Hydro test stamp?

Discussion in 'Tanks, Valves and Bands' started by Diving Dave, Dec 8, 2002.

  1. Diving Dave

    Diving Dave Angel Fish

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    When tanks are visually or hydrostatically inspected, how does the inspector mark the tank? Is it with a sticker of some sort, a stamp into the metal, or what? How recent should the inspectin be? I'm asking because I'm thinking about buying some used tanks and want to know how to tell whether they were properly inspected.

    Thanks
     
  2. Uncle Pug

    Uncle Pug Swims with Orca ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Metal stamp with month/year and Hydro test facilities identifier.

    Scuba tanks must be hydrotested every five years.

    Be extremely careful buying used aluminum tanks... you might be buying valves and scrap aluminum.
     
  3. Walter

    Walter Scuba Instructor

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    Dave,

    Are you certified?
     
  4. Diving Dave

    Diving Dave Angel Fish

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    Yep. But since I've always rented tanks, I wasn't sure exactly how they were marked and how often they had to be reinspected.

    Kind of like driving. Been doing it for years, but can't tell you how much gap my spark plugs should have ;)! Now, in high school, when I liked tinkering with my Dad's '71 Ford Torino, I could tell you how much gap those spark plugs needed. Diving is not like bicycle riding - you do forget some things.

    (And thanks for the info Pug!)
     
  5. roakey

    roakey Old, not bold diver ScubaBoard Supporter

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    A visiual inspection, called a "Visiual Cylinder Inspection" or "VCI" is done at least once a year, depending on how heavily the cylinder is used.

    This is identified by a sticker on the cylinder.

    A hydrostatic test is done at least once every five years and the results are hammered into the shoulder of the cylinder.

    Walter's question was based on the fact that this is not like a spark pulg gap, this is more on the level of where the ignition key goes. You look (or when renting SHOULD look) at these every time you pick up a cylinder.

    Roak
     
  6. BlueWaterDiving

    BlueWaterDiving Scuba Instructor

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    This is one of the things your instructor should have coverd. When you did your class. When I teach that is one thing I try to get across. Even when you rent or buy. Or get one from a friend.
    Because you would not what to get some where and find out that it is out of hydro,vip. It could cost you some $. Even if you rent from your LDS you want to make sure they are keeping up with there tanks. When hydro they will stamp the date into the shoulder. something like this 01-03 and then there mark. Be careful buying used tanks. New al tanks are not that much.By the time you buy a used one get it hydro and viped you can all most buy a new one.
     
  7. cyklon_300

    cyklon_300 Single Diver

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    If you can find new Al 80s near that price, let me know...I'll take a 6-pack or so....
     
  8. roakey

    roakey Old, not bold diver ScubaBoard Supporter

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    You need to read the WHOLE sentence.

    Buy used, hydro and VIP almost = new cylnider. The purchase price was included in the statement.

    Roak
     
  9. Groundhog246

    Groundhog246 Loggerhead Turtle

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    I've had some luck buying used cylinders. I did remember what we were taught about tank markings. When I bought a pair of AL80's virtually unused, sat in a garage for 3 years, I was able to point out and explain the meaning of the markings, the fact they'd need a VIP immediately and hydro in a year. I offered them half what they were asking and aquired 2 Catalina AL-80's. They were never used enough to be abused, and this will be their first re-test, so I don't have much doubt they'll pass. On the other hand, I aquired an older Luxfer AL-80 and made a rather low offer conditional on passing hydro, with me paying for the hydro. The gamble did pay off.

    On knowing the markings and checking when you rent. I was picking up 2 of mine from my LDS, when a diver arrived in with tanks from a shop in Toronto. Both "in" hydro, but near the end, neither with a VIP sticker. She was a little p***ed off at the store she rented from, when my LDS refused to fill. Had done 2 dives the day before and planned on doing 2 more on the way home. Her buddy had gone on ahead to the dive site, which was not on the direct route home, so she was goin gto have to drive there and then return home, paying for the days rental (she didn't think she'd make it in time to return them that day). We suggested she point out the lack of a proper inspection sticker and ask for at least a partial refund as she had to end her trip when she couldn't get fills. Not sure if she tried another shop (I've had fills in all 3 local shops, all are very careful about checking hydro/VIP, so she wouldn't get air in this town.
     
  10. Diving Dave

    Diving Dave Angel Fish

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    Ok, so tank stamps aren't like spark plug gaps, but they sure as shootin' ain't the ignition key either. Next time I rent a tank from the local Halycon dealers here in Virginia Beach I'll be sure to do it right. Probably can't trust those guys to keep their rental gear up to date. Roak, thanks for letting me know that you know SOOOO much more than me. And to think that I came to the Ultimate Scuba Source for information!
     
  11. rustyscubatool

    rustyscubatool Guest

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    You are correct, Dave. Gotta hand it to you.

    Inspections aren't like a plug-gap or an ignition key. Because they won't kill you as fast as an overlooked inspection problem.

    And those DIR boys probably don't check the inspections really good. Because that's your responsibility as the user.

    And very astute of you to mention that Roak knows a lot. Because he does.

    Perhaps you're also sharp enough to realize that next time maybe you should not take offense when someone offers some constructive input on something you asked about. It was a question that should have been covered in detail in your Open-Water class, and if you're feeling like you got flamed, maybe you should try to remember back to then. Or go ask your instructor why he/she didn't tell you about it.

    No one professes to know everything here, but sometimes a wake-up call is in order. Instead of getting upset, maybe use the energy to take a refresher course, because my guess is that there may be some other equally (or more) important things that have slipped away.

    Safe diving to you!
     
  12. kcanty

    kcanty Nassau Grouper

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    Dave,

    I think roakey is just saying that VIP's and hydros
    are important and divers should be highly aware
    of them. If you were not given this type of instruction
    then there's no way for you to know. But roakey is
    right to impress how important it is.

    He has a lot of knowledge ( along with many others
    on this board ) and I have learned much from him.
    If your class missed out on information that you can
    learn from roakey or this board then I think that it's
    good that you can now learn it.

    As they say this is "life support equipment" and
    so anyone helping educate me or you on that
    is definately doing a service.

    Just my .02 cents.

    Kell
     
  13. roakey

    roakey Old, not bold diver ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Early 2000 three of us went to the EE store in High Springs and rented doubles for a week of caving. Before we left the store my buddy noticed that his doubles were out of viz, so we swapped them for some that were in.

    We were diving Peacock that first day and if we hadn't noticed we would not have been able to get them filled at Dive Outpost.

    This is basic stuff that should have been covered in your class, it's your instructor's fault that it wasn't, and/or made it into something exotic and technical, which it isn't.

    Roak
     
  14. Groundhog246

    Groundhog246 Loggerhead Turtle

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    I've been diving with more than one buddy, who has had no idea what the markings mean and told me it was never covered in their course. What did they have in common. They were all PADI certified and had done their course in a very short period. :boom:

    One seemed so ill informed, I considered not diving with him. Since it was a very easy, quite shallow, shore dive, I made the decision to offer advice and help improve his diving instead. The topic of tank markings came up, when he asked where I bought my tanks and I explained where and how I bought them used and he told me he'd better buy new, since he didn't know what the markings meant. I explained how the markings work (which is not difficult) and that a 'new' tank at a dealer may not have a recent hydro if he'd had it sitting in the store for a while and I'm pretty sure he got it. He did at least know what a VIP label was, but hadn't checked his rental tanks for VIP.

    On the plus side, his in water skills were good and we a had a couple of excellent dives.

    Kent
     
  15. Diving Dave

    Diving Dave Angel Fish

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    In an earlier post, I wrote that my PADI instructors didn't teach me proper weighting procedures. I get told that it was up to me to challenge the instructor, that extreme newbies shoud know how much air weighs, that the problem was the student, etc, and some good information along with it. On this thread, same thing. Good info, but unfortunately delivered with more than a little condescension.

    Basically, I know that my OW instruction sucked and I'm trying to fill in a bunch of the gaps. It's not easy to stay enthusiastic with the sarcasm.

    As an aside, this kind of reminds me about my first experience with a GUE certified diver. It was last summer at a quarry in Virginia. The guy was explaining his gear configuration, S-drills, different kicks, the need for good bouyancy control, etc. Sounded good. Of course, he bashed my cert, "PADI sucks, blah blah blah." The whole time, this joker was holding a beer and a cigarette. He knew a lot about diving, like roak and walt. But he was such an a$$, that I'd rather not learn it than learn it from him. If you're gonna slam us poorly instructed divers for not knowing basic stuff, how about cutting us a little slack when we try to learn it.
     
  16. rmediver2002

    rmediver2002 Scuba Instructor

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    Dave,

    Check these links out for more information, the first is a pretty straight forward list of the markings and what each one means.

    The second link is the actual Department of Transportation regulation for compressed gas cylinders.

    http://www.fpm.wisc.edu/safety/gsp/Compressed Gas Cylinders.html

    http://c-f-c.com/gaslink/docs/dot_cylinder.htm


    Jeff Lane

    Sorry editing the post to answer the question posed: the hydro test is required every five years for cylinders used for underwater breathing...
     
  17. joens

    joens Barracuda

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    it is very easy for a dive shop to overlook a VIP or hydro on a tank in the rental fleet. it is not uncommon to see "new" tanks with one or more years on the origonal hydro. These are usually sold at a discount . Every diver should check every tank they pick up new or used to verify it is either up to date on both or actually is a new tank if you are buying it .
    joens
     
  18. deanmartin

    deanmartin Angel Fish

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    Diving Dave:

    I sure am glad that you asked the question. It's and important one. There is no such thing as a stupid question.

    Some people chose to teach by understanding and answering questions. Others believe that challenging and insulting is a good method. I guess thats the difference between a Teacher and an Instructor.

    Thanks Uncle Pug and rmediver 2002 for helping Dave get an answer to his question. He's more knowledgeable now, thanks to you.
     

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