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What Is Hydrostatic Testing?

Posted on: September 16, 2013

Any time you have a vessel under pressure, it’s critically important that you have it vigorously stress tested before putting it to use. Hydrostatic testing will test the strengths and weaknesses of the vessel, including leaks and deformities. Hydrostatic testing is required for your fire extinguisher every 12 years.

What’s involved in fire extinguisher hydrostatic testing?

During a hydrostatic test, your fire extinguisher will be filled with water or oil and then pressurized to test the shell for integrity. Once the shell is pressurized, the supply valve is closed off to test for any pressure losses or vessel deformations. Sometimes the liquid is colored to make it easier to see.

Safety Considerations

During a hydrostatic test, your fire extinguisher will be pressurized to a higher than normal operating pressure—usually 125 – 150 percent of the normal load. This high pressure will show whether the fire extinguisher has become structurally weakened over the years. If a fire extinguisher has weakened, it could fail or explode when used, presenting an extreme risk to the operator and anyone in the building.

How often do I need hydrostatic testing?

NFPA requirements state that fire extinguishers must have hydrostatic tests every 12 years.

At Guardian Fire Protection, we provide hydrostatic testing for your fire extinguishers at our facility. If you need fire extinguisher hydrostatic testing in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC, call us today.

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