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fire extinguisher leaking


15 Mar 2011
Hi all

Today I went to get my fire extinguisher refilled and as it was 12 years old, they wouldn't do it.

Long story short, I brought a reconditioned replacement.

As far as I can remember, there was no washer between my D-D thread converter and the fire extinguisher.

No matter how tight I try to tighten it (and I dare not try any more) CO2 streams out.

presuming all threads are the same, am I being an idiot and there was a washer that I've misplaced? Or have I got a dodgy fire extinguisher please?

many thanks



26 Mar 2010
Selby, North Yorkshire
Just a point to note... This is something that I posted on TalkAquatics about the use of fire extinguishers. It is not an advert - but a warning about something some people take for granted...


Right - my pet hate topic but I need to give you all some stark advice.

Many people advocate the use of Fire Extinguishers for use as a cheap alternative to using a cylinder for pressurised CO2. As you all know - I do not - but in the interest of business I will take them, test them and refill them. I will NOT supply them.

However - today something quite dangerous happened.

During the weekend a new customer brought in a black 5Kg fire extinguisher for refill. I took it today to get this done.

Now just as a precaution - I decided to have the cylinder tested - the reason being it is a black one with only a visual test certificate on the bottle. The date on the cylinder also said 1996...
ALL cylinders have dates on them - they are valid for 10 years only and MUST be tested again prior to this date. They then can only get a 2 year test.
The test itself is to fill the bottle with water - to a specified pressure... then it is held there for a while and they look for a pressure drop. If there is a pressure drop - then the bottle fails test. Simple...

However today... the bottle failed... and fail in a spectacular fashion! The top valve blew off!!! *argh* I am currently suffering from a slight quietness in my right ear, with a hint of big ben ringing... I am SO glad that this bottle was tested at a cylinder test and certification place. With this in mind - we were safe - but WOW - what a bang! *:eek:*

Apparently this is common... especially on old fire extinguishers which are nearing out of date. They suffer from stress cracks around the collar. You are unlikely to see the cracks until it is too late.

So if you must use a fire extinguisher - and you buy them on eBay - CHECK, CHECK and CHECK again the date on the cylinder... remember 10 year from the date stamped on the bottle... NOT the white paper visual inspection sheet.

Lecture over...



Thread starter
15 Mar 2011
Hmm, got my recon one from a professional fire systems company complete with receipt saying it was reconditioned and was told by them that it's fine for 10 years and just bring it back whenever it needed refilling.

Anyway, thanks Alastair, found a load of fibre washers, one fitted perfectly and no leaks :)

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