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Old 03-01-2012, 06:34 AM   #1
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Engine room extinguisher options.

A LIFELONG boating cousin of mine has recently had a brush with death (literally) when his haylon fire extinguisher went off due to a failure. It has me questioning my own haylon engine room fire supression system and I would like to discuss options.

The Fireboy we have now is quite old (OEM I think from 1986). Accoring to Fireboy, as long as the weight is within spec noted on the label, it is still good, however, my local extinguisher shop cannot (or will not) service or tag it. Buying new IS an option, but considering the dreadful accident my cousin had, I really don't want haylon onboard anymore.

What are my options?
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:55 AM   #2
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Engine room extinguisher options.

http://www.fireboy-xintex.com/fire_extinguishing.html

Uses HFC-227ea - effective Halon replacement clean agent

Still on my "to do" list to install something like this.


-- Edited by dwhatty on Thursday 1st of March 2012 07:56:53 AM
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:29 AM   #3
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RE: Engine room extinguisher options.

Quote:
GonzoF1 wrote:
A LIFELONG boating cousin of mine has recently had a brush with death (literally) when his haylon fire extinguisher went off due to a failure. It has me questioning my own haylon engine room fire supression system and I would like to discuss options.

The Fireboy we have now is quite old (OEM I think from 1986). Accoring to Fireboy, as long as the weight is within spec noted on the label, it is still good, however, my local extinguisher shop cannot (or will not) service or tag it. Buying new IS an option, but considering the dreadful accident my cousin had, I really don't want haylon onboard anymore.

What are my options?
*Tom:* What happened?
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:38 AM   #4
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RE: Engine room extinguisher options.

Haylon removes oxygen from the air. When Andy boarded his Cape Dory sailboat (on his private dock behind his home in Oriental, NC), his first thought was that he had an electrical fire. He entered his companionway to the salon and took a sniff. After a few seconds, the haylon took hold and systematically began depleting the oxygen in his lungs. He described the feeling as like being underwater, being out of air, and struggling to reach the surface. Understanding quickly what was going on, he was able to dial 911. He was only able to get his address and the word "hurry" out of his mouth.

When your body is deprived of oxygen, the first reaction is for it to automatically begin to gasp for air. Much like being dropped into ice cold water, the brain blames the lungs for the problem and puts them into overdrive to try and correct the problem. Well, as you can imagine, this made matters worse and he couldn't prevent himself from gulping another lung full of haylon. One other thing he realized is that he needed to get off the boat. The emergency crews would not know to look there for him first and he certainly didn't want to fall in the Neuse for the same, and more obvious, reasons. The next thing he remembered before blacking out was feeling the grass hit the side of his face and he knew, at least to a small degree, that he was off the boat and in a place where they would have the greatest chance to find him quickly. The next thing he remembers, he was in an ambulance being transported to the ECU medical center.

What had happened was that the the stainless steel strap had worn the paint off the extinguisher's aluminum tank. The exposed aluminum, in the sal****er environment corroded and finally broke thru the tank. could it have been prevented? Yes, but that's like keeping plutonium onboard in a protective box and hoping it stays safe. So I am going to change it sooner rather than later.

That's the story.

Thanks for the link David. I am going to call and ask them about this. I hope it's safer.
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:31 AM   #5
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RE: Engine room extinguisher options.

Damn, Tom... that is one heck of a need-for-safety story!* I hope your relative is OK for the long run.* Thanks for posting that dangerous accounting so we all have better concept on what may occur. - Art*
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:51 AM   #6
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RE: Engine room extinguisher options.

Quote:
Art wrote:
Damn, Tom... that is one heck of a need-for-safety story!* I hope your relative is OK for the long run.* Thanks for posting that dangerous accounting so we all have better concept on what may occur. - Art*
*DITTO - I am now removing my old Halon unit. Does anyone know about the safety of the Halon replacement product.

I am not sure if everyone knows this, but you cannot buy new Halon units. The safety factor might be exactly why it was removed from the market.
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:37 PM   #7
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RE: Engine room extinguisher options.

Quote:
Carey wrote:Art wrote:
Damn, Tom... that is one heck of a need-for-safety story!* I hope your relative is OK for the long run.* Thanks for posting that dangerous accounting so we all have better concept on what may occur. - Art*
*DITTO - I am now removing my old Halon unit. Does anyone know about the safety of the Halon replacement product.

I am not sure if everyone knows this, but you cannot buy new Halon units. The safety factor might be exactly why it was removed from the market.

*Tom:* I'm glad you cousin was OK.* It's a scary story.

The reason Halon was taken off the market was because of it's* properties contribute to ozone depletion.* It lasts up to 400 years in the atmosphere.* Halon's replacements,l which are not as effective,*are*Halotron I, Halotron II, FE-36 Cleanguard and FM-200 which have similar characteristics but are not as dangerous to the atmosphere.

Halon and it's replacements*work by displacing oxygen and removing heat from the combustion zone.* What happened to Tom's cousin was he walked into and oxygen deprived atmosphere!** If he had a CO2 fire extinguisher that had discharged the same thing could have happened.

The reason that*Halon and it's substitutes, including CO2 are used on computer systems*and marine engine rooms are that after the fire extinguishers have been discharged, there is no residue.* That is why they are referred to as clean agents.**Can you imagine that what would happen if you had an engine room fire with the engine running and you used a dry chemical fire extinguisher?* You would probably be looking at replacing or at least rebuilding your engine.*

You can't buy Halon*but it's use is still legal.* We have an engine room Halon system and I don't have any safety concerns as long as we continue to maintain it properly.
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:55 PM   #8
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RE: Engine room extinguisher options.

Thanks Larry. Do yourself a favor and pull you bottle off the mount and examine the tank. We looked this weekend and ours had the exact same wear spot on it and we would have had the same problem in the future.
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:35 PM   #9
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RE: Engine room extinguisher options.

Quote:
GonzoF1 wrote:
Thanks Larry. Do yourself a favor and pull you bottle off the mount and examine the tank. We looked this weekend and ours had the exact same wear spot on it and we would have had the same problem in the future.
We removed, inspected*and weighed the bottle last summer as we do every year.* If you look closely at the first picture, we have a rubber gasket between the bottle and bracket so that the bottle is isolated.* I could see if it was metal on metal you could have a problem.*
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:52 PM   #10
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RE: Engine room extinguisher options.

Quote:
Larry M wrote:Halon and it's replacements*work by displacing oxygen and removing heat from the combustion zone.* What happened to Tom's cousin was he walked into and oxygen deprived atmosphere!**
*Halon does not displace oxygen and it does not work by cooling the fire.

Halon works by breaking the chain reaction that combines oxygen with fuel to create a fire.

The normal concentration of Halon discharged into the protected space of a*properly sized installation will be around 10 percent. At this concentration it is not dangerous but extended periods in an atmosphere with that concentration may produce dizziness and similar effects.

You cannot buy new Halon, but you can buy recycled Halon and you can have your Halon*fire extinguishers and fixed*systems*serviced.
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:00 PM   #11
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Engine room extinguisher options.

*Easy..2 minutes of reading from dwhatty's link plus we used it all the time in aircraft.* A friend of mine pioneered it's use in USCG Aviation back in the early 80's
Effective on Class A, Class B and

*Class C fires, Clean Agent gas

*extinguishes fires quickly through

*a combination of chemical and

*physical heat removal. It does

*not smother flames by removing

*oxygen. Clean Agents remove heat

*energy from fire, not oxygen from

*the environment. Heat is absorbed

*from the flame zone and interrupts

*the chemical chain reaction of the

*combustion process. When fires are

*stopped this fast it minimizes the risk

*of explosion and extensive damage.
Safe for personnel*
- Reduced component count
- Reduced piping
*

- Reduced weight

- Reduced nozzle count

*

*

Unlike carbon dioxide (CO2) and



HCFC 124, FM-200 is safe for

people and can be used in occupied

spaces on all types of vessels.
<font face="Univers-Light" size="2" style="font-size:x-small;"></font>
FM-200 has been proven to be
<font face="Univers-Light" size="2" style="font-size:x-small;"></font>
*

as a propellant for pharmaceutical

inhalers. Unlike many other fire suppressants,
FM-200 does not breakdown

or metabolize when inhaled,

which allows quick removal through

normal respiration once the individual

is no longer exposed.

*

*

*

*

*


-- Edited by psneeld on Thursday 1st of March 2012 04:10:52 PM
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:55 PM   #12
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RE: Engine room extinguisher options.

Halon is great as far as cleanup is concerned but you will need to rebuild your engine if it is ingested into the engine. At least that is my understanding.
Some of the older Firebouy systems were only serviceable at the factory and they no longer service them.
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:49 PM   #13
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RE: Engine room extinguisher options.

Quote:
Larry M wrote:GonzoF1 wrote:
Thanks Larry. Do yourself a favor and pull you bottle off the mount and examine the tank. We looked this weekend and ours had the exact same wear spot on it and we would have had the same problem in the future.
We removed, inspected*and weighed the bottle last summer as we do every year.* If you look closely at the first picture, we have a rubber gasket between the bottle and bracket so that the bottle is isolated.* I could see if it was metal on metal you could have a problem.*

*We have the same rubber gasket, yet it still rubbed on something. Just be careful.
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:11 PM   #14
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RE: Engine room extinguisher options.

Quote:
Boathommy wrote:
Halon is great as far as cleanup is concerned but you will need to rebuild your engine if it is ingested into the engine.
Nonsense.

The US Naval Research Lab ran extensive tests on Halon 1301 in the late 1970s. They operated diesel engines at over 7 percent concentrations for extended periods. Halon will not shut down a diesel and the only effect noted was removal of carbon in the area of the rings and valves.

An increase in lube oil acidity was noted.

Bottom line, if you have an engine room fire and your boat is saved by Halon, change the oil and be thankful that is all it cost you.
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:28 PM   #15
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RE: Engine room extinguisher options.

Quote:
RickB wrote:Boathommy wrote:
Halon is great as far as cleanup is concerned but you will need to rebuild your engine if it is ingested into the engine.
Nonsense.

The US Naval Research Lab ran extensive tests on Halon 1301 in the late 1970s. They operated diesel engines at over 7 percent concentrations for extended periods. Halon will not shut down a diesel and the only effect noted was removal of carbon in the area of the rings and valves.

An increase in lube oil acidity was noted.

Bottom line, if you have an engine room fire and your boat is saved by Halon, change the oil and be thankful that is all it cost you.

*That is contrary to what I have been told.* Is that also true with gas?* I'm sure you have better info than my source.

thank you!

thom
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:15 PM   #16
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With halon type fire extinguishing systems (we have a Fireboy-Xintex CG2 automatic extinguisher) has everyone with diesel engines connected their system to an automatic engine shutdown system as specified in the manual?
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:03 PM   #17
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Greetings,
Replaced all fire extinguishers this past summer. Two dry chemicals (one in galley and one in V-berth) and one 5lb. CO2 mounted OUTSIDE the ER. Never thought about CO2 being potentially hazardous. I'll keep that strongly in mind and will remember to brief others as well. Thanks.
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:44 PM   #18
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This may be a case of combined stories. If a fire extinguisher is used to stop a run away engine the contents may score the cylinder walls of the engine. Of course that is cheaper to fix than if a rod comes loose and goes through the bottom of the boat and sinks it. I'm not sure this is all true either but that doesn't stop folks from saying it.

So that may be carried over to Halon doing the same thing and it doesn't.
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Old 09-10-2012, 03:29 PM   #19
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I carry 14 fire extininquishers on board. 4 are halon that I can not be re certified here in Canada. Ya 14 is probably a bit over kill. I like my halons and at some point will replace with a new agent. But will miss the stuff since I have kinda gotten used to using the stuff.

Extinquishers .

If they are located on the other side of the fire ya get off the boat. If they run out you get off the boat. You even have a few to spare for that other fire so you are not left unprotected. etc

I have also almost been dropped to my knees a couple of times from the smoke created by boat / car fires. Be dayum carefull with that.

2 / 3 extinquishers on a 30 plus cruising boat ? HMMMMMMM.

Random thoughts.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:29 AM   #20
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All these bottles are equipped with a pressure switch so you could install an alarm or indicator lamp versus removing them. New systems are not as effective pound for pound so have to be larger and new standards call for an engine, generator, blower shut-down relay box. An indicator lamp and regular inspection make far better sense than throwing out a perfectly good system.
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