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Dry powder fire extinguisher and electrics

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monkeypuzzle View Drop Down
Young Croc
Young Croc


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    Posted: 29 November 2022 at 4:05pm
So I had a dry powder extinguisher go off in the back of my van at the weekend. Everything is covered in a fine snow resembling that last scene in Scarface. I seem to remember that they leave a film thats bad for electrical stuff. Almost everything was flight cased but there may be a few things that weren't. Any recommendations for cleaning?

Cheers
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Young Croc
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FOO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 November 2022 at 8:23pm
The powder particles are very fine which makes it easy for them to spread across a large area. They can affect a vast array of materials, corroding metal and damaging electrical equipment and machinery.
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teeth View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote teeth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 November 2022 at 7:37am
ionised / distilled water and a good drying out
our good friend IPA and a toothbrush
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Bams View Drop Down
Young Croc
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 November 2022 at 9:10am
Do not open the flightcases before cleaning them thorougly if possible! the particles get everywhere and will cause havoc long after you even remember the incident. they act corrosive so enhance or start deterioration of the electrics. 

if gear itself is covered in it; do not use it in critical conditions anymore and try to write them off/ claim them for insurance as damaged beyond repair. 

andd... pics or it didn't happen! ;) 


Edited by Bams - 30 November 2022 at 9:10am
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Old Croc
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kedwardsleisure Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 November 2022 at 11:20am
I've seen a couple of pcbs mounted in a sarel/himel/rittal style steel enclosure with just fan grilles open, which had a powder extinguisher go off in the same room. The owner left it for a few months and then brought it to me. All the copper on the pcbs had dissolved.
Kevin

North Staffordshire

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Randy Bohannon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 November 2022 at 12:52pm
If it's the standard fill of ammonium phosphate powder then clean it up with very hot and slightly alkaline water as it is acidic in solution.

Failing to completely flush equipment with copious amounts of hot water will almost certainly result in trouble down the road as the stuff is hygroscopic and will absorb enough moisture from the atmosphere to give the damage described above.  

Hose it down and if it can't be hosed, be prepared to write it off I'm afraid.


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Young Croc
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote monkeypuzzle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 November 2022 at 2:14pm
Cheers, I've just spoken to my insurers and they are suggesting that I'd need to get a written report or testing for the kit. The only thing i'm remotely concerned about is my inverter. It sits on the back of a steel enclosure as you described Kev and there are plenty of holes cut in it for breakers and such like. Given whats been said here, I'm pretty sure I may need to claim for that...
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GAZ. View Drop Down
Old Croc
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GAZ. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 November 2022 at 9:17pm
I had someone do some welding on my van a while back and he managed to set it on fire. That got put out with extinguishers, and although I bought it back from the dead and still using it, there is rust now inside the roof frame and in other places. So bear in mind your van is going to suffer too at some point. Obviously it’s near on impossible to clean out the roof frame and rear door pillars etc.
100% Earth Moving Bass
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monkeypuzzle View Drop Down
Young Croc
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote monkeypuzzle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 November 2022 at 9:29pm
Cheers Gaz, that all sounds very dull. I've worked hard and spent quite a lot on this van over the years and it still has a lot of life in it, is the rust slow?
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Old Croc
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GAZ. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 December 2022 at 3:38pm


This it what fire extinguisher does to a van. The fire in mine happened march last year and that picture was taken earlier today to give you some idea.
100% Earth Moving Bass
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APC321 View Drop Down
Young Croc
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote APC321 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 December 2022 at 4:17pm
Why not use a vacuum cleaner to remove the majority of the particles before trying other things?
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monkeypuzzle View Drop Down
Young Croc
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote monkeypuzzle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 December 2022 at 8:54am
Originally posted by GAZ. GAZ. wrote:



This it what fire extinguisher does to a van. The fire in mine happened march last year and that picture was taken earlier today to give you some idea.

Oof, has that eaten through the paint work then? I've done a sweep and vacuum in the back but it certainly hasn't got everything out, I feel I may need to pull up the floor and get plenty of buckets of hot soapy water or maybe even a pressure washer on it. What do you think?
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