HI Everyone,


I have been a volunteer firefighter for about 2 years and have really enjoyed the education and training aspects of the fire service. I see some of the discussions on here and would like to find out a little bit of information on Soda Acid Fire Extinguishers.


My Firefighter 1 text book briefly touched on it but only stated that they are now obsolete. If anybody could provide any information such as its basic operation, What the actual extinguishing agent is, etc. It would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks and stay safe!



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Wiki is your friend.


My uncle still has the soda-acid extinguisher in his basement with a 1927 date on it.
Ironically, it was there when he bought the house, which was gutted by a fire that ended the life of the elderly woman who lived there.
From: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/policy/army/fm/55-50...

11-86. The soda-acid extinguisher (Figure 11-16) comes only in a 2 1/2-gallon size that carries an NFPA rating of 2A. It weighs about 30 pounds when charged, has a reach of 30 to 40 feet, and expends itself in about 55 seconds. The shell of the extinguisher is filled with a solution of 1 1/2 pounds of sodium bicarbonate in 2 1/2 gallons of water. The screw-on cap contains a cage that holds an 8-ounce bottle, half filled with sulphuric acid, in an upright position. A loose stopper in the top of the acid bottle prevents acid from splashing out before the extinguisher is to be used.

11-87. The extinguisher is carried to the fire by means of the top handle. At the fire, the extinguisher is inverted, the acid mixes with the sodium bicarbonate solution forming carbon dioxide gas, and the pressure of the CO2 propels the water out through the nozzle. The stream must be directed at the seat of the fire and moved back and forth to hit as much of the fire as possible. The nozzle should be aimed at the fire until the entire content of the extinguisher is discharged. Remember that water is available for less than a minute!

11-88. The extinguishing agent, sodium bicarbonate solution mixed with acid, is more corrosive than plain water. The operator should avoid getting the agent on his skin or in his eyes, as the acid could cause burning. Soda-acid extinguishers must also be carefully maintained. When the extinguisher is inverted, a pressure of 130 psi or more is generated. If the container is corroded or otherwise damaged, this pressure could be sufficient to burst the container.
They were made out of brass or cooper, most are ribbited together. They were 2 1/2 gal in size. The recharge kit had baking soda and a small bottle of acid. You mixed the soda and water together and very carefully place the acid into the holder in the top of the extingusher. Thhe acid bottle had a lead top that just set on it. To put the extingusher into operation you just turned it up side down and stayed the foam at the base of the fire. The foam extingushed the fire. On the flip side what the fire didn't burn up the acid would eat up. They had a rubber hose on the side just like a water can does today, if the hose got stopped up by dirt dobbers or anything you had a bomb in your hands....Hope this was helpful

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