I was hoping someone might have knowledge or experience with the original Fire Suppresion system in the engine room on board a 1968 forty seven foot Commander. I would like to remove and replace the system, including the large CO2 bottle, which is secured in the engine room just ahead of the starboard engine.

i've contacted a few companies that service all kinds of fire suppression systems, but no one seems to want to take on this project. Maybe if I could give them a bit more information on the workings of the system, they might be a little more helpful.

A few questions I have are what chemical might be present as part of the system and also, if the system was triggered, is there any mechanism that would shut down the main engines, as a precautionary measure?

if anyone has any advice to offer, I would really appreciate your help.

Thanks.

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got to you-tube and find 'halon system discharge' enjoy

Michael,

 I'm assuming you are referring to the original Fire Boy system?

There were two trip mechanisms. There was a pull station in the salon usually mounted on the wall be the stairs. The other trigger was a high temp valve that would trigger the system.

The only chemical in the system is CO2 that is in the bottle. Really not too much to worry about. The only thing you would need to do to keep using the system is to have the tanks inspected and hydro tested and check the hand pull cable system for proper operation and cable integrity.

There was no direct engine shutoff associated with the Fire Boy system as they were very simple. No electrical connections at all. The engines would normally automatically shutdown from lack of O2 when the system fired.

I actually prefer this system  over most of the others. The Halon systems would produce hydroflouric acid if the temperature was high enough from an engine fire. This is really a nasty acid, chemically and readily reacts with most anything you value including your own body parts.

The dry chemical systems, leave a corrosive residue (powder) after going off and is worse than running talcum powder through an engine.

The newer liquid chemical systems work pretty good and their main advantage is that you don't have the high pressure CO2 bottle to maintain.

The big thing I like about CO2 systems is that the CO2 is inert and heavier than air so it will stay in the engine room until you either pull up the floor or ventilate the engine room. No real health hazards beyond just normal CO2 and its displacing the o2 in the engine room.

There are still a lot of new CO2 systems installed everyday in restaurants and manufacturing. The big advantage is that there is no contamination from the fire suppression system, it is cheap to maintain, and recovery from a fire might only take minutes instead of days.

Personally, I would not be in a big hurry to remove a CO2 system unless there is an underlying economic reason to do so.

Ronald,

Thanks for all of your input. Seems like now if I can have someone service the system, it might well be worth the effort to leave everything as is.

Thanks again.

Michael Rodolico



Ronald Zick said:

Michael,

 I'm assuming you are referring to the original Fire Boy system?

There were two trip mechanisms. There was a pull station in the salon usually mounted on the wall be the stairs. The other trigger was a high temp valve that would trigger the system.

The only chemical in the system is CO2 that is in the bottle. Really not too much to worry about. The only thing you would need to do to keep using the system is to have the tanks inspected and hydro tested and check the hand pull cable system for proper operation and cable integrity.

There was no direct engine shutoff associated with the Fire Boy system as they were very simple. No electrical connections at all. The engines would normally automatically shutdown from lack of O2 when the system fired.

I actually prefer this system  over most of the others. The Halon systems would produce hydroflouric acid if the temperature was high enough from an engine fire. This is really a nasty acid, chemically and readily reacts with most anything you value including your own body parts.

The dry chemical systems, leave a corrosive residue (powder) after going off and is worse than running talcum powder through an engine.

The newer liquid chemical systems work pretty good and their main advantage is that you don't have the high pressure CO2 bottle to maintain.

The big thing I like about CO2 systems is that the CO2 is inert and heavier than air so it will stay in the engine room until you either pull up the floor or ventilate the engine room. No real health hazards beyond just normal CO2 and its displacing the o2 in the engine room.

There are still a lot of new CO2 systems installed everyday in restaurants and manufacturing. The big advantage is that there is no contamination from the fire suppression system, it is cheap to maintain, and recovery from a fire might only take minutes instead of days.

Personally, I would not be in a big hurry to remove a CO2 system unless there is an underlying economic reason to do so.

Michael, I have a co2 system in my 41 CC Roamer Regal. I had a fire extinguisher service company test and refill the system. A few things are important with the co2 system. 1) if the service company is nervous about working on the system, get someone that is qualified. 2) Coast guard regulations call for the system to be certified twice a year. 3) CO2 in a confined area (bilge) can kill you from affixation, so always be careful when working on or near the system. When my system was set off in a test the bilge was filled with a solid cloud of CO2 gas. 4) Halon systems are now illegal, they can still be serviced if you have one, but you cant buy a new system. The CO2 system is efficient and clean, just don't enter an area where it is present. Once again don't let anyone touch the system unless they are qualified!!!

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