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When Should You Recharge Your FM 200?

Posted on: March 23, 2011

Once again, we’re going to admit this up front: you should recharge your FM 200 fire suppression system immediately after it discharges, every time it discharges. As with your fire extinguisher (and every other fire suppression system that can be used up), you want to minimize the time that your system is empty. After all, you never know when the next fire will spring up – putting off your FM 200 recharge could be a big mistake.

What is FM 200?

FM 200 is a clean agent alternative to Halon fire suppression systems. It is a highly pressurized, quick release gas that absorbs the heat from fires and breaks the reaction that allows the fire to rage. FM 200 is safe in small amounts for humans and has no ozone depleting properties. Currently, FM 200 is the most effective, cleanest fire suppression system available on the market.

Why is FM 200 recharge important?

Immediately recharging your FM 200 fire suppression system is especially important, because it’s not always easy to tell when the fire suppression system is empty. With a fire extinguisher, just picking the canister up and weighing it or looking at the pressure gauge should be enough to tell if it needs to be recharged. Unfortunately, FM 200 systems can’t be picked up and weighed!

To recharge your FM 200 fire suppression system, you will need to call your local fire protection services company. Surprisingly, there is a lot that goes into an FM 200 recharge beyond just refilling the gas. One especially crucial step of the FM 200 recharge process is the relubrication of all the moving parts in the fire suppression system. The FM 200 gas tends to dissolve and wash out lubricant it comes into contact with, so certain components in the valve assembly will need to be inspected and serviced before the system can be recharged.

FM 200 Recharge Precautions

FM 200 recharging should be completed only by trained fire protection service contractors. The recharging equipment operates under extremely high pressure and can be very dangerous for someone who does not know how to use it. All FM 200 recharge operations should be performed in an assigned area cleared of all unauthorized personnel. Before you start recharging the FM 200 fire suppression system, make sure all of the equipment is properly assembled and secured. Attempting to adjust or disassemble pressurized equipment can be extremely dangerous.

When recharging your FM 200 fire suppression system, make sure you take extreme precautions with the FM 200 agent. FM 200 is normally compressed into a liquid and shipped in this condition. Reducing the pressure on the FM 200 without simultaneously reducing the temperature will cause the liquid to flash into a vapor, with all the accompanying refrigeration effects (brrr!).

If you hear a hissing or discharge sound coming from your FM 200 fire suppression system vent valve during FM 200 recharge, this indicates that the piston is either open or is not sealed properly. This can be very dangerous, as it can cause pressure and extinguishant loss that could result in malfunctions during discharge events.

If you need FM 200 recharge service in Maryland, Virginia or Washington, DC, call Guardian Fire Protection today!

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