ex proof receptacles.

I am also trying to learn who the responsible person is to supply documentation as the classified area.

To clarify this is a commercial plant that transfers propane to tanker trucks for delivery.
Maybe I am just plain dense but I wonder where you think whatever hazard there might be would come from in the area where the trucks are parked. I would think the truck itself would be more likely to be an ignition source than the receptacle.
 

rbalex

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Staff member
Location
Mission Viejo, CA
Occupation
Professional Electrical Engineer
Bob,

Whether "... the truck itself would be more likely to be an ignition source than the receptacle," is largely irrelevant since trucks are not subject to the NEC. See Section 90.2 (B) (1). What is relevant is whether the trucks or processes/operations associated with them create a classified location ? and if that location includes the receptacles.

Fuel transfers are definitely something to consider. See Section 500.5(B)(2)(1). But there are enough other things to consider that a qualified person, familiar with the processes and layout, should make the documentations and we can?t do it in the forum.
 

BAHTAH

Senior Member
Location
United States
Classified Location Determination

Classified Location Determination

I would look first to the local Fire Marshall and then to the state Fire Marshall.
Being asked to provide a classification is more serious than just being asked to apply the NEC to the location. The requirements would most likely be covered in a combination of 514 and 515 but as mentioned in 500.4(b) and the FPN there is important information found in other publications.

Grant
 

muskiedog

Senior Member
Location
Minnesota
Why would the parking area be a classified area if nothing is being filled? Our am I missing something? Would we not look at this as being outdoor application damp/wet possible. I have large propane cylinders on highway maintenace trucks for pot hole repair, etc. and the area is not classified.
 
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