Parts Washers

Parts washers are standard equipment in automotive, farm, and other mechanical repair facilities.

These machines use solvents or water-based solutions to clean parts and other mechanical components. Even though safe solvents have replaced most highly flammable solvents, some are still dangerous and pose a fire hazard and care must be taken when using these machines.

Manufactured parts washers are equipped with a number of safety features to reduce the risk of fire. These include a self-closing hinged lid that is held open by a fusible link that melts at a specific temperature. Should a fire develop, the fusible link will melt and the lid will automatically close to confine and smother the fire.

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If you operate a parts washer that uses solvents in your business, the following tips will help to reduce the risk of fire:

  • Use only commercially produced, purpose-built parts washers listed by a recognized testing laboratory such as UL/ULC, FM or CSA having covers equipped with automatic devices such as a fusible link or other heat sensitive device.
  • Inspect the fusible link frequently to ensure it is in good condition.
  • Inspect the self-closing lid to ensure it is functioning properly.
  • Use only high-flash point solvents in line with the manufacturer’s instructions for the listed equipment.
  • Parts should not be stacked too high to prevent the lid from closing.
  • When not in use, the lid should be closed.
  • All parts washing operations should be performed away from hot work areas to prevent sparks from entering the unit.

The best preventative measure however is to use a water-based parts washing system. They provide a fire-safe alternative for many applications and reduce the hazards of volatile organic compounds to workers and the environment.