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Myth Busters: Explosion-Proof Vacuums

Posted on October 10, 2016

Nilfisk’s Myth Buster series continues here with understanding Explosion-Proof Vacuums. View the video here!


Myth: “Explosion-proof” is a buzzword that any manufacturer can use to describe its products.

Fact: Vacuum cleaners and other electrical equipment must meet specific requirements and go through a regulated testing process to be certified “explosion proof.”

This is one of the most misunderstood concepts in the vacuum cleaner industry.

There are a lot of myths, rumors and half-truths out there. So here is what you need to know about “explosion proof” vacuums.

To be certified as explosion proof, a vacuum must be tested by a one of OSHA’s Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory – or NRTL. The NRTL will confirm that the vacuum complies with the standards outlined in article 500 of the 2014 National Electrical Code.

NRTLs are the only organizations that can provide certification for electrical equipment used in classified locations in the United States.

In fact, OSHA states that in order to be truly considered certified, each vacuum must bear the specific approval mark of one of the NRTLs.

Make sure to look for and NRTL mark on any vacuum that claims to be explosion proof. You’ll find it right after the listing of approved environments for that vacuum.

What features make vacuums explosion proof and dust-ignition proof? In short, they are features that prevent them from creating sparks and arcs – whether they be electrical, percussion or static discharge arcs.

Sealed motors prevent electrical arcs.  Stainless steel construction prevents percussion arcs caused by metal-to-metal contact. And continuity through the tool, hose and other vacuum parts prevents static discharge arcs caused by high levels of static electricity build up.

Overall, the “explosion-proof” label carries a lot of meaning and should be taken very seriously. Just make sure you do your homework to verify the claim.

Get all the facts you need so that you can make the safe choice.

Visit www.Comdust-myths.com to download a complete Combustible Dust Mythbusting Guide.