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My fire extinguisher is out of charge and I want to either refill it or buy a new one. Is it better/cheaper to refill it or just buy a new one? (Can I even refill this fire extinguisher?)

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What make/model is it and what does it contain (water, foam or gas)? Basically we need code numbers. –  ChrisF Dec 21 '10 at 14:40
    
I added a picture of the label (sorry for the poor image quality... the important pieces are still visible). –  Jeff Widmer Dec 21 '10 at 16:01

3 Answers 3

up vote 23 down vote accepted

I used to be a fire extinguisher repair tech. This unit should not be refilled even though it is possible with the right equipment. The plastic/nylon heads will develop cracks and leaks over time. Buy a new unit with a metal head. Those can be refilled and will last you a long time. Amerex, Badger, General, Ansul are all decent brands.

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From the picture, this appears to be a type ABC dry chem fire extinguisher. This is the most common type for people to have in their homes as it can be used on ordinary combustibles, flammable liquids, and electrical fires.

Unfortunately, it is not possible for you to refill this on your own. You could take it to a local fire equipment / service shop and they should be able to service it and refill it. I'm not sure how much that would cost in comparison to just buying a new extinguisher. The size of the one in the picture would cost less than $50 brand new.

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This article mentions that refillable fire extinguishers have a metal valve, rather than a plastic one.

You may also want to check with your local fire department - some of them will refill it for free.

The cost trade off should be about $15 for a refill, or $60-115 for a new one. (I can't tell if that's a 10 or 20 lb extinguisher in the picture.)

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Most local fire departments no longer fill extinguishers. There are some. I would recommend not even attempting to fill this one. Buy one with a metal head. –  Doc Walker Dec 21 '10 at 20:10
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Isn't that what I said? Ones with metal heads are refillable, and plastic ones are not. –  Doresoom Dec 21 '10 at 23:26
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Actually these units are refillable. I have done it. I just do not recommend it as it can and will probably leak. I worked 5 years as a extinguisher repair tech. Here is the recharge adapter for that unit brooksequipment.com/Service_Equipment/Recharge_Adapters/… My comment was also addressing the fire departments not filling them. There are a couple reasons they don't do it any more. liability, cost, and certification –  Doc Walker Dec 22 '10 at 1:54

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