Author Topic: Protection of Warehouse Unit Heaters from Damage B149 4.23  (Read 30 times)

Protection of Warehouse Unit Heaters from Damage B149 4.23
« on: July 11, 2018, 09:49:06 AM »
Hello all, I'm new to posting on this forum so go easy on me  :D

This is part question, part heads-up. I'm an HVAC PM for a commercial landlord with a large number of warehouses & industrial facilities in Mississauga, mostly with unit heaters. Recently, in one of these, a tenant's forklift made contact with a unit heater mounted at high level, a few feet below the deck. This caused a gas leak, the TSSA were called (through Enbridge), and have conducted an investigation. The inspector red tagged every heater at the facility, citing B149 section 4.23;

"Where an appliance is installed in an area where physical damage can be incurred, the appliance shall be protected from such damage"

In his position, I would have done the same. For once the code is pretty clear, and there is very little interpretation to be made of that particular clause. If we had an appliance mounted on a pad in a parking lot for instance, there wouldn't be much discussion over whether to protect it with bollards. However, I've rarely come across caged unit heaters in GTA warehouses (only ever for heavy process facilities), and it's a real can of worms to protect anything that a forklift can potentially touch.

The impact on our total portfolio of having to retro-fit even a portion of heaters with a cage or other protection would be extreme (there are somewhere in the region of 8-10,000 UH's in total). We are therefore more concerned with the ruling being enforced on a widespread basis, than the single building currently under question, and are in the process of trying to quantify the risk.

Does anyone have any experience of this particular issue? Are there other options available to us, other than caging the units? Any thoughts are appreciated.