Pump Controller Threatened by Methane Gas

Sewage and sump areas are a source of explosive methane gas. A spark from a pump controller can cause and explosion.

Sewage and sump areas are a source of explosive methane gas. A spark from a pump controller can cause an explosion. Using the proper "no spark" contacts can reduce the threat of explosion.

Pump project integration specialists have to be part businessman, part finance officer, part engineer and part fortune teller.

Their customers expect them to handle the planning and implementation of a fluid pumping system in a modern and efficient way, while staying within (usually) a tight budget. And by the way, make sure the system adheres to all safety and regulatory rules. In other words, don't blow up the neighborhood or electrocute the maintenance man.

Human sewage in collection basins or sumps is a potentially lethal situation that your pump specialists can help you avoid. While you can't really avoid sewage in a sewage treatment plant, you can avoid a deadly methane gas explosion caused by a pump clicking on.

Explosive Methane gas is a byproduct of the decomposition of human excrement. To minimize causing an ignition spark in the sump area it is advisable to provide a very limited amount of electrical power to any auxiliary sensing equipment such as float switches, probes, etc. This is done using intrinsically safe barrier relays whose power output is so low a spark can not be created.

If a pump controller is exposed to a high concentration of explosive gas (methane or other types) the area may be classified as "hazardous." In this case, an explosion-proof enclosure would be required to house the electrical components.

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