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What to do with old fire extinguishers.
Old 11-18-2017, 07:27 AM   #1
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What to do with old fire extinguishers.

We keep a variety of fire extinguishers at home and in our cars. Nothing fancy. Just basic, relatively inexpensive Kidde extinguishers we got at Walmart. Two of them now indicate insufficient pressure, and I'm wondering what to do with them. Any suggestions?
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Old 11-18-2017, 07:30 AM   #2
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Did you see the Kidde recall? Kidde is supposed to tell me how to dispose of the two bad ones I have once they send replacements.

https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2017/ki...-discharge-and
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Old 11-18-2017, 07:36 AM   #3
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Assuming they aren't in the recall, I'd probably practice with it out in the driveway or back yard, then pitch it. Seems like a great opportunity to make sure everyone in the house gets a chance to try or at least see how it works, even if it doesn't work well anymore.
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Old 11-18-2017, 07:47 AM   #4
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How to Dispose of Old Fire Extinguishers
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Old 11-18-2017, 08:38 AM   #5
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So there you go, you're supposed to relieve pressure anyway. I say do it while everyone in the house is around to give some practice.
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Old 11-18-2017, 08:40 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Did you see the Kidde recall? Kidde is supposed to tell me how to dispose of the two bad ones I have once they send replacements.

https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2017/ki...-discharge-and
I guess today is my lucky day. Two of our four extinguishers, including one of them showing low pressure, are on the recall list. So now I have only one to deal with (but it's the large one). Thanks for the information.
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Old 11-18-2017, 08:46 AM   #7
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So there you go, you're supposed to relieve pressure anyway. I say do it while everyone in the house is around to give some practice.
+1000

In my career I've worked places(data centers) where you had to be trained on fire extinguishers. Seriously take your time read the directions an go at it.

They actually set fire to a pan of gas/kerosene mix. One person hit the fire wrong and the fire flared up! It was very scary for a minute and I was only watching. I seriously thought that person would be badly burnt.

You don't want to learn in a real fire.
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Old 11-18-2017, 09:40 AM   #8
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Be aware that dry chemical extinguishers are very corrosive to electronics so keep your discharge away from the house, car, iPhone, Apple Watch, etc.
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Old 11-18-2017, 10:33 AM   #9
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I wasn't aware that old fire extinguishers were thrown away. There are businesses that recharge fire extinguishers, kind of like propane tanks.
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Old 11-18-2017, 10:43 AM   #10
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I wasn't aware that old fire extinguishers were thrown away. There are businesses that recharge fire extinguishers, kind of like propane tanks.
Yes, the rechargeable extinguishers are commercial variety with metal valves. The throw-aways Kidde is recalling are inexpensive home use extinguishers with plastic valves that cannot be recharged.
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Old 11-18-2017, 10:58 AM   #11
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Be aware that dry chemical extinguishers are very corrosive to electronics so keep your discharge away from the house, car, iPhone, Apple Watch, etc.
What is the chemical? I was under the impression it was only baking soda or a variation thereof
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Old 11-18-2017, 11:04 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
We keep a variety of fire extinguishers at home and in our cars. Nothing fancy. Just basic, relatively inexpensive Kidde extinguishers we got at Walmart. Two of them now indicate insufficient pressure, and I'm wondering what to do with them. Any suggestions?
I have two that have to be at least 10-12 years old. Both still have the pressure needle well within the "Green Zone" ie It's still good

Is that real? Should I use these for practice and buy new ones?

Also, will the trash collectors pick up a used fire extinguisher even if it's empty? Unless it's disguised with other trash the trash picker-upper wouldn't know if it's a dead one or a live one and there might be some prohibition (likely local) about possibly pressurized metal canisters being in generic household waste.
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Old 11-18-2017, 11:29 AM   #13
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I still have several Halon fire extinguishers. Just checked them after reading this thread and they all are still in the "green" zones. I'm not 100% sure but I believe they are at least 20 years old since I can remember unpacking them from boxes from a house I sold in the late 90's.

I think if I wanted to toss them I'd just discharge them and toss them in the trash. Not so sure about dry chemical extinguishers since they make a mess.
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Old 11-18-2017, 12:05 PM   #14
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Yes, the rechargeable extinguishers are commercial variety with metal valves. The throw-aways Kidde is recalling are inexpensive home use extinguishers with plastic valves that cannot be recharged.


Thank you for the recall info and the answer. I have one First Alert rechargeable, I think, fire extinguisher and one Kidde. I called for the Kidde recall.
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Old 11-18-2017, 12:06 PM   #15
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+1 on practicing with old extinguishers. I also put out "practice" fires for w*rk and with a volunteer organization I'm involved with. Every time I learned something.

I strongly encourage anyone who hasn't put out a fire with a hand-portable extinguisher to try it. And bring your whole family. Kids love playing with fire, and they're learning a lesson that might save their life some day.
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Old 11-18-2017, 01:10 PM   #16
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32 year old - 1985 Kidde Fire Away 10 BC still solidly in the green zone! It is on the affected list so I filed to get replacement extinguisher sent.

Last year it was a free dehumidifier replacement although the compressor in our old one wasn't working and I almost went out and bought one before I heard of that recall.
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Old 11-18-2017, 03:15 PM   #17
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What is the chemical? I was under the impression it was only baking soda or a variation thereof
Sodium bicarbonate was commonly used at one time, but nowadays itís probably something different as explained here on Wikipedia.

And please donít dispose of Halon by discharging it yourself. Check with a local FE service company or fire department and see if theyíll take them. By treaty, Halon hasnít been produced since the early 1990s as it is not only the worst ozone depleter but the worst greenhouse gas as well. Freon and Halon are of the same chemical family.
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Old 11-18-2017, 03:25 PM   #18
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I just got my replacement Kiddie fire extinguisher, and can tell you that for the recalled ones, they will want you to send it back in the same box the replacement came in.
They include a return label and instructions.
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Old 11-18-2017, 03:29 PM   #19
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Having worked where fire extinguishers had to be checked each year, the fellow relayed this information:
check the dial for pressure, then turn the fire extinguisher upside down and slap the (now) top end, and listen by putting your ear against it for the sound of the powder falling down inside.
Repeat if you don't hear it, letting it rest upright for a minute so the powder can settle between tests.

If you hear the powder, and the pressure is good, then it's all good.
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Old 11-18-2017, 03:49 PM   #20
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...turn the fire extinguisher upside down and slap the (now) top end, and listen by putting your ear against it for the sound of the powder falling down inside...
I heard this too, 40 years ago when I first started boating. Some of the old-timers still swear by this technique.

Everything I've read since then says that's no longer necessary. The materials and construction of the extinguishers is much different now, and they don't cake up. Of course that doesn't stop me from trying it sometimes. The only time I've ever heard it caked up in the bottom (the cake can land at the top of the tank with a "clunk.") was decades ago, and the extinguisher was very old even then.
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