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Thread: fire extinguishers in cold weather ??

  1. #1
    Member MRFISH's Avatar
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    Default fire extinguishers in cold weather ??

    Two years ago, I bought a couple of new fire extinguishers for our cabin in interior AK. I don't remember what brand/model they were...we got them in a 2-pack from Costco...just your typical household-style (dry chemical) fire extinguisher.

    Over the winter, in the unheated cabin, both of them lost their charge. They hadn't seemed like they actually discharged in any way (no powder anywhere), but the needles were all the way down...and we tested one of them to make sure it wasn't a guage issue (it wasn't...the thing was dead). And, yes, the guages were reading proper when they were new out of the box.

    We're not there in the winter (if we were, the cabin would be heated), but it seems to me those things couldn't take the extreme cold (perhaps a gasket shrunk enough in the cold to allow the pressurization to leak ???). I don't necessarily need something that will work at that temperature (-40 and colder)...just something that can withstand it.

    So, I need to get a few replacements, but want to try to find something that will hold up. Has anyone else had this problem (or maybe the ones I bought just both happened to be defective)? Any recommendations? Thanks, Art.

  2. #2
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    If you want extinguishers that can handle the cold, get the ones they use on the slope. I know they can handle being stored at -40, and bouncing around in a truck on a gravel road. As I recall they are Ansul purple k industrial extinguishers. They use a factory sealed pressure cartridge that is leak checked at the factory. I haven't been able to find a temp rating for them.

    My assumption would be that the seals on the extinguishers you bought shrank in the cold, and that's why you lost your pressure.

  3. #3
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    I've had a couple of big (25# or so) extinguishers at my cabin for 15 years and they still read in the top of the green. The last few smaller ones I've bought have been marine extinguishers and they hold up well, too. The cabin gets heated when we're there, cold when we're gone. Lots of cycles.

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