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Old 04-03-2014, 11:52   #1
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Fire Extinguisher guage shows Zero

I have a 1kg/2Lb extinguisher with a guage where the needle sits in the Green section. Its plumeted to Zero without an slow fall.

I wonder if its the guage? The weight still feels the same as a good one.

Obviously I just bought a new, larger one, but....

Should I keep it in case of emergency and it does work? Or are the guages good enough to tell me its stuffed?

I can not test it, can I?


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Old 04-03-2014, 11:59   #2
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Re: Fire Extinguisher guage shows Zero

does it shake. is it rusted...... if no then yes...pitch n buy new... if you are near fire department, they should be able to test it for you and recommend you buy new or recharge.
bring lots of cookies or donuts and say they from your nonexistent wife. they love sweeets. dont care what country you are in...lol
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:09   #3
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Re: Fire Extinguisher guage shows Zero

Throw it away.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:14   #4
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Re: Fire Extinguisher guage shows Zero

I'm going to assume that it is a dry chemical extinguisher. Sometimes the pressurizing gas leaks out of them. When that happens nothing will come out when you pull the trigger. If you test fire it, even just a quick squirt, the chemical will prevent the valve from sealing again and you'll lose pressure within a couple of days.

You can have them recharged but I don't think that's cost effective for an extinguisher that small. If it was me, I'd probably play with it then toss it.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:28   #5
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Re: Fire Extinguisher guage shows Zero

Either the spring in the guage has failed or the o-ring inside the extinguisher has leaked.

If this was an inexpensive extinguisher to start with, it isn't worth the cost (generally) to have them repaired.

If only the guage failed, the extinguisher still might be pressurized and would discharge if used.

If it were mine, I'd give it a try. You can see the distance the agent will be discharged and how long (or short, actually!) of time it will take to become empty.

Make sure you do it in an open space as the agent will definitely make a mess!
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Old 04-03-2014, 13:00   #6
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Re: Fire Extinguisher guage shows Zero

OK, thanks everyone

It looks like a play toy and then the bin.

Like any cruiser I hate seeing a dollar go up in smoke

BTW I agree with the refill not being viable. The new one is twice the size for only $25. No value in recharging an old one.

Thanks for the advice.


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Old 04-03-2014, 13:01   #7
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Re: Fire Extinguisher guage shows Zero

You cant test it. If you give it alittle squeeze and discharge a bit the valve will be contaminated with the powder and never reseal. Single use.
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Old 04-03-2014, 14:02   #8
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Re: Fire Extinguisher guage shows Zero

So, Mark, this is an opportunity for a learning experience: go light up a fire on the beach and practice using the extinguisher on it (if it works). If it does not work, cook something on the fire! Many of us yotties carry these little extinguishers around and have no real idea of their rather limited capabilities, so trying it out, if you have never done so, is revealing.

Cheers,

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Old 04-03-2014, 14:17   #9
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Re: Fire Extinguisher guage shows Zero

I like that suggestion!
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Old 04-03-2014, 14:22   #10
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Re: Fire Extinguisher guage shows Zero

I work in the fire safety industry, our company is mainly into coal mines and marine.
Everyone who has said the unit will not reseal is correct, only certain brands will reseal sometimes but not always.
A 1kg extinguisher is really not big enough, a 2.5kg should be the minimum to have any sensible discharge time.
We do not refill/recharge any dry powder (ABE) extinguishers any more as it is not cost effective.

Anyway Mark, everyone has contributed sensible comments, at the end of the day you wouldn't stake your life on an extinguisher that has a gauge reading zero.

I'd also recommend that everyone who can get an old extinguisher does so, to have a test fire of it. I often see people freak out if the extinguisher has some back kick or the noise gets them too. Don't breathe the powder though, but hey, you should have had the wind in the right direction. Also, if you get the powder in a cut or wound you'll know your alive.

Cheers.
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Old 04-03-2014, 14:43   #11
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Re: Fire Extinguisher guage shows Zero

One tip I was given by the bloke who comes to service our building fire extinguishers that people might find interesting. He told me to turn our powder extinguishers upside down every time we change the batteries in the smoke detectors, which we do every time we change to or from daylight savings time. So half the year the fire extinguisher sits upside down in the wall bracket, half the year right way up. The idea being that it stops the powder forming a solid lump at the bottom of the can.

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Old 04-03-2014, 15:04   #12
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Re: Fire Extinguisher guage shows Zero

Mark-
Typically the 2# extinguisher will cost $25-40 to recharge, if it is rechargeable. And then if the shop isn't perfect, it will leak again anyway.
As opposed to literally, $17-18 at WalMart for a brand new one with a 10-year warranty. Some of the white ones are sold as "Marine/Kitchen" extinguishers, because they are filled with non-corrosive bicarbonate instead of the nasty yellow powder.

So go figure. It irks me too, but I tossed the last one because a new one is cheaper than a recharge. Life's not fair. You can of course pour out the bicarbonate and use it to absorb odors, then use the empty extinguisher as a secret stash place. (G) Or double-check, if it had one of those 10-year warranties, call up and ask for a new one.
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Old 04-03-2014, 15:07   #13
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Re: Fire Extinguisher guage shows Zero

Valid advice Matt.
But storing one upside down on a moving vehicle could cause compaction of the powder in the head valve and possibly, just possibly choke it if dense enough.
As most extinguishers in a boat or vehicle will have a bracket it is 12 monthly service (level 2) practice to turn it upside down and a few sharp raps on the bottom and side to loosen the powder if it has compacted during travel. It matters less in a building but it's so easy to do anyway.

Thanks for pointing out the need to check and service them.
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Old 04-03-2014, 16:10   #14
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Re: Fire Extinguisher guage shows Zero

I've gotten into the habit of turning it over and giving it a tap when ever I pick up a dry chem extinguisher. If I ever have to use one in anger, I'm hoping the habit will kick in before I try to discharge it.

Most dry chem extinguishers are rated BC and are effective on burning liquid, not very good on burning wood or paper. I like to buy ones rated ABC so they have some effect on burning wood. A bucket of water would probably be more effective on burning wood but at least it's something.
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Old 04-03-2014, 17:01   #15
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Re: Fire Extinguisher guage shows Zero

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
So, Mark, this is an opportunity for a learning experience: go light up a fire on the beach and practice using the extinguisher on it

Jim
What about a test boat fire?

I wonder whose boat i could light up?

Thans for everyones thoughts and advice. I shall do a bit of turning and shaking of the other extinguishers tomorrow.


I wish Walmart had a superstore down here Lol



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