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Terry B

Fire Extinguishers

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The gauges on cheap extinguishers are the cheapest it is physically possible to make and are unreliable especially as they sit in one position all the time. we had a serviceman blow up a 10 litre water cylinder (split apart down the seam with a hell of a bang, luckily the seam was pointing away from his belly not towards) )when pressuriseing it because he was looking at the cylinder gauge instead of the filling gear gauge. I personally wouldnt use dry powder on a boat, it settles, and make a hell of a mess if used, and that can be accidentally. I like foam spray for everything.  The cartridge extinguishers (as rigger refers to )  are more reliable and user serviceable but have gone from the domestic market now unfortunately.   

With inflatable life jackets with so many being sold now its only a matter of time before some disasters happen with non inflation. I think owners could be a lot more proactive with service but then you do actually have to do it and now, not some time. From my experience chaff of the CO2 cylinder is the main issue. The varnish type coating rubs off and rust starts and could easily make a pinhole. I have some times sanded them off and put some varnish or resin on them which of course is a big no no, you supposed to biff it and put on a new one!  You need scales to check weigh them. The mechanism is plastic so don't seize up as a rule. The other thing is holes in the fabric, not sure about that one, I guess you could blow them up manually and see how they last.  

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speaking of inflating life jackets - I had one on last weekend that hadn't been out of the cupboard in five years.  Forgot I had it on when I jumped over as we came in to shore.  Inflated within 3 seconds of hitting the water I reckon - works fine.  $40 to replace the cylinder kit probably!

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