Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    19

    Default low air alarms on Scott packs

    Has anyone had a problem with low air alarms going off when the bottle is between half and three quarters full? We have had it happen 8 times. The packs are 4.5's and are about 10 - 12 years old. The temp. outside has been about 20-30 degrees. Some of the times they go off when people are standing outside taking a break, other times they have gone off while inside doing suppression. The alarm goes off, everybody in the crew exits only to find out that the bottles are half full. Visibilty was poor and we couldn't see the gauges. Also the gauge on the bottle and the gauge on the pack have read the same. These were supposed to have been checked out and told that nothing is wrong. Any ideas?


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Southwest USA
    Posts
    64

    Default

    You need to have the packs checked by a scott technician. Sounds like the primary circuit in the pressure reducing block has some moisture in it that freezes. (just a guess) Scotts have a back up system in the pressure reducer but when it kicks in it triggers the low pressure alarm. This means TAKE THE SCBA OUT OF SERVICE! If this ever happens in a hazardous environment, get out immediately.
    Career/Volunteer, We are all professionals!

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber PFD109NFD107's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Northwood, Ohio, 43619
    Posts
    356

    Default

    I have noticed that problem at times in cold weather. We take them out of service and let the smoke pack guy take care of them.

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    19

    Default

    volunteercareer,
    Thank You for replying to my post about low air alarms. Mine alarm went off and I exited with my crew, once outside, where I could see something, I discovered that the bottle was half full. This has happened several times and I am the only one to say something. I think that when you are inside and a low air alarm goes off you should exit and find out why. Maybe you are low on air or maybe there is a malfunction.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber Halligan84's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1999
    Location
    Blackwood NJ, USA
    Posts
    816

    Default

    If the low air alarm activates at that level you have experienced a failure of your primary regulator circuit and need to leave and take that pack out of service. The vibralert activates when the secondary regulator circuit is in use. This is kind of scary.. this is BASIC stuff you should know before you even put that pack on

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber E229Lt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Posts
    2,987

    Default

    Another cause of low pressure alerts in the cold is Tanks cracked open and not fully opened.

    I would however have the PRA fully inspected as a failure of the primary or secondary functions will also cause this. Should a failure of the third safety occur,, air will be expelled from the system via the PRA vent.

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber Halligan84's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1999
    Location
    Blackwood NJ, USA
    Posts
    816

    Default

    From what I have seen if the cylinder valve is only cracked instead of full open you will see this on the shoulder gauge as a low air condition.

  8. #8
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Bridgton,Me USA
    Posts
    8,162

    Default

    When were these packs last "benched"and when was the last air quality test run? T.C.

  9. #9
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    19

    Default

    Rescue101,
    Thanks for the suggestions on the air packs. I will ask about the air quality test. When I have had a problem my bottle has always been all the way open. I always open my own bottle as I am facing the pack, because if there is a leak someplace it is easier to fix than having to take the whole pack off and try to fix it.
    Thanks again
    cfd047

  10. #10
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Bridgton,Me USA
    Posts
    8,162

    Default

    Part of the AQT is testing for moisture.The reason I asked about the "bench"is two fold:One is mfg requirement that they be done at least once every two years,or more often if your agency demands it.Second is that all operating components of the mask(pak)are checked UNDER LOAD during this process.We take very good care of our masks with our in house techs yet I've NEVER seen our units benched when at least 3 of thirty need some type of adjustment or repair.Let us know when you get the final result on what caused the problem,it benefits all end users. T.C.

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    19

    Default

    Thank You to all the people that read my post and to those that replied to it. I brought up the responses to the officers and was told that they know it is moisture, they had one of the packs checked and were told that there is nothing that can be done. I showed them the responses and they walked away. Personally, if the packs can't be depended upon, then they shouldn't be on the trucks. This is only my opinion and not that of my dept.
    Thanks Again,
    cfd047

  12. #12
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Bridgton,Me USA
    Posts
    8,162

    Default

    If you've got moisture INTERNALLY in the regulator,you've got a bunch of problems.First and foremost it can RUIN the regulator.Secondly,you are REQUIRED BY LAW to be breathing,at minimum,class D breathing air.Which means:IT MUST BE TESTED,and the acceptable limits of moisture are so low as to be non existant.I would nicely suggest to the officer/officers of your dept that to allow such usage opens THEM up to a HUGE liability both personally as well as an officer should anything happen.Osha/Niosh can both provide the above information should they question my judgement.Due to the fact that apparently your air bottles have moisture as well all will have to be disassembled,checked,dried and tested BEFORE you can return them to service.You have a SERIOUS safety hazard here,GET IT FIXED! T.C.

  13. #13
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    19

    Default

    Rescue 101,
    Thanks for the input, I am going to document all problems I have and am going to encourage others to do the same. These packs are 10-12 yrs. old,and this has just been happening the last year or so. In our state, I heard that the air packs are supposed to have integrated PASS alarms and ours have the old yellow ones, which are not integrated. I don't know how they can be certified if they are not up to OSHA standards.
    cfd047

  14. #14
    Forum Member Lewiston2FF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Niagara Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    1,924

    Default

    To the best of my knowledge, airpacks must be in compliance with the NFPA standards in place when the pack was manufactured. We purchased some new Scott Fifty 2.2 packs about 6 months before the new heads up display standard was issued. We are still using the new packs and some packs older than them. When they are sent in for testing they are inspected based on the standards at the time of manufacture.
    Shawn M. Cecula
    Firefighter
    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts