Refilling of Fire Extinguisher

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How to check a fire extinguisher gauge

You should perform a quick fire extinguisher inspection at least per month, and one of the most important factors to check during this inspection is the pressure gauge. The gauge will tell you whether the unit is undercharged, overcharged, or within the operational zone. You want the needle to point within the green area for optimal use.

What is the fire extinguisher recharging process?

Here is what you can expect when your fire extinguisher is recharged. This is not a guide for how to recharge a fire extinguisher, but an overview so that you can understand the process.

  • First, the extinguisher is completely depressurized and agent removed from the cylinder.
  • The discharge valve is removed from the cylinder.
  • The siphon tube is removed from the valve and the valve stem and spring is removed.
  • The technician cleans the valve, replaces the valve neck o-ring, and visually inspects the unit internally and externally for signs of damage.
  • Once cleaned the valve is reassembled with a new valve stem installed to insure proper seating and avoid future pressure loss.
  • The extinguishing agent (water, carbon dioxide, dry chemical, etc.) is refilled by weight to the appropriate amount for the size of the unit and as specified in the recharging instructions for that unit.
  • The unit is re-pressurized with the appropriate pressurizing gas and to the required pressure for that unit as noted on the recharging instructions.
  • The technician completes a Leak Test to check for signs of leakage and reinstalls the discharge nozzle or hose.
  • The extinguisher is weighed again to confirm that the total weight is within allowable tolerances indicated by the manufacturer.
  • A new tamper seal is installed on the safety pin and a new recharge tag is attached to the unit with each tag indicating the unit total weight and the identity of the technician completing the work.

One of the simplest ways to help protect your home or business from incipient-stage fires is to ensure your fire extinguishers are properly charged and maintained.