1 Ontario Fire Code SECTION 5.13 DIP TANKS Illustrated Commentary Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal
3 Dip Tanks Illustrated Commentary Location Dip tank operations involving flammable or combustible liquids where the quantity exceeds 45 L or the liquid surface area exceeds 0.42 m 2 shall be conducted in a room designed for that purpose and separated from the remainder of the building by a fire separation having a 2-hr fire-resistance rating. Dip tank operations involving the use of flammable or combustible liquids produce flammable vapours that when mixed with air may be easily ignited. To prevent the spread of fire this Article requires a properly designed room for a dip tank operation that involves a capacity of over 45 L or a liquid surface area over 0.42 m 2. The intent is to reduce the risk of a fire in the dipping or coating area spreading to other parts of the building and endangering building occupants. Building means any structure used or intended for supporting or sheltering any use or occupancy. Combustible liquid means any liquid having a flash point at or above 37.8 o C and below 93.3 o C. Flammable liquid means a liquid having a flash point below 37.8 o C and having a vapour pressure not more than kpa (absolute) at 37.8 o C as determined by ASTMD 323, Vapor Pressure of Petroleum Products (Reid Method). Fire-resistance rating means the time in hours or fraction thereof that a material or assembly of materials will withstand the passage of flame and the transmission of heat when exposed to fire under specified conditions of test and performance criteria, or as determined by extension or interpretation of information derived therefrom as prescribed in the Building Code Fire separation means a construction assembly that acts as a barrier against the spread of fire and may or may not have a fire-resistance rating or a fire-protection rating.
4 2 Illustrated Commentary Dip Tanks Location Dip tanks shall not be located in cellars or basements. This Article prohibits the location of dip tanks, regardless of their size, in cellars or basements since flammable liquid vapours are heavier than air. The intent is to: reduce the accumulation of flammable or combustible vapours to ignitable concentrations in low areas of a building that would create a fire or explosion hazard and endanger building occupants. reduce delays and impairments to emergency response operations because of difficult access to basements that could result in the spread of fire or explosion and cause harm to building occupants and emergency responders. Dip tank Cellar means a basement that is more than 50 per cent below grade. Basement means a storey or storeys of a building located below the first storey.
5 Dip Tanks Illustrated Commentary Construction Floors The floor of any room where dip tanks are located shall be made liquid tight with material that is impervious to the liquid in the tank, have permanent curbs and be drained to a place of safe discharge. The requirements in this Article are intended to reduce the risk of an overflow of the tank contents spreading the spill/fire to other parts of the building and endangering building occupants, or causing damage to the environment. To control a spill, the floor must be impervious to the liquid and drained to a place of safe discharge. Main plant Outside wall Fire door Curb Dip tank Liquid tight floor of material impervious to the liquid in the tank Drain to a safe location
6 4 Illustrated Commentary Dip Tanks Construction Materials (1) Dip tanks and drain boards shall be constructed of noncombustible material with steel, reinforced concrete or masonry supports. (2) Drain boards shall be arranged to drain back to the dip tank. The materials specified in Sentence (1) are necessary to limit the combustible content [noncombustibity] and to avoid collapse of the dip tank and drain board under fire conditions. Sentence (2) ensures that liquid dripping from dipped material will drain back to the dip tank and not on to the floor. Drain board Drain back to the dip tank Dip tank Steel supports Noncombustible material
7 Dip Tanks Illustrated Commentary Construction Height above floor The top of a dip tank shall not be less than 150 mm above the floor of the room in which it is located. The distance indicated by this Article is intended to reduce the risk of water or other material on the floor adjacent to the dip tanks from entering into the tank and causing the overflow of the tank contents that could be ignited and endanger building occupants. > 150 mm
8 6 Illustrated Commentary Dip Tanks Construction Covers Dip tank covers as required in Articles and shall be of noncombustible materials Dip tank covers shall overlap the sides of the tank by 25 mm and shall have a recess or flange extending down around the tank Dip tank covers shall be maintained in good operating condition. The simplest device for confining and extinguishing a fire in a process tank is a self-closing cover, which cuts off the fire s oxygen supply, thus extinguishing the fire. To perform this function properly, the cover must be made of noncombustible material to stop the fire from penetrating it, and also be large enough to cover the entire surface of the tank. The recessed or flanged edges on the cover ensure that the lid acts as an effective barrier to the spread of fire and limits the quantity of oxygen from entering the enclosed space. It is equally important that the covers are maintained in good operating condition so that they will close quickly and tightly in the event of a fire. Release device Heat actuator Spring Cover
9 Dip Tanks Illustrated Commentary Overflow and Drain Pipes Liquid levels The liquid level in a dip tank shall be kept not less than 150 mm below the top of the tank. The restriction on the level of the liquid in a dip tank applies to all dip tanks and is intended to prevent an overflow of the tank contents that could be ignited. Possible causes for overflow: Normal dipping or filling operations, Wave action from dropping an object in the tank, or Water used for fire fighting purposes [or other extinguishing agent] applied to a fire in the dip tank, Tank top Maximum liquid level 150 mm Dip tank
10 8 Illustrated Commentary Dip Tanks Overflow and Drain Pipes Overflow pipes Dip tanks having a capacity in excess of 550 L or having a liquid surface area in excess of 1 m 2 shall be equipped with a properly trapped overflow pipe that leads to a safe location outside the building or to a closed, vented salvage tank conforming to Subsection The purpose of this Article is to ensure that large tanks are provided with features that will prevent accidental overflow. The continuing intent is to provide a safe location for any overflow resulting from overfilling and water used for fire fighting. By requiring a properly trapped overflow pipe, the intent is to prevent flame propagation from a burning overflow of flammable or combustible liquids traveling beyond the trap reaching the salvage tank or flashback from the storage tank into the dip tank. Overflow drain Trap Dip tank To safe location or salvage tank Building means any structure used or intended for supporting or sheltering any use or occupancy.
11 Dip Tanks Illustrated Commentary Overflow and Drain Pipes Overflow pipes The centre line of the overflow connection to a dip tank shall be 150 mm below the top of the tank. This Article indicates the location of the overflow connection to a dip tank as a measure to prevent the liquid in the tank to raise to a level higher than the level allowed by Article The continuing intent is to reduce the possibility of an overflow from: Normal dipping or filling operations, Wave action from dropping an object in the tank, causing the overflow of the tank contents that could be ignited and endanger building occupants, or Water used for fire fighting purposes [or other extinguishing agent] applied to a fire in the dip tank, 150 mm Dip tank
12 10 Illustrated Commentary Dip Tanks Overflow and Drain Pipes Overflow pipes Overflow pipe sizes for dip tanks shall conform to table A. Size of Tank, L TABLE A. Forming Part of Article Overflow Pipe Size Required, Mm and over 200 The concept is that the overflow pipe must be able to displace the raised volume in the dip tank at a maximum rate of discharge. If the drain pipe is too small, the overflow liquid could not be drained off safely and quickly, but would overflow from the top of the tank. Sizing the drain pipe for maximum anticipated overflow will allow for the discharge of liquid to drain to a safe location and thereby prevent the liquid from spilling into the room. Also, in a fire situation, if there is an overflow due to fire fighting suppression water or sprinkler discharge entering the dip tank, the overflow pipe will be capable of transferring the liquid to a safe area or to the salvage tank.
13 Dip Tanks Illustrated Commentary Overflow and Drain Pipes Overflow pipes Overflow pipe shall be connected to dip tanks by a flared outlet. The intent is to avoid build-up of deposits that could reduce the capacity of the pipe and result in the overflow of the tank contents that could be ignited and endanger building occupants. Dip tank Overflow pipe Flared outlet
14 12 Illustrated Commentary Dip Tanks Overflow and Drain Pipes Piping connections Piping connections for drains and overflow lines shall be designed so as to allow for easy access to their interiors for cleaning purposes. One of the measures of hazard reduction is proper maintenance and periodic inspections. Careful evaluation of the process is necessary when designing the piping connections for drains and the overflow lines so that their interiors be accessed easily for cleaning purposes. Given the size of the tanks to which this Article applies, this is a very important requirement to help avoid build-up of deposits that could reduce the capacity of the pipe and result in the overflow of the tank contents that could be ignited and endanger building occupants. Easy access for cleaning (push a brush in either direction)
15 Dip Tanks Illustrated Commentary Overflow and Drain Pipes Bottom drains Dip tanks of over 2300 L liquid capacity shall be equipped with bottom drains capable of being operated both automatically and manually to drain the tank quickly in the event of fire. Bottom drains are required for large tanks since the consequences of a fire would be extremely serious. The bottom drain must be capable of being operated automatically and manually with the result of emptying the tank as quickly as possible in the event of fire. Automatic operation Manual operation Dip tank To salvage tank Quick opening dump valve
16 14 Illustrated Commentary Dip Tanks Overflow and Drain Pipes Bottom drains Bottom drains from dip tanks shall be trapped and shall discharge to a closed, vented salvage tank. The objective of this Article is the safe discharge of flammable and combustible liquids from dip tanks that are provided with bottom drains. It requires the drains to discharge to a closed, vented salvage tank, but does not put restrictions on the location of the tank allowing, for example, the use of an existing salvage tank located in the building or outside. Traps on bottom drains ensure that a fire involving liquid in either the dip tank or the salvage tank will not spread to the other tank because the flame is stopped at the trap. Dip tank Trap Dump line Salvage tank
17 Dip Tanks Illustrated Commentary Overflow and Drain Pipes Bottom drains Bottom drain sizes for dip tanks shall conform to Table B. TABLE B. Forming Part of Article Capacity of Dip Tank, L Diameter of Bottom Drain Pipe, mm and over 200 Sizing the bottom drain based on the dip tank size (larger tanks require larger drains) allows the discharged liquid to drain quickly from the dip tank to the salvage tank in the event of a fire in the dip tank. This will reduce the volume of liquid that can be consumed by a fire.
18 16 Illustrated Commentary Dip Tanks Overflow and Drain Pipes Manual operation of bottom drains Manual operation of bottom drains shall be from an accessible location not affected by a fire in or around the dip tank. It is important that devices provided for manual release of the bottom drain are accessible in the event of a fire in the vicinity of a dip tank. An accessible location for the bottom drain manual release device will help: avoid injuries to the person operating the valve during a fire. avoid delays in manually opening the bottom drain due to the failure [non-operation] of the automatic quick release drainage mechanism. Cable to safe location for manual release of weight Dip tank To salvage tank
19 Dip Tanks Illustrated Commentary Overflow and Drain Pipes Automatic pumps Where gravity flow is not practical, automatic pumps shall be installed on drain lines from dip tanks. The intent of this Article is to make sure that where gravity flow is not possible (for example when the salvage tank and the dip tank are on the same floor) then automatic pumps must be provided to ensure that the dip tank can be drained rapidly. Vent Dip tank Salvage tank Pump
20 18 Illustrated Commentary Dip Tanks Overflow and Drain Pipes Automatic pumps Where salvage tanks are used, pumping arrangements shall be provided for the transfer of their contents for disposal. The Article applies to salvage tanks containing more than 2300 L of flammable or combustible liquids. Requiring pumping arrangements to be provided for salvage tanks will ensure that the salvage tanks can be promptly emptied. From dip tank Salvage tank To a safe place of disposal Pump
21 Dip Tanks Illustrated Commentary Salvage Tanks Use Salvage tanks shall be used only for temporary storage purposes. Capacity The capacity of a salvage tank shall be 20 per cent greater than the capacity of the dip tank or tanks to which it is connected. Salvage tanks are not to be used for storage. They have to be emptied to ensure that the salvage tank is available in the event of the need to divert dip tank contents to the salvage tank in a fire situation. The salvage tank must be 20 per cent larger than the capacity of the dip tank in order to accommodate the entire volume of the dip tank, plus minor spills and fire suppression water. Dip tank 20% dip tank volume Salvage tank Dip tank volume
22 20 Illustrated Commentary Dip Tanks Salvage Tanks Location Salvage tanks shall be located underground in the yard or inside a building in an enclosure separated from the remainder of the building by a fire separation having a 2-hr fire-resistance rating. By placing the salvage tank underground it reduces the risk of fire spreading from the salvage tank to nearby buildings or storage areas. If the salvage tank is located in the building, a fire separation is necessary to isolate the tank from the rest of the building to prevent the spread of fire to other parts of the building. Dip tank Ground line Salvage tank Side view or Plan view Remainder of Building Salvage tank Enclosure Fire separation (2-hr fire-resistance rating) Building means any structure used or intended for supporting or sheltering any use or occupancy. Fire resistance rating means the time in hours or fraction thereof that a material or assembly of materials will withstand the passage of flame and the transmission of heat when exposed to fire under specified conditions of test and performance criteria, or as determined by extension or interpretation of information derived therefrom as prescribed in the Building Code Fire separation means a construction assembly that acts as a barrier against the spread of fire and may or may not have a fire-resistance rating or a fire-protection rating.
23 Dip Tanks Illustrated Commentary Control of Fire Hazards Ventilation Ventilation shall be provided to confine all flammable vapour concentrations exceeding 25 per cent of the lower explosive limit to within 600 mm of the dip tank, drain board and freshly coated work. Ventilation is necessary to confine the flammable range of vapours to the smallest practical space possible. This requirement extends to the dip tank, drain board and freshly coated work because these areas are likely to produce vapours. A properly designed and maintained ventilation system will not allow the vapour area to extend beyond 600 mm from the vapour source. 600 mm 600 mm 600 mm 600 mm Freshly coated material Side view Dip tank Drain board 600 mm 600 mm 600 mm Plan view Dip tank Freshly coated material 600 mm 600 mm Ventilation required to prevent vapour concentration outside this region from exceeding 25% of the lower explosive limit Lower explosive limit means the minimum concentration of vapour in air at which the propagation of flame occurs on contact with a source of ignition.
24 22 Illustrated Commentary Dip Tanks Control of Fire Hazards Interlocks Ventilating systems shall be arranged so that the failure of any ventilation fan as sensed by air flow will automatically stop the dipping conveyor systems and sound an alarm. Failure of any ventilation fan would permit flammable vapours to accumulate to ignitable concentrations. The requirement is to automatically stop the process and sound an alarm when the air flow senses a fan failure so that corrective measures can be taken immediately. Automatically stop And Ventilation fan failure sensed by air flow Dipping conveyor Sound alarm
25 Dip Tanks Illustrated Commentary Control of Fire Hazards Interlocks The heating system used in drying operations shall be interlocked so that it cannot be started until the associated ventilation system is in operation. The requirement in this Article is to have the ventilation system in operation before the heating system can be started in order to remove flammable vapours prior to the heating system being turned on. By interlocking the two systems, the ventilation system will be in operation first and the heating system second. Power supply Switch 1 Switch 2 Ventilation system Heating system A simple illustration of an interlock where switch 1 must be engaged to operate the ventilation system before switch 2 can provide power to the heating system.
26 24 Illustrated Commentary Dip Tanks Control of Fire Hazards Conveyor systems Conveyor systems utilized in conjunction with dip tanks shall be designed to stop automatically with the actuation of an automatic fixed extinguishing system or a manual fire alarm. The intent is to reduce the risk of a fire in the dipping or coating area spreading to other parts of the building through burning objects on the moving conveyor. Conveyor systems used in dipping processes involving flammable or combustible liquids must be interlocked so that they will stop automatically in the event of fire, whether the fire is signaled by the actuation of the automatic extinguishing system or by the manual fire alarm. Conveyor system power supply Switch 1 Switch 2 Fire alarm activates opening switch 1 Fixed extinguishing system activates opening switch 2 Conveyor system motor A simple illustration of an interlock where switches 1 and 2 are normally engaged to operate the conveyor system. Upon actuation of the fixed extinguishing system or manual fire alarm, the switch opens shutting off the conveyor system.
27 Dip Tanks Illustrated Commentary Control of Fire Hazards Purging interlocks Where there is a possible source of ignition in a drying operation, interlocks shall be installed to provide for purging before the heating system can be started and for automatic shutdown if the ventilation system should fail. In order to reduce and control the fire hazards in the drying operations where there are possible sources of ignition, interlocks are required to make sure the drying enclosure is purged before the heating system can be started, and to automatically shutdown if the ventilation system fails. Power supply Switch 1 Purge ventilation system Timer Delay mechanism allows ventilation system to purge area before heating system can be engaged Switch 2 activated upon ventilation system failure Heating system A simple illustration of purging interlocks.
28 26 Illustrated Commentary Dip Tanks Control of Fire Hazards Electrical installations Where flammable and combustible liquids contained in dip tanks are heated or have a flash point below 43 0 C, the electrical installation shall conform to the Electrical Safety Code made under the Power Corporation Act. When the process requires that the flammable and/or combustible liquids contained in the dip tank are artificially heated, or if they have a flash point below 43 o C, special attention must be directed to the electrical equipment due to the increased risk of fire or explosion. Electrical equipment and wiring can generate ignition sources capable of igniting flammable vapours produced by dip tank operations. In order to control this hazard the electrical installation must conform to the requirements for hazardous locations outlined in the Electrical Safety Code made under the Power Corporation Act. Combustible liquid means any liquid having a flash point at or above 37.8 o C and below 93.3 o C. Flammable liquid means a liquid having a flash point below 37.8 o C and having a vapour pressure not more than kpa (absolute) at 37.8 o C as determined by ASTMD 323, Vapor Pressure of Petroleum Products (Reid Method). Flash point means the minimum temperature at which a liquid within a container gives off vapour in sufficient concentration to form an ignitable mixture with air near the surface of the liquid.
29 Dip Tanks Illustrated Commentary Control of Fire Hazards Flammable and combustible liquids (1) The storage and handling of flammable and combustible liquids shall be in conformance with Part 4. (2) The total number of containers for flammable and combustible liquids in a dip tank area shall not exceed that required for 1 day s operations. The Article applies to storage and handling of flammable or combustible liquids in dipping or coating processes involving flammable or combustible liquids in a manner that creates a fire or explosion hazard in buildings. Sentence (1) is intended to state the application of Part 4. Sentence (2) is intended to limit the fire load and reduce the risk of a fire spreading to other parts of the building, and endanger building occupants. Supply piping 1 Day s supply Drain board Dip tank Combustible liquid means any liquid having a flash point at or above 37.8 o C and below 93.3 o C. Flammable liquid means a liquid having a flash point below 37.8 o C and having a vapour pressure not more than kpa (absolute) at 37.8 o C as determined by ASTMD 323, Vapor Pressure of Petroleum Products (Reid Method).
30 28 Illustrated Commentary Dip Tanks Control of Fire Hazards Ignition sources Smoking, open flames, spark producing devices and heated surfaces having a temperature sufficient to ignite vapours shall not be permitted in the vapour area of a dip tank. The purpose of this Article is to eliminate potential ignition sources. The article prohibits smoking, the presence of open flames, spark producing devices and heated surface having a temperature sufficient to ignite vapours in the vapour area of the dip tank. The principle of segregating ignition sources to prevent fire is very important here as any of these sources of ignition can be the cause of a fire in a dipping area. For example, ovens located directly above or adjacent to dipping and coating operations have been the ignition source for many fires. This equipment should be located as far as practical from dipping and coating operations. Dip tank Oven Provide distance or vapour tight noncombustible partition
31 Dip Tanks Illustrated Commentary Control of Fire Hazards Signs prohibiting smoking Signs that prohibit smoking and that conform to Article shall be posted conspicuously in the vicinity of dip tanks. To state the application of Article Signs The areas where smoking is not permitted shall be identified by signs having black lettering 50 mm high with a 12.5 mm stroke on a yellow background, except that symbols of 150 mm by 150 mm may be used in lieu of lettering, or covered by instructions established under a fire safety plan and available to all persons. 50 mm 12.5 mm 150 mm 150 mm
32 30 Illustrated Commentary Dip Tanks Fire Protection Automatic sprinklers Dip tanks shall be located only in rooms protected by an automatic sprinkler system installed in conformance with NFPA 13, Installation for Sprinkler Systems. This Article requires that dip tanks, regardless of their size, be located only in rooms protected by an automatic sprinkler system installed in conformance with NFPA 13. The sprinklers help to control the fire and prevent damage to the building.
33 Dip Tanks Illustrated Commentary Fire Protection Tank covers and extinguishing systems (1) Dip tanks with a capacity of over 550 L or over 1 m 2 liquid surface area shall be protected by (a) an automatic closing cover actuated by a device that also permits manual operation, or (b) an approved automatic extinguishing system of a water spray, foam, carbon dioxide or dry chemical type. The purpose of this Article is to prevent a fire in a dip tank spreading beyond the dip tank. Once a fire starts, quick extinguishment is important. This may be achieved by smothering the fire with a cover or automatic extinguishing system agent. Fusible link > 1 m 2 of liquid surface area Manual release mechanism Dip tank > 550 L Approved means approved by the Chief Fire Official
34 32 Illustrated Commentary Dip Tanks Fire Protection Tank covers and extinguishing systems Dip tanks containing either a flammable or combustible liquid with a flash point less than 43 o C or a heated combustible liquid giving off flammable vapours shall conform to Article when the capacity exceeds 45 L or when the liquid surface area exceeds 0.4 m 2. This Article recognizes that smaller dip tank operations that produce vapours at ambient or operating temperatures require special fire protection features. By applying the requirements of Article , the objective is to quickly extinguish a fire that originates in the tank. Combustible liquid means any liquid having a flash point at or above 37.8 o C and below 93.3 o C. Flammable liquid means a liquid having a flash point below 37.8 o C and having a vapour pressure not more than kpa (absolute) at 37.8 o C as determined by ASTMD 323, Vapor Pressure of Petroleum Products (Reid Method). Flash point means the minimum temperature at which a liquid within a container gives off vapour in sufficient concentration to form an ignitable mixture with air near the surface of the liquid.
35 Dip Tanks Illustrated Commentary Fire Protection Portable extinguishers Areas in the vicinity of dip tanks shall be provided with portable extinguishers in conformance with Section 6.2. This is a reminder to provide the areas in the vicinity of dip tanks, with manual fire extinguishers suitable for flammable and combustible liquid fires even though automatic fire extinguishing systems are in place.
36 34 Questions and References Dip Tanks Q1. Where must dip tanks involving flammable or combustible liquids where the quantity exceeds 45 L be located? A1. Refer to Ontario Fire Code and Q2. How does the floor have to be constructed for a room where a dip tank is installed? A2. Refer to Ontario Fire Code Q3. What is the requirement for the liquid level in a dip tank? A3. Refer to Ontario Fire Code Q4. Where on the dip tank does the overflow pipe have to be installed? A4. Refer to Ontario Fire Code Q5. Where do the bottom drains discharge to? A5. Refer to Ontario Fire Code Q6. Can salvage tanks be used for permanent storage? A6. Refer to Ontario Fire Code Q7. Is smoking allowed in the vapour area of the dip tank? A7. Refer to Ontario Fire Code Q8. Does the room in which the dip tank is installed have to be sprinklered? A8. Refer to Ontario Fire Code Q9. Should a dip tank be equipped with an automatic closing cover, or an automatic extinguishing system? A9. Refer to Ontario Fire Code (1) and Q10. Are fire extinguishers required in the vicinity of dip tanks? A10. Refer to Ontario Fire Code
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