flammable / combustible liquids & electrical panels

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rhava

Member
What is the minum and/or safe distance for storage of flammable / combustible liquids from electrical panels. Does anyone know what NEC and or OSHA regs would apply?

Thanks !
 

sgunsel

Senior Member
Flammable liquid storage areas are unclassified. If contakners are opened for any reason, however, it is no longer a storage area. Refer to NFPA 30 for more info on flammable liquids.
 

wtucker

Senior Member
Location
Connecticut
OSHA regulates storage of flammables in general industry at Title 29, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1910.106.

There's no minimum/safe distance for storage of flammables near electrical panels. Storage rules depend on the occupancy (warehouse, v. incidental use, like a 5-gallon gas can for the snow blower). 1910.106(e)(2)(ii) says storage must be in closed containers when the material is not in use, to keep the flammable vapors from escaping.

Storage rooms are regulated at 1910.106(d)(4). They are Class I, Division 2, Hazardous Locations. Warehouses and storage buildings are in 1910.106(d)(5)(iv)).
 

cowboyjwc

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Simi Valley, CA
not necessarily. 3' in front yes. But what about to the sides? Conceivably it could be sitting right next to the panel on one side as long as the working space width was maintained on the other side.
That's true, but what's going to make the flamable material combust? A big spark out of the electrical panel? It's out job to make sure that doesn't happen.

So what difference does it make whether it's flamable liquids, or a stack of newspaper or a box of fluorescent tubes?
 

renosteinke

Senior Member
Location
NE Arkansas
I think this is a complete non-issue.

"Flammable liquids" covers everything from gear lube to ether. Different rules apply based upon the specific material, the type of container, whether the containers are closed or being tapped into, etc. As the first reply stated, there are other standards that go into these matters in greater detail.

Likewise, anything whose minor fumes can be ignited by a tripping breaker would already be required to be in a special double-wall storage cabinet, and mechanical ventilation of that cabinet -ever notice the threaded fittings on the cabinets- might also be required.

Perhaps you are worried because you can smell fumes near the panel. Well, in that case it all comes down to an engineering study, performed by someone competent in this area, that defines the classification of the area. The NEC tells us much about wiring methods in different zones, but does not tell us how to define the extent of each zone.
 

don_resqcapt19

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Illinois
Occupation
retired electrician
I think this is a complete non-issue.

"Flammable liquids" covers everything from gear lube to ether. ...
Not really. "Flammable liquid" is a defined term and only includes products with a flash point of 100?F or lower using the NFPA and OSHA's definition or 141?F using the US DOT defintion. Other liquids that "burn" but have higher flash points are combustible liquids.
 
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