QUESTIONS ABOUT EPIRBs
When should the battery be changed?
The replacement of the batteries must be carried out at periodic intervals starting from the date of commissioning of the EPIRB. ACR Electronics sets this interval at 5 years.
Limited to the SBM (Shore Based Maintenance) test, however according to current Italian legislation, this interval is reduced to 4 years. Consequently, all EPIRBs registered on boats or naval units registered in the Italian register. The battery change must also be carried out if the EPIRB is switched on.
Is it possible to do the battery change yourself?
No, the EPIRB user is not authorized to replace the batteries himself. This procedure is performed exclusively by ACR certified personnel in possession of the technical skills and adequate equipment.
When should the hydrostatic release on Cat 1 EPIRBs be replaced?
The interval established by ACR Electronics for replacement of the hydrostatic release is 2 years from the date of manufacture.
What to do in case of accidental activation of the EPIRB?
An EPIRB cannot activate itself. Cases of "mysterious" spontaneous activations of some EPIRBs have instead been traced back to incorrect use by the user.
In the case of Category 1 EPIRBs, enclosed within the hydrostatic shell, involuntary activation is only possible by intentionally opening the shell and throwing the EPIRB into the water. Cases of involuntary activation have mainly occurred with manual release Category 2 EPIRBs.
The EPIRB Cat. 2 is housed in a support that must be installed on the bridge, below deck or in any case not outside the boat. It is important to know that the Cat. 2 EPIRBs are activated in two ways: by turning the activation switch on the upper shell completely backwards, or by simply throwing the beacon into the water. In fact, in contact with water, the electric circuit between two of the four screws that join the upper cap to the body of the EPIRB closes and the beacon turns on.
When the EPIRB is inserted into its holder it will never activate, despite attempts to turn it on via the manual activation switch. This is because a magnet inserted in the support itself inhibits the activation of the circuits. However, the moment the EPIRB is removed from its holder, the inhibition of the magnet is lifted and the unit can then be activated. In this situation it is sufficient to touch the EPIRB with wet hands by touching the screws located under the cover and the beacon will immediately activate (strobe light flash).
This explains the amazement of some at seeing the EPIRB turn on in their hand without having touched the activation switch. In this case it is important to put the EPIRB back on its support as soon as possible. If this is not available for any reason, carefully dry the entire unit. By doing this, the EPIRB will deactivate after a few seconds. Once this is done, it is essential to immediately contact COSPAS/SARSAT to inform them of the false alarm.
I cleaned the EPIRB with a degreaser and after a few weeks many small cracks appeared on the shell. The product therefore appears to be faulty, is it possible to get the repair done under warranty?
We invite customers to refrain from any cleaning or maintenance work on the EPIRBs, especially when you do not have the right skills. The shell and the body of each EPIRB are made with very robust polycarbonate details and suitable for remaining for a long time in the harsh marine conditions (humidity, saltiness, sun).
However, it is important to highlight the fact that cleaning an EPIRB with a non-specific product can cause very serious damage as the cleaning product or a chemical component of it can alter the integrity of the material that makes up the EPIRB and cause drastic decay. just as far as physical properties are concerned. The EPIRB can therefore become very brittle and the plastics can crack after a short time of exposure to the sun.
It is recommended to avoid cleaning the EPIRB with detergents, degreasers, or solvents of any kind. Any damage to the EPIRB caused by the improper use of these substances is not covered by any guarantee.