11-04-2011 05:13 PM
I am new to wood working and still trying to set up my shop in the garage. The water heater for the house is in the gargae also. I was wondering how much of a fire danger this could be. And what is the best way to prevent anything from happening. I assume that dust collection would help, however not haveing enough money for anything nicer then a shop vac. So what can I do?
11-04-2011 06:22 PM
An electric heater is no real problem. With a gas heater you should not use any flammable aerosols or paints or other volatile liquids in the area unless really well ventilated. Any accumulation of fumes could and most likely will be catastrophic. Sa far as dust goes any collection device should keep that from being a problem...I use a gas heater to warm an oversized single car garage but don't do anything to create a lot of dust next to the heater. When the heater is running I will not use aerosols or anything flammable closed up in there with the heater. If I can smell the vapors the garage door goes up and the fire goes out before using whatever. I may be a hot dog but I don't wanna be a crispy critter.
11-04-2011 08:12 PM
I knew about anything flammable of course being near the water heater, those are stored on the otherside of the garage. Anytime I am working in the garage both doors are open, so the fumes are not really a problem. I am mainly worried about the dust collecting at the bottom. Oh and it is a gas heater.
I also like the saying you have at the bottom of your posts. My wife is an EMT so explanations of me getting hurt are twice has bad.
11-04-2011 09:41 PM
If there is any way to vent that heater to the outdoors .. Do it...
build a small room around the heater and add a make air vent at the floor with a air vent at the ceiling...
this would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
if only new layers hadn't been added....
11-05-2011 05:37 AM
The fumes from finishes would be my first concern. No risk from a dust explosion (there would have to be so much dust you couldn't breathe in there) but there may be a problem with dust settling on the workings of the pilot light and causing a problem. If you can enclose it somehow, you might gain piece of mind which would be worth quite a bit.
11-08-2011 05:23 AM
+1 on enclosing it in a closet with vents. Add a threshold door seal (since pilot light is near the floor) and I would go so far as to use vents that you can fit with small filters.
"If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" Ira Zolper, 1970
01-16-2012 10:23 AM
What is the heater?
An on-demand or tankless unit, such as a Rinnai, should be sealed combustion, and should be vented outdoors (they use a concentric pipe that draws in outside air, and exhausts the combustion air through a single wall penetration.
If you have a gas-fired or propane-fired tank, how old is it? You might consider replacing it with an on-demand as described above, and not only eliminate the danger, but save 25 - 35% on your water heating bills, too. Even if you stay with a combustion tank, you should be able to vent it outdoors, and isolate it from your wood dust. If you are in a cold climate, you don't want that thing sucking cold air in through every little nook & cranny, either. Sealed combustion and direct-vent is the way to go.
01-24-2012 03:48 PM
If the water heater is in the garage, a place where gasoline present, code says the water heater has to be 18 inches above the floor, and there has to be a vent nearer to the floor than the base of the water heater. The 18 inches is the highest level that gasoline fumes will accumulate due to something about vapor pressure. (don't ask me, I don't know why) If the vent is lower, the fumes will not accumulate to the level of the water heater.
What most people wouldn't think of is a gas clothes dryer. It also needs to be 18 inches above the floor.
You don't have to worry about a dust explosion, because the amount of dust require would drive you out of the garage, gagging for breath. Further, you don't have to worry about dust building up on the pilot light mechanism, as the first time the pilot light "lights," it burns it off.