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  1. #1
    Veteran Member joes_427_vette's Avatar
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    New Holland TC 55 DA, 4110 John Deere, HT 20 Bolens, 1456 Bolens

    Default Fire extinguishers losing pressure

    I have several in my shop but the biggest concern is they leak down in a year or so out of the useful gauge area. I wish someone would make one that could be refilled and repressurized your shop by a valve stem type device. The ones ( kidde ) that weigh about fifteen pounds are preferred as they can be so portable yet get into small areas.

  2. #2
    Elite Member AlanB's Avatar
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    NH 1925

    Default Re: Fire extinguishers losing pressure

    extinguishers are commonly refilled and repressurized.

    There is not much too one really although I am sure there is some disclaimer needed here in our legalese society.

    Anyway, all that an extinguisher is is a bottle, holding powder, and nitrogen normally as the propellant, a valve on top which also usually serves as a handle and a nozzle to aim it up.

    What you want is a good quality extinguisher with a metal head. You can service them but honestly it is not that expensive to have one serviced by the local shop and they have the adapters etc. ready to go.

    Short version is that if you decide to do it yourself, carefully empty, weigh the contents, insure you have proper amount of contents, inspect cylinder carefully (hydrostat dates etc.) refill with powder then take off the nozzle, screw in an adapter from a regulated nitrogen source and refill, take adapter off and put the nozzle back and away you go.

    Again though, unless you have the lines, adapters, nitrogen, regulator, scales etc it is a lot more straight forward to go to the local FE shop and have them do it, generally it is pretty cheap.

    They can also be a good source of used (cheaper) extinguishers if they choose and I noticed that my local Habitat for Humanity RE-Store (selling used building items) had a large assortment there.

    Good luck, oh, and PS, the charge has to be dry, normal shop air would have too much moisture and the powder would be a brick when you wanted to use it.

  3. #3
    Advertiser kennyd's Avatar
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    John Deere 4110, 455

    Default Re: Fire extinguishers losing pressure

    We have ours (4 of them I think-soon to be 5 when I buy one for the new pole barn) serviced yearly at a local company...cheap insurance to me.
    KennyD
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  4. #4
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: Fire extinguishers losing pressure

    "Fire extinguishers losing pressure"

    That's weird, I don't think I've ever had any that lose pressure. I've got a few that are 10 or better years old.
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  5. #5
    Silver Member
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    Don't have one of my own! I work on other people's machines.

    Default Re: Fire extinguishers losing pressure

    Leaking extinguishers are a pain for me too. I have a couple ones reading low that I've put off taking in for service. How about this: Look around for older models. I have an old Class A water filled one that you can refill and charge with shop air. A friend and I scored a few from a scrap pile.

    ABC type extinguishers are the only way to go, in my opinion, but I throw the water one on my truck as well since the recharge is free and it doesn't make a mess. In the summer time, it's good for water fights as well.
    I assert that the egg came before the chicken: Dinosaurs were laying eggs long before chickens evolved.

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  6. #6
    Veteran Member The Haymaker's Avatar
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    2008 T2220

    Default Re: Fire extinguishers losing pressure

    It is odd they are losing pressure. The ones in my shop are untis from my work that were replaced due to dents and other visible damage, though they are still serviceable. Several years old. The ABC in my truck has been in it five years, the only time the pressure gauge hits the bottom of the scale is when it is VERY cold out in the mornings when I start out.

    On another note, we have started replacing the units at work with off the shelf Kidde units because they are so much cheaper than having them serviced. Other than a plastic instead of steel head, there is no difference.
    "Freedom is never more than one generation from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."

  7. #7
    Super Star Member Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fire extinguishers losing pressure

    We had several at work..new metal extinguishers..w/slow leak,heard o-ring problem...strange..maybe a bad batch???

  8. #8
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: Fire extinguishers losing pressure

    I service the 1200+/- fire extinguishers at my workplace monthly & annually. The dry chemical extinguishers vary from 5-20 lb ABC, 20-150 lb BC. We have halon extinguishers & bulk systems, 2 1/2 gallon air pressurized water extinguishers, & 10-20 lb CO2 extinguishers. I've been doing this for 22 years.

    Short term leakage in pressurized dry chemical extinguishers is usually due to inadequate cleaning of the release valve at the last refill or improper technique during repressurization. The release valve is a simple rubber cone shaped disk or an o-ring on a metal cone shaped plunger. Occasionally a neck o-ring or guage/guage o-ring will fail.

    ANY powder residue on the release valve a/o o-ring seating surfaces will result in slow leakage. The tiniest discharge, intentional or unintentional, will result in complete loss of pressure over a short time. If you simply repressurize they will just leak down again unless disassembled & cleaned. Our extinguishers regularly hold pressure for 5-6 years between intrusive services.

    Because they are pressurized to 195 lbs most people cannot do their own service. If anyone had the ability to repressurize to 195 psi shoot me a PM & I'll explain the procedures for depressurization, disassembly,cleaning & repressurizing. Or I encourage you to take them back to the last person that serviced them & complain. Annual service on a pressurized dry chemical extinguisher is verification of physical condition,pressure, & weight, no disassembly required. MikeD74T

  9. #9

    Default Re: Fire extinguishers losing pressure

    At least once a year you should turn your fire extinguisher upside down and tap it with a wooden dowel or rubber mallet to break up the powder inside. This will insure that the powder doesnt become a block that wont blow out when needed.

  10. #10
    Gold Member First one's Avatar
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    08' Kubota L3240 HST /cab

    Default Re: Fire extinguishers losing pressure

    As far as the Kidde extinguishers go I picked up a small one to keep in my tractor from Wal-mart and within aweek it read EMPTY. (Just bought it) Thought it might be do to were its cold out . Took it back and showed them that the date was Jul/26/08 and wanted a new one . No receit ,no return they said . If you get one (CHECK THE DATE).

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