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Question about Spark Avoidance and a Flammable Solvent

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  • Question about Spark Avoidance and a Flammable Solvent

    Hi,

    I put these 2 postings on another forum and got no response. There is more traffic here so I am posting them. I'd really like some input.
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Hello,

    I have a serious safety question. I intend to work with white gas as a solvent to clean machine parts. I have a large stainless steel tub with a hinged lid that has a neoprene gasket and seals with about 8 screw clamps. I will put the solvent in the tub and wash the parts outside with a brass brush. I will have 2 types of fire extinguishers present. I will have a respirator and a face mask. I will have long sleeve nitrile gloves and an apron and knee pads. There is one concern though of an electrical nature. I am worried about sparks. My question is should I ground the box so that no static charge builds? I was thinking that when it is dry and we are in our socks, we can rub our feet and build a charge. When we touch ground, we get a spark. Now, I am thinking that if the box is always connected to ground, the charge cannot build high enough to spark. Then again I am not sure of my logic and that I may be actually inviting sparks. What should I do? Ground box or not? Thank you.

    Chris
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    Re: Question about Spark Avoidance and Grounding

    Hi,
    Now I am thinking just the opposite. If I have a charge developed in my body and I touch a grounded tank, it will spark. I think maybe I should put a rubber mat under the tank to isolate it and myself but before I open it up, I will touch a metal water pipe and ground myself. What do you think?

    Chris

  • #2
    Re: Question about Spark Avoidance and a Flammable Solvent

    I'm thinking there is an NFPA standard on exactly this. And that you should consult with your local Fire Marshall before proceeding

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    • #3
      Re: Question about Spark Avoidance and a Flammable Solvent

      Usually just ground the metal tank and/or yourself to a grounding rod or placing it on cconcrete is all that is needed. Naptha (white gas), one of the most volatile in hydrocarbon petro solvents. If you are standing on concrete you should be alright, otherwise ground yourself too. Better to find another cleaner. The static charge can build from flow over the part.

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      • #4
        Re: Question about Spark Avoidance and a Flammable Solvent

        Oh and stay away from high humidity.

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        • #5
          Re: Question about Spark Avoidance and a Flammable Solvent

          If you're a HO/hobbyist your local FD would most likely be happy to assist prior to your finding out how good Nomex can work. If you're above HO/hobbyist then they would likely insist on consultation.

          http://www.cleanersolutions.org/?action=solvent_replace
          “I find the curiosity of our men with respect to this animal is pretty much satisfied.”
          ~ Meriwether Lewis

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