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Old 12-25-2017, 04:46 PM   #21
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I used the Powder. I know CO2 would have been just as effective and a lot less of a mess but nonetheless I used the nearest extinguisher.
The important thing is it worked. Was it as hard to clean up as you hear?
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Old 12-26-2017, 09:13 AM   #22
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Do you have an automatic halon system? If you do, investigate why it didn’t go off.
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Old 12-26-2017, 12:40 PM   #23
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Do you have an automatic halon system? If you do, investigate why it didnt go off.

Im guessing because he got onto it so quickly and put it out manually. At least as fire suppression systems go, its cheaper to replace a small fire extinguisher than to re-and-re a halon system.
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Old 12-26-2017, 01:01 PM   #24
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Unless you have a very specific requirement NEEDING Halon you cannot get them refilled.
You can use an existing unit but once used it must be replaced with something different.

I had a halon unit years ago for the previous boat, gasoline powered.. On this boat it was useless so I gave it away. My now engine is diesel and the engine compartment is too darn big for that halon unit to do any good so it was just useless baggage.
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Old 12-26-2017, 03:26 PM   #25
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Unless you have a very specific requirement NEEDING Halon you cannot get them refilled.
You can use an existing unit but once used it must be replaced with something different.

I had a halon unit years ago for the previous boat, gasoline powered.. On this boat it was useless so I gave it away. My now engine is diesel and the engine compartment is too darn big for that halon unit to do any good so it was just useless baggage.
My boat is diesel and my halon system is large enough for my large engine room. I have a friend who is the fire chief where I live and I asked him to inspect the system. He told me the system was totally larger enough and I have it reinspected every year.
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Old 12-26-2017, 03:47 PM   #26
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Fire-Fire!!

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My boat is diesel and my halon system is large enough for my large engine room. I have a friend who is the fire chief where I live and I asked him to inspect the system. He told me the system was totally larger enough and I have it reinspected every year.

I think Cs point is, you can get it inspected but (at least in Canada) not refilled. Not sure about what you can do stateside with grandfathered systems. So, your better off putting out a fire with a portable system first if it is safe to do sound within your on capabilities, and save your Halon system for more dangerous fires,
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Old 12-27-2017, 08:42 PM   #27
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Yes, JD Cave has it right.

If you have it you can keep it. But if it is ever used you most likely will not be able to get if refilled. Yes, where you are Donna, the rules may be different so you should ask your friend. I'll guess yours will not be refillable if you ever do use it. But if you need it use it as many boat fires have a very limited time to get them under control.

Note also that a diesel could care less if a Halon system triggers. It will continue to run and burn the Halon. Auto Halon systems , for that reason, almost always were tied to the engine to automatically shut the engine off.
Too boot when the engine burns the stuff it changes into a poisonous gas [don't remember which] although unless something is wrong with the exhaust that should be of less concern than putting the fire out FAST.

Just be sure the engine shuts down when the system is triggered. At the very least a LOUD alarm so if it is not automatic shutdown you are aware you have a big problem.
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Old 01-02-2018, 01:31 PM   #28
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Found the cause of the fire. It was an old 4 pin relay that had the coil fail or short. This relay is used to sound an alarm should I get a hi tranny temp, a high engine block temp or low oil pressure. These 3 alarm points provide the ground to the relay which in turn energizes an audible alarm. When the coil shorted it sent 12v down to these switches (alarm points) and grounded out. There wasn't a fuse in this 1969 vintage wiring but there is now . I am really lucky in that the only damage was 12" of melted wire.
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Old 01-02-2018, 01:50 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Nordic Star View Post
Found the cause of the fire. It was an old 4 pin relay that had the coil fail or short. This relay is used to sound an alarm should I get a hi tranny temp, a high engine block temp or low oil pressure. These 3 alarm points provide the ground to the relay which in turn energizes an audible alarm. When the coil shorted it sent 12v down to these switches (alarm points) and grounded out. There wasn't a fuse in this 1969 vintage wiring but there is now . I am really lucky in that the only damage was 12" of melted wire.
Pleased you found the circumstance. Good lesson for all who follow this thread. Thanks for posting!
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Old 01-02-2018, 03:04 PM   #30
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Well done in tracking it down, NS.
You can sleep easier now, instead of wondering if there could be a repeat performance.
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Old 01-03-2018, 12:27 AM   #31
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It’s bad when your alarm system tries to kill you.
I had an oil pressure switch fail on an airplane engine. It allowed all the oil to pump out of the engine. Luckily it happened on the ground instead of ten minutes later at a thousand feet over the ocean.
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Old 01-03-2018, 07:38 AM   #32
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Totally with Ski on this one ....
There is not enough load on this circuit to make it burn. Something else ( a larger load ) found the path to ground via this circuit .....
My .02 CAD .... FB
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Old 01-03-2018, 07:56 AM   #33
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Praise the wisdom of the Guru's.
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Old 01-03-2018, 08:22 AM   #34
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Totally with Ski on this one ....
There is not enough load on this circuit to make it burn. Something else ( a larger load ) found the path to ground via this circuit .....
My .02 CAD .... FB
And, the beat goes on!

Good luck in locating load transfer!
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Old 01-07-2018, 06:37 PM   #35
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Economical Fire Detection System

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Started up my Diesel for my weekly check last night and saw smoke coming out of the engine room within 30 seconds. A quick look revealed a small fire (looked huge but was only the size of a Brillo pad)) in the wiring hardness next to the oil pressure sending unit. Since I have 6 fire extinguishers on a 37' boat one was within easy reach. One short blast and the fire was out.

Cause of the fire was the oil sending unit went to ground as soon as the switch was made. The hot side wire of the osu completely melted and luckily no other wires in the harness were damaged.

Lessons from this? Always-always keep a clean engine room. This could have turned out to be much worse.
My best friend lost his Westport 52 (and nearly his 8th of his 9 lives) because he was alone on fly bridge and didn't discover engine room fire in time. He spent 45 minutes in 48 Degree water before he was rescued. You can see the rescue on U-Tube: .

I have a cheap and effective recommendation to make sure you know about an engine room fire in time to put it out with a portable fire extinguisher. Both Kidde and First Alert make wireless smoke detectors that can be wirelessly linked. These are about $20 each. I have one in my engine room, main cabin (as a repeater just in case), and most importantly one on my fly bridge. If the engine room detects even a trace of smoke, they all go off. It's probably a good idea to tow you dinghy too. My friend couldn't launch his due to fire coming up companion way
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Old 01-07-2018, 07:07 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Nordic Star View Post
Found the cause of the fire. It was an old 4 pin relay that had the coil fail or short. This relay is used to sound an alarm should I get a hi tranny temp, a high engine block temp or low oil pressure. These 3 alarm points provide the ground to the relay which in turn energizes an audible alarm. When the coil shorted it sent 12v down to these switches (alarm points) and grounded out. There wasn't a fuse in this 1969 vintage wiring but there is now . I am really lucky in that the only damage was 12" of melted wire.


The usual cause for fire is not shorted wiring but rather poor electrical connections. And if you do experience a true short where the circuit is not protected for overloads, it usually will take out the entire wiring harness especially if the wires are PVC and not teflon.
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