What Does It Mean to Recharge a Fire Extinguisher?

September 1, 2020 11:18 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

While most people think fire extinguishers can just sit in one place for a long period of time and wait to be used, the truth is that fire extinguishers do require a bit of ongoing maintenance. In fact, without that ongoing maintenance, you might find that a fire extinguisher at your home or business will not be usable when you need it.

Part of ongoing maintenance involves keeping up with your recharging your fire extinguishers in Longview, TX. But what is extinguisher recharging, and when does it need to be done? Here’s an overview of what you should know.

What is fire extinguisher recharging?

Fire extinguisher recharging is an important aspect of extinguisher maintenance that must be performed by a trained professional. Here’s a quick overview of the process used:

  • The extinguisher gets de-pressurized, and all of the agent in the extinguisher gets removed from the cylinder
  • The technician removes the discharge valve from the cylinder
  • The siphon tube gets removed from the valve, and the valve stem and spring get taken out
  • The technician cleans out the valve, replaces the valve neck O-ring and inspects the interior and exterior of the unit to search for any signs of damage
  • After cleaning is complete, the technician reassembles the valve with a new valve stem installed to make sure seating is properly done and future pressure loss can be avoided
  • The extinguishing agent used in the equipment gets refilled by weight to the appropriate level for the unit and its size as specified in the manufacturer instructions
  • The technician conducts a test to check for signs of leakage and reinstalls the discharge nozzle and hose
  • The technician weighs the extinguisher to confirm the total weight falls within the tolerances specified by the manufacturer for the unit
  • The technician installs a new tamper seal on the safety pin and attaches a new recharge tag to the unit, with every tag installed indicating the total weight of the unit and the technician who completed the work

When do the fire extinguishers need to be recharged?

There are several circumstances in which it is important to recharge your fire extinguisher.

First, you should always recharge a fire extinguisher after it’s been used, even if the extinguishing agent was not fully discharged. Small discharges can result in leakage, which over the course of time will result in a loss of the pressure required for standard operation.

Fire extinguishers also need to be recharged periodically even if they haven’t been discharged. The standards for recharging periods will vary from unit to unit, but in general, you’ll need to recharge at six and 12 years from the date of manufacture. Make sure you analyze the pressure on the exterior of the unit to see if recharging is necessary.

To learn more about the process of maintaining and recharging fire extinguishers in Longview, TX, or to schedule service, we encourage you to contact the team at Anchor Safety Inc. today. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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