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Old 11-04-2011, 06:10   #1
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Install Halon 1301 system in diesel engine room?

I have a Halon 1301 system from an old power boat I chopped up. Should I re-certify the system and install it in my 40' Salar motor sailer engine room(new Yanmar turbo diesel)? Is the risk of engine room fire so low with diesel fuel that the incremental increase in risk to not install is worth the $500 I can get from selling the Halon chemical. I will have 2x the required portable extinguishers in any case.
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:49   #2
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Re: Install Halon 1301 system in diesel engine room?

Regarding your question regarding fire with diesel engines, while not as likely as with gas powerplants it is still possible. A number of years ago I managed to start a fire on a diesel motor, some spilled fuel and a short in a Lucas ignition system was all it took to get a good fire going. My instinct would be to keep the system you have (If legal) and install it on the new vessel.
It is possible by the time you discover an engine room fire that it may be dificult to fight with hand held extinguisers, this is where the automated sytems are helpful.

When I took my Halon bottle to the local fire extinguiser company I was told that Halon is illegal to use and that if the Coast Guard boarded us and saw that system I could be fined. I would be interested in finding out if this is true, is the 1301 type a newer and accepted system, money for old Halon?
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:39   #3
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Re: Install Halon 1301 system in diesel engine room?

1301 Halon is not a new type of halon. My extinguisher system dates from the early 80's. This excerpt from the FAQ section of local service company leads me to believe is is still legal to use these "legacy" systems:
"However, this does not mean that it is illegal to use. While the production of new Halon was outlawed in 1994 under the Clean Air Act, there is still no way to safely dispose of the existing supplies of the extinguishant, meaning that the use of recycled Halon fire suppression systems and Halon fire extinguishers is still accepted and encouraged."
I'll ask specific question about CG's position on subject
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:44   #4
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Re: Install Halon 1301 system in diesel engine room?

Here's the news

Why does Halon need replacing

As a CFC based gas, Halon 1301 and 1211 are ozone depleting agents. Their release to atmosphere during manufacture, decanting to application cylinders and use or misuse in service has contributed to the depletion of the ozone layer. They also have a long atmospheric life.
When does it need replacing

The new EC Regulation 2037/2000 came into force on 1 October 2000 and states:-
  1. New halons cannot be used for refilling existing systems.
  2. Recovered, recycled or reclaimed halon 1301 / 1211 can only be used in existing systems until 31st December 2002. After this date no refilling can take place.
  3. Mandatory decommissioning of fire extinguishing systems with halons must be completed before 31st December 2003.
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