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Thread: just found out my AFFF fire system don't work on E85....

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    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    Default just found out my AFFF fire system don't work on E85....

    so apparently, I am a lot dumber than I thought. Been running E85 (on and off) on a few cars in last 8 years. Best fuel ever !!

    but apparently AFFF (in 95% of race car's fire system) do not work on E85. so how did all my cars passes SCCA and NASA tech ? do they even ask ?

    do trackside fire rescue carry proper bottle to put out E85 fire ?

    So school me please.

    Firefighter Training - Ethanol Fuel and Firefighting Foam | Firehouse
    Ethanol Producer Magazine – The Latest News and Data About Ethanol Production
    Last edited by bellwilliam; 05-16-2017 at 11:54 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
    So school me please.
    I think I'm the one who just got school. Thanks for sharing this. I don't run E85 I know plenty who do.

    Re: rescue crews... I know someone I can ask....
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    The Real Captain Slow Red_5's Avatar
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    Yikes, that's scary! Does the AR-AFFF work just as well on gasoline?
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    Junior Member Cory M's Avatar
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    The track workers at Chuckwalla have extinguishers with the dry powder, sometimes they are empty though...
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    Interesting, did not know that.... quick search shows the "AR" in the AR-AFFF is for alcohol resistant

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    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KJSCV View Post
    Interesting, did not know that.... quick search shows the "AR" in the AR-AFFF is for alcohol resistant
    yes, but AR-AFFF also have issue with ethanol fire. I have the links in the original post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
    so apparently, I am a lot dumber than I thought. Been running E85 (on and off) on a few cars in last 8 years. Best fuel ever !!

    but apparently AFFF (in 95% of race car's fire system) do not work on E85. so how did all my cars passes SCCA and NASA tech ? do they even ask ?

    do trackside fire rescue carry proper bottle to put out E85 fire ?

    So school me please.
    E85 (actually anything containing more then 10% ethanol) is not permitted in SCCA Club Racing. See page 76 of the GCR for the list of other excluded fuel compounds. If you were running E85 your car was not compliant, however, fuel is only typically checked at the Runoffs/Super Tours/Majors.
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    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    these are few I found that's sub $1,000 that kinda "works" with Ethanol.

    Lifeline Zero 360 FIA 2.25kg Novec 1230 Fire Marshal System

    surprisingly, cheap Amerex Purple K handheld also works, they use Potassium Bicarbonate, which works with Ethanol.

    I did call both companies to verify.

    Spa Technique has a line that works:
    EXTREME - Novec</font><font size=1><sup>TM</sup></font> 1230 Fluid Systems | SPA Technique
    it doesn't say there, but it does here:
    http://www.spa-uk.co.uk/Product/A.P.S Rally system Carbon (RP-T-CF) 2.3m-4m Cockpit Petrol E85
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    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RacerJason99 View Post
    E85 (actually anything containing more then 10% ethanol) is not permitted in SCCA Club Racing. See page 76 of the GCR for the list of other excluded fuel compounds. If you were running E85 your car was not compliant, however, fuel is only typically checked at the Runoffs/Super Tours/Majors.
    thanks, that's good to know. I don't think I've ever ran SCCA with E85.

    does SCCA have the same E85 exclusion for HPDE ?
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    So, does halon work?

    Halon doesn't suppress a fire, it robs it of oxygen, so I suspect it would.

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    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ucfbrett View Post
    So, does halon work?

    Halon doesn't suppress a fire, it robs it of oxygen, so I suspect it would.
    according to some internet warriors, Halon and FE36 (halon replacement) works on ethanol....

    apparently Indy (they use 98% Ethanol) pitman fire crew carry Purple K bottle. They are cheap, so definitely going to buy a few.

    but this is internet info. what happened to all the Trackhq safety police ?
    Last edited by bellwilliam; 05-16-2017 at 02:47 PM.
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    Excellent find William. All the racing and track day orgs should be paying attention to this post. I doubt many are aware of this issue.

    Mark
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    Senior Member robburgoon's Avatar
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    Don't I feel stupid for putting a giant AFFF system on my methanol dirt car...

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    Reporting back...

    Calclub is prepared. They use a product called "Cold Fire", plus they also carry chemical for electrical fires.

    The Cold Fire product have impressive specs. "Cold Fire is the favorite at Indianapolis, Watkins Glen and Long Beach because it can handle both petroleum and alcohol-based fuels". For you vintage racers, it can even extinguish metal fires like magnesium.
    Cold Fire Foam - RDR Technologies


    I'm always very impressed with the fire and rescue team at Calclub. They seem expertly trained and up-to-date, and they're an all around very friendly group. We're lucky to have them. Give them a wave and a friendly hello.
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    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanB View Post
    Reporting back...

    Calclub is prepared. They use a product called "Cold Fire", plus they also carry chemical for electrical fires.

    The Cold Fire product have impressive specs. "Cold Fire is the favorite at Indianapolis, Watkins Glen and Long Beach because it can handle both petroleum and alcohol-based fuels". For you vintage racers, it can even extinguish metal fires like magnesium.
    Cold Fire Foam - RDR Technologies


    I'm always very impressed with the fire and rescue team at Calclub. They seem expertly trained and up-to-date, and they're an all around very friendly group. We're lucky to have them. Give them a wave and a friendly hello.
    thanks for finding this info !!
    Cal club rocks !! but as Jason said, SCCA don't allow E85 anyway......
    with my research, Cold Fire came up a lot, but don't think they make a in car fire system.....
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    Great info. I suppose there are worse ways to find out your system didnt work on E85....

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    I've got a few inquires out there on refilling with Cold Fire.

    I don't see any reason why it shouldn't be compatible. Two challenges to overcome are (a) refills are often cost prohibitive and (b) finding a vendor willing to do the refill.

    I'll report back when I receive replies.

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    Co Owner of Weekend-Racer John Mueller's Avatar
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    Exclamation One word answer is.... **** !!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
    so apparently, I am a lot dumber than I thought. Been running E85 (on and off) on a few cars in last 8 years. Best fuel ever !!

    but apparently AFFF (in 95% of race car's fire system) do not work on E85. so how did all my cars passes SCCA and NASA tech ? do they even ask ?

    I recomend that you guys not use E85 until it's researched what the tracks you are running are using. This could be horrible.

    I will send out some feelers to see if refills on the SPA systems I have sold can be recharged with AR-AFFF or ColdFire.



    J
    Last edited by John Mueller; 05-16-2017 at 10:50 PM.
    --------------------
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    Senior Member CharleyH's Avatar
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    I have the Zero 360 system in my car. Luckily I have not needed to use it. Sube Sports in Huntington Beach can service and re certify the systems. The service costs are reasonable, but if you need to refill the system it gets fairly expensive.

    Charley

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    Co Owner of Weekend-Racer John Mueller's Avatar
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    Default SPA Recharge

    Quote Originally Posted by CharleyH View Post
    I have the Zero 360 system in my car. Luckily I have not needed to use it. Sube Sports in Huntington Beach can service and re certify the systems. The service costs are reasonable, but if you need to refill the system it gets fairly expensive.

    Charley
    Please correct me if I'm wrong but I believe Zero 360 supression is AFFF... So, not great on an achohol fueled fire.

    Indeed, some recharges can get expensive. If you're not running achohol in your fuel and need a SPA system recharge Weekend-Racer.com has a reasonably priced program.

    SPA "Firefighter" Firebottle AFFF Refill Service - Weekend-Racer
    Last edited by John Mueller; 05-17-2017 at 09:16 AM.
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