Two old fire extinguishers

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About a year ago, I took two old disposable fire extinguishers out of a couple trailers. Replace them with Walmart Kidde units with the pressure gauge. I'd heard enough horror stories of old dry chem units that go bad, and there is no way to test them. Tonight I was at a friend's house, burning papers. I asked his permission to test the two take out units.
First one I tried was a Fyr Fyter. The label says it is model 210D, made in USA, 2002. Probably year of manufacture. Made by Walter Kidde. I shook the unit to free up the chemical. I pulled the yellow safety device, and then pushed on the white button with both thumbs. To my surprise, it discharged, a range of about 6 to 8 feet, in still air. Gracious, that was surprise. I didn't expect any discharge at all.
The second unit also a Fyr Fyter, model 210D. This one has paper tape over the button, and then a metal piece under the paper. Date of the unit says 1991. Entirely and totally to my surprise (and the guy with me) this one discharged perfectly, like the first one.
Admittedly these were both in church owned trailers, and there might been some divine protection. But, I'm astounded that two disposable units this old, both worked.
Nice job, Walter Kidde!
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Christopher A. Young
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On 9/9/2014 8:07 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

I've got 2, maybe 30+ years old, with pressure gauges still showing full pressure. Assume they are still good.
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On 9/9/2014 8:10 PM, Frank wrote:

Most likely yes. Please turn the units upside down and shake em hard, once a year. To keep the powder from caking.
I shook the first one, but not the second. Both worked. I "hope" in a real fire I'd remember to shake the unit on the way to the fire.
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On 9/9/2014 8:23 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

Good suggestion. When I worked in the lab we tested our safety showers weekly. Back when I was in school, they didn't. Kid in the lab accidentally set himself on fire, pulled chain of safety shower and it broke. Others extinguished the fire and he was OK but got scarred for life.
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On 9/10/2014 8:37 AM, Frank wrote:

Ouch, that's not good at all. When I was in middle school, I burnt myself on a bunsen burner, that was also not good. Painful for a couple days.
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On 9/10/2014 8:43 AM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

I know of another one.
Lab worker at a refinery splashed himself with gasoline which caught fire. Rather than use the safety shower and mess up the lab he elected to go outdoors and use a hose. Also got deforming burn injuries.
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On Tue, 09 Sep 2014 20:07:19 -0400, Stormin Mormon

Why the surprize? If the low pressure indicator doesn't show and you can stiowder without it rattling, why would it NOT work?? OK, the valve could be seized - but as long as they still have pressure, they generally DO work.
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On 9/9/2014 8:23 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Many years ago, there was a report about some brand, I want to write Pem All. Anyhow, the valves leaked, and the pressure all let out.
I expected them to not have pressure.
What is the word "stiowder"? Not heard that one.
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On Tue, 09 Sep 2014 20:27:30 -0400, Stormin Mormon

I'm having some issues with my "confuser" - it was supposed to be "shake the powder" = it "misfired"
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On 9/9/2014 10:13 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Ah, you have one of them confuser aps on your machine? That's OK, more common now days in the era of public schools and common core.
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On 09/09/2014 09:13 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:
[snip]

I once wrote a letter about a construction article that kept giving dimensions in "fi-inches". My confuser made it difficult to reply.
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On Tue, 09 Sep 2014 20:07:19 -0400, Stormin Mormon

I knew a fire extinguisher (among other fire related equipment) guy and he told me that if the power was actually dry when they charged the dry powder extinguisher, it would last forever. Too much humidity in the can, and they clump up.
If you ever bump that valve, it is done tho. A little powder in the valve and it will not seal until it is perfectly clean again. That is what makes the small ones disposable. The labor clean and charge is more than they sell for so it is a "one shot" deal when you use it..
I always keep at least 2 and usually 3 on my boat. One is new in the box (with the top cut off) standing up in the forward storage box, one is my ready service one on the side of the console and when they get too rough looking to show a boarding officer, I keep it under the console on the shelf until the gauge starts dropping. Once the gauge starts moving it is trash.
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On 9/10/2014 12:51 AM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Other than having a boat, that's pretty much exactly as I would have written. The recharge powder is supposed to be bone dry, and they take care to keep it dry. I've heard there is a bit of silicone lube mixed in with the powder, so it flows better.
With these units, I don't know what the retail price was. Inflation changed prices of every thing. So, what costs $25 today probably cost $10 back then, and had the same value.
As for me, I'd never buy a FE with no gauge (except carbon dioxide units).
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On Tue, 09 Sep 2014 20:23:39 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I always keep one on my boat (a small pontoon) per state law. I changed boats about 14 years ago and the new boat came with one. I thought I would discharge the old one just to see how they work. The gauge still showed normal pressure. I removed the safety and pulled the trigger - absolutely nothing happened. I will guess the valve had gotten clogged over the years with high humidity. I'm glad I didn't have a fire while out on the lake. I wonder if the new one (now 14 years old) works? I will try to shake it as discussed elsewhere in this thread. I wasn't aware of that technique until I read it here.
Pat
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On 9/10/2014 8:27 AM, Pat wrote:

Thanks for the field report.
I'd suggest that you got your value out of that one, over 14 years. I'd replace it before my next launch, but that's just me. Walmart can sell you a small one about twenty bucks, larger one for more.
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

I have a house and a boat, both old, and I keep current extinguishers in each. Since I'm frugal, I keep the expired extinguishers unless they show obvious signs of age or corrosion. My house is full of these dinosaurs. Every once in a while, I pick an old one and operate it. In many years, none of them has failed. If I have a fire, I will use a couple of old ones first.
I have the same practice with the flare gun. I always have current shells, but I also have expired shells. I got inspected by the coast guard once, and they threatened to cite me for having expired shells, even though I also had current shells. They finally decided to let me go without citation. Now, once a year, they come to our club for a demonstration, and we are allowed to fire our guns without attracting rescuers. It is good training, and everyone in my family has had it.
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Hi, We have real thing, small cylinder with hose. We have them inspected and service every year to make sure it is good to go when needed. Never occured time to use it. Cost ~25.00 for annual service. If it does not do the job when I need it, you know what I am going to do.
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On 9/10/2014 11:37 AM, Tony Hwang wrote:

Yep, with the inspection, those things had best work when needed. Else, it's law suit time. Do you store your inspection reciepts off site so you don't burn the evidence you need to file suit?
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Christopher A. Young
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On 09/09/14 08:07 pm, Stormin Mormon wrote:

I just checked our two Kidde dry-chemical extinguishers that have pressure gauges -- both still in the green. It took a while to discover that there is actually a use-by date on these things: they "must be taken out of service" 12 years from the date of manufacture -- the latter being 2003 in our case.
But maybe we'll just keep them and buy a couple of new ones as well.
Perce
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On 9/10/2014 11:58 AM, Percival P. Cassidy wrote:

Twelve years? That sounds familiar, but I didn't know that. Thank you. I should check the units I've got at home. Maybe Sept 11, if we're not all bombed to death on the plane bomb aniversary.
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