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Pressure Testing

Fire Extinguisher Pressure Testing
A Guide for Building Services Managers

According to the Australian Standard, fire extinguishers should be pressure tested (a process called hydrostatic testing) after 5 years to ensure that the cylinder is safe to use. Testing necessitates the complete discharge of the extinguisher (ie it has to be emptied). If the extinguisher passes the pressure test, it needs to be recharged with replacement extinguisher.

If you add in the cost of transport, labour and a possible failure rate,
It is generally cheaper to replace a dry chemical DCP extinguisher, than it is to test & recharge it
A new extinguisher looks better, and of course has better usable life.

CO2 Pressure Testing- click to see more

The main cost of a CO2 fire extinguisher is mostly in its cylinder, so testing and recharging a CO2 fire extinguisher is usually cost effective: ie the test & recharge cost is usually less than the cost of replacing them with new ones.

If an extinguisher fails the hydrostatic pressure test, then you will also incur a disposal fee. The correct disposal of fire extinguishers should be left to the experts, there are rules to conform to!

With water, AFFF, and wet chemical fire extinguishers, it may be economic to test & recharge for the larger ones, but generally not for the smaller ones.

There is an inconvience factor to consider- you can't just ship them off to be tested unless you have something to replace them with. Many fire service companies will do this for you, but you should ask for a quote first, the total is likely to be higher than replacing them. Don't just ask your fire service company to quote on replacing, they often overcharge. We specialise in building lots- so let us quote, you'll be surprised how cheap a bulk supply can be! You'll also find out why fire service companies hate supply-only quotes...

If you replace like with like, you do not need any particular expertise. Replacing the fire extinguishers with new ones can be done by your building handyman.

We have Testing depots in Sydney, and Newcastle
During testing, the extinguisher valve assembly is cleaned & inspected. We also check the o-ring and pressure gauge. There is an extra charge if any of these parts need replacing. Extinguishers are recharged in accordance with Australian Standards 2337.1 at an SAA approved test station. After recharging, all units are tested in a water bath for leaks. We specialise in building lots- so let us quote

For information on fire extinguisher types, and where to locate them, visit our resources page

How do Fire Extinguishers Work?
  • Model: Testing


This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 23 March, 2011.


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