Oil Storage and Machinery Rooms

October 3rd, 2017 | , ,


Every closed-circuit ammonia refrigeration system utilizes oil for compressor lubrication. Facilities typically maintain new oil onsite in 55-gallon drums. We have observed that it is common practice for many facilities to store reserve oil inside the machinery room. ANSI/IIAR 2-2014 §6.4 addresses the storage of combustible materials inside the machinery room. This section requires that:

Combustible materials shall not be stored in machinery rooms outside of approved fire-rated storage containers.
EXCEPTION: This provision shall not apply to spare parts, tools, and incidental materials necessary for the operation and maintenance of the refrigeration system.

We recently requested clarification from IIAR whether refrigerant oil could be treated as an “incidental material” and therefore exempt from the storage restriction. The following is our question and the response received from IIAR:


Use this information to audit your facility’s oil storage practices. Make sure that oil is located outside the machinery room or within a  fire-rated cabinet if inside a machinery room.

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