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  • RAS location in garage/shop

    Finally getting around to cleaning up/out my garage that also houses my shop area and moved the RAS to the place I had planned for it. Then woke up this morning and the one thought on my mind was that the RAS is right next to the GAS WATER HEATER

    I do have a dust collection kit on the RAS and I do use it (what a mess otherwise), but the dust kit does not get everything, there is always some dust blown around, especially when ripping. So, I am worried about the potential for a disaster, up to and including a saw dust explosion.

    BTW, the water heater has been where it is for a very long time, since building codes here allowed unvented gas water heaters in the garage. That means that it has no chimney or vent to the outside. There is nothing connecting the flue to anything. My concern about that is that saw dust can settle down the flue if the burner is not on (if on the rising air/heat column would push it out and away), and cause trouble when the burner comes on.

    Am I being too concerned about this, like, for example, the small amount of saw dust that would build up between burner cycles would burn off instantly without causing an explosion, or is there a real hazard here?

  • #2
    Not really an explosion hazzard from the RAS dust except maybe if you cut a lot of MDF. My consern would be when you sand. Your garage is not likely as tightly sealed as mine is considering our geographies but if the roof is finished you do not have enough ventalation for the gases comming of that thing. You may want to consider a CO2 detector or beter yet replace it with a direct vent tankless unit which would likely fit in your crawl space by your furnace, costs a few extra bucks but consider the extra space you reclaim in your shop and the safety factor not to mention the energy savings

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    • #3
      Agree with Wbrooks---except I think he meant a CO (carbon monoxide) detector. As to the HWH, I'd also change it somehow----great example of when codes get political.

      Dust explosions take pretty large quantities of dust, and as was mentioned, usually finer/suspended dust like MDF or sanding. Both my HW Htr. and centeral hot air heater are in the garage. I use DC for sanding and most other ops and never seen any problems. It's a good idea to simply stay on top of any accumulation of dust on walls, floors,etc.
      Dave

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      • #4
        Thanks guys, you've put me at ease about that worry. BTW, the garage has a fully open ceiling, and the roof has continuous ridge vents, so the fumes from the water heater likely never build up at all. And the water heater is next to an outside wall, which means there are soffitt vents just above it and over the concrete block.

        What I want to get off of my butt and do about the water heat is to build a batch type solar pre-heater outside the garage. That is basically an old water heater tank (stripped of all insulation), painted black and enclosed in an insulated greenhouse-like case. Here in north Florida (Gainesville/Ocala area) those things can deliver way more water heat than a family of three can use. That way the gas-powered heater won't run very much, or at all. In fact, they tell me that a batch pre-heater, here in FL, can produce water so hot (above 180 deg.)that it needs to be returned to the system/water heater tank via a "tempering valve" that mixes it with cold water to bring its temp DOWN to the 140 deg. setting on the water heater.

        If that works out well, then I just might go with the direct vent tankless (on demand) system or systems that WBrooks mentioned. For winter or many-cloudy-days-in-a-row temp boost.

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        • #5
          Yep your right Dave, I hate those CO2 sensors, damn things go of every time you crack a cold one

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          • #6
            Dave

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