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
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
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,
Nice job, Walter Kidde!
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.
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.
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.
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.
On 9/9/2014 8:23 PM, email@example.com 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.
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
Once the gauge starts moving it is trash.
On 9/10/2014 12:51 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org 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).
On Tue, 09 Sep 2014 20:23:39 -0400, email@example.com 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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