Hydrostatic Testing Of Portable Fire Extinguishers Is Necessary To Ensure They Work When Needed – Part 2

May 28, 2019 Roy Williams

Part 1 in this series provided a summary of each step in the hydrostatic testing process for rechargeable portable fire extinguishers through the actual hydrostatic test. Part 2 in this series will provide a summary of the steps following the hydrostatic test through final reassembly and recharging the portable fire extinguisher.

Portable fire extinguishers designed to combat type A, B and C class fires are the most common type of fire extinguisher used in businesses today. In order to ensure that these portable fire extinguishers are reliable, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) requires monthly inspections, annual maintenance inspections, and hydrostatic testing of rechargeable portable fire extinguishers.

Hydrostatic testing involves subjecting the fire extinguisher cylinder to pressures that exceed its rating to ensure it is still capable of maintaining the pressure necessary to discharge properly in the event of a fire.

There are eleven (11) basic steps to performing hydrostatic testing of rechargeable portable fire extinguishers:

  1. Visually Inspect the portable fire extinguishers prior to pressure testing
  2. Remove the discharge hose
  3. Discharge the fire extinguisher
  4. Remove the discharge valve
  5. Perform a hydrostatic pressure test on the portable fire extinguisher cylinder
  6. Drain and dry the portable fire extinguisher cylinder
  7. Replace the portable fire extinguisher cylinder valve stem and o-ring
  8. Fill the portable fire extinguisher cylinder with the appropriate fire extinguishing agent
  9. Apply the portable fire extinguisher service collar along with the appropriate ID and labels
  10. Pressurize the portable fire extinguisher
  11. Install the tamper seal and discharge hose on the portable fire extinguisher

Having your portable fire extinguisher cylinders properly hydrostatically tested will help ensure your portable fire extinguishers will work when you need it.

Drain and dry the portable fire extinguisher cylinder

After completion of the hydrostatic testing of the portable fire extinguisher cylinder, drain the water from the cylinder and thoroughly dry the cylinder before reassembling the fire extinguisher.

Replace the portable fire extinguisher cylinder valve stem and o-ring

The valve stem and O-rings are considered wear items. When reassembling the fire extinguisher, replace them with new ones.

Fill the portable fire extinguisher cylinder with the appropriate fire extinguishing agent

Once reassembled, fill the cylinder with the appropriate fire extinguishing agent.

Apply the portable fire extinguisher service collar along with the appropriate ID and labels

Applying the service collar, ID and weatherproof labels are an important step in ensuring compliance with the NFPA code. they indicate:

  • The month and year the hydrostatic test was performed
  • The pressure at which the unit was tested
  • The name or initials of the technician who performed the test and the name of the agency/company responsible for the test results.

Pressurize the portable fire extinguisher

With labels intact, the cylinder is ready to be pressurized.

Install the tamper seal and discharge hose on the portable fire extinguisher

The last step is to install the tamper seal and hose. The hose must be thoroughly dry before reattaching it to the extinguisher. Once fully reassembled and the tamper seal intact, the portable fire extinguisher is once again ready for use.

For safety reasons, hydrostatic testing should only be performed by individuals and in facilities certified for hydrostatic testing.

The Jay L Harman Fire Equipment team understands your firefighting needs and is ready to help

Jay L Harman’s DOT Hydrostatic Testing facility and equipment meet all NFPA requirements for the testing of ABC portable fire extinguisher cylinders.

Jay L Harman is the best and one of the biggest firefighting equipment suppliers and service providers in the region, specializing in fire suppression systems, fire extinguishers, emergency lighting, fire hoses, hydrostatic testing and more. Serving El Paso TX, Las Cruces NM and the surrounding areas, we pride ourselves on buying local and hiring local whenever possible.

Jay L Harman Fire Equipment is your go-to distributor for OVAL low-profile fire extinguishers in West Texas and New Mexico.

Contact Jay L. Harman Fire Equipment in El Paso TX at 915-533-7021 or Las Cruces NM at 575-523-8880.

Since 1925, we have protected businesses throughout the area from the harms and hazards of fires. Every Jay L Harman technician is licensed and regulated by the Texas Department of Insurance State Fire Marshal’s Office.  Each of these technicians continually receives the most up-to-date factory training and certifications by our manufacturers. Contact Jay L Harman Fire Equipment today. Let our friendly and knowledgeable staff tell you more about our fire suppression systems and help you find the ideal fire suppression system for your needs. Learn more about our full offering of fire extinguisher training, firefighting services, firefighting products, request a quote, ask a question or request additional information.