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Another house fire
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posted
News story

This one is near my own home, and I don't know who "appeared to be" making the fuel. Anyone on this list?

Let's be careful out there...


George Reiswig
North by Northwest Expedition
1983 Mercedes 416 Doka
2005 Jeep Liberty CRD
http://www.4x4wire.com/mercedes/nnw/intro.htm
 
Registered: December 26, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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When are people going to realize that making biodiesel in an attached garage isn't a good idea?

Probably when insurance companies start denying claims for biodiesel fires.



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a suspicion most (all?) of the people involved in these occurrences are not members of this forum.

Natural selection...whatchagonnado? (OK, nobody was actually hurt this time, which is GOOD, but still...)
 
Location: Southern WI, USA | Registered: May 18, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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jg
-no I don't think so Big Grin, but it seems that methanol fumes are still explosive! we need to play safe Tom


" I don't know what I don't know until I know"
1994 GMC 6.5 Tubo 2005 Dodge ram 3500, 3 VW's 2000, 2002, 2005.
 
Location: Manitoba Canada | Registered: March 24, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
<DCS>
posted
quote:
Originally posted by john galt:
quote:
There are Still fires happening even though Tilly isn't here anymore!

Is that implying that Silly was responsible for the fires????


HAha.
No, rather that people seemed to get sooo bent out of shape like if he never mentioned the fires, they wouldn't have happened in the first place. Roll Eyes

I never fail to be amused how people will just stick their heads in the sand and ignore the obvious when it doesn't suit their agenda's or isn't what they want to hear.
I think one of my favorite arguments against his warnings with the motors and heating elements went along the lines of " Nobody has been seriously injured or killed yet so the problem won't be a real one and isn't worth worrying about until someone is."
There's Veg Logic for 'ya! Wink

I wonder if it would be a " real" danger if it were to be discovered that the explosion in this incident were found to be caused by the heating element in an empty processor or a motor catching fire?

Luckily for a lot of those that want to shove their heads in the sand, it sounds like the fire was fierce enough to destroy any possible evidence of this if it were the cause. Roll Eyes
 
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Trying to blame fires on 'things' like pumps or heaters misses the point. That's like blaming the aircraft for pilot errors. Pumps, heaters, methanol and other hazardous items and materials can be handled safely by some but not by others, it's a matter of awareness, attitude and aptitude. All the safety devices in the world can't keep a determined idiot away from the Darwin Awards competition.



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Now you have my attention.
Being a relative newbie to this, just exactly how frequently do these home fires occur in pumps and heating elements?
In another thread here a few weeks ago it was said that the biggest cause of fires was spontaneous combustion followed by heating the oil to over 700deg F and having it self ignite.
quote:
Originally posted by DCS:
Amazing!
There are Still fires happening even though Tilly isn't here anymore!
Maybe he was right about the pumps and Heating elements after all? Razz
 
Registered: July 14, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Murphy:
You mean like the "high resistance short" argument he tried to win by quoting information from a pot smokers website?
I think not.
I have known a lot of Pot Smokers who were pretty clever fellows. And a few engineers who must have gotten their "Degree" from Sears.

All you have to do is google "High resistance Short" and all will be revealed.
 
Registered: July 14, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Every house I have purchased, and every apartment I have lived in had sub-standard wiring, or antiquated wiring, sloppy wiring, obvious elec code violations. It's the first thing I check and fix when I move in. And most wiring is installed by professional electricians. Maybe the wiring was defective. Maybe a lot of things. We don't know.

If anybody out there does not have the skills to do electrical troubleshooting and develop your own safety protocols for brewing biodiesel, DON'T DO IT. Your life, and the life of your family, and all your worldly possessions and your neighbor's house may depend on it.


By the way, as much fun as Tilly was, and as much as he contributed to the community, he also had a history of making biodiesel in a bucket using a corded drill that makes continuous sparks on the commutator/brush assembly. A leader by example he was not.

Please carry on.

troy
 
Location: north america somewhere close to the midwest, or not | Registered: May 29, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
just exactly how frequently do these home fires occur in pumps and heating elements?

I am not sure how frequently they happen but they are avoidable with the use of the REQUIRED safety devices. Most of the cheap blue pumps do not have a built in overload so an external one needs to be installed. That will prevent the fire hazard for the pump. The heating elements NEED either a float or flow switch to make it impossible to be energized when not covered in oil. A highlimit is also required for the heater.
This has all been discussed here ad nauseum, do a search for the phrase "motor overload" etc. for more information...
Jon
 
Location: Wellington County, Ontario Canada | Registered: February 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Jon
-been there done that, if you expose the heating element the methanol laden air your in for one h-ll of a bang, one you won't soon forget! Eek Big Grin when I look back, how stupid of me and anyone else who gets caught with their pants down on these safety issues! that have been hashed out many times on this forum, Tom


" I don't know what I don't know until I know"
1994 GMC 6.5 Tubo 2005 Dodge ram 3500, 3 VW's 2000, 2002, 2005.
 
Location: Manitoba Canada | Registered: March 24, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
<DCS>
posted
quote:
Originally posted by Biotom: how stupid of me and anyone else who gets caught with their pants down on these safety issues! that have been hashed out many times on this forum,


Yet there are those that still want to argue about these issues and berate those that try to warn others about them.
Ah well. Maybe experience will be the best teacher for some?
 
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<DCS>
posted
quote:
Originally posted by Jon Heron: Most of the cheap blue pumps do not have a built in overload so an external one needs to be installed.
The heating elements NEED either a float or flow switch to make it impossible to be energized when not covered in oil.


I wonder how many people have actually got these devices fitted?
From what I read here, I don't think it is a very high percentage.

I'm always amazed how I see people going on endlessly about using the very best overkill valves, the perfect Fuel Line, getting fussy about the perfection of their Bio and all other manner of things they are so concerned about having the very best quality available, but will defend and make excuses for the crappiest, cheapest and well know inadequate in many ways, Heart of their Bio reactors in the Pump! Roll Eyes

If ever there were a place to open up the wallet and let the moths fly out, getting a good, safe pump would have to be the one thing to ensure was properly up to scratch. Confused

I am sure there are many reasons for fires relating to Bio production (the main being human nature in all it's different forms and effects) but surely taking as many possibilities and dangers out of the equation to start with as one could would have to be the least a person could do.
 
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DCS
experience! it shure worked for me Big Grin I agree we use all the neat stuff on our processors but forget to make them idiot proof! Tom


" I don't know what I don't know until I know"
1994 GMC 6.5 Tubo 2005 Dodge ram 3500, 3 VW's 2000, 2002, 2005.
 
Location: Manitoba Canada | Registered: March 24, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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does anyone actually test there safety features?

sure we talk about needing them and putting them in..but actually test them??

I know mine setup isn't the safest possible...
I could start with 2 heated plastic tanks..but I must also add that both have had the heat left on in the open but empty tank..PID sure are nice for controlling temps..Smile thankfully nothing else happened..in my water heater the same thing happened before last update..now unless the pump dies with power on...and the pid dies..all the heat will be off.

I'm NOT suggesting following my accidental testing..but a much more planned/controlled testing..

I am concerned about fires all the time..that's one reason I tried to find the specific cause to spontaneous combustion fires..but all seem to be random.. not saying they don't happen..but why sometimes and not others?? by all rights my shed should have burnt to the ground 3 years ago..
1. oil rags..paper towels..oil soaked sawdust/shavings..
2. oil/biodiesel spills..makes a great wood floor treatment..its now water proof.
3. heat..95F+ days in the summer..
i'm not saying it doesn't happen..maybe my Angels are really busy..SmileSmileSmile

by all means make your setup safe..

-dkenny


'84 bluebird school bus, DD8.2L turbo( 4/2011, the bus tranny has died..Frown 8.23.11 bus driven to scrap yard Frown )
2006 Jeep Liberty CRD Smile - the wife's
99 dodge 2500 5.9l 24v..-mine Smile
everything run B100 when its warm enough Smile
 
Location: RTP, North Carolina | Registered: December 15, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
<DCS>
posted
quote:
Originally posted by dkenny:I tried to find the specific cause to spontaneous combustion fires..but all seem to be random.. not saying they don't happen..but why sometimes and not others??


I have had 3 rags light off now and with the warmer weather here, it's time to reming myself to do do a collection of the rags I have lying around again.

There are 2 factors I think control the rags lighting up and not.

The first is saturation.
Like the mixture of fuel has to be right to burn in air, I think the rag has to have an amount of oil within a threshold in order to light up. Not enough, no go, too much, just a sticky mess.
The rags I have had light up were all still well usable and I'd put them on the Lean side of saturation.

The second and probably most important factor is heat.
This is both internal and external.
A rag that is opened out won't generate the required heat to light it off. It needs to be in a pile and the heat starts from the inside out. On one rag I had burn, the outside was perfect but the inside was burned through the material when I found it.

Ambient temp is also a factor. The required temp for self combustion dosent' get the head start on a cold day as it does on a hot one. All my rag burns have been in very hot weather, even for us.
I think it would be unlikely to get one to burn in winter but it could happen with some oils I guess especially if the rag were indoors with little airflow around it.

Direct exposure to the sun has also been a factor in all my burns with one also getting a boost from a reflection off some shiny sheet metal. People say to put rags in metal drums but I think in certain circumstances this could help them burn or at least smolder. As long as the drum were away from anything flammable which it could set off if it got real hot, there wouldn't be any flame at least which would render the smoldering rags a non event.

I was a bit sus on this self combustion thing as well once but having had multiple experiences with it now, I know it's something that has huge potential consequences and really does need some vigilance as hard as that is to remember sometimes.
 
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