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Electrical Code Question- Fuel Tanks

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Ron in Nebr

05-24-2014 18:20:57

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The place I moved onto a year ago had(has) an existing above ground fuel tank with a buried 120v line going from the shop to it to operate the pump.

On the post beside the tank there was a junction box, with two lines leading out of it- one to the pump of course, and another that went back underground(in conduit) to another post about ten feet away where there was an outdoor electrical outlet plug for plugging vehicles in, etc.

I took all that out, relocated the tank a bit to better suit my needs, and ran new underground wire for the pump.

Was wanting to put another outlet in similar to before. Is there a code or requirement that says the outlet needs to be a certain distance from a fuel storage tank? Or would I be ok just putting the outlet on the post by the tank where the conduit comes out of the ground?

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greg k

05-25-2014 06:32:49

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 Re: Electrical Code Question- Fuel Tanks in reply to Ron in Nebr, 05-24-2014 18:20:57  

So the way I read it, anything 18" from grade up And out 20' is class 1 division 2 and anything within 18 inches of any side is also division 2. Now if there is a dike then it includes anything inside of the dike area (it is more complicated bit to keep it simple we'll just go this route). So you can put an outlet above 18" and more than 18" away from the side of the aboveground tank. Underground tanks are a different story.

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Ron in Nebr

05-25-2014 06:50:11

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 Re: Electrical Code Question- Fuel Tanks in reply to greg k, 05-25-2014 06:32:49  
Thanks Greg!

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John in La

05-25-2014 05:44:08

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 Re: Electrical Code Question- Fuel Tanks in reply to Ron in Nebr, 05-24-2014 18:20:57  

We will let Greg look up the electrical code in his book but I think you are going to find that an area within 10 feet of the tank is a hazardous location. Nothing can be within 10 feet of the tank and any electrical connections within this area for the pump have to be in approved hazardous location boxes.

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dr sportster

05-25-2014 05:19:00

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 Re: Electrical Code Question- Fuel Tanks in reply to Ron in Nebr, 05-24-2014 18:20:57  
The switch that shuts it off at the main building must be a two pole switch and breaks both the hot and the neutral.

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Ron in Nebr

05-25-2014 06:35:52

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 Re: Electrical Code Question- Fuel Tanks in reply to dr sportster, 05-25-2014 05:19:00  
Thanks to all for the responses. This is an older place and the "switch" in the building is an older-style fuse box with one round screw-in fuse and a lever on the side that disconnects the circuit.

I'm in a rural area and not worried about passing an inspection to "meet code", just worried about fumes around the tank being set off by a spark from plugging something in to an outlet that's too close to the tank.

Maybe I should just forget the outlet by the tank and plan to run an extension cord out of the shop for those times when I need power out there.

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greg k

05-24-2014 21:14:37

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 Re: Electrical Code Question- Fuel Tanks in reply to Ron in Nebr, 05-24-2014 18:20:57  
I'll check my book tomorrow. Usually the hazardous locations are within 18" horizontal and 18" of the ground. But I think you need to stay 5' horizontal from the barrel.

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05-24-2014 19:24:34

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 Re: Electrical Code Question- Fuel Tanks in reply to Ron in Nebr, 05-24-2014 18:20:57  
Think you should be fine with what your doing running wires in conduit and putting an outdoor outlet close to tank. Was a manager with a fuel company and some rules said 10 feet away from tank minimum, but have set tanks against posts with outlets on them. As long as everything is sealed as best you can I wouldnt worry about it. Scott

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