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  1. #1
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    Question 3%-6% foam in water extinguishers

    Just curious how many departments use 3%-6% foam in "water" extinguishers? Now, I'm not talking about extinguishers marked on the label "Water or Foam", I'm talking about pouring the foam in the water extinguisher and mixing it with water.

    I've seen this done, and wondered if anyone has had any problems with the extinguishers.

    Thanks


  2. #2
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    We have used a product called Fuel Buster in water extinguishers for about 4 years. We mix 1 quart in a 2 1/2 gal water extinguisher. It has worked great on small fires.

  3. #3
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    Flochief,

    Any problems with damage to the extinguisher itself from the fuel buster product? Pitting? Corrosion?

  4. #4
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Sometimes......

    When things are really dry, and we get woods fires that start to dig in deep into the moss, roots, Etc. we add a cup of liquid detergent to a 2 1/2 gal. water can. Works well if all you need is penetration. Never had a problem that I am aware of.... Stay Safe....
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  5. #5
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    When we refill APW extinguishers, we dump a small amount of Class A from a bucket sitting around the station. Same stuff we use on the trucks.
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  6. #6
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    Smoke,
    No problem yet, The extinguishers get used fairly often.

  7. #7
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    Like hwoods, we do the same thing in our forestry back packs.Pour about 1 1/2 cups of 3% into the reservoir and fill.It penetrates better and we've had no problems.

  8. #8
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    I put a cup of foam in a 2.5 gal pressure water extinguisher that I keep in my car. It works alot better on car fires than a 20# dry chem. If you don't have foam, dishwashing liquid works almost as well. I recommend Dawn since it cuts grease & petroleum products really well.

    Only suggestion: put the foam/detergent in AFTER you've put in the water.
    Proud to be honored with IACOJ membership. Blessed by TWO meals cooked by Cheffie - a true culinary goddess. Expressing my own views, not my organization's.

  9. #9
    Forum Member TCFD12's Avatar
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    We use foam or a product called "Cold Fire", don't know if its even available anymore.
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  10. #10
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    We now use a product called FIREAID2000. It is mixed with water in the can and labled as such. In our other water extinguisher we put our F500 foam (Class A and B rated).

    The fireaid2000 stuff I have not yet seen used in the field, but the marketing video claimed one 2 1/2 gallon water extinguisher with the stuff mixed in is enough to put out a fully involved car fire. I'll believe that when I see it, but they did do it in the video ...so who knows. It is supposed to have a "rapid cooling effect". the Jury is still out on the thermodynamic principles behind that, but, if and when we use it (We have only had the stuff for about 2-3 months now) I'll post results.

    Hey, if the stuff gives the water a lot more penetrating power, it's a force multiplier so what the heck. The way I see it, you can work a lot or, you can work smart. Choose wisely.
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  11. #11
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    Most of these additives work real well. From an investigation standpoint, make sure you keep a copy of the MSDS around so the investigator knows what materials have been added to his scene if the ext. has been used on a fire that is being investigated.

    There is at least one of these additives that uses a small amount of kerosene it.

  12. #12
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    Default dish detergent

    how much dish soap would u sue in a water can?

  13. #13
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    Default 3% -6%

    I don't suppose it is really either 3, or 6%, unless the ratio is right, right!

  14. #14
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Cool Mix Ratio......................... .

    You can work out what you need for your area, or the type of Fire that you're going after. A cup of liquid detergent is not the same as a 3% or 6% AFFF mix. Class A fuels, Brush Fires in particular, Liquid Detergent works well at one cup (8 ounces) to 2.5 gallons of water, and that is about a 2% Ratio. I'll get the Foam salesmen upset, but Liquid Detergent is Cost Effective when compared to class A foam, by about a 3 to 1 margin, 5 Gallons of Liquid detergent @ $4.00/Gallon is $20.00 compared to Class A Foam at $80.00 for a 5 gallon Pail. BUT, you do not get the Foam effect from Detergent, it is generally used as a wetting agent only, real Foam is for Blanketing, Etc.
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  15. #15
    MembersZone Subscriber jfTL41's Avatar
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    We use AFFF (10 oz I think) in water cans on all trucks and some engines. Generally used for oil burner fires. HAZMAT companies also carry some other products premixed in water cans such as biosolve.

  16. #16
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    We use a shot of household detegent in our PW extinguishers. Some of our cans can be accurately described as "vintage" and have suffered no ill effects from the practice.
    ullrichk
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  17. #17
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    We use dish soap. We used to put foam in, but one time someone put too much in and it gumed up the extinguisher. Was a major pain to clean out. dish soap works fine anyway, cant tell the difference
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  18. #18
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    We don't usually put anything in ours...... Maybe a lil antifreeze if needed.......
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  19. #19
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    A cup of AFFF/ATC, or Class A, what ever you've got. But at mentioned above, too much can cause problems. If you don't use it, take it off the truck and shake it up every week.

  20. #20
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    Uhhh.... my first thoughts would be that I hope you wouldn't be needing to fight a very big liquid fire with such a low flow, but actually.... 1.5 gallons of treated water can be expanded into about 60 gallons of Compressed Air Foam (CAFS) and if you use freon or halon as the expanding gas you could extinguish a fairly large and concentrated class B AND class A fire. I have used the 2 and a half gallon water extinguishers with this amount of solution converted into CAFS to extinguish a car test-fire fueled with twenty gallons of gasoline. But keep in mind the folks that would say this is dangerouse, Because it IS. The dish washing detergents have been tested by many agencies and found to be excellent liquid fuel emulsifying agents and will extinguish fire by diluting and emulsifying the fuel in the interface zone to create more steam than flammable gas when involved in really hot fires.


    p.s. We extinguished a coal mine fire with Nitrogen CAFS that was 2,000 below the ground. We pumped 18 million gallons of the stuff down two 5 inch dia. bore holes at more than 6,000 gpm in each hole. The mine is back in full production.
    Mark Cummins

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