My workshop/garage contains a gas fired water heater. This makes me a bit
uncomfortable as I don't know if this is a fire hazard with the sawdust in
the air. Should I be concerned? Is there anything I can do, short of
replacing the water heater with an electic unit?
(Master Maker of -really- expensive firewood,
and I don't even have a fireplace)
I'm guessing you already know this, but you should really worry about fumes
from finishes, glues, solvents, and such. As for dust, I am NOT an expert,
but if you can stand to breathe in the shop you probably don't have a high
enough concentration for an explosion. I would be concerned about dust
building up within the WH firebox and the WH enclosure.
I can't address the danger of your gas heater since we don't know if the gas
burner uses the inside air, or like mine, is an enclosed unit that draws all
its air from outside and vents (obviously) to the outside. Besides, I'm no
expert on the subject but like everyone else, here's an opinion and it's
worth everything you paid.
If the burner and pilot light (if it has one) are clearly exposed and use
the inside air, I don't think I would be as worried about a saw dust
explosion or fire as much as I would be concerned about volatile fumes from
finishing materials (oil based products) as being an explosion/fire danger.
You need a pretty heavy concentration of fine saw dust particles in the air
before they'll ignite according to the articles I've read on static
electricity causing fires in dust collectors.
Converting to an electric hot water heater is probably not to expensive for
the hardware and installation but the monthly cost of electricity for that
thing can eat your lunch and that's the reason I switched to gas. But if
its the only viable thing to do and you feel safer.. then that's what you
Well, opinions are why we're here, right? :)
Yes, it has a pilot light, and yes, it uses inside air. And what I didn't
think of, probably because it is hardly ever on here in Florida, is that I
also have a gas furnace. But I will not worry about the sawdust, since
y'all tell me that it is not a problem.
But I sure will take note of the other thing I didn't think about;
finishing. I can open the garage door and/or use exhaust fans when I need
to work with such things.
Thanks for all your input. It's what makes the wreck worth reading.
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