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Thread: Fireboy Question

  1. #1
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    Feb 2003
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    Fort Lauderdale
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    Default Fireboy Question

    All this fire talk has my attention. I currently have three fire extinguishing devices on the boat. 1 in the cabin, 1 in the rear tackle cabinet and 1 Fireboy in the engine compartment. The Fireboy has never been discharged, but it's original equipment (1999). How do I go about getting that thing checked / refilled?

    Thanks!

    Check that...the system that I have is a Sea Fire, not Fireboy......
    Last edited by L.A. z GATOR; 10-09-2009 at 03:46 PM. Reason: wrong brand
    1999 246 Walkaround
    PCM SeaMax 350 TBI 315HP
    Velvet Drive 1.5:1

  2. #2
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    Mar 2005
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    Miami, FL
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    I too have the Fireboy extinguisher in my engine compartment. It's fully charged, however, the green little light diode on my helm is not lit. I know that it has never been discharged and my boat is a 2001, but for peace of mind , I would like to be comfortable knowing that the automatic extinguisher will work in case it has to. I've often wondered how the green little lamp is supposed to light to let you know the system is funtioning properly.
    Capt. Harry Fritz, III


    2001 246 Open 5.7 Horizon MPI

  3. #3
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    I don't have a permanently mounted system in my boat but the usual method of determining charge level in a liquefied gas extinguisher (e.g. Halon) is to weigh it. They are self-pressurizing so as long as there is ANY liquid in them, a pressure gauge will show in the green, even if they are not fully charged.

    IIRC, the same is true for a CO2 extinguisher but they usually go not have a pressure gauge since the pressures involved are higher and the same weight constraints apply to them as Halon/Halotron-I/FE-xx. I think that you can still get Halon (1211, portable or 1301, fixed) extinguishers recharged until the current stockpile of Halon is depleted (manufacture stopped in 1994). I don't know if they are convertible to the later Halotron-I or FE-xx agents or if you have to buy new extinguishers.

    The three portable Halon extinguishers I have list a minimum weight value on their label. If there is a pressure gauge and it is in the green AND the extinguisher weighs more than the minimum weight on the label, it is fully charged.

    The charge state on a dry chemical extinguisher is determined by the pressure in the tank since the agent is a powder and the only thing that can leak out is the air or Nitrogen charge.

    Your local fire department should be able to check and certify that the extinguisher is charged or, if not, you can look up a local fire extinguisher service company and get them to check it (although their fee may not be inexpensive). If you have a sensitive enough scale (like a digital kitchen scale), you could weigh it yourself, just for peace of mind.

    Harry...

    I would think that there is a pressure switch on the extinguisher bottle and so long as there is enough pressure in it, the light should be lit (if it's green - my guess is that if it's red, it would be a warning light). You'd have to read the manual for your system to find out just what the panel LED indicates.
    '98 200 Open
    - SeaMaxx 351 CID Ford, 260 HP, Holley Carb, FWC
    - N39 59', W75 18'
    - LBI, NJ; Upper Chesapeake Bay, MD

    Eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow they WILL make it illegal.

    "We're not lost, Private -- We're in Normandy." : Maj. Richard Winters, Easy Company, US Army 101st Airborne. Normandy on D-Day

    Disclaimer: Any suggestions made in these posts are just that, suggestions. To quote Obi-Wan Kenobi: "Who's the more foolish - the fool, or the fool who follows him?".

  4. #4
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    IIRC the Fireboy routes the ground for the pilot lamp through a meltable slug. If the slug melts (due to fire) the action both opens the extinguisher and shuts off the pilot lamp (ground is broken).

    As Kurt said, weight is the way to tell if a Halon extinguisher is full. Your cylinder should be marked with it's full weight.

    The meltable slug wuold be the tell tale of a discharged system, but I suppose it could otherwise leak (though they're pretty relaible by design).

    Speaking of fire extinguishers...i've heard an awful lot of horror stories re: dry chemical. The powder gets packed in the bottom and doesn't deploy. The pressure gauge won't tell you this. Advice is the hold the extinguisher upside down and knock on it with a block of wood every 6 months or so.
    260 Mackinaw/Cummins

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mistress View Post
    IIRC the Fireboy routes the ground for the pilot lamp through a meltable slug. If the slug melts (due to fire) the action both opens the extinguisher and shuts off the pilot lamp (ground is broken).

    As Kurt said, weight is the way to tell if a Halon extinguisher is full. Your cylinder should be marked with it's full weight.

    The meltable slug wuold be the tell tale of a discharged system, but I suppose it could otherwise leak (though they're pretty relaible by design).

    Speaking of fire extinguishers...i've heard an awful lot of horror stories re: dry chemical. The powder gets packed in the bottom and doesn't deploy. The pressure gauge won't tell you this. Advice is the hold the extinguisher upside down and knock on it with a block of wood every 6 months or so.
    What mistress said is so important about the dry chem. This will get packed in the bottom and have a problem with deployment. The dry chemical is essentially something very similar to baking soda. This is why you can not go by the guage or the weight of the exstinguisher alone as a guage.
    1991 200 SE
    302 FWC, Holley 4 bbl

  6. #6
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    Oct 2009
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    I contacted fireboy directly when the gauge on my extinguisher showed zero. These extinguishers, if they are halon or halon replacemet(since they dont manufacture true halon anymore) are expensive to replace. Fireboy quoted me a price of around $200. If they are dry chem they may be able to be refilled and recertified. If they are halon they cannot refill them by law.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin View Post
    I contacted fireboy directly when the gauge on my extinguisher showed zero. These extinguishers, if they are halon or halon replacemet(since they dont manufacture true halon anymore) are expensive to replace. Fireboy quoted me a price of around $200. If they are dry chem they may be able to be refilled and recertified. If they are halon they cannot refill them by law.
    Commercial units can be refilled and I suspect the marine Fireboy units can too...just not by Fireboy. Search your yellow pages for a business who refills and certs. Many have access to the remaining Halon stockpiles. Not cheap, but perhaps cheaper than switching over to Halon replacement.

    Cleaning up an engine after extinguishing with dry chemical (if possible) is expensive too.
    260 Mackinaw/Cummins

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin View Post
    I contacted fireboy directly when the gauge on my extinguisher showed zero. These extinguishers, if they are halon or halon replacemet(since they dont manufacture true halon anymore) are expensive to replace. Fireboy quoted me a price of around $200. If they are dry chem they may be able to be refilled and recertified. If they are halon they cannot refill them by law.
    Existing Halon (1211 or 1301) extinguishers/systems are supposed to be rechargeable until they run out of current supplies of Halon (which should not happen for quite a while). It may cost an arm and a leg to recharge them - that was what I was told by the local FD and this fire extinguisher site:
    Halon 1211 Facts and Options you have if you own one or more of these fire extinguishers:

    * According to federal law (it) is not illegal to posses, use, or recharge a Halon 1211 fire extinguisher.
    * No federal phase out date has been set.
    * Recharge supplies of agent manufactured before 1994 are plentiful and recharge of your extinguisher should pose no problem
    * We recommend you consider their replacement with CleanGuard, an extinguisher from Ansul fire protection.
    http://www.reliablefire.com/portable...on_1211_i.html
    Current Status of Halon 1301 Systems

    If you have halon systems currently installed in your company facilities and they are located in the United States, you need to know the following facts:

    * You are under no legal obligation to remove systems from service.
    * There is no federal legal requirement to remove systems from service by any specific date.
    * You may legally recharge your system in the event of a discharge
    * Recycled agent is still commonly available for fire system recharge.
    * No new agent 1301 is being manufactured
    * You should plan the replacement of your systems with a halon alternative.
    http://www.reliablefire.com/halon/halon.html

    If Fireboy said differently, I suspect it is because they want to sell you a new FE-241 system. What size did they recommend?
    '98 200 Open
    - SeaMaxx 351 CID Ford, 260 HP, Holley Carb, FWC
    - N39 59', W75 18'
    - LBI, NJ; Upper Chesapeake Bay, MD

    Eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow they WILL make it illegal.

    "We're not lost, Private -- We're in Normandy." : Maj. Richard Winters, Easy Company, US Army 101st Airborne. Normandy on D-Day

    Disclaimer: Any suggestions made in these posts are just that, suggestions. To quote Obi-Wan Kenobi: "Who's the more foolish - the fool, or the fool who follows him?".

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt View Post
    Existing Halon (1211 or 1301) extinguishers/systems are supposed to be rechargeable until they run out of current supplies of Halon (which should not happen for quite a while). It may cost an arm and a leg to recharge them - that was what I was told by the local FD and this fire extinguisher site:


    http://www.reliablefire.com/portable...on_1211_i.html

    http://www.reliablefire.com/halon/halon.html

    If Fireboy said differently, I suspect it is because they want to sell you a new FE-241 system. What size did they recommend?
    As a mfg. of new systems it "may" be illegal for them to support old skul Halon. That, or they just don't have the product and paperwork to do so. Or...the individual replying is misinformed as the "legal" aspect and just knows they don't support Halon refills.

    But I do know for fact that Halon refills are available, at least in commercial grade fixed and handheld units. We have tons of them in our system and I had a rather lengthy discussion about this with the company who refills/inspects our units and provides training for employees in proper extinguisher use. I recall it is an outfit called Stopfire. I forget what the cost structure was for refills. He even had used Halon units available for sale.

    Halon is really good stuff if used properly. Like everything else, it has it's negatives, primarily environmental. I doubt anyone did a study about the greenhouse gasses resulting from a non-extinguished fire or replacement of the extinguisher damaged product though. from my discussion withthe fire tech, he said the repalcement stuff is good...but not as good as halon at extinguishing fires.

    TMK the only real safety hazard is if you are in the "zone", you will suffocate.
    260 Mackinaw/Cummins

  10. #10
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    I think I posted this before, but yeah, you can get Halon bottles refilled. I stopped by a fire ext. shop and the guy said they could definitly be refilled.
    I have a couple of large bottles that I scuffed and painted white, they look pretty good. Also installed a Fireport in the upper front motor box.
    If it ain't got a KEEL, it ain't the real deal!
    1987 20' Walk-Thru 302 HO RWC

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