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Old 17-09-2018, 17:23   #1
er9
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Question about removing Halon extinguisher.

I have Fireboy Automatic 1301 Halon fire extinguisher in my engine compartment. I'd like to remove it and have it tested/refilled. The last time it was done was in 1988. Its automatic but also has a manual pull wire leading back to the cockpit.

Removing it looks fairly simple but there are all kinds of warning tags that says to be careful and remove it according to procedure or accidental discharge may result in injury.

Problem is i cant find any documentation that specifically shows removal or installation with the manual pull wire.

I would say looking at it all i have to do is unscrew it and carefully take it off the bulkhead, disconnecting the manual pull wire before i do. If thats the case i cant figure out how to disconnect the manual pull cable. Usually i just start yanking on stuff, unscrewing this or that till i figure it out but dont want to accidentally discharge the sucker if its still operational.

Any advice how to disconnect the cable? The silver barrel part thats in the cockpit surrounding the outer cable is threaded on but the red pull lever would prevent unscrewing it it looks like. On the hydrant end the end of the cable goes through a black plastic tab that is connected to an arm that wraps around the little inspection hourglass. I have no idea how fragile that little hourglass is and if breaking it discharges the contents?
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Old 17-09-2018, 17:51   #2
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Re: Question about removing Halon extinguisher.

The little glass ampule contains a liquid that boils at a certain temperature causing it to break and releasing the Halon.

Looks like pulling the cable breaks the glass.

Iím not smart enough to try it myself. Iíd call a fire extinguisher service company. I think they can just weigh it to see if itís still fully charged.
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Old 17-09-2018, 17:58   #3
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Re: Question about removing Halon extinguisher.

Looks like a hitch pin holding the end of the cable cover in that black cap on the end of the cylinder.
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Old 17-09-2018, 18:20   #4
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Question about removing Halon extinguisher.

99% sure Hopcar is correct. There are two main types of Halon, 1211 and 1301.
1301 is a liquified compressed gas similar to CO2 in that regard. You weigh the cylinder to determine the level of agent in it.
1211 is a liquid and uses another gas as a propellant, it will have a pressure gauge on it.

Then there are the ones like I have that are a mix of both and supposedly have the best of both worlds, you still weigh them though.

Donít listen to people that will tell you they are illegal etc., at least not in the US. They are just like old types of Freon, you can still use it, you can even get them serviced etc., the gas is reclaimed and reused, and every year gets more and more expensive as there is less and less of it.
There is no good way to dispose of it, so surprisingly the Government has allowed it to stay in use, just all there is, is all there ever will be. Manufacture of it is not allowed.
It is about the best agent there is and is all that I know of that is approved by the FAA for use in aircraft fire extinguishing systems.

Of course if you ever go to use it, shut the engine down first or it will just go out the exhaust.
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Old 17-09-2018, 18:28   #5
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Re: Question about removing Halon extinguisher.

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
99% sure Hopcar is correct. There are two main types of Halon, 1211 and 1301.
1301 is a liquified compressed gas similar to CO2 in that regard. You weigh the cylinder to determine the level of agent in it.
1211 is a liquid and uses another gas as a propellant, it will have a pressure gauge on it.

Then there are the ones like I have that are a mix of both and supposedly have the best of both worlds, you still weigh them though.

Donít listen to people that will tell you they are illegal etc., at least not in the US. They are just like old types of Freon, you can still use it, you can even get them serviced etc., the gas is reclaimed and reused, and every year gets more and more expensive as there is less and less of it.
There is no good way to dispose of it, so surprisingly the Government has allowed it to stay in use, just all there is, is all there ever will be. Manufacture of it is not allowed.
It is about the best agent there is and is all that I know of that is approved by the FAA for use in aircraft fire extinguishing systems.

Of course if you ever go to use it, shut the engine down first or it will just go out the exhaust.
Interesting...good to know. if the weight checks out (if i can get it off myself) i will have them leave it alone. Not interested in spending $300 for a new system if i can avoid it.
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Old 17-09-2018, 18:29   #6
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Re: Question about removing Halon extinguisher.

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Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
Looks like a hitch pin holding the end of the cable cover in that black cap on the end of the cylinder.
i was wondering what that is for? would pulling the pin give me access to some way of disconnecting the cable?
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Old 17-09-2018, 19:04   #7
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Re: Question about removing Halon extinguisher.

I think you turn the end of the cable 90deg and it comes out of the slot in the arm. Remove the black plastic cover, put the safety pin in the safety hole. Cut the wires etc.
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Old 18-09-2018, 10:20   #8
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Re: Question about removing Halon extinguisher.

As an aside, just had a transmission replaced on one of my engines, so the Halon tank was removed for that, but no pull wire. Mechanic called me on sea trial and said the engine wouldn't start. True, not without the Halon being wired up.
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Old 18-09-2018, 10:52   #9
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Re: Question about removing Halon extinguisher.

For what interest it may be:

A couple years ago, a mechanic, lying prone and working in the confines of my limited-space engine compartment, kicked the head off the large halon cylinder. He made a terrified exit but couldn't get away quickly enough to avoid a severe "burn" on the calf of his leg. Took more than a month to heal. Cost me over $300 to replace the cylinder.
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Old 18-09-2018, 12:20   #10
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Re: Question about removing Halon extinguisher.

Around here, we call one of the local fire extinguisher service companies... they come to the boat, check the Halon system and all the other fire extinguishers... E Voila! Not expensive.

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Old 18-09-2018, 12:27   #11
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Re: Question about removing Halon extinguisher.

Be very sure you can get this serviced before starting. I made the mistake of taking ours to an extinguisher service place. They called it obsolete and destroyed it. I now have none. Replacement equivalent is wicked expensive.
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Old 18-09-2018, 13:37   #12
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Re: Question about removing Halon extinguisher.

Keep looking, there will be a way to disconnect that cable.

Beware that some extinguisher companies won't want to deal with Halon (it costs money to maintain the recycling and charging equipment) and they may give you a bs about needing to charge you to destroy it, or other games. There are a lot of reputable extinguisher companies but the industry is also plagued by games players, because so many folks will do anything to avoid "You know that's dangerous" when a man in a coverall and clipboard tells them so.

The cylinder may have weights stamped on it, for empty and full cylinder weight. And if it does, that makes it easy. You can weigh it on a postal scale, or pretty much any digital scale these days, to check it yourself. If it was properly sealed when it was made, it can last forever. If it was less perfect...it could easily be refill time, and from what I've seen, very few refilled extinguishers (of any type) hold up as well after the refill, fwiw.

A bright flashlight, patience, reading glasses...you'll find a way to disconnect that cable.
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Old 18-09-2018, 15:38   #13
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Re: Question about removing Halon extinguisher.

Only in the US, options are simply not available elsewhere!
Most of the world is aware of the extreme long-lasting damage to the ozone layer caused by Halon and have banned it except in aircraft. No argument that it is efficient, but.......
To protect the environment and save the planet, make certain there is a safe replacement plan that includes recovery of the gas.
We removed ours and handed them all in for recycling many years ago.
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Old 18-09-2018, 15:53   #14
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Re: Question about removing Halon extinguisher.

Roger the Halon you had recycled is still out there and will eventually be released into the atmosphere. The term recycling when applied to Halon just means they sold it to someone else.

This is a company that recycles Halon: We Buy Halon | Sell Your Halon 1301 | Halon Banking USA
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Old 18-09-2018, 16:06   #15
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Re: Question about removing Halon extinguisher.

You don't "turn in" a Halon ext, you sell it. If your morals won't let you keep it, you sell it back to the fire ext guy. He is not going to dump it, it's valuable stuff. I get why households don't need Halon but airplanes and boats do.
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