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

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    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif emilio700's Avatar
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    ESS Fire
    Spoke to the folks at ESS fire (Emergency Suppression Systems, Inc.). The system I bought back in 2011 is AFFF but not rated for alcohol. They have the option for an AR-AFFF media when you order your system.
    Thankfully, my system can simply be recharged. You retain your SFI rating if you send it to them, lose the SFI rating if you do the recharge yourself with the kit they provide. So we will recharge our system
    and pull the SFI stickers.

    He did mention that most AFFF systems are roughly 3% concentration (97% water). Standard AFFF (not AR) ESS systems are about 6% concentration which makes them work fairly well against alcohol but not enough to be certified.
    To make it official, the media must be swapped to the AR-AFFF stuff.

    SPA Technique
    Just spoke to the folks at SPA. Turns out their standard AFFF is indeed AR-AFFF, they just don't list it as such. They're sending me a data sheet on the media I'll post here. SPA also now offers Novec 1230 systems. That is a soluble gas that gets dispersed in a water mist, or something like that. Works
    on alcohol, non toxic in the doses the driver would be exposed to, nothing to clean up and absorbs heat almost as well as AFFF. So that's another good option.

    So to clarify, if you have a SPA AFFF system in your car now, you are OK for E85.

    Now I need to check the hand held bottles I keep in every car..
    Last edited by emilio700; 05-17-2017 at 09:18 AM.
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    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emilio700 View Post
    ESS Fire
    So we will recharge our system and pull the SFI stickers.
    .
    for others here that races with SCCA. They do require SFI or FIA certification
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    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif emilio700's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
    for others here that races with SCCA. They do require SFI or FIA certification
    I didn't know SCCA requires SFI, I thought it was just NHRA that required that for fire systems.


    edit: Yup, SCCA requires SFI onboard system in all cars except T3,T4, STL, Spec Miata and Improved Touring

    NASA only requires a bottle but recommends an onboard system. No SFI rating required.

    Quite the difference in safety requirements there.
    Last edited by emilio700; 05-17-2017 at 09:47 AM.
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    I was looking to put a fire system in one of my HPDE cars very soon, which runs E85 exclusively. Going to have to put some time into researching this a bit more.

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    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emilio700 View Post

    SPA Technique
    Just spoke to the folks at SPA. Turns out their standard AFFF is indeed AR-AFFF, they just don't list it as such...
    I am not quite comfortable with that. their new AFFF stuff is AR-AFFF. but the Spa system some of us had many years ago, I doubt that would be AR-AFFF stuff. so our in house Spa dealer could hopefully tell us what the cut off date is.
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    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emilio700 View Post
    I didn't know SCCA requires SFI, I thought it was just NHRA that required that for fire systems.
    to clear it up.... some require bottle only, then you don't even need a fire system. and old cars (pre-09) don't need SFI/FIA either.

    9.3.22. FIRE SYSTEM
    All cars shall be equipped with an On-Board Fire System except T3, T4
    STL, Spec Miata, and Improved Touring.
    A. On-Board Fire System Requirements
    Cars registered after 1/1/09 shall comply with the following onboard
    fire system requirements:
    • Systems certified to SFI specification 17.1, or
    • Those listed by the FIA on Technical List No. 16
    The following information must be visible of the unit:
    • Certification label
    • Capacity
    • Type of extinguishing agent
    • Weight, or volume, of the extinguishing agent
    The following is acceptable for cars registered before 1/1/09:
    On-board fire systems shall use Halon 1301 or 1211, with a five pound
    minimum capacity (by weight). Alternatively, on-board fire systems may
    use AFFF or equivalent surfactant foam material, 2.25 liter minimum caGCR
    - 93
    9. Cars and Equipment
    General
    pacity (by volume). All AFFF fire system bottles, except non-pressurized
    AFFF systems with CO2 propellant, shall incorporate a functional pressure
    gauge and shall be marked with the manufacturer’s recommended
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    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif emilio700's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
    ..but the Spa system some of us had many years ago, I doubt that would be AR-AFFF stuff.
    Don't speculate, call them. Have a pic of the badge and serial number handy. 317 271 7941
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    Cars with fire systems should still carry a handheld extinguisher in my opinion. The handheld extinguisher is probably more effective in most racecar scenarios (oil on headers, under car, etc). I had to use my Spa AFFF system recently and unless that nozzle is pointed directly at the source of the fire it isn't going to do much. One of my carbs flooded and ignited and the Spa system did nothing but get my driving suit wet. The nozzle in the engine bay was shooting about 4" away from the flames and it did virtually nothing to stop the fire. Fortunately I pulled off next to a corner worker who had a full extinguisher (I have seen cornerworkers carrying around empty extinguishers, don't assume they will be there to rescue your car). Lessons learned: I added a handheld bottle and reconfigured my fire nozzles so there are 2 in the engine bay (1 pointed at each carb).
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    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif emilio700's Avatar
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    My miatas with 4 nozzles:

    1. Driver torso from roll cage
    2. Fuel filler hose in trunk
    3. Firewall aimed at dipstick on hotside of engine
    4. Firewall aimed at fuel rail on cold side of engine

    6 nozzle systems get one on drivers legs and the other on the high pressure fuel lines exiting the tank.
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    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cory M View Post
    Cars with fire systems should still carry a handheld extinguisher in my opinion. The handheld extinguisher is probably more effective in most racecar scenarios (oil on headers, under car, etc). I had to use my Spa AFFF system recently and unless that nozzle is pointed directly at the source of the fire it isn't going to do much. One of my carbs flooded and ignited and the Spa system did nothing but get my driving suit wet. The nozzle in the engine bay was shooting about 4" away from the flames and it did virtually nothing to stop the fire. Fortunately I pulled off next to a corner worker who had a full extinguisher (I have seen cornerworkers carrying around empty extinguishers, don't assume they will be there to rescue your car). Lessons learned: I added a handheld bottle and reconfigured my fire nozzles so there are 2 in the engine bay (1 pointed at each carb).
    same here, I always have a handheld. being in SOCAL, you always hear stories that you spin off track, car stalls, hot exhaust piping ignites the grass, and car burns down to the ground. always wondered if it is a real story...

    just bought Purple K handheld. cheap and works on ethanol..... if Indy (run 98% ethanol) use them for pit, then it is good enough for me.
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    Chest hair required Olitho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanB View Post
    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.
    They are the best and they bring the professional game for everyone else to try to match.
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    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif emilio700's Avatar
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    Most handheld bottles are dry chem ABC which handles alcohol fires just fine. After reviewing all the extinguishers we have (shop/trailer/tow vehicle/HPDE car/race car), the only two that need updating are the ESS AFFF systems in Bullet and Vegas. Both are being recharged at ESS with AR-AFFF and will remain SFI certified.
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    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emilio700 View Post
    Don't speculate, call them. Have a pic of the badge and serial number handy. 317 271 7941
    FIRESENSE - AFFF Foam Systems | SPA Technique
    looks like it is AR-AFFF
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    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif emilio700's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
    lol. They updated that today. After speaking with them they said they had a flurry of info requests about alcohol resistance. I told them about the discussion we started on the autoweb and suggested they update their website to reflect their compatibility.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Mueller View Post
    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
    I am not a pro on these systems, but, the Zero 360 is a Novec 1230 system which I understand works with e85. For my application it doesn't matter because I use 101 race fuel.... I posted because an earlier post mentioned the system.
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    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emilio700 View Post
    lol. They updated that today. After speaking with them they said they had a flurry of info requests about alcohol resistance. I told them about the discussion we started on the autoweb and suggested they update their website to reflect their compatibility.
    Yeap. During my research last few days. I didn't see that. I was wondering how I missed it. As spa is the first I looked at (I have spa)
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    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif emilio700's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharleyH View Post
    I am not a pro on these systems, but, the Zero 360 is a Novec 1230 system which I understand works with e85. For my application it doesn't matter because I use 101 race fuel.... I posted because an earlier post mentioned the system.
    Sonny purchased a SPA system from Weekend racer for his Supermiata (E85) a few weeks ago, Novec 1230 so he's set.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
    same here, I always have a handheld. being in SOCAL, you always hear stories that you spin off track, car stalls, hot exhaust piping ignites the grass, and car burns down to the ground. always wondered if it is a real story...
    It's real. It happens all over the country, too. Most racetrack infields aren't irrigated, so they become tinder for hot exhaust.

  19. #39
    Co Owner of Weekend-Racer John Mueller's Avatar
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    Default ReCharges

    I have a call in to my refill vendor to be 100% sure the SPA recharges that are purshased through Weekend-Racer.com are AR-AFFF.


    J
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    --------------------
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