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When Should You Recharge Your FM 200?

Posted on: March 28, 2011

As with any clean agent fire suppression system, it’s important to recharge your FM-200 system as soon as possible after it discharges.Unlike a water-based fire sprinkler system, which is constantly filled by the city water supply (and supplemented by your fire pump), the extinguishant within an FM-200 system is limited and must be reclaimed and refilled following every use.

FM-200 Recharge

An FM-200 fire suppression system is only good if it’s properly charged. Therefore if your system releases extinguishant, either in response to a fire or for any other reason, it’s important to have it recharged as soon as possible.

Worse than an improperly charged FM-200 system is a system you think is charged when it actually is not. Make sure you inspect your system a few times a month to ensure everything is in working order and the system will be able to protect you in the event of an emergency.

When you call a fire protection company to recharge your FM-200 system, they will do more than just refill the chemical extinguishant. In fact, one of the most important steps in the FM-200 recharge process is relubricating all the moving parts in the system. FM-200 gas tends to dissolve and wash out any lubrication with which it comes into contact, so the valve assembly and other system components will need to be inspected and serviced before the actual recharging takes place.

FM-200 Recharge Precautions

Because the equipment involved in recharging an FM-200 system operated under extremely high pressure, it poses serious safety hazards for the untrained and the process should only be carried out by a professional, licensed fire protection technician and in an area cleared of all unauthorized personell. Prior to recharging, all equipment should be properly assembled and secured – attempting to adjust or disassemble pressurized equipment can be extremely dangerous.

In addition, extreme care should be taken with the FM-200 gas itself. Normally shipped and stored as a liquid, may evaporate violently if the pressure is reduced improperly.

During a checkup of your FM-200 system, pay attention to any hissing noises or noises that sound like a gas is being released from the vent valve. This could be an indication that the piston is open or improperly sealed, which can prevent the system from operating properly in response to an emergency.

What is FM-200?

FM-200 is an gaseous fire suppression agent created as an environmentally-friendlier alternative to Halon. FM-200 operates as a highly pressurized, quick-release gas that breaks up the chemical reaction of a fire by absorbing heat. 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.

If you need FM-200 recharge in New Jersey, Delaware or Philadelphia, call Confires Fire Protection today!

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