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Fire Extinguishers

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by ntsqd, Nov 7, 2004.

  1. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

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    Learned something I thot I ought to share. The dry powder types will compact the powder into the bottom of the cannister during off road use. I was told that I should knock the powder loose at least once a year, possibly more often. Sure enough, the one Patch was SOLID. The powder won't come out when I need it to if it's clumped up solid.

    It took a lot of work to get the powder knocked loose w/o beating up the cannister. Last thing I want is for the cannister to fail b/c of a ding I put in it. I think I now understand why extinguisher's in commercial and industrial places need to be recharged once a year. It isn't b/c the CO2 leaks out. It's b/c the powder compacts into the bottom while just sitting there.

    I think mounting them nozzle down might help this situation. Then the powder would settle to the 'top' and turning it right side up will make it easier to knock loose. The better and easier solution is to buy a refillable and have it recharged at least once a year.

    I'm looking fwd to the Fire Fighting pro's comments on this topic. Hope to learn some more.
     
  2. GMCLegacy

    GMCLegacy 1/2 ton status

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    it was on the maintenaces 6 month list to maintian the extinguishers. they would take them off the wall, and turn them upside a few times to keep them from clumping up at the bottom. made for an easy afternoon for them
     
  3. hawglet

    hawglet 1/2 ton status

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    Actually the biggest reason for it settling to the bottom and clumping up is because of being "jarred" around and the vibration. Even when mounted on a wall in a building close to tracks this will happen. It's usually not that big of an issue as long as you aren't close to anything that causes much jarring or vibes but in a vehicle the vibes are totally unavoidable. All you need to do is once every month or so tip it upside down a few times. Mounting it upside down would only slightly help as it will still form a compacted solid and plug the canister making it dangerous when used, just remember it fip it a few times, like say when you get gas. Too much isn't going to hurt. This helps me anyway as I have to get gas at least once every week. When youo flip it you can put your ear to it(while flipping and it should sound like sand falling rather than gravel/rocks/etc. but always should hear something. Hope that helps!!!
     
  4. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

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    Figured it would still clump, but that then I could bash the bottom, instead of the valve, against the work bench. /forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif As it was I had to find another way and it wasn't too successful.
     
  5. txfiremank5

    txfiremank5 1/2 ton status

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    This is a common concern with dry chemical extinguishers. I would not worry about mounting it upside down. Like you mentioned, just take it out of the mount every so often and give it a few smacks with a RUBBER MALLET. That way you can jar the powder loose, without worry about denting the cylinder.

    About the idea of storing it upside down.. I'm reminded of the old soda extenguishers that had the hose mounted at the bottom. They would clog, and when the gas was discharged, and found the hose clogged, they would explode... I don't think you would have this probelm with a dry chem, but I would be concerned at least with the powder getting into the hose, getting moist, and clogging, and being just as unuseful. Just turn it upside down when your hitting it with the mallet, hit it on the bottom, and maybe a shot or 2 on the sides, and call it good.

    Ext. are supposed to be serviced every year at a minimum. I I'm not sure about the cost though. Maybe around 30.00 depending on the size. Hope this helps.
     
  6. divorced

    divorced 3/4 ton status

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    This is a good post and an often overlooked safety item. I have recently installed a fire extinguisher in all of my trucks, the $10 at wal-mart is cheap insurance to protect all of the un-insured time and money that I have stuck into my truck. I had no idea about the clumpimg though, thanks for the valuable information. /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     
  7. firefighter184

    firefighter184 1/2 ton status

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    Because I am a paranoid fire man with an underinsured rig, I carry a 10lb dry chem (which I knock around every time I clean out my rig - every month or so)AND a 2 1/2 gallon AFFF extinguisher. I've watched too many people lose their cars just because they didn't have anyway to put out that minor electrical fire or a small fuel line fire. Make sure whatever you buy is a USCG/DOT approved item...
     
  8. spearchucker

    spearchucker 1/2 ton status

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    Or you could carry around a can of Coldfire. Has anyone used this?
     
  9. firefighter184

    firefighter184 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Or you could carry around a can of Coldfire. Has anyone used this?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Sounds like Class A foam to me. Ask any fireman in the US what they think about civilians trying to put out their own fire. Two things typically happen:

    1) They try to fight the fire first, then call 911. During their efforts to put it out themselves, the fire grows and grows, until they have to call us and by the time we arrive, it's a big job

    2) They try to fight the fire themselves and become victims. At this point, the fire grows, and when we finally get there, not only do we have a worker, but with a victim inside, we take alot more risks. Lot of possibility for a dead civilian and an increased chance for injured or dead firemen.

    That said, this stuff sounds pretty cool for your rig, but save yourself some money and do the following:

    Buy a 2.5 gallon pressurized water extinguisher $60.00
    Mix 3% Dawn dishsoap to water and put in in extinguisher
    fill with your compressor

    Now you have a foam fire extinguisher /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     
  10. spearchucker

    spearchucker 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Buy a 2.5 gallon pressurized water extinguisher $60.00
    Mix 3% Dawn dishsoap to water and put in in extinguisher
    fill with your compressor

    Now you have a foam fire extinguisher

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Would that be rated as a class A extinguisher?
     
  11. firefighter184

    firefighter184 1/2 ton status

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    Yup. Long before fire departments were able to buy purpose-built foam and foam systems, my dad and his buddys were dumping Dawn into the tank on the truck. Not real effective way to mix the stuff just right, but it worked. Works on some Class B fires too, but you probably need to mix it a little thicker with more soap, probably 6%.
     

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