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NFPA 87: Recommended Practice for Fluid Heaters
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NFPA 87: Recommended Practice for Fluid Heaters
Item #: NFPA_87

What is NFPA 87?
NFPA 87: Document Scope
1.1* Scope. A.1.1 Explosions and fires in fuel-fired and electric fluid heaters constitute a loss potential in life, property, and production. This recommended practice is a compilation of guidelines, rules, and methods applicable to the safe operation of this type of equipment. Conditions and regulations that are not covered in this standard — such as toxic vapors, hazardous materials, noise levels, heat stress, and local, state, and federal regulations (EPA and OSHA) — should be considered in the design and operation of fluid heaters. Most causes of failures can be traced to human error. The most significant failures include inadequate training of operators, lack of proper maintenance, and improper application of equipment. Users and designers must utilize engineering skill to bring together that proper combination of controls and training necessary for the safe operation of equipment. This recommended practice classifies fluid heaters as Class F fluid heaters. Class F fluid heaters operate at approximately atmospheric pressure and present a potential explosion or fire hazard that could be occasioned by the overheating and/or release of flammable or combustible fluids from the tubing that carries them through the heating chamber. Class F fluid heaters operate with a relatively constant flow of fluid through the tubes, and the flowing fluid is intended to remove sufficient heat to maintain tubing walls cool enough to avoid irreversible damage that could lead to rupture. Safeguards that reduce the risk of fire or explosion associated with the use of fuel gases or fuel oils are also a major consideration for the design and operation of Class F fluid heaters. 1.1.1 This recommended practice covers Type F, Type G, and Type H fluid heaters and related equipment. 1.1.2 Within the scope of this recommended practice, a fluid heater is considered to be any thermal fluid heater or process fluid heater with the following features: (1) Fluid is flowing under pressure. (2) Fluid is indirectly heated. (3) Release of energy from combustion of a liquid or gaseous fuel or an electrical source occurs within the unit. 1.1.3 This recommended practice does not apply to the following: (1) Boilers (which are covered by NFPA 85, Boiler and Combustion Systems Hazards Code, or ANSI/ASME CSD-1, Controls and Safety Devices for Automatically Fired Boilers) (2) Class A, B, C, or D ovens and furnaces (which are covered by NFPA 86, Standard for Ovens and Furnaces) (3) Fired heaters in petroleum refineries and petrochemical facilities that are designed and installed in accordance with API 560, Fired Heaters for General Refinery Services; API RP 556, Instrumentation and Control Systems for Fired Heaters and Steam Generators; and API RP 2001, Fire Protection in Refineries (4) Fired heaters commonly called reformer furnaces or cracking furnaces in the petrochemical and chemical industries (5) Units that heat air for occupiable space or comfort (6) LP-Gas vaporizers designed and installed in accordance with NFPA 58, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code (7)*Coal or other solid fuel–firing systems A.1.1.3(7) For guidance on solid fuel systems, see NFPA 85, Boiler and Combustion Systems Hazards Code (8) Listed equipment with a heating system(s) that supplies a total input not exceeding 150,000 Btu/hr (44 kW) 1.1.4 The following types of heaters are covered by this recommended practice: (1) Class F heaters, which have fluid inside the tubes with a relatively constant flow rate (2) Class G heaters, which have fluid inside the tubes with a modulated flow rate and firing rate (3) Class H heaters, which have a heat source (combustion or electricity) inside the tubes
This recommended practice provides safety guidance for fluid heaters and related equipment to minimize fire and explosion hazards that can endanger the fluid heater, the building, or personnel. Official document scope
What does NFPA 87 address?
Requirements apply to Type F, Type G, and Type H fluid heaters and cover location and construction; heating systems, including fuel gas-fired units, liquid fuel-fired units, and resistance heating systems; commissioning; training; operations; inspection, testing, and maintenance; heating system safety equipment and application topics such as programmable logic controller systems, mechanical purging, and combustion air safety devices; and fire protection.
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