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1970 El Camino SS396, VortecPro 467, ATI TH400, Moser 12 bolt /TruTrac 3:42, Hedman headers
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bought a NIB Kidde Halon 1211 extinguisher 5 pounder at a garage sale for $10, gauge shows fully charged, sloshes around inside when tipped. Looks to be dated 1985...possible intended for marine use. Aware Halon 1211 is hard to get, but still available for aviation or marine use. Looking for info from knowledgeable members, is this still a viable piece for the shop, what kind of price to refill at current pricing (not with the Halon 3000 stuff), any suggestions in its “care and feeding” appreciated. Only knowledgeable reply please.
 

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As the Hazmat guy for a Coast Guard air station, I will tell you the CG got rid of the Halon 1211 about 10-12 years ago. Really bad stuff environmentally. Now, that being said, as long as the gauge still reads in the green zone its good. This is a liquid agent that turns to a gas when released. It is oxygen depleting. Meaning it displaces oxygen. You cant breath!
It is UBER expensive to have refilled. I think, but dont know for sure, but due to the nature of the agent, you may now have to be licensed to get it refilled. Just like HVAC tech with their refrigerant.

$10 for that extinguisher is good. Cost you 200-300 times that to get it refilled.
 

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1970 El Camino SS396, VortecPro 467, ATI TH400, Moser 12 bolt /TruTrac 3:42, Hedman headers
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the reply, while I don't feel my 5 lbs of pollution potential vs the ability to put out a nasty fire without causing further damage with the fire fighting agent more than balances out atmospheric "hole in the sky" risk with chlorofluorocarbons. i'm sure there is some permitting process involved at some point but my understanding is it is still available for aviation/marine use and may be the only agent approved for cockpit use. I have a 2 pound Halon style extinguisher in my Chevelle, from Summit Racing, not sure if 1211 or 3000 series gas so some variant is still available. I would be curious to know where the Coast Guards' supply went once it was turned in. Safety-wise, it's my understanding the 1211 Halon was the most efficient one of the bunch, correct me if I'm wrong. Again, thank you for taking the time with your informative reply.
 

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I was in a computer room when a Halon system malfunctioned and discharged. AC went out and both sensors registered to much heat. We had seconds to get out of the computer room. In that case the fire system would have killed us and not the flames that didn't exist. For a outside car fire have at it. Not sure I would ever think about using it in a house.
 

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I guess the one thing I would be worried about is the age of the unit even though the internal stuff might be still good. You hate to find out (over a $10 purchase) that the nozzle mechanism is stuck close and maybe it sat outside for a bunch of years and is corroded.
 

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Its 36 years old ? I think I would want to have an alternative on hand just in case it decided not to work when needed.
 

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These are the ones I have in each of my classic cars (if you are looking for an alternative/backup extinguisher):


Halotron (Halon replacement) that doesn't damage electronics/wiring/etc.
 
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As the Hazmat guy for a Coast Guard air station, I will tell you the CG got rid of the Halon 1211 about 10-12 years ago. Really bad stuff environmentally. Now, that being said, as long as the gauge still reads in the green zone its good. This is a liquid agent that turns to a gas when released. It is oxygen depleting. Meaning it displaces oxygen. You cant breath!
It is UBER expensive to have refilled. I think, but dont know for sure, but due to the nature of the agent, you may now have to be licensed to get it refilled. Just like HVAC tech with their refrigerant.

$10 for that extinguisher is good. Cost you 200-300 times that to get it refilled.

Halon may be 'inhaled' because it is not (by itself) harmful to humans (like CO2 is). But, it DOES displace oxygen (as stated) and therefor, in sufficient concentrations, can cause death (from lack of oxygen). That takes time (how much depends on the concentration).

Halon began replacing CO2 in fixed flooding fire suppression systems on USN ships about 50 years ago (? my memory is not good enough to place it any more accurately). One reason was because Halon is 'breathable'. In the USN specified concentrations, it gave sailors more time (than CO2) to evacuate the compartment. Both visible and audible alarms alerted sailors of imminent (there was a time delay) deployment.

It is a hydrocarbon (very similar to R12 refrigerant) and has the same environmental impacts (that were unknown initially).

Just some info.

Pete
 

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1970 El Camino SS396, VortecPro 467, ATI TH400, Moser 12 bolt /TruTrac 3:42, Hedman headers
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It’s my understanding that Halotron requires approx. 2x as much to be as effective as 1211, is more available, is safe with electronics and is generally MUCH more available and is currently the replacement for 1211. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I could not pass up the opportunity to acquire something this effective to supplement my other powder based extinguishers. I’ve never had to use any of them to date and hope it remains this way but I intend to keep my options open. Japete92, thank you for your comments...it backs up what info I have seen to date.
 

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It’s my understanding that Halotron requires approx. 2x as much to be as effective as 1211, is more available, is safe with electronics and is generally MUCH more available and is currently the replacement for 1211. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I could not pass up the opportunity to acquire something this effective to supplement my other powder based extinguishers. I’ve never had to use any of them to date and hope it remains this way but I intend to keep my options open. Japete92, thank you for your comments...it backs up what info I have seen to date.
You are correct in your statements. Both agents are a "clean" agent. Meaning they leave no residue. Dry chemicals like Purple K is corrosive to metals over time.
 
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