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Dry chemical fire extinguishers EEK!


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As per OSHA reg 29 CFR 1910.157 subpart L sept 12 1980 all employers are required to remove that type by jan 1982. ie carbon tetrachloride and chlorobromomethane, soda - acid , and any other inverting type.


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Another bit of on the extinguishers is any stored pressure Dry chemical extinguishers that were made October 1984 and older are to be removed from service, per NFPA 10, Also any extinguishers larger than a 2.5 lb with a nozzel should be removed form service. And yes i am a fire extinguisher inspector here in michigan.


CO2 will put it out but the chance of a flareup/reignition is more than a possibility. If you use all your CO2 and it starts again, your screwed. Especially on the water. You need the dry chemical also.


I picked up a 5 LB CO2 unit from a hamfest and had the local fire and safety supply shop rebuild it -- cost $60 total rather than $200+ for a brand-new one, just make sure the shell is in good condition (valve gets rebuilt anyway). As mentioned, clean agent is nice, but without something to blanket the material, you can re-ignite once oxygen returns, so keep a dry chem as well.

Even with in-date dry chem fire extinguishers that read "good," you can't be sure until you pull the trigger. Had a small engine compartment fire while I was working on a dump truck, the extinguisher in the truck failed, as did the extinguisher from the truck next to me. Smothered it with sand finally, but it could've been a bad situation. Both were inspected, in date and showed charge on the dial.

Andrew Mackey

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'Packing' at it's best! driving around with a dry chem will do that unless you invert and shake it. The more you drive, the more often you need to shake it up! My son bought 2 nice looking aluminum dry chems at a car show. They were still in date, but I decided to have them tested any way. The shop called and said both were shot. They found severe corrosion on the bottles around the stainless steel valve mount, and chem was packed solid inside. Both gauges bad too. Got 2 bucks for aluminum scrap!

Soda Acid extinguishers no longer legal here either. You still se them though. I found a brass one at a show recently, bought it and polished it for display at our fire house rec room. It looked factory fresh, and included the wall mount On a goof, I decide to see if it was still charged. It was! Made a mess out of my garage floor, and I had to re-polish the brass! It now resides in a display case along with other old fire fighting stuff.

Anyone run across the old carbon tet filled balls, used in basements many years ago? went to a basement fire about 4 years ago (faulty water heater installation0, and found 3 of them still hanging! 3 had already blown and put out most of the dry stuff, leaking gas fire was our problem. When I spotted the globes, all who went into the basement had to undergo decon when we exited. What a RPA! The home owner gave me the still intact ones - red glass with clear liquid in them about 4" in diameter, when I went back to the scene with the fire inspector. Cool looking, but DON'T drop them!


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CO2 and the older Halon types are advantageous over dry-chems for use on electronics fires because they make less of a mess.

The tradeoff of course is they are only effective on smaller fires, while the latter type contains a toxic gas and is no longer sold for service even though you can usually obtain used ones that are still good.

For general fire protection though, the type ABC dry-chem is your most reliable option. Absolutely make sure it has been properly serviced by either a local fire department or a fire protection specialist company.

The gauges will sometimes stick in place like any other pressure gauge might do, and if you get in a situation where you actually need the thing you don't want to find out the hard way that you've had a leak go unnoticed.

Also take care not to set them off inside a vehicle.

I had a minor incident a few years ago where there was one in the back seat of a pickup truck, and I stepped on it while climbing in and set it off. It took weeks to get all of the powder out of that truck, not to mention the mad dash to get everyone else out of the truck before the dust from it going off got too thick to breathe.

len k

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Little heavy but Coke-cola 20 pound CO2 tank should make a nice extinguisher if you can lift them.
Got 3 when a tenant left, also a K-1. Local guy was selling 20# CO2 tanks $5 each, swap refill at Airgas ~ $25.

slip knot

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The wife and I have rental properties and we change out the fire extinguisher with every new tenant.

Every time my nephew comes to the states we go shooting. the last time I had a couple of extinguishers in the truck. :O its easy to tell which ones were still charged.:D