Antique Engines and Old Iron
[Home] - [HELP] - [Forums] - [Library] - [Photo Gallery] - [Groups] - [Classified Ads] - [Subscribe] - [Links] - [Books] - [Sponsors] -

Go Back   SmokStak > SmokStak® Shop Equipment Tools and Techniques > Machine Shop and Tool Talk
Forgot Password? Join Us!

Notices

Machine Shop and Tool Talk Shop Equipment, fabrication, repairs, how to fix it, which tool to use for the job. Machinist shop talk, straight to the point.

Machine Shop and Tool Talk

Dry chemical fire extinguishers EEK!


this thread has 28 replies and has been viewed 44117 times

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-21-2007, 09:33:21 PM
NewportNic NewportNic is offline
Registered-III
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Newport, Michigan
Posts: 164
Thanks: 107
Thanked 122 Times in 39 Posts
Default Dry chemical fire extinguishers EEK!

My employer is a member of the Construction Association of Michigan, and I received a safety alert that should be of interest to all of us Stakers.

A man was killed when the cartridge type dry chemical exploded. When the cartridge was activated the corroded bottom of the extinguisher failed, propelling the extinguisher upwards striking him in the neck and chin.

While we do not have inspectors looking around in our home shops, I hope we do have extinguishers and that they are in "GOOD WORKING CONDITION". Dry chemical extinguishers are great at putting out shop fires but over years the contents can become an unusable lump and as this incident demonstrates corrosion can be deadly.

Please check your extinguishers!
When was the last time they were serviced?

The place you get your Oxy-Acetylene can usually help you with the service that might be required
.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 11-21-2008, 04:38:36 PM
Craig A's Avatar
Craig A Craig A is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Posts: 15,193
Thanks: 15,821
Thanked 19,830 Times in 5,834 Posts
Images: 18
Arrow Re: Dry chemical extinguishers EEK!

I can't believe I never read this post before NOW but it honestly scared me.
Enough so that I renamed the thread and am posting so it gets some more attention.
I have never given a thought to that possiblity.
Those extinguishers are cheap enough that replacing them every now and then shouldn't break anyones' bank......
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Craig A For This Post:
  #3  
Old 11-21-2008, 08:40:47 PM
BobSaunders BobSaunders is offline
Registered-II
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: West Michigan, USA
Posts: 359
Thanks: 16
Thanked 299 Times in 120 Posts
Default Re: Dry chemical extinguishers EEK!

Over the years I have found them for sale in garage sales. I knew they could go bad. Often wonder why you would sell one that reads charged. I was told hitting the bottom with a rubber hammer does not help them or test them.

How do you dispose of old ones?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-21-2008, 09:03:18 PM
Jeff and Maria Smith's Avatar
Jeff and Maria Smith Jeff and Maria Smith is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Big Springs, West Virginia
Posts: 273
Thanks: 37
Thanked 703 Times in 117 Posts
Default Re: Dry chemical extinguishers EEK!

Hey all,
I can only speak for my area, but all the local volunteer fire departments around here check, service, refill, and recharge extinguishers. It may be worth checking into.
Jeff
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-21-2008, 10:02:39 PM
Motormowers's Avatar
Motormowers Motormowers is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Hamden , Connecticut, USA
Posts: 2,275
Thanks: 1,142
Thanked 1,049 Times in 559 Posts
Default Re: Dry chemical extinguishers EEK!

So even if your gage reads OK it could still be junk? How can you tell?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-22-2008, 01:18:54 AM
NewportNic NewportNic is offline
Registered-III
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Newport, Michigan
Posts: 164
Thanks: 107
Thanked 122 Times in 39 Posts
Default Re: Dry chemical fire extinguishers EEK!

Quote:
So even if your gage reads OK it could still be junk? How can you tell?
With dry chemicals you can't! They must be emptied and recharged.

and then their is the one inside your hot truck...
this was inside a Forest Service Truck back in 2003 they don't know why it failed.
http://www.nmsu.edu/safety/news/news...losion2003.htm
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Fire Ext Explosion.jpg
Views:	1091
Size:	30.5 KB
ID:	43722  
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-21-2008, 08:21:04 PM
Beanscoot Beanscoot is offline
Registered-II
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Victoria, BC Canada
Posts: 327
Thanks: 22
Thanked 103 Times in 65 Posts
Default Darn 'stinguishers

I had a small kitchen fire years ago and had two dry chemical extinguishers. So I deployed the first one, which went pfff and a tiny trickle of powder came out, then it expired. So I quickly grabbed the other one which did the same thing. Negligible pressure in both.

Both of these had gauges that indicated they were charged.

I was also thinking recently about uses for old units, I have one that has a very nice looking aluminum formed vessel of about half a gallon capacity. Maybe a gas tank?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-21-2008, 08:39:17 PM
pegasuspinto pegasuspinto is offline
Registered-III
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Floyd, AR, USA
Posts: 2,687
Thanks: 332
Thanked 1,264 Times in 827 Posts
Default Re: Dry chemical fire extinguishers EEK!

Fire extinguishers should be inspected, and hydrostated, just like any pressure vessel. In case anyone does not know, the type of extinguisher that failed has a seperate CO2 cartridge that gets pierced to charge the extinguisher, I know in this area the railroad and some industrial users use them, they are probably a lot better for mobile use and in places where they temperature varies a lot, but they are not exempt from inspections-tho if they are in a truck or a remote spot, they often still get forgotten. As for the one in the kitchen and in your shop, they are worth the extra expense to get a real commercal type unit. The typical yearly inspection is just a visual exam to make sure they are still in pressure and not leaking, and they get a teardown, inspection, new valve, hydro, and recharge I think it was every 6 years?

Robert
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to pegasuspinto For This Post:
  #9  
Old 12-22-2008, 10:31:06 AM
KeithW's Avatar
KeithW KeithW is offline
Registered-III
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: North Las Vegas, Nevada USA
Posts: 1,098
Thanks: 16
Thanked 218 Times in 157 Posts
Default Re: Dry chemical fire extinguishers EEK!

I may not be correct but thought that there are two types of dry chemical extinguishers. One holds pressure in the vessel with the chemicals all the time. When you open the valve the pressure and chemical are released. The other holds the chemicals in an unpressurized vessel and has a small cartrige that holds high pressure. When you open the valve the small cartrige pressurizes the large container forcing the chemicals out. The small home units tend to be the first type and the large commercial ones the second. Once again I may be wrong and hopefully someone who knows better will set me straight.

keithw
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-23-2008, 05:09:42 PM
spfx_dude spfx_dude is offline
Registered-III
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 399
Thanks: 139
Thanked 196 Times in 77 Posts
Default Re: Dry chemical fire extinguishers EEK!

In my area you only really see the presurized dry chem. Fire extinguishers need yearly checking to be up to NFPA codes this is why the tags are so important. Additionally, if the safety seal is broken you must always consider the extinguisher spent! I tend to travel to engine shows with CO2 and Dry chem because you can put out an engine fire with CO2 and not have all the mess. One just has to be wary of the wind speed and direction. The dry chem is for backup. Yes, every number of years they need to be dumped down, and hydrostatically tested like any other pressure vessle. You also want to treat all extinguishers with care; we wouldnt handle our nitrogen or welding bottles the way some people handle extinguishers, yet some are under the same pressures! I also use pressurized water in my work, but we dump them so regularly that we do our own refils and always carry a certified back up. I sent a number of them in for testing once and the company destroyed them all because there were slight dents in the base... grrrr. I had to point out to them that these were our day to day use ones and not for general certification.

My two cents
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to spfx_dude For This Post:
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

F o r u m Jump

Similar Threads Chosen at Random
Thread Thread Starter F o r u m Replies Last Post
IHC M won't fire Dale Freidline Antique Gas Engine Discussion 16 10-25-2008 10:04:40 AM
Fire Extinguishers on Steam Engines James Maxwell Steam Stationary Engines, Traction Engines, Steam Boats 3 07-06-2008 10:34:09 PM
Mega fire or Nova to fire Wico?? stugguls Magnetos, Ignition Coils and Spark Plugs 3 02-25-2008 10:25:59 PM
No fire on a 4.0bf-3cr biggerred Onan Generators 10 01-05-2008 09:34:37 PM
fire extinguishers Chan Mason Antique Engine Archives 9 05-22-2003 09:35:57 PM


Use "Ctrl" mouse wheel to change screen size.
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:13:57 PM.

Smokstak and Enginads site search!


All use is subject to our TERMS OF SERVICE
SMOKSTAK® is a Registered Trade Mark - A Community of Antique Engine Enthusiasts
Copyright © 2000 - 2016 by Harry Matthews P.O. Box 5612 - Sarasota, FL 34277