can anyone suggest the proper way to ground this ?

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  #1  
Old 04-12-07, 09:17 PM
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can anyone suggest the proper way to ground this ?

I want to try using waste vegetable oil as a diesel fuel. it involves using a 220V electric hot water heater element on 120V, submerged in a 55 gallon drum of vegetable oil. guys who are already doing it say it doesn't need to be grounded because vegetable oil doesn't conduct electricity.
i say, famous last words.

would screwing the heater element into a metal junction box, then attaching a ground wire from the box, with a screw, to the ground wire on a plug( i mean plug, not receptacle. as in, the end of the extension cord that plugs into the receptacle). be a good way to ground the element ?

would it also be a good idea to put a bolt through the lip on the drum, attach a ground wire to the bolt and run the wire to a ground ? if so, how can i attach it to a ground ? pig tail a wire from a receptacle ground and leave it exposed ?run the ground wire inside the receptacle box and pig tail it to a ground ? run the ground wire to the case of the main panel ? to a ground rod?

does the NEC cover grounding something that was not meant to be grounded ? like a 55 gallon metal drum.
 
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  #2  
Old 04-12-07, 09:37 PM
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I hate to step in here for a min the way you describing is very dangerous pratice because few thing what will happend is that ..


1} you have no thermosast to control the heat

2} if the oil get very hot it can start burn by itself [ flash point or auto ingtion ]

3} the wireing connection you describe please do not attempt this one


There is a commercal drum heater on market that have thermosast and have pretty good size band that can wrap around the steel drum in more safer manner this way

If more question please ask us here

I can understand you want to use the waste veg oil [ wvo ] to use as diesel fuel but you may have to make a little modifaction to the engine and fuel system

[ i allready done 2 of them allready ]

Merci , Marc
 
  #3  
Old 04-12-07, 11:09 PM
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i didnt go into all the details, because i am only concerned with the ground.

you are correct, the other problem i have with this setup is fire. the electric water heater element will be controlled by a RANCO controller. flash point is about 600F. working temp is 90F. element shuts off at 90F.

i am also aware of the modifications needed to the vehicle.

i know that a drum heater is an option, so is pipe heat tape wrapped around the drum.

are you saying there is no safe way to wire an electric water heater element?
 
  #4  
Old 04-12-07, 11:15 PM
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qouted by xfrank12

"are you saying there is no safe way to wire an electric water heater element?"

> my answer is no because you did make a modifaction to the heating element device.

if this thing catch on fire or shorted out you have one heck of mess to clear up.

belive me i did fight oil fires they are no fun at all espcally with 55's drum

for myself i really strongly recomened to use the commercal grade drum heater it do have good thermeorsast and have proper place to keep it inact

By the way what you called Ranco thermosat is that name brand or what ??


Merci , Marc
 
  #5  
Old 04-13-07, 08:50 AM
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> are you saying there is no safe way to wire an electric water heater
> element?

I do not believe that your idea is safe; it's hard to gauge how unsafe it is, but I see many potential problems. Grounding the drum creates the possibility of sparks from the element or from other devices which is very dangerous when cooking fuel. Not grounding the drum creates the possibility of electrocution if the drum became energized. Although in either case, voltage gradients and induced voltages could be high enough to generate sparks. Thermostat failure could overheat the oil and cause a fire. In any case, this could never be code-legal because it has not been tested by UL or stamped by a licensed engineer. Underwriters Laboratories even refuses to certify 5 gallon turkey fryers for home use citing numerous safety problems.

A commercial drum heater would have no exposed wiring, have a thermostat as well as a thermal cut-off, and perhaps employ a system of double-insulation which would mitigate many of the electrical risks.

Does the building in which you're doing this have a fire suppression system which is designed for oil fires?
 
  #6  
Old 04-13-07, 09:01 AM
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yes RANCO is a brand name.

http://www.ranco.invensys.com/

i dont want it to catch fire, there is no such thing as a small grease fire.

heater element is out.

i will try the drum heater.

i assume you do not approve of the pipe heat wrap tape eithier? since it has to be modified by overiding the temperture controller on the tape because it comes on at 32F. i would use the same RANCO temperture controller to prevent a fire from overheating.

anybody else have a comment ?
 
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Old 04-13-07, 09:05 AM
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My comment is simple. Don't do this.
 
  #8  
Old 04-13-07, 09:13 AM
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ibpooks -

i didnt realize grounding the drum could cause sparks, i dont think that would be a problem because the oil will not be hot enough to catch fire from a spark. of course, i dont want to find out the hard way that i was wrong.
in any case, you guys have talked me out of using the heater element.

i am considering an auto fire suppression system. same as the restaurants use on the fryers.

anybody else have a comment on the pipe wrap tape or drum heater?
 
  #9  
Old 04-13-07, 09:53 AM
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The code question is not my field.
The grounding of any appliance will be made by solidly attach th gnd wire to a metal part near to where the cable runs in to the apparatus. All metal parts should be connected (bonded) to this point. This wire shold be atleast of the same awg as the incoming ground wire. (Here in Norway the same as N and L)
(I would have used a tripple cable with ground live and neutral pins on the plug)

The main reason of grounding is to prevent against electric shock, if live wire comes in contact with steel (by an error).

If you want to protect agains static discharge the grounding shold be in seris with 100k OHM to 1M OHM. This will not give any protection against electric shock, and will probably obstinate with any code.

You know 1/2 voltage on heater element will give 1/4 wattage?

dsk
 
  #10  
Old 04-13-07, 10:09 AM
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> i didnt realize grounding the drum could cause sparks

Well, the grounding itself doesn't cause the sparks. A spark will occur when anything charged touches anything grounded, so if the element or the thermostat shorts out it will spark to the drum. There would also be a spark if you touched the drum with some other tool that may be charged.

> pipe wrap tape

Pipe wrap tape may be okay if you can find some that is rated for 90 degrees. I worry that the materials the manufacturer uses are rated for below-freezing temps and may break down at higher temps. The trouble is that only the manufacturer can answer that question, and they will undoubtedly say that they do not approve any off-label use of the product. Overall, this solution seems a lot better than the heater element. I would still lean toward a commercial drum heater.

> i am considering an auto fire suppression system. same as the restaurants use on the fryers.

Certainly a good idea. What type of building is this located in?
 
  #11  
Old 04-13-07, 11:09 AM
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This link will show the type of drum heater that can be used


http://www.morsemfgco.com/products/drum-heater.htm


but you may have to double check with the manufacter about using this set up

as other members here mention the safety here so please respect the safety very carefully here.

this something you dont want to get hurt or worst from this.

the link you gave me from " Ranco" that strictaly HVAC items not really good use for heating drum at all

Merci , Marc
 
  #12  
Old 04-13-07, 12:10 PM
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french277V -

thank you for your comments.

you have helped talk me out of using the electric weater heater element.

as for the link i gave you for RANCO, that was the temp control i was going to use with the water heater element, not what i was going to try to heat the drum with.
 
  #13  
Old 04-17-07, 09:22 PM
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If you happen to start your place on fire with homemade electrical appliances, you will have a hard time getting your homeowners insurance to cover the damage. This is one reason you need electrical permits to do electrical work. After an inspection is passed, then your insurance company would pay for damages.
 
  #14  
Old 04-18-07, 07:55 AM
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Liteman, the information you posted is a myth (admittedly a widely believed myth). Insurance will usually pay for damage caused by unpermitted work. Fortunately, we do get insured against our own bad decisions. Otherwise, insurance would rarely pay for anything.
 
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