Temporary work in possible classified location

LLSolutions

Senior Member
Location
Long Island, NY
Hey Guys,

This is a weird one. Customer is a home heating oil transfer station "Fuel 1993", Big trucks come in to fill the tanks and smaller trucks head out for delivery. They had an underground feeder for two remote pumps and valves go bad. Reusing the pipe isn't an option. They are a few months away from redoing the entire system "project was in final engineering phases when the pumps went out". The facility manager asked if we could temporarily run it overhead and span from the building with the starters out to the pumps in the yard figuring triplex in the air until the new system is up and running. Motor starters are in the basement of the control building and pumps are outside in the yard "outdoor rated pumps". I've done work in hazardous locations before, PVC RMC, EY's the whole 9 but always had engineered drawings spelling out the location classes, but I don't have that here. The existing pipe just enters through the foundation wall into the basement where the starters are and the other end pops up through the grass into a junction box where it then breaks out and hits the pumps and valves in with LMFC "Seal tight". Can i even do this overhead in triplex? Do I need to seal this up at either end?

Thanks
 

rbalex

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Mission Viejo, CA
Occupation
Professional Electrical Engineer
First and foremost you must still have the classified locations properly documented, temporary, or not. [Section 500.4(A) [2017 NEC and earlier] or 500.4[2020 NEC]].

That said, Types TC or TC-ER on messenger is not out of the question in Class I, Division 2. [Sections 501.10(B)(1)(5), and 336.10(4)] Other wiring methods may need to be adapted as appropriate.
 

Fred B

Senior Member
Location
Upstate, NY
Occupation
Electrician
The main difference between automotive diesel and home heating fuel is mostly the tax, home heaters will run equally on diesel, kerosene, or #2. According to UCSD flashpoints fuel oil's whether its diesel or kerosene or heating fuel, falls between 101 to 140°F and all are class II hazard classification.
 
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rbalex

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Mission Viejo, CA
Occupation
Professional Electrical Engineer
GoldDigger and Fred B are you two suggesting that there is no classification at all? From the OP, someone apparently created documentation in the past and it's a slippery slope for this forum to classify (or unclassify) anything for anyone. Remember unclassified is a defined term in Section 500.2 or Article 100 depending on the NEC edition. The key to that is that it is a location determined to be without classification - not just overlooked; i.e., it still needs to be properly documented especially since it is a location that was previously classified.
 

oldsparky52

Senior Member
Hey Guys,

This is a weird one. Customer is a home heating oil transfer station "Fuel 1993", Big trucks come in to fill the tanks and smaller trucks head out for delivery. They had an underground feeder for two remote pumps and valves go bad. Reusing the pipe isn't an option. They are a few months away from redoing the entire system "project was in final engineering phases when the pumps went out". The facility manager asked if we could temporarily run it overhead and span from the building with the starters out to the pumps in the yard figuring triplex in the air until the new system is up and running. Motor starters are in the basement of the control building and pumps are outside in the yard "outdoor rated pumps". I've done work in hazardous locations before, PVC RMC, EY's the whole 9 but always had engineered drawings spelling out the location classes, but I don't have that here. The existing pipe just enters through the foundation wall into the basement where the starters are and the other end pops up through the grass into a junction box where it then breaks out and hits the pumps and valves in with LMFC "Seal tight". Can i even do this overhead in triplex? Do I need to seal this up at either end?

Thanks
GoldDigger and Fred B are you two suggesting that there is no classification at all? From the OP, someone apparently created documentation in the past and it's a slippery slope for this forum to classify (or unclassify) anything for anyone. Remember unclassified is a defined term in Section 500.2 or Article 100 depending on the NEC edition. The key to that is that it is a location determined to be without classification - not just overlooked; i.e., it still needs to be properly documented especially since it is a location that was previously classified.
I read the OP twice and from what he wrote, I would not come to the same conclusion (that it was previously classified) and I think GoldDigger and Fred may be correct.

What makes you think it should be classified?
 

Fred B

Senior Member
Location
Upstate, NY
Occupation
Electrician
GoldDigger and Fred B are you two suggesting that there is no classification at all? From the OP, someone apparently created documentation in the past and it's a slippery slope for this forum to classify (or unclassify) anything for anyone. Remember unclassified is a defined term in Section 500.2 or Article 100 depending on the NEC edition. The key to that is that it is a location determined to be without classification - not just overlooked; i.e., it still needs to be properly documented especially since it is a location that was previously classified.
Not making any such suggestion.The electrician is not the ahj to make hazard classifications, if a space is already classified (or Unclassified) we do not have authority to change it. My post simply states a quote related go the fuel types named and they are considered a class II Hazard. Any clearification as to classification or change of status needs to come from AHJ. (That's not the electrician) If the electrician is concerned that an install may somehow become incorrect for classification or area that was not part of the original planned construction, they need to ask for clearification from that proper authority. Once that authority makes a determination, nothing we need to be concerned with other than following the appropriate code sections for our installation. Any perceived error (our perspective) in classification is not our problem, just make sure you have the documentation of the classification or un-classification, to cover your butt.
OP indicates what appears to be a change in location from original planned construction. Any existing classification would have based on the original planned prints. I would ask for clearification before altering installation, then follow NEC requirements for classification given.
 

rbalex

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Mission Viejo, CA
Occupation
Professional Electrical Engineer
I read the OP twice and from what he wrote, I would not come to the same conclusion (that it was previously classified) and I think GoldDigger and Fred may be correct.

What makes you think it should be classified?
I came to the conclusion that someone believed it was classified from the OP's statement, "I've done work in hazardous locations before, PVC RMC, EY's the whole 9 but always had engineered drawings spelling out the location classes, but I don't have that here." He will need to say whether someone has already indicated the location should or maybe classified or not - but we shouldn't be doing it on this forum. (That is the engineering equivalent of DIY assistance) My original post (#2) didn't say it was or should be classified, simply that, whatever it is, should be properly documented.

EDIT ADD: BTW Fred B, I have no problem with your extended explanation. I will say very, very few "AHJs" have any idea how to properly classify a location. In fact, in nearly 50 years of classifying locations, I've never met one.
 
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Fred B

Senior Member
Location
Upstate, NY
Occupation
Electrician
EDIT ADD: BTW Fred B, I have no problem with your extended explanation. I will say very, very few "AHJs" have any idea how to properly classify a location. In fact, in nearly 50 years of classifying locations, I've never met one.
By AHJ I should have been clearer. Here there are various authorities that differing oversight. Wasn't thinking that most in this forum would be thinking electrical, but was referring to an authority that would have oversight related to hazard classifications. Just used term AHJ to differentiate from the electrician. Sorry for any confusion.
 

GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Placerville, CA, USA
Occupation
Retired PV System Designer
By AHJ I should have been clearer. Here there are various authorities that differing oversight. Wasn't thinking that most in this forum would be thinking electrical, but was referring to an authority that would have oversight related to hazard classifications. Just used term AHJ to differentiate from the electrician. Sorry for any confusion.
Most likely the classification is done initially by a PE with appropriate expertise, not any kind of building or fire official. The latter may come in and disagree with the classification, but AFIK they will not make the initial designation. (Except maybe to disagree with a lack of classification that is not engineering based.)
In the OP's case the only evidence seems to be that the existing wiring seems to have been suitable for a classified area. If the cost of comparable new wiring is high (and on general principles if no traceable engineering opinion exists) it may be time to get a study done.
I did not mean to imply that the electrician or EC has any authority in that designation. I was really just questioning whether a proper study was ever done.
"I did it that way because the guy before me did it that way" is seldom the final answer.
Which, in a much longer, more discursive form, is what Rbalex said in post #2. :)


PS: From the OP, it appears that the initial classification, if any, was never properly documented or that documentation has been lost.
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oldsparky52

Senior Member
In the OP's case the only evidence seems to be that the existing wiring seems to have been suitable for a classified area.
I took it just the opposite, no mention of sealoffs, nor X-proof junction box and the use of LMFC when he wrote " The existing pipe just enters through the foundation wall into the basement where the starters are and the other end pops up through the grass into a junction box where it then breaks out and hits the pumps and valves in with LMFC "Seal tight" "

Why is it so hard to believe that the initial installation was considered and not classified?
 

rbalex

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Mission Viejo, CA
Occupation
Professional Electrical Engineer
Actually, I guess the reason I thought someone may have considered this a hazardous location application is the OP posted is in this particular forum.
 

oldsparky52

Senior Member
Actually, I guess the reason I thought someone may have considered this a hazardous location application is the OP posted is in this particular forum.
That makes perfect sense. I'm wondering if the OP just assumed it should be classified. As an electrician we do not have the credentials to classify an area (even though we may have the experience).

To the OP, IMO, you should contact the AHJ to see what they think.
 

LLSolutions

Senior Member
Location
Long Island, NY
Went back to the facility manager and asked if he could dig up some documentation, still waiting to hear back. To clear it up on here, I was trying to say I’ve done the work before, but while doing that previous work we relied on architectural drawings. This place has everything from NM to RMC so I don’t have anything to go off of unless I wanna deem it a free for all, which I don’t. Say there was no previous classification, and ignoring possible plans to change the facility’s fuel type, would it have to be a classified location if it’s just #2 fuel oil, same as in million’s of basements’s?
 

oldsparky52

Senior Member
Say there was no previous classification, and ignoring possible plans to change the facility’s fuel type, would it have to be a classified location if it’s just #2 fuel oil, same as in million’s of basements’s?
I think this is the type question that rbalex doesn't want answered on this forum.

You are asking the right questions, and IMO on the right path. Confirm your questions with the AHJ.
 

paulengr

Senior Member
Went back to the facility manager and asked if he could dig up some documentation, still waiting to hear back. To clear it up on here, I was trying to say I’ve done the work before, but while doing that previous work we relied on architectural drawings. This place has everything from NM to RMC so I don’t have anything to go off of unless I wanna deem it a free for all, which I don’t. Say there was no previous classification, and ignoring possible plans to change the facility’s fuel type, would it have to be a classified location if it’s just #2 fuel oil, same as in million’s of basements’s?
That’s the key. #2 fuel oil is essentially non-taxed (not road diesel) diesel fuel. That is not hazardous location. Common mistake. Same with #6. Now switch it over to gasoline and it’s a very different story.
 

Fred B

Senior Member
Location
Upstate, NY
Occupation
Electrician
I think this is the type question that rbalex doesn't want answered on this forum.

You are asking the right questions, and IMO on the right path. Confirm your questions with the AHJ.
As electrician we have no authority to even attempt to answer or classify, ours is only to install based on established classification per NEC for appropriate classification.
 

oldsparky52

Senior Member
As electrician we have no authority to even attempt to answer or classify, ours is only to install based on established classification per NEC for appropriate classification.
514.3(A) is what I would use to approach this w/out classification assuming there are no gasoline operations or storage and no other chemical storage. If there were any chemical operations I would request classifications from the customer's engineer.
 

paulengr

Senior Member
As electrician we have no authority to even attempt to answer or classify, ours is only to install based on established classification per NEC for appropriate classification.
So who is?

Comical engineers?

NFPA 499 among others never once uses phrases like “qualified”.

NEC only puts the purview outside THAT Code just as generation, transmission, and distribution fall under NESC.

NFPA 499 or the fuel gas Code or the burner codes don’t make that determination.
 
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