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Co2 Fire Extinguishers

Question

When are Co2 fire extinguishers obsolete?

I know about the regulations for stored pressure dry chemical and water, but I'm not sure where to find out about Co2. Is it something to do with the classification of B1 C1? Are there any restrictions on the age of the cylinder like in dry chemical stored pressure extinguishers? Any info. or D.O.T. links you can provide would be helpful. Thank you.

Answer:

1) Under obsolete extinguishers in Title 19 577.2

(11) states that any stored pressure fire extinguisher manufactured prior to 1955.

So any CO2 older than 1955 is obsolete.

 (12) states that any extinguisher that has a 4B 6B 8B 12B and 16B fire rating.

Part of the justification for this item stated that these are old ratings do not meet the current rating requirements for the selection and placement of fire extinguishers in Title 19. They achieved their rating using different test scenarios than adopted today, and there are no parts left available for these extinguishers rending them unserviceable.

While we do not have the date the rating system changed, any CO2 extinguisher that has these “obsolete” rating numbers is obsolete and is to be replace.

2) Under 575.2 Maintenance Requirements (b) Mechanical Parts it states that any parts needed for replacement shall be the manufacturer’s recommended replacement parts or parts of equal quality. Parts not designed as the manufacturer’s recommended replacement parts shall be proven by a recognized testing laboratory to be of equal quality. Then under 577.1 Condemned extinguishers it states that Portable fire extinguishers shall not be repaired except as permitted by manufacturer’s instructions using manufacturer’s recommended replacement parts or parts of equal quality. This would include the failure of a conductivity test under 575.145 if not replacement recommended or listed equal parts are available.

Therefore these extinguishers should be condemned when they need parts that are no longer available. Available replacement parts would have to be those that have been “proven” by a recognized testing laboratory to be of equal quality.

3) 596.8 Listed Labels states that “Every portable fire extinguisher shall bear a listed label in accordance with the standards listed in Section 561.2.

Any CO2 that does not have a “Listing” (usually UL) as defined in Title 19 cannot be serviced. It was a common practice at one time to replace nameplates with generic ones that do not have the UL label and therefore would have to be removed from service.

4) DOT does not have a requirement for the cylinders to be retired for age. Cylinders are condemned for failing the visual inspection or hydrostatic test.