Annually, fire extinguishers must be inspected as per NFPA-10 regulations (and in most cases, local fire marshal and insurance requirements). This service is usually performed on site and always by qualified personnel. At this time, we can determine what equipment, if any, requires further services (see below). The extinguishers are tagged and re-sealed to indicate the proper inspection has been performed.
Six years after dry chemical extinguishers have been purchased, a "six year inspection" is performed at our service facility. An internal check is performed to detect the presence of rust in the shell. In its twelfth year, a hydrostatic test is performed. Then the procedure repeats for the next twelve year cycle.
For water and carbon dioxide extinguishers, hydrostatic tests are performed every five years.
|Emptying the Extinguisher
Before the extinguisher is tested or recharged, the old powder is emptied into our powder hopper. This is accomplished by attaching the tube shown and discharging the extinguisher. Emptying it also ensures that when it is recharged, it is done with new, uncontaminated powder.
On the left is a frontal view of the extinguisher being readied for hydrostatic testing. Once it is safely secured, as in the picture on the right, the extinguisher is filled with water by the tubing apparatus shown. Then the machine establishes the test pressure and the gauge indicates whether it can hold the appropriate pressure.
|Inspecting the Components
This bird's eye view shows all the components of a fire extinguisher that must be inspected and cleaned when the extinguisher is in for service. Any pieces that aren't up to standards must be replaced.
|Recharging the Extinguisher
This shows the extinguisher being refilled with the appropriate powder. An overflow jar indicates when the extinguisher is filled to proper capacity. The scale shown is another indicator of when to stop filling.
|Cleaning the Components
The can beside the extinguisher contains a product called Beco Lube. This cleans and lubricates the dry chemical valve and other components. The clear plastic tube with the red extension is a leak detector. This checks the valve, gauge and neck of the extinguisher for possible leaks.
The extinguisher is being pressurized with nitrogen to its proper level. This quick process takes only a few seconds to accomplish.
|The Finished Product
All the components are reassembled. The extinguisher has been properly sealed, using "tamper seals" to show that maintenance was done as required by NFPA-10. Then we also apply our own tag indicating type of extinguisher, the month and year service was performed and what that service was.
|Setting up the Hoses
The hoses are attached to our hydrostatic tester and uncoiled the length of our custom-built ramp. The other end of the hose is equipped with a special valve-cap.
|Filling and Testing the Hose
The hoses are filled with water, and once the air is removed from within, the special valve-caps are closed. The hoses can then be pumped to the required test pressure.
|Emptying the Hoses
Once it's been determined if the hose can achieve and maintain its proper pressure, testing is discontinued and the hose can be emptied.
|Re-racking the Hose
Using our special apparatus, we can quickly re-rack the hose, which easily readies it for transfer back to the customer.