Water heaters, while essential to our modern lifestyle, can pose some safety risks if they are improperly managed. One risk is that if the outside wall of the tank is too hot, it can ignite flammable vapors in the environment. While this isn’t a problem when everything is running smoothly, a gas leak or accidental spill could prove catastrophic if the water heater is not tested for the worst-case scenario.

In this safety test, the Alicat MFCs mix air and butane to create a 20 SCFM flow, with a nominal butane percentage of 6.2%. This mixture is directed towards the base of the water heater. If it ignites, this proves there is a safety risk, and the heater would need to be redesigned.

The test station is located outside, so an IP66 rating is also required. These will have downstream valves since they are for a gas mixing application. Because of the IP66 rating, they need DS in both the top-level part number and as an adder code.

The IP66 rating also only protects the device against water/dust ingress, not all weather. The end user will need to make sure this device is shaded from direct sunlight.

APPLICATION NOTES
Creating a gas mix of butane and air to test the flammability of a water heater. The mixture will flow around the base of a water heater to see if it ignites.

2x MFCs to create the butane/air-gas mix
— Airflow 20 SCFM, Butane flow 3 SCFM
— Inlet 20 PSIG, Outlet ATM
— IP66 rating, RS-485 comms, HC calibration

REPRESENTATIVE PART NUMBERS FOR THIS APPLICATION
— MCR-500SLPM-D-M12O-485-40X55-DS-IP66 / 5M, 5IN, GAS: Air, RANGE (20 SCFM), P1: 20 PSIG, P2: ATM, HC, DS
— MCR-100SLPM-D-M12O-485-DS-IP66 / 5M, 5IN, GAS: nC4H10, RANGE (3 SCFM), P1: 20 PSIG, P2: ATM, HC, DS

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