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Auto repair pit

Tachi's picture

I would like to build in one of those holes in the floor of a large garage that would allow me to walk under the car for repairs.  Can anyone point me to a source for appropriate sizes for such a structure?   What do you call them?  Oil pits?  Can't seem to find the right keyword for a Google search. 


Thanks!


Tachi


tachi


Family in Tucson, business in the Far East, and heart in the Colorado mountains! 

tachi

Family in Tucson, business in the Far East, and heart in the Colorado mountains! 

(post #71022, reply #1 of 25)

In the event you're concerned, many areas (mine for one) now have banned them.

(post #71022, reply #2 of 25)

Oh, really?  Now that is a response I wasn't expecting.  Do you know why?  Was there some safety issue?  I could certainly see why there might be one, but, hell, just about anything can be a safety issue if you work at it hard enough!  (GRIN)


Tachi


tachi


Family in Tucson, business in the Far East, and heart in the Colorado mountains! 

tachi

Family in Tucson, business in the Far East, and heart in the Colorado mountains! 

(post #71022, reply #3 of 25)

One safety issue is the possibility of gas fumes building up in them (gas fumes are heavier than air.)

OTOH, they are allowed in my area - one of the new quick oil change places uses them.

I'd be really reluctant to use one, myself.



Fighting Ignorance since 1967

It's taking way longer than we thought

======================================== "Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary." Reinhold Niebuhr: 'The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness' http://rjw-progressive.blogspot.com/ ========================================

(post #71022, reply #4 of 25)

I would think you could install one of the newer lifts for less than the cost of the pit (assuming you have the headroom)

(post #71022, reply #5 of 25)

You can find information for Vehicle Service Pits.

http://www.eric.sa.gov.au/show_page.jsp?id=2314

Beat it to fit / Paint it to match

Beat it to fit / Paint it to match

(post #71022, reply #6 of 25)

Years ago almost all repair shops had them. They were called "grease pit". A friend of mine build one when he built his garage. It worked great! As far as safety, I could see someone falling into the thing if you did not put a cover on it.

(post #71022, reply #7 of 25)

Seems like it would be handy once in awhile. But talk to both your insurance agent and the building inspector before you get started.


Hazardous Fumes collecting in the pit is the problem. They can be removed via ventilation, but it could be cost prohibitive to install the correct system.

(post #71022, reply #8 of 25)

Another problem is oil drainage. The PTB somewhat rightfully assume that if you have a grease pit you'll have oil, and they don't want that in the sewers or seeping into the ground, so there may be stringent restrictions on the design, even if it's, in general, allowed.


If ignorance is bliss why aren't more people
happy?


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #71022, reply #9 of 25)

Tachi : i have one in my garage ,


I bought a septic tank without the top and installed it at the time  i was building the garage


for a cover i used 2" rough hemlock planks flush with the floor


as for the divider i cut it  out with a masonary saw


I also have a light and a plug down there


I have also heard that some places do not allow them to be installed any more but i think thats commercial  as the local authorities  couldent give me a straight answer  without a building permit request

(post #71022, reply #17 of 25)

I have received an amazing number of replies on this subject.  I think I have been convinced to get a lift, instead!  Would not want to risk the hazards, and it is not for commercial use, either, like yours.  I am told that a lift is pretty cheap nowadays, so will research that approach, instead. 


Tachi


tachi


Family in Tucson, business in the Far East, and heart in the Colorado mountains! 

tachi

Family in Tucson, business in the Far East, and heart in the Colorado mountains! 

(post #71022, reply #18 of 25)

Take a look at http://www.garagejunkies.net/ .  There are a million discussions over there on hoists - what kind is best, what brand, where to buy and so forth.

(post #71022, reply #19 of 25)

I been looking for a lift too, thanks for the link

.

BOB thinks I,m an idiot

(post #71022, reply #20 of 25)

I just bought a used Mohawk 2-post lift rated at 7,000lbs. Paid $1500 for it. The auction I attended also had an Eagle 2 post lift rated at 9000 lbs which went for $1700. The Mowhawk was older but made of heavier steel. Doing a search on "two post lift" will get a bunch of possibilities including some new units starting around $1500. There are also a number of four post llfts, but from what I can infer, these seem to be aimed more for use for storing cars than for working on them. Some of the automobile magazines have a nuber of ads for various lifts, including Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Motor News.

http://www.mohawklifts.com/consumer/2post.php
http://eagleequip.com/page/EE/CTGY/LI-ETP?WT.srch=1
Have never seen these lifts:
http://www.pacetools.com/alllifts.php?k_id=14034
https://www.gregsmithequipment.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=33


Edited 3/21/2006 12:18 am ET by CaseyR

(post #71022, reply #23 of 25)

Great information!  Thanks!  They are very reasonably priced.  Easily puts the grease pit idea in the trash!  Appreciate it, Casey.


Tachi


tachi


Family in Tucson, business in the Far East, and heart in the Colorado mountains! 

tachi

Family in Tucson, business in the Far East, and heart in the Colorado mountains! 

(post #71022, reply #10 of 25)

Unventilated garage pits in commercial applications are classified as hazardous areas by the National Electric Code.  This means special (and expensive) wiring requirements.  If they are continously ventilated, in some applications like rapid oil change stores, the pits are unrated.  This stuff is covered in articles 511 and 514 of the NEC.  As far as I can tell the NEC doesn't specifically say anything about pits in residential garages, but I think the concerns are the same - a pit is a good place to collect dripping oil or gasoline, as well as gasoline fumes, so there is the potential for fire or explosions.  I'd be particularly worried about it if we're talking about an attached garage...it's one thing if you blow yourself up in the back yard, but it's even worse if you take out the house and the rest of the family at the same time.


Other concerns are exhaust fumes collecting in the pit, it can be a falling hazard if the covers break or aren't put back in place when the pit is not in use, plus all the road crud that falls off the bottom of the car will eventually end up down there.  I agree with a previous poster that a lift is probably a better way to go.


Edited 3/20/2006 1:27 pm ET by Stuart

(post #71022, reply #12 of 25)

Also meets the requirements for a confined space, me thinks.


Pretty much anything you can't walk in and out of, and is not designed for continouse use falls into that catagory.


He may not have the height required for a lift, or his design may prohibit their use.


Maybe a better question to the OP may be to ask what kind of work he plans on doing?


 


Dave

(post #71022, reply #11 of 25)

In many areas you cannot get a permit (or insurance) for it if it's for your home.  Check with them first.


Basically, neither the municipality nor your insurance company wants anything on your property that smacks of a commercial operation. For the obvious reasons.


DG/Builder

(post #71022, reply #13 of 25)

I have a pit in my garage.  It is very handy.  I walk out of the basement and into the pit. 


But...If I were to build another home, I would install one of the new heavy duty car lifts.  They are so cheap now that you can easily afford them and they are actually much more practical than a pit.


You can park where the lift is so you don't end up wasting a lot of garage floor space.

(post #71022, reply #16 of 25)

I think I have been convinced!  Can you recommend a brand, or a source?  I know it may vary depending upon the part of the country.  It will be for a new house, so if there is a source of construction info, that would be even better!  I can plan it into the design. 


Thanks, Bojangles.


Tachi


tachi


Family in Tucson, business in the Far East, and heart in the Colorado mountains! 

tachi

Family in Tucson, business in the Far East, and heart in the Colorado mountains! 

(post #71022, reply #21 of 25)

There are at least a dozen big sellers.  Eagle, Mohawk, Autolifters, etc.....If I were you, I would go visit a few places that have them.  Walmart, K-Mart, tire places, vo-tech centers, auto & truck repair centers....look at the hoists and send for the literature.


Every one of these companies makes several models.  Compare features carefully.  There is always a reason why one costs more than another. Read carefully!


Pay attention to the actual size, type of lift (arms or ramps), whether it has a bar going over the top that may interfere with a high vehicle etc.


Make sure you put large footings with cast in place bolts in the floor for the lift.  This is a good reason to choose a lift before building.  You can also do the wiring under the floor at this time.


Look at your likely use of the lift before you choose the type.  That is one of the major concerns.  Keep in mind that you can park under a ramp lift, so you can also store an extra vehicle in the space.

(post #71022, reply #24 of 25)

Thanks, Bojangles.  I also know someone who uses a couple of different kinds of 2 post lifts.  I had forgotten he had them.  I will seek his input as well. 


Tachi


tachi


Family in Tucson, business in the Far East, and heart in the Colorado mountains! 

tachi

Family in Tucson, business in the Far East, and heart in the Colorado mountains! 

(post #71022, reply #14 of 25)

Guard rails, taperd floors, and ventalation all make them definable as confined space so unless you want to shell out the $ for the training and have 2 other people with you every time you go down there ,ITS NOT WORTH IT.

(post #71022, reply #15 of 25)

I am frankly amazed at the number of replies on this narrow subject!  But that is why I like this forum.  I had not thought about the fumes, but that does make a lot of sense.  This was going to be a personal garage thing, and not for commercial use, but after all this feedback, I think I will dump the idea.


Thanks to everyone for responding!


Tachi


tachi


Family in Tucson, business in the Far East, and heart in the Colorado mountains! 

tachi

Family in Tucson, business in the Far East, and heart in the Colorado mountains! 

(post #71022, reply #22 of 25)

You shouldn't be amazed at the number of replies. A lot of guys like to work on their vehicles if they only had a more convenient way of getting underneath it. :) I, too, ran this through the thought processes, and aside from it not being an allowable activity the resulting 'other' solution (which someone else already mentioned) of installing a lift seems better suited provided you have an appropriate garage.


While I do not have an 'appropriate' garage for installing an automobile lift due to the lack of ceiling height, my neighbor down the street has 12' ceilings in his garage due to the basic design of his home (wasn't a homeowner requested feature). He could easily install a bolt-down two-pole hydraulic lift system to raise a vehicle to a comfortable level with the exception of the garage doors needing to be adjusted for clearance.

(post #71022, reply #25 of 25)

I am in the enviable position of being able to create the garage to fit the needs.  And I have the space for it.  Garage space is cheap, relative to a house.  So, I am taking big advantage of that fact.   I have received an education from all of these messages.  Love this forum.


Tachi


tachi


Family in Tucson, business in the Far East, and heart in the Colorado mountains! 

tachi

Family in Tucson, business in the Far East, and heart in the Colorado mountains!