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Extinguisher agent question
#1
I'm 100% alarms but someone asked me this question and I didn't actually know the answer so here it goes

I know the basics of an extended service, why they're carried out etc but do the AFFF foam and ABC powder agents have a limited life ? IE if no extended service was carried out for 10 years, would the effectiveness of the agent be less effective against a fire ?
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#2
Foam compounds do degrade over time, particularly in solution, although not as bad as the older protein based compounds. This can affect efficacy particularly on Class B fires.

As for powder, less clear - in the US equivalent of an ES (at 6 years) they will use a closed recycling system to discharge the powder into and if still free flowing they will put it back in.
Anthony Buck
Fire Safety Technical Lead @ BAFE SP205 accredited company
Extinguisher specialist

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=65...415&ref=ts
http://www.youtube.com/user/contactacb
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/anthony-buck/22/957/36b
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#3
Thanks Anthony you're knowledge never fails to impress!
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#4
(15-07-2019, 05:44 PM)AnthonyB Wrote: Foam compounds do degrade over time, particularly in solution, although not as bad as the older protein based compounds. This can affect efficacy particularly on Class B fires.

As for powder, less clear - in the US equivalent of an ES (at 6 years) they will use a closed recycling system to discharge the powder into and if still free flowing they will put it back in.

picking up on your impressive knowledge, would it not be a more cost effect solution to replace them as they might also require a pressure test ?.

bob
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#5
Unlike the US, there is no requirement to pressure test types other than CO2 unless being repainted/refurbished.

Powder became cheaper to replace new when the Chinese stuff started to appear at the beginning of the century as you are supposed to use new powder here, not recycle it, so the few quid price difference between powder sacks and a new unit wasn't worth refilling, especially with the mess and the risk of leaks if you hadn't thoroughly cleaned the spindle, etc.

A few fire extinguisher firms still refill and discharge test wets as the cost difference is still worth it.
Anthony Buck
Fire Safety Technical Lead @ BAFE SP205 accredited company
Extinguisher specialist

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=65...415&ref=ts
http://www.youtube.com/user/contactacb
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/anthony-buck/22/957/36b
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#6
I don't. Just so much easier replacing every 5 years.
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#7
I suppose it’s down to quantity and facilities.

The cost savings made by refilling will be lost elsewhere, such as having a large unit to store bottles and work from and staff to pay to actually do the discharge and refill. You would need to be turning around a huge number to make it worthwhile I would expect?
www.ajfire.co.uk

"Independent BAFE Accredited Fire Protection Specialists"

- SP203-1; FDA Maintenance; 
- SP205-1; Life Safety Fire Risk Assessment
- Members of the Fire Industry Association (FIA)
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