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RE: [Distillers] Re: Has any one ever had a boil over/vapour flashover accident (they can share)?

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  • Chris Robertson
    Howdy: I had a minor fire once. My setup involves a large stainless steel pot with a lid that I clamp down with C clamps. I put a little too much stripped
    Message 1 of 8 , Jun 1, 2004
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      Howdy:

      I had a minor fire once. My setup involves a large stainless steel pot with
      a lid that I clamp down with C clamps. I put a little too much stripped
      wash in the pot (I didn't want to waste a couple of litres or have to do
      another run) and set it up to boil. The stripped wash was probably around
      70% alcohol.

      Once it was boiling, I went through my C clamp adjustment routine to get the
      lid to stop leaking steam. When I loosened one of the clamps the lid was
      loose enough to allow some wash to boil over and hit the hot element.

      Foom! Burning alcohol pooling on the stove top and running onto the floor.

      I put it out in about 3 seconds with a fire extinguisher (those things work
      well!).

      It took about an hour to clean up all that powder that the fire extinguisher
      emitted. Figured it served me right for being an idiot.

      Lessons learned:
      1. Don't overfill the boiler.
      2. Keep a fire extinguisher handy.
      3. Don't adjust the clamps until I've turned down the heat.

      Use common sense and don't put your guard down and you'll be fine.

      Chris.


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • David
      I d be trying to figure out why I m getting so many fumes and try and stop it. Condenser might not be able to handle the load. does your spirit sputter out the
      Message 2 of 8 , Jun 1, 2004
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        I'd be trying to figure out why I'm getting so many fumes and try and
        stop it. Condenser might not be able to handle the load. does your
        spirit sputter out the end of your condenser? If it does, then thats
        not good either.
      • watertrade2003
        One time I was doing the final run in my shed collecting 96% at a steady rate... I decided to measure the output per minute so as per usual I swapped the
        Message 3 of 8 , Jun 1, 2004
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          One time I was doing the final run in my shed collecting 96% at a
          steady rate... I decided to measure the output per minute so as per
          usual I swapped the collection jar for a graduated collection jar.
          While in the middle of this process I knocked the collection jar off
          its stand and onto the floor probably no more that 12 inches away
          from my gas stove heating the still... There was about a 2 second
          hesitation then I ran outside and collected the bucket of water
          collecting waste cooling water. Luckily it didn't flash and I was
          able to water down the alcohol.

          What did I learn?? – Never have your collection jar sitting on 3 milk
          crates…

          Jim
          ** Don't worry I only lost about 400ml.. :)
        • reuel369
          When most gas stations were full service and I saw many people smoke at the pump. One was smokeing and you could see the fumes or vapor wave hit the attendand
          Message 4 of 8 , Jun 2, 2004
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            When most gas stations were full service and I saw many people smoke
            at the pump. One was smokeing and you could see the fumes or vapor
            wave hit the attendand but he didn't flash fire. It is not leagal to
            smoke and pump gas anymore.

            I used to watch a lot of auto raceing. The cars are much safer now
            but a lot of cars would burst into flames in a crash.

            A fire will not happen very often but one time could be too many.

            Be safe.
            Reuel













            --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Murphy-Marsh, Leigh"
            <Leigh.Murphy-Marsh@w...> wrote:
            > Howdy,
            > I've been here a while and hear of people warning of flammable
            ethanol
            > vapour but am wondering just how much of a risk it is? Many a time I
            > have woken up after setting my still to run to find my still
            spluttering
            > away and venting gases to atmosphere with my place smelling of
            alcohol
            > fumes and other nasty smells. So I get out of bed and turn down the
            > flame on my portable gas camp stove I use for heating the wash in my
            > boiler. Not sure why but I usually have a hard time keeping it going
            > when I turn it down. It keeps spluttering and wanting to go out.
            Anyway,
            > I put an incense candle on and open my windows up to get rid of the
            > smell (the camp stove keeps my room nice and warm when it's cold
            > outside). I usually feel a bit light headed until I get the windows
            open
            > probably due to all the alcohol in the air. I then grab a mop and
            bucket
            > to mop up the excess ethanol that's usually dripped out of the
            boiler
            > joins and output lines all over the lino. Luckily most of it is
            usually
            > soaked up already by the rags I use for stripping down my petrol
            powered
            > model cars that I set in a close circle around the camp stove just
            in
            > case of a spillage so the job isn't too hard to get done quickly.
            > I guess my question is even though my safety procedures are pretty
            full
            > on (I set my alarm clock for 11 am at the latest) and many others
            > probably have worse safety practices has anyone had any accidents
            from
            > spillages/vapour ignition they can recall or care to share about
            their
            > hobby?
            > Cheers,
            > Leigh ;)
            >
            > Disclaimer:
            > The above comments may not depict real circumstances and any
            > circumstances depicted that resemble the truth have been omitted
            due to
            > highly technical operational secrets. AND FOR CHRISTS SAKE, excuse
            my
            > language, DON'T TAKE THAT AS A GUIDE ON HOW TO RUN YOUR STILL!!!
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