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Old 12-29-2016, 10:14 AM   #1
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Engine Fire Suppression?

I recently saw a photo of a 40-45' DP with the rear half completely demolished by a fireball that looked large enough to have been caused by a bomb. Couldn't tell what brand and I'm unsure due to the damage but it could have been a rear radiator.

I recently read a post of a couple of members here who installed a fire suppression system. Being this is our first MH I don't know very much about this. I would appreciate hearing from you more experienced owners the pros, cons and recommendations of such a system. Thank you.
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Old 12-29-2016, 10:25 AM   #2
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Wondered the validity of the same. Wondered just how effective the system would be when rolling down the road at 65 with the air flow thru the engine compartment maybe just blowing the fire retardant out the rear of the coach. Can see the validity when stopped or say speed up to 35 maybe. Waiting to hear from the EXPERTS.
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Old 12-29-2016, 10:41 AM   #3
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Follow up to my original post:

I read several threads on this subject and a number mentioned the Dometic Fridge overheating and causing a fire. Is that the model that Entegra supplies or are they discussing a dual system that also uses propane?

I also read Cruzer's info and really liked that system. I'm not very handy so I would have to pay for the install so all of this is an effort to evaluate the cost vs the need. I'm aware if you have a fire the need is 100% but I am unsure of how likely that is on a well maintained MH like we own.

Also, how many of you have installed smoke detectors in the bedroom closet or some other rear location?
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Old 12-29-2016, 11:25 AM   #4
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The domestic fridge issue was years ago that pertained to the old style propane fridges, it had a part that possibly could cause a fire and there was a recall in them to be changed, I had a dynasty that had this fridge and had the recall done...Entegra and most other brands no longer use.
The fridges we all have are totally electric so this is not a issue for us Entegra owners..
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Old 12-29-2016, 01:31 PM   #5
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Our very own Mark Quasius (Cruzer) authored an article for FMCA magazine 5 or 6 months ago on installing a fire suppression system. My memory was that he installed it on his Cornerstone. I have looked into it and a 2 nozzle system with nozzles directly above the Cummins looked adequate and don't think it was involved to install or particularly expensive.

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Old 12-29-2016, 03:13 PM   #6
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Great article by Mark for reference. Several posts in the Entegra forum on how folks have installed. Units availabl from Amazon or Mac the Fire Guy but I wasn't able to connect to his website www.macthefireguy.com.
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Old 12-29-2016, 05:51 PM   #7
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Foretravel and several of the Prevost buildups use Fogmaker. They also have a good reputation in the bus, logging, and mining industries.

I don't have one or sell them, but they seem to be the industry standard.
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Old 12-29-2016, 05:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowejug View Post
The domestic fridge issue was years ago that pertained to the old style propane fridges, it had a part that possibly could cause a fire and there was a recall in them to be changed, I had a dynasty that had this fridge and had the recall done...Entegra and most other brands no longer use.
The fridges we all have are totally electric so this is not a issue for us Entegra owners..
For sure this is not a concern for newer Entegra owners since the fridges in the later Entegra models are all compressor based residential units. However I think there might be some 2012 and earlier Entegra models that use Gas Absorption type refrigerators?

Despite the recall I'm not so sure the flammability or reliability issues with the Norcold Gas Absorption models has gone away. Many new RV's still use them and I've run into several folks with those units that are having early failures and are not too happy with Norcold. Also the recall that addressed the catching on fire issue seems to be considered a band-aid to some systemic design flaws that Norcold won't step up to the plate and correct. I think there is still a class action in the works.

Don't know the stats but fires are still a big concern with these units. I think the basic flaw is weak cooling tubes that can't take the stress of repeated heating and cooling cycles and then start to leak. If the ammonia based refrigerant leaks out without detection, the temperature of the cooling unit (even if its running on the electric element) can rise to very high levels and start a fire.

This blog post from a Norcold gas absorption owner describes her experiences and she presents a lot of info on the topic including a third party rebuild that addresses the Norcold design flaws.
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Old 12-29-2016, 06:41 PM   #9
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Nope, don't think Entegra ever used anything but residential fridges. My 2011 had one and I had a Travel Supreme before that and it was residential also. JMHO


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Old 12-29-2016, 07:48 PM   #10
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Engine compartment fires happen when driving and generally start from a broken fuel line or hydraulic oil line, although other issues such as faulty wiring can be a factor. Engine fires are totally separate from the fridge issue.

The key with an automatic engine compartment extinguisher is to have a large enough bottle to give you plenty of time to distribute the retardant and also to have an alarm that sounds. The alarm senses when the extinguisher has deployed via a pressure sensor on the bottle. You then have enough time to pull over and shut down the engine so that you can stop spraying fuel or oil all over, which will keep the fire burning. That's why you need a larger bottle to give you enough time to hose things down without running out of retardant and allowing the fire to reflash.
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Old 12-29-2016, 08:44 PM   #11
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Mac recommended them at the Escapees Boot Camp. His warnings were mostly on propane and related piping and diesel engines as well as propane refrigerators. My 2011 Aspire had propane and a Propane/Electric frig. I don't miss that fire hazard. I think Halon is what they have for then engine compartment. That is what we used in our main engine room of my ships in the Navy and in our computer rooms in the data centers I've worked in.
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Old 12-29-2016, 08:59 PM   #12
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But I think that you want very thick foam for a diesel fire. Thats what I have seen installed in diesel pushers.

I think that Mac attends Quartzsite in January every year. Heard him talk about suppression systems last year and watched one of his techs install one. Didnt seem to be problematic at all.

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Old 12-29-2016, 10:23 PM   #13
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I think Halon is what they have for then engine compartment. That is what we used in our main engine room of my ships in the Navy and in our computer rooms in the data centers I've worked in.
Halon was phased out in the US ten or more years ago because of environmental concerns. The new suppression agent for clean environments is called FM200. From what I understand it is similar to halon, but does not deplete the ozone layer.

Not being argumentative, just a note so that people don't go looking for these systems.
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Old 12-29-2016, 10:32 PM   #14
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But I think that you want very thick foam for a diesel fire. Gary
Foam is film forming agent, which is to say the surfactant makes a "skin" between the burning product and the air/oxygen source, thus extinguishing the fire. This is an advantage when extinguishing a pooled flammable liquid, but no advantage when putting out, say, an engine fire with no pooled liquid. The surfactant quality of foam also works to some extent to "wet" substances it can soak into such as fabrics and wood (but again, not engines).

For engine fires, actually misted water works best. We taught engine fire attack with a fine droplet spray on a fog nozzle because water broken into fine droplets will expand into steam very quickly in a hot environment. Water expands to 1700 times its volume, thus excluding the oxygen in the engine compartment and cooling at the same time.

Yay science
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