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Old 14-03-2012, 19:10   #31
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Re: diesel engine fires

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
I've also seen boats with a small port in the engine room door or bulkhead to insert a fire extinguisher nozzle. Seems like a reasonable solution to me.
I have this system in addition to an automatic engine room extinguisher. The extinguisher is alarmed and will shut down the engine automatically unless I override it. The override switch and alarm are both in the cockpit next to the ignition switch.
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Old 14-03-2012, 19:27   #32
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Re: diesel engine fires

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I'm with you on that. Auto systems are great if no one is around. But I would be on the pull pin at the first sign of a fire. It's one of the reasons I reworked my vessels motor compartment to be totally inclosed with the Halon bottle plumbed in and sitting right next to the battery switch.
Not real sure I'd want the battery switch on my boat in the totally enclosed engine compartment for several very good reasons.
Also have to call you on your comment about the Navy using only water and CO2 during the seventies. I was in charge of damage control on a large Naval vessel in the early seventies. The Navy used water, CO2, dry chemical and foam at that time.
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Old 14-03-2012, 19:40   #33
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Re: diesel engine fires

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Originally Posted by vintageray View Post
Not real sure I'd want the battery switch on my boat in the totally enclosed engine compartment for several very good reasons.
Also have to call you on your comment about the Navy using only water and CO2 during the seventies. I was in charge of damage control on a large Naval vessel in the early seventies. The Navy used water, CO2, dry chemical and foam at that time.
You have miss read> I did not say my battery switch was in the motor compartment.

As for the Navy> I was an HT/DC & MR myself, Foam is water and animal blood mixed. And dry chems were only in small office spaces. Not really effective for fuel fires, ammo or plane crashes. And the engine room had auto sprinklers (salt water) and 3" fire hoses with fogging nozzles.
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Old 14-03-2012, 19:49   #34
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Re: Diesel Engine Fires

del-
"Foam is water and animal blood mixed." Foam has come a long way since then. There are many kinds and proteins extracted from animals are not used in many of them. You can get vegan firefighting foam these days.<G>
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Old 14-03-2012, 19:53   #35
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Re: diesel engine fires

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Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
You have miss read> I did not say my battery switch was in the motor compartment.

As for the Navy> I was an HT/DC & MR myself, Foam is water and animal blood mixed. And dry chems were only in small office spaces. Not really effective for fuel fires, ammo or plane crashes. And the engine room had auto sprinklers (salt water) and 3" fire hoses with fogging nozzles.
Glad I misread. Engine compartment no place for battery switch. Most portable fire extinguishers on submarines were dry chemical (purple K) at that time.
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Old 14-03-2012, 19:54   #36
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Re: Diesel Engine Fires

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
these days.<G>
Key words, but not in the 60's/70's.
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Old 14-03-2012, 19:58   #37
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Re: Diesel Engine Fires

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Key words, but not in the 60's/70's.
Yep, it was animal blood in the seventies.
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Old 14-03-2012, 19:59   #38
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Re: diesel engine fires

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Originally Posted by vintageray View Post
Glad I misread. Engine compartment no place for battery switch. Most portable fire extinguishers on submarines were dry chemical (purple K) at that time.
Yeah! I wouldn't want to use a fire hose or CO2 in a sub.
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Old 14-03-2012, 20:02   #39
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Re: Diesel Engine Fires

I was aboard for only one engine room fire.

Twin diesel crew boat, and one of the intake shutoff plates failed such that it was choking the motor for about 1/2 of its air supply.

Fuel wasnt able to fully combust in the chamber due to the lack of oxygen, and was passing into the exhaust.

The exhaust system overheated enough, (glowing red) to ignite various other combustibles in the engine room by radiation.

There was no installed suppressions system, and the everlasting image of my fellow crewman popping his head out of the hatch with a discharged hand held extinguisher, asking me, "do we have any more of these???" will stay with me for ever.....
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Old 14-03-2012, 20:13   #40
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Re: Diesel Engine Fires

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I was aboard for only one engine room fire.

Twin diesel crew boat, and one of the intake shutoff plates failed such that it was choking the motor for about 1/2 of its air supply.

Fuel wasnt able to fully combust in the chamber due to the lack of oxygen, and was passing into the exhaust.

The exhaust system overheated enough, (glowing red) to ignite various other combustibles in the engine room by radiation.

There was no installed suppressions system, and the everlasting image of my fellow crewman popping his head out of the hatch with a discharged hand held extinguisher, asking me, "do we have any more of these???" will stay with me for ever.....
I was faced with a bad one too once. Turbo charger exploded at high rpm and seven gallons of lube oil sprayed out and ignited everything in the engine compartment. Two small handhelds were just enough to piss me off and thankfully someone came with a big dry chemical extinguisher and I put it out with that. I'll always have multiple dry chemical extinguishers on board. They work.
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Old 14-03-2012, 20:20   #41
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Re: Diesel Engine Fires

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Originally Posted by vintageray View Post
They work.
Yes they do! Especially that expensive Purple K. But cleaning that stuff up is a bitch.

If I can't get it out with a fire blanket or a small CO2 then the mess it going to be a lot more then just powder.
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Old 15-03-2012, 05:09   #42
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Re: Diesel Engine Fires

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
del-
"Foam is water and animal blood mixed." Foam has come a long way since then. There are many kinds and proteins extracted from animals are not used in many of them. You can get vegan firefighting foam these days.<G>
+1. Not to mention AFFF, Purple-K, and others. But sometimes I dont bother to persue some of these comments.
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Old 17-03-2012, 11:38   #43
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Re: Diesel Engine Fires

Powder will put out the fire, had one in the Galley and it snuffed it out just fine, however, we are still cleaning it up. Now have a Halon extinguisher at that location.

Halon Extinguishers can often be found on eBay. I picked one up for 1/3 the cost of a refill.
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Old 17-03-2012, 12:42   #44
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Re: Diesel Engine Fires

I'd be careful to check the vendor before buying halon on ebay. There's a huge market in counterfeit and contaminated R12, has been for decades. Wouldn't be surprised if some of the "halon" extinguishers weren't halon, or weren't up to full weight either. I'm sure some are legit, just caveat emptor because there's really no way to tell which djeni is in the bottle.
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Old 17-03-2012, 15:03   #45
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Re: Diesel Engine Fires

Lifted this form BoatUS. At 24% of fires it turns out diesel engine fires are more common than I thought.


Causes of Fires Started Aboard


Click on the links below for more information:
  • <LI class=first-child>1) AC and DC wiring/appliance - 55%
  • 2) Engine/Transmission Overheat - 24%
  • 3) Fuel Leak - 8%
  • 4) Miscellaneous - 7%
  • 5) Unknown - 5%
  • 6) Stove - 1%

    2) Engine/Transmission Overheat - 24%
    Engine overheat - 19%
    Turbocharger overheat - 2%
    Transmission overheat - 2%
    Backfire - 1%
    Nearly a quarter of boat fires (24%) were started by propulsion systems overheating. Most frequently, an intake or exhaust cooling water passage was obstructed causing the engine to overheat and begin to melt down hoses and impellers. These fires tended to be less serious, but because of the amount of smoke they made, they got undivided attention, especially since the smoke was coming from an area with flammable fuels. Often the fires were simply smoldering rubber until someone made the mistake of opening the engine compartment and allowing fresh air to enter. The best way to put out a fire that’s in the engine compartment is to have an automatic extinguisher system do it for you. If you don’t have an automatic system, the next best course of action is to shut down the engine and use an extinguisher in a fireport if your boat has one; if not, crack open the hatch and discharge the extinguisher. Keeping the water intake lines and especially the exhaust manifolds and risers free of obstructions (weeds in the intake, rust in the exhaust) and replacing worn pump impellers will prevent most overheating fires.
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