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  1. #1
    Platinum Member BIG DOOLEY's Avatar
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    JOHN DEERE 2320

    Default Fire extinguisher maintenace

    Saw a post the otherday about who had a dry chem. extinguisher mounted to their tractor.
    Tought i would throw in a helpful hint to make sure your dry chem. will work when you need it.
    Here is one link.

    Care and Maintenance of your Fire Extinguisher

    Shake your dry chem extinguisher by tilting it right side up to trning it upside down on a routine basis.
    the dry chem powder settles and compacts itself.
    on a tractor with vibration this could pack it down sooner due to vibration.
    one a month is a common rule of thumb.
    it can pack itself so tight that the agent may not come out when you need it.
    you may feel a thud or hear the block of powder slide from end to end when it is packed too tight.
    keep flipping or shakeing it till the powder loosens up and slides easily from end to end inside the unit.
    you dont want it compacted so tight that it not come out when you need it most.
    same goes for the one in your home too.
    Tom

  2. #2
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fire extinguisher maintenace

    Yeah, Tom, I'll bet I'm not the only one who forgets about that. We have a fire extinguisher in the garage, just outside the door from the kitchen into the garage. And it probably hasn't been moved or handled in the last 7 years.
    Bird

  3. #3
    Veteran Member Gordon Gould's Avatar
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    Kubota L3010DT, Dresser TD7G Dozer

    Default Re: Fire extinguisher maintenace

    Thanks I didn't know that. I will have to go check mine.
    "If you're not making any mistakes then you're not doing anything"

    L3010DT, Farmi JL290 Winch, ATI Grapple, BearCat 5" Chipper, 6' Rear Blade,
    7' Sickle Bar, 5' Land Plane Grading Scraper, Dresser TD7G Dozer

  4. #4
    Super Star Member k0ua's Avatar
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    Branson, Mo.
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    Kioti DK35se Hydrostat

    Default Re: Fire extinguisher maintenace

    Well now, the things you learn here on TBN. Like others I thought you just put the extinguisher up and when you needed it... well it would just be there to serve you. Of course logic dictates that the extinguisher probably wont work without inspection and maintenance but who thinks about things like that? Shake the extinguisher you say? Once a month huh...Well I bet ours hasen't been touched in at least 5 years.. Now one more thing to think about and maintain. Thanks for posting

    James K0UA
    James KUA

    Kioti DK35se hydrostat with 2 QA buckets, 48 inch. King Kutter Rotary Cutter. 750 lbs ballast box. Loaded tires, Construction Attachments SSQA Lightweight Pallet forks. EA 50 inch single lid "wicked" Grapple. Satisfied Everlast PA160 welder owner How to add a link to a post . Best way to search TBN


  5. #5
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
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    Kioti DK-40, MF-135, Ventrac 4500Y

    Default Re: Fire extinguisher maintenace

    I turn mine upside down and hit the bottom with a rubber mallet once a year.
    Murph ------------

  6. #6
    Elite Member
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    GC2310,

    Default Re: Fire extinguisher maintenace

    Quote Originally Posted by murphy1244 View Post
    I turn mine upside down and hit the bottom with a rubber mallet once a year.
    That's what we did when we had our shop.

    I had to use one many years ago, that only shot gas, because the powder had caked in the bottom. It was however, very old.

    I have a friend that owns a fire extinguisher company. He said there should not be any moisture inside the fire extinguisher, (if it's filled properly), and without moisture, the powder should not cake in the bottom from sitting. The problem here is, unless you filled it, you can't know for sure.

    He also doesn't think you should stake your life on one, more than 10 years old, that hasn't been serviced. That way you should be assured of a working extinguisher, when you need it.

    In the meantime, since it doesn't hurt to turn it over and bop it a few times, once a year or so, I'll do it.

    Remember most of these small units only shoot for a very short time, so you have to get in there with it.

    And don't forget to hold your breath before you pull the trigger. You will find out why, if you inhale some of that powder.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member Bigfoot62's Avatar
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    JD 5085M; NH TN70A; Ford 2600

    Default Re: Fire extinguisher maintenace

    If I may, I do have an opinion here. I owned a small (one-man operation) fire extinguisher service for 14 years. By the time I sold the business, I was inspecting or servicing about 6000-7000 fire extinguisher per year.

    There is nothing really wrong with the advice given so far. Just some things some things I'd like to add or clarify.

    DO:
    Check the gauge on a regular basis. If it is low on pressure, take it to a licensed fire extinguisher company for repair, or just replace it. (if it doesn't have a gauge, get rid of it and buy one that does - see below)
    If you use a dry chemical extinguisher, even a little bit, take it in for service or replace it.
    The hydrostatic test interval for dry chemical fire extinguishers is 12 years. If you've had your extinguisher that long, and never had it recharged, then take it in for service or replace it. (the rubber o-ring and valve stem seat will eventually dry rot and need to be replaced)
    Dirt daubers and spiders love the nozzles and hoses. And yes, a nest can block the hose. Remove the hose regularly and blow out with compressed air. NOTE: you can prevent this with a piece of thin tape. (freezer tape or scotch tape) Unless you wrap it up tight with gorilla tape, it will just blow off when you discharge the extinguisher. Alternatively, you can use a thin balloon. (you have 195 psi on a charged extinguisher - plenty enough pressure to pop that tape or balloon)


    DON'T:
    Please do not keep your home fire extinguisher above the stove, above the clothes dryer, on top of your water heater, or anywhere else that you might have to use it!!!
    Same with the one on your tractor or other equipment. If you have a cab, mount it inside. If not, I like to mount them on the fender.

    Don't worry about it:
    As Ray said, a properly filled extinguisher won't have moisture in it and the powder will not settle IF it's just hanging on the wall or sitting on the floor. However, the powder will pack from vibration. (equipment mounted) NOTE: the easy way to fix this is to mount the extinguisher horizontally. Then, when you pick it up, the powder will naturally fall to the bottom and be ready to go. That's it. That's all you have to do. Period. However, if you can't mount the extinguisher where it is laying on its side, then, YES, by all means, you need to take it out of the bracket, turn it upside down and whack it with a rubber mallet until the powder breaks loose.
    And, if it makes you feel better to pound on that extinguisher that's been just sitting under your sink, then go ahead. It won't hurt anything.

    I would like to add that most of the extinguishers that you can buy at retail box stores are JUNK. STAY AWAY from them. In most cases, you can purchase a commercial grade extinguisher from a reputable fire extinguisher company for just a few dollars more. They will also be able to sell you a heavy duty vehicle bracket that will actually hold the extinguisher.
    And, no reputable fire extinguisher service company, that I know of, will work on those plastic valve pieces of junk either. (I use the word "reputable" here for a reason. There are crooks in any line of business, fire extinguisher companies included. Ask the local fire department who they use.)
    BTW, if you are thinking that I'm exagerating, just take a good look at the extinguishers on the wall in the big box stores. They will NOT be the same ones that they have on their shelves. That's right. They won't use that kind of junk in their store, but they will sell it to you. Did I mention that they were JUNK???
    In case you're wondering which brand to buy, I recommend Amerex or Badger. Not doing a commercial here, just telling you which ones are the best quality. (and I've seen them from the inside-out) Those were the only ones that I would sell and use myself.

    JMHO.
    Last edited by Bigfoot62; 09-28-2012 at 10:39 AM.
    '10 JD 5085M Cab MFWD FEL
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    '81 Ford 2600

    JD 457 round baler; JD 265 & Kuhn GMD 600 disc mowers; Sitrex V-10 rake; Hardee 10', Rhino 7', & Modern 5' rotary mowers; JD 13' & Ford 6' tandem discs; HayKing 10' rennovator plow (sub-soiler); etc, etc.
    My other tractor is a '95 Kenworth.

    Dont ever wrestle with a pig. Youll both get dirty, but the pig will enjoy it.

  8. #8
    Super Member radioman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fire extinguisher maintenace

    big dooley - great thread - I never thought of this. This makes me want to go and check .

    bigfoot62 - great advice - Same thing - neveer thought of those things. however - if you could be so kind, can you post what a licensed fire extinguisher company for repair costs in ballpark range and when to toss the extinguishers and when to repair? Do they do a free inspection with a possible price to repair or is it a pay to check?

  9. #9
    Gold Member
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    A little of everything

    Default Re: Fire extinguisher maintenace

    I have a good friend that has a fire extinguisher service and he keeps us well supplied. I check them every so often, but he also checks and changes them out when he is stops by.

  10. #10
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: Fire extinguisher maintenace

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfoot62 View Post
    And, no reputable fire extinguisher service company, that I know of, will work on those plastic valve pieces of junk either. JMHO.
    Yep. It took me a while to get the message, but my friend will not even touch an extinguisher with a plastic valve.

    It is worth the extra money to get a "Real" extinguisher with a metal valve, because: 1. The gas will not leak out of it. 2. If you use it, you can get it refilled.

    I have a question Bigfoot, how do you get the gas in the extinguisher? I once tried to blow air backwards into one that the gas leaked out of, and it would not go in.

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