Hazardous area pumps


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Hazardous area pumps

In today's blog, we will be discussing pumps used in hazardous areas. In these high-risk settings, selecting the appropriate pump is of utmost importance to ensure safety, prevent potential ignition hazards, and maintain smooth operation. It is crucial to understand the various types of hazardous area pumps, as they play a vital role in industries and applications where explosive atmospheres may be present.


What is a hazardous area?

A hazardous area is an “area in which an explosive atmosphere is present, or may be expected to be present, in quantities such as to require special precautions for the construction, installation and use of equipment" [AS/NZS 60079.0]. So essentially, it is an application that contains or could contain flammable vapours or buildup of hydrocarbons.

Within hazardous areas, there are zone classifications; 0, 1 and 2. The higher the likelihood of the device being used when a flammable substance is present, the higher the risk and lower the zone rating. Equipment being used in a particular zone must meet the standards of  testing for that zone.

Zone 0 – (High Risk) is a place where an explosive atmosphere is continually present. 

Zone 1 – is a place where an explosive atmosphere is likely to occur in normal operation.

Zone 2 – (Lower Risk) an explosive atmosphere is not likely to occur in normal operation but could occur for short periods.

Zone 2 is the most common application for typical residential or commercial applications.


What pumps can be used in hazardous areas?

The use of intrinsically safe, spark resistant pumps (sometimes referred to as explosion proof pumps) classified as class one, zone two rated, are important in the stormwater industry. This is especially in areas where there is a risk of hydrocarbon from vehicles building up in the stormwater pit, for example, in undercover carparks or 3-car garages where rainwater and runoff from vehicles can contain oils, grease, and other pollutants that could pose a risk of ignition, causing a building fire. 

Intrinsically safe pumps/explosion-proof pumps have components that are incapable of producing sparks or heat under both normal or fault conditions that could cause ignition of an explosive atmosphere.


Is there another option instead of using hazardous area pumps?

An alternate solution to using zone 2 rated pumps, is using a standard submersible stormwater pump and installing a low-level float with an alarm in the pit to ensure the pump will always be submerged and not able to ignite. 


Are you working on a hazardous area application at the moment? Get in touch with one of our team at Global Water to help select an IECEx zone 2 rated pump to ensure your installation is fire safe. 


Tags: Submersible pumps, Polyethylene pump stations, Pump stations configurations, stormwater pumps

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