Flammable Liquid Transfer Guidelines

Step 1 - What is the liquid you plan to transfer?

Determine the flashpoint of the liquid:

Flashpoint/Boiling point CFC classification GHS classification Examples
<73°F(23°C)/<100°F(38°C) Flammable liquid, Class IA Flammable liquid, Category 1 Ether, pentane
<73°F(23°C)/>100°F(38°C) Flammable liquid, Class IB Flammable liquid, Category 2 Acetone, ethanol, isopropanol, gasoline, methanol, toluene
73°F(23°C) - 100°F(38°C) Flammable liquid, Class IC Flammable liquid, Category 3 1-pentanol, xylene
100°F(38°C) - 140°F(60°C) Combustible liquid, Class II Flammable liquid, Category 3 Diesel fuel, acetic acid
140°F(60°C) - 200°F(93°C) Combustible liquid, Class IIIA Flammable liquid, Category 4 DMSO, formalin
>200°F(93°C) Combustible liquid, Class IIIB Not regarded as flammable Glycerol, ethylene glycol
CFC-California Fire Code; GHS-Globally Harmonized System (per OSHA)
 

If the liquid you plan to transfer is in red boxes (flashpoint lower than 100°F), then proceed to Step 2

If in orange boxes (flashpoint greater than 100°F) AND you are not heating the material above its flashpoint during the transfer, you may safely transfer combustible liquids without grounding and bonding.                                                                   

Step 2 - What is the source container size?

Size

Maximum Volume Example
Small

≤ 1 gallon (4 L)

4 liter amber bottle

4-liter amber bottle

Medium

More than 1 gallon but less than 20 gallons
(> 4 but < 75 L)

5 gallon safety can 

5-gallon safety can

5 gallon drum

5-gallon drum

Large 20 - 55 gallons (75 - 208 L)

55 gallon drum

55-gallon drum

If you plan to transfer flammable liquids from a 1 gallon (4 L) container or anything smaller, you may safely proceed with transfers without grounding and bonding. Ideally, this should be performed in a chemical fume hood and the user must wear appropriate PPE.

When do I need to set up grounding and bonding?

If you plan to transfer flammable liquids from a medium-sized container that is larger than 1 gallon (4 L) and smaller than 20 gallons (75 L), GROUNDING AND BONDING are REQUIRED. This must be performed in a well-ventilated area, such as a chemical fume hood, and the user must wear appropriate PPE.  Contact EH&S for assistance with the initial setup.

If you plan to transfer flammable liquids from a large container that is 20 - 55 gallons (75 - 208 L), GROUNDING AND BONDING are REQUIRED. This must be performed outdoors or in a flammable liquids storage room, and the user must wear appropriate PPE. Contact EH&S for assistance with the initial setup.