How to Refill a Fire Extinguisher

Posted on Sep 03, 2021

A fire extinguisher is the handiest, fire safety equipment available at the time of the fire incident. However, there are numerous instances where they have been rendered useless for not being maintained properly.  A fire extinguisher refilling needs in 2 instances. First, if the extinguisher has been used to douse the fire, even partially.  It renders the fire extinguisher useless until recharged as loses the necessary pressure for the extinguishing medium to come out of the extinguisher. Secondly, as per the statutory framework, every extinguisher has to go a mandatory test of Hydrostatic pressure every 3 years.  It is done to test the physical damage, corrosion, leakage which is not visible from the naked eye. These damages also left the extinguisher useless.

Fire extinguisher recharging process 

Refilling of a Fire extinguisher should be done by a trained professional of a fire safety company. Fire protection companies have the tools, training, and knowledge to ensure that the fire extinguisher that you have installed in your premises is always in working condition and are filled with the right extinguishing medium. Overview of refilling of an extinguisher is detailed below:-

  1. First, the extinguisher is completely depressurized by removing the extinguishing agent from the cylinder.
  2. The discharge valve is removed from the cylinder
  3. The siphon tube is removed from the valve and the valve stem and spring is also removed.
  4. The technician cleans the valve, replaces the valve neck o-ring, and visually inspects the unit internally and externally for signs of damage.
  5. Once cleaned the valve is reassembled with a new valve stem installed to ensure proper seating and avoid future pressure loss.
  6. The extinguishing agent (water, carbon dioxide, dry chemical, clean agent, etc.) is refilled by weight to the appropriate amount for the size of the unit.
  7. The unit is re-pressurized with the appropriate pressurizing gas and to the required pressure for that unit.
  8. The technician completes a Leak Test to check for signs of leakage and reinstalls the discharge nozzle or hose.
  9. The extinguisher is weighed again to confirm that the total weight is within allowable tolerances.
  10. A new tamper seal is installed on the safety pin and a new recharge tag is attached to the unit with each tag indicating the unit total weight and the identity of the technician completing the work.

Properly charged and maintained fire extinguishers are the easy and very cost-effective method to protect your premises from incipient stage fire incidents.