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MMac
February 4th, 2007, 10:40 PM
I reciently had three AL tanks fail the eddy current for VIP at a dive shop. They then stamped them "failed". I then had them tested at two other dive facilities and they passed fine.

The first shop is certified by PSI out of Seattle,WA.

Anyone have any ideas as to which goverment ennity, if any, has the say on who would be correct?

Anyone with any ideas with a course of action.

Thanks

DiveSite
February 4th, 2007, 11:00 PM
What are the original hydro dates on the tanks that failed?

Ann Marie
February 4th, 2007, 11:02 PM
Did the shop say why the cylinders failed? How old are the cylinders? To fail the visual inspection there would have had to been significant corrision, physical damage to the cylinder, or a neck crack (or other thread damage). The eddy current looks for neck problems, including valleys or cracks...was the shop able to show the crack to you? If the thread damage can not be seen visually, the shop probably should have contacted the manufactor before condeming them.

I can't imagine the odds of having 3 cylinders fail unless something odd has happened to all the cylinders in the past.

If it were me, I would take all documentation back to the original tester and ask them why the cylinders failed when 2 other testers passed them.

Unfortunately, the cylinders are now useless. You won't be able to get an air fill with the dates stamped out. Again if it were me, I would expect 3 new cylinders from the original inspector unless they can show/explain to you why they failed especially when 2 other shops passed them. Did the other shops perform eddy current testing?

If the cylinders are newer (made of a different alloy, 6061), DOT doesn't even mandate an eddy current testing.

JahJahwarrior
February 4th, 2007, 11:03 PM
I'm not perfect, but I've heard that the eddy current testing really only works onthe older, 6498 alloy. The newer alloy, 6061, marked "3AL" on tanks, is not designed to be used with standard eddy testing. somehow, the metal is designed in a way that the machine can think are cracks, but really aren't. However, many shops still charge for the standard testing as a way to get money. I don't know how true this is, just what I've heard. So yes, please tell us original hydro date and all that nifty stamped stuff on the crown. :)

spectrum
February 4th, 2007, 11:17 PM
Yea, 3 failures sounds like the original inspector was out to lunch. They should be able to show the problem to you. The 1 cylinder I did see fail an eddy current test did have a visible crack.

They need to demonstrate the failure or replace the cylinders. If they don't coperate contact their certifying agency.

Pete

MMac
February 4th, 2007, 11:22 PM
One tank has 5/80 date, E6498. The other I sent to PSI for them to test. They said three people tested it and it failed all three times. I asked for a report by graph and my tank back. I haven't recieved either for five months. I've talked to the original shop about replacement and they say that they being trained by PSI standards my tanks are cracked.
My problem who is telling the truth or is it a testing problem. There should be some standard in testing. I've seen one shop do the test from the beginning to end.

It is very frustrating

MMac
February 4th, 2007, 11:23 PM
Who Is the certifying agency?

Nemrod
February 4th, 2007, 11:24 PM
No, no, no, NO and NNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

I have in fact do have eddy current and other non destructive testing training and use it in my job.

The eddy current testing requires competant application and sufficient training and is highly subjective. The first shop most likely does not have a clue as to what they are doing.

You might as well junk those tanks--good ore bad---pass or fail--they will give you nothing but grief every time you try and get them filled or VIPed. They are so cheap--why bother with all the fuss---get some new tanks.
This is an area of vast misunderstanding and urban legend rules the day, ignorance slowly exudes it's darkness across the planet and I fear the internet rather than acting to spread information only promotes misinformation.

N

DiveSite
February 4th, 2007, 11:26 PM
I'm not perfect, but I've heard that the eddy current testing really only works onthe older, 6498 alloy. The newer alloy, 6061, marked "3AL" on tanks, is not designed to be used with standard eddy testing. somehow, the metal is designed in a way that the machine can think are cracks, but really aren't. However, many shops still charge for the standard testing as a way to get money. I don't know how true this is, just what I've heard. So yes, please tell us original hydro date and all that nifty stamped stuff on the crown. :)

As the photo in THIS LINK (http://www.divesitescuba.com/3AL_TANK.jpg) shows, 3AL is stamped from the factory on tanks that were made out of the 6351-T6 alloy, not just the 6061 alloy. There is no 6498 alloy (that i'm aware of). I believe the 6498 that you speak of is an Exemption or Special Permit number. The Visual Plus 3 tester WILL in fact test the 6061 alloy. BUT with that being said, it is very UNLIKELY that a 6061 alloy tank will have a neck crack.

JahJahwarrior
February 4th, 2007, 11:29 PM
^ if the OP junks his tanks, should he ask the shop for a discount on purchasing new ones? They stole his tank apparently, so they should give him a pretty good discounton a new one! :) When my tank was hydroed, I asked for the test data. When it failed VIP, I asked for the test data. Both times it was given to me, and my tank was returned. Nothing stamped out, no holes drilled, nothing. (currently, it sits by the trashcan, where I see it and wish for a good deal on a steel tank. tanks are a beautiful think, sleek and sexy.)


(if anyone took anything of mine for a simple test and still won't show me test results or give me my product back after 5 months, well, obviously they've stolen it. They have no test results to show and nothing to prove the tank was destroyed, and no contract to show they had the right to destroy the tank, yet the tank is nowhere to be seen. Obviously, the tank has not eloped, so it must be stolen.)

JahJahwarrior
February 4th, 2007, 11:33 PM
As the photo in THIS LINK (http://www.divesitescuba.com/3AL_TANK.jpg) shows, 3AL is stamped from the factory on tanks that were made out of the 6351-T6 alloy, not just the 6061 alloy. There is no 6498 alloy (that i'm aware of). I believe the 6498 that you speak of is an Exemption or Special Permit number. The Visual Plus 3 tester WILL in fact test the 6061 alloy. BUT with that being said, it is very UNLIKELY that a 6061 alloy tank will have a neck crack.

Thank you for correcting me! I do not know nearly as much about tanks as I do about stage theatrical lighting fixtures :) Yes, the 6498 is one of several numbers used for a special exemption alloy, I cnnot remember it's number, but 6498=special alloy that was old and supposedly sfufers from radial cracks from stress. I think they stopped using the "6498" alloy in the 80's. The tank marked 6498 of the OP's is not too new ;)

VP3 will test it, but were there other models that will not? I could swear that somewhere I heard someone say that older testing methods on new tanks (and using the VP stuff on steel tanks) will usually result in faulty tests if not read by someone who knows how to overlook many "problems" that the data shows which don't actually exist.

DiveSite
February 4th, 2007, 11:42 PM
I started using the original Visual Plus in 1998 and it was not certified for 6061 alloy. I don't believe the Visual Plus 2 was either. Luxfer has certified the Visual Plus 3 (which I am now using) for 6061 alloy. See this LINK (http://www.luxfercylinders.com/news/releases/20041012.shtml).

DiveSite
February 4th, 2007, 11:59 PM
Yea, 3 failures sounds like the original inspector was out to lunch. They should be able to show the problem to you. The 1 cylinder I did see fail an eddy current test did have a visible crack.

They need to demonstrate the failure or replace the cylinders. If they don't coperate contact their certifying agency.

Pete

Just out of curiosity, what difference would it make which certification agency they use?

MMac
February 5th, 2007, 12:02 AM
The two tanks in question and the two that I've yet to have tested all have 3AL the tanks

MMac
February 5th, 2007, 12:04 AM
I'm probably missing something. Who or what is the certifing agency?

MMac
February 5th, 2007, 12:08 AM
If maybe you are speaking of Luxfer they completely don't want any part of this delima. I've spoke with them often. At one point they were going to help, then back peddled. they won't even test my cyclinder if I sent it to them.

DiveSite
February 5th, 2007, 12:10 AM
I think Spectrum may be referring to which agency they use to certify divers. I could be wrong though.

MMac
February 5th, 2007, 12:18 AM
Ok. I think I understand. PSI being the agency that certified them in the use of the eddy current. Do you know of any other agencys that train dive operators?

DiveSite
February 5th, 2007, 12:18 AM
If maybe you are speaking of Luxfer they completely don't want any part of this delima. I've spoke with them often. At one point they were going to help, then back peddled. they won't even test my cyclinder if I sent it to them.

You might contact the maker of the Visual Plus tester. (If that is which tester the original shop used) This is their website: www.visualplus.net (http://www.visualplus.net) I don't know what they could actually do, but maybe they can help. Just a suggestion.

MMac
February 5th, 2007, 12:23 AM
Thanks for the help!

Scared Silly
February 5th, 2007, 01:18 AM
A quick few - I am pulling this out of memory as I do not want to dig through my materials in the basement. Here are somethings that would be going through my mind.

Cylinders marked as 3AL before 1988 are 6351 I can not remember all of the dates though. Who was the cylinder mfg.?

Is this who the shop is refering to and who you sent one of your cylinders to
http://www.psicylinders.com? I am confussed?

PSI does teach the eddy current ussage but so does Visual Plus. Who inspected your cylinder? Ask to see their certification.

Next - did you sign anything giving the shop premission to possibly destroy the cylinder before giving the cylinders to the shop for inspection? If you signed nothing then the shop had no right to destroy the cylinder(s).

If you did sign something but the shop can not produce any documentation or the cylinder then you still may have a claim against them.

captain
February 5th, 2007, 04:05 PM
I have asked several time for a mod to make this link a sticky. It is best to learn all you can on the subject of tank testing. This link is from the Department of Transportation web site and is a list of all DOT approved testers in the country. I prefer to bypass the dive shops and go directly to independent testers and get a complete understanding of what test are to be done and that they will give you a copy of the test results. I find very few dive shops listed as approved testers.

http://hazmat.dot.gov/sp_app/approvals/hydro/hydro_retesters.htm

in_cavediver
February 5th, 2007, 07:58 PM
I would be very leery of a shop who stamps any tank failed without consulting others. Visuals are to subjective.

I, as a consumer, would never give a dive shop permission to 'X' out one of my tanks on thier opinion. Hydro shop - yes, Dive shop - No. If I wasn't an inspector, I'd take a failed tank to a couple of other shops to verify.

Lastly, If you never signed a form authorizing the shop to destroy you tanks, calmly demand the tanks back if you don't have them, then demand they replace them. If they don't, take them to small claims court for the cost of 3 new tanks. They (dive shop) do NOT have authority by law to destroy private property during a VIP (unless a licensed hydro shop while doing the hydro). VIP are not mandated or governed by law and a failed VIP does NOT invalidate the tank. Only a failed hydro can do this (due to DOT regs) without your consent.

Scared Silly
February 6th, 2007, 12:15 PM
I should have added one other - After 1 Jan an Eddy Current test is required at the time of hydro. This mandated by DOT. Luxfer in the past has been reccomending this every 2.5 years.

http://www.luxfercylinders.com/news/releases/20041012.shtml

Hoosier
April 6th, 2007, 12:48 PM
I should have added one other - After 1 Jan an Eddy Current test is required at the time of hydro.

Not the time of hydro, but a visual...

http://dmses.dot.gov/docimages/pdf97/411928_web.pdf

Scared Silly
April 6th, 2007, 09:34 PM
Not the time of hydro, but a visual...

http://dmses.dot.gov/docimages/pdf97/411928_web.pdf

My comment was in regards to cylinders made from the 6351 alloy. At the time of requalification (i.e. hydro) an eddy current test is required.

All cylinders must have a visual inspections at the time of requalification.

captain
April 7th, 2007, 12:46 AM
Not the time of hydro, but a visual...

http://dmses.dot.gov/docimages/pdf97/411928_web.pdf


Read it again, they are not referring to the yearly dive shop visual, they are referring to the visual done by the hydro facility every 5 years along with the hydro(requalification).

Divenomad
April 7th, 2007, 01:11 AM
The latest, computerized version of Vis plus isn't really subjective. The program determines whether a tank fails or passes. Used properly, it identifies the location of the crack by degree and which threads are affected. A magnification scope is provided to visually confirn test results. A printout is available for the customers records. We've had quite a few failures on tanks that we had previously passed (including three of our own tanks, which were then retired) These tanks are usually about thirty tears old and use an older alloy that I think many shops in Florida won't fill in any event because of the alloy used. In case you were wondering, none of these customers bought new tanks, but instead asked us to dispose of them. Which recycling prices so high, you'd think it was a good deal, until you realize that the centers wont take the tanks until they are sawn lengthwise in half.

DA Aquamaster
April 9th, 2007, 11:37 PM
Inspections on earlier eddy current equipment can be subjective in that a normal fold may be interpreted as a crack. The DOT requires that eddy current inspectors be trained and that their employers document the training but they are a little vauge on the training required.

The new DOT final rules are extremely interesting in that eddy current inspected tanks must have "VE" stamped after the hydro test date. It's also very interesting that the DOT regs require an eddy current only every 5 years rather than the more frequent luxfer recomendation of 2.5 years and the dive shop norm of doing the eddy current inspection every 12 months along with the annual VIP.

That makes it difficult for shops who are tempted to try to "condemn" a tank for failing an eddy current inspection as it is an inspection that not required by the DOT until the tank is hydro tested (requalified). It's clear that a shop could refuse to put their VIP sticker on it and that they could refuse to fill it, but they can in no way shape or form condemn the tank. That ability lies only with a hydro test facility that has been issued an RIN by the DOT.

In your case, since the DOT does not require the eddy current inspection until the next hydro test - the shop owes you replacement tanks if they stamped out the numbers as they have grossly exceeded their authority. Refuse to pass it for a scuba industry standard VIP, absolutely - but condemn the tank and render it unserviceable, absolutely not.

The other thing that will get even more confusing is that many shops do not know when Luxfer or Walter Kidde stopped using 6351-T6 alloy. For AL80's Luxfer stopped using it in mid May 1988. But other Luxfer tank sizes were switched to 6061-T6 alloy in the months prior to and after may 1988. Shops and test facilities really need a chart of sizes and dates to know what is or is not a 6351-T6 tank.

Walter Kidde continued making 6351 T-6 tanks until 1990 even though they were owned by Luxfer by that time. ALL Walter Kidde tanks used 6351-T6 alloy and all of them require eddy current testing - even those made after May 1988.

Catalina on the other hand NEVER used 6351-T6 alloy in any of it's tanks and none of them require eddy current testing.

There were I believe 3 or 4 different exemptions under which aluminum tanks were initially made before they were all standardized under the "3AL" standard. These earlier exempt aluminum tanks were supposed to be stamped "3AL" when they were requalified, but a large number of test facilities seem to have been lax in doing that.

The good news is that the DOT has made up it's mind regarding 6351 tanks, service life and eddy current test frequency. The bad news is that many dive shops will probably ignore it in favor of more conservative and financially lucrative test criteria. Just don't let them get away with condemning your tanks.

drywaterdiv
April 10th, 2007, 12:36 AM
VIP are governed by law (DOT) A DOT approved test company can fail a tank from a VIP. A VIP is done prior to doing a hydro test. If it fail a visual the tank then has the DOT marking x out.

in_cavediver
April 10th, 2007, 06:58 AM
VIP are governed by law (DOT) A DOT approved test company can fail a tank from a VIP. A VIP is done prior to doing a hydro test. If it fail a visual the tank then has the DOT marking x out.

Yes, VIP's are part of hydro and governed by the DOT. I'll skip whether that applies to personal cylinders.

VIP's by dive shop are NOT law and most dive shops are not 'licensed' by the DOT for this work. As such those shops do NOT have the authority to X out a tank. Period. Only a licensed hydro shop has that authority by law.

drywaterdiv
April 10th, 2007, 05:34 PM
It does apply to all cylinders weither private or commerical

oxyhacker
April 10th, 2007, 05:56 PM
Visual inspections may be, but not VIPs.

VIP stands for "Visual Inspection Program" and refers only to the "voluntrary" annual inspection done in the scuba industry. I think it was originally a trade name for one agency's scuba tank inspection program (possibly NASDS) but has since become pretty much a generic term.

The DOT has never used the the term.


Yes, VIP's are part of hydro and governed by the DOT.

drywaterdiv
April 10th, 2007, 09:22 PM
OK,
Well lets break it down. A Vi/VIP is the same thing. DOT does set some guide lines for Dive Shops. DOT states that this is ok and this is not for pass or fail. A dive shop can say this tanks fails but I would hope if they take it to another dive shop they will say the same thing. It was stated earlier about vintage tanks. If you send it in for hydro-test and it fails they must stamp out the DOT markings not just drill a one in the bottom as was stated by anothe member. If you want to keep it vintage with the markings keep it at home and don't send it in for test.

in_cavediver
April 11th, 2007, 06:21 AM
OK,
Well lets break it down. A Vi/VIP is the same thing. DOT does set some guide lines for Dive Shops. DOT states that this is ok and this is not for pass or fail. A dive shop can say this tanks fails but I would hope if they take it to another dive shop they will say the same thing. It was stated earlier about vintage tanks. If you send it in for hydro-test and it fails they must stamp out the DOT markings not just drill a one in the bottom as was stated by anothe member. If you want to keep it vintage with the markings keep it at home and don't send it in for test.

My one concern is this, Hydro shops are required to follow specific DOT/CGA guidelines when doing a visual inspection as a matter of law.

Dive shops (not licensed hydro shops) do not fall under the same rules. The visual inspections they do are optional and just part of an 'industry standard'. They do not have the force of law specifying what is specifically covered. Quite frankly, the quality of inspections done by dive shops is all over the place. Some excellent some just slapping stickers on.

As for whether personal cylinders are covered, an arguement can be made that the tanks are not involved in interstate or intrastate commerce and therefore are not governed by the DOT (assuming personal fills etc). In practice, its best to follow the DOT rules anyway, irregardless if they may technically fall outside the rules. Those details while academically interesting to some, really have little bearing on what a diver should really do.

Back to OP. A dive shop that is not a licensed hydro facilty does not have the authority to X out a tank without the owners consent. If they did this, they owe the OP new tanks.

DA Aquamaster
April 11th, 2007, 09:31 AM
VIP are governed by law (DOT) A DOT approved test company can fail a tank from a VIP. A VIP is done prior to doing a hydro test. If it fail a visual the tank then has the DOT marking x out.The visual inspection is done as part of the hydro test, but it is done after the hydro for a couple of very good reasons.

You want/need to inspect the tank after the hydro test to ensure it is dry inside. And you need to do it after the hydro, especially in the case of 6351-T6 tanks, as any incipent cracks may enlarge under the 5/3rds test pressure. It is not unknown to have an undetectable or within tolerances crack prior to the test and then have the tank either fail during the hydro (due to water leaking through the now much larger crack) or to have the tank then fail the VIP due to a now longer crack.

As a matter of practice, a test facility may drop a light down the neck prior to the hydro to look for gross indicators the tank is not worth testing, but the visual inspection that counts will come after the hydro.

And as indicated in a previous post, the test facility visual is required by law, but the dive shop's visual inspection is just a scuba industry standard, is not governed by law and does not grant the tester the authority to condemn a tank.

The shop VIP will still serve the dive shops purposes (ie. we don't think it's safe so we refuse to fill it, even if a legally required visual is not due for another 1-4 years when the tank is due for requalification (hydro testing).

It also serves the shops purpose since as soon as the tank comes back from hydro, as most shops gouge you for their VIP and sticker even though it has obviously just passed the legally required visual inspection by the test facility. That is just a blatant example of making money of a customer for absolutley no reason. They would charge $0.50 for the shop VIP sticker and leave it at that if they were not interested abusing the diver's checkbook. Condemning the tank for an unoffical industry standard VIP, with the knowledge that the diver is possibly going to then buy a replacement from them, is an even more blatant abuse of the customer.

fweber
April 11th, 2007, 09:42 AM
Something is being misinterpreted by either the OP or the shop he's dealing with. Visuals are an "inspection", not a "test". Eddy current devices are a tool for locating areas of concern. They do not provide a "pass/fail test". They do help ensure that the technician looks more closely at questionable areas.

Diver Rick
April 11th, 2007, 10:38 AM
Does anyone know where the most up to date chart is describing which tanks are which?

I have 7 aluminum tanks, of various vintages, some going back to 1983. I would like to look up all of these tanks and see which ones I should be getting Eddy tests on and which ones wold be a waste of money to do the extra tests on.

Thanks.

Leadking
April 11th, 2007, 01:38 PM
Does anyone know where the most up to date chart is describing which tanks are which?

I have 7 aluminum tanks, of various vintages, some going back to 1983. I would like to look up all of these tanks and see which ones I should be getting Eddy tests on and which ones wold be a waste of money to do the extra tests on.

Thanks.

All aluminum cylinders except Catalina made before June 1988 are considered made of 6351 alloy. There is no 6498 alloy, that is an exemption number originally used before the ICC, now DOT, developed the 3AL standard.

Nemrod
April 11th, 2007, 02:08 PM
This subject and hydros and VIPs has more baloney than any other scuba subject.

You might as well get rid of those old aluminum tanks--rumors are rampant that all steel and aluminum tank prices are going up soon--act now to get rid of those headaches. They are just not worth the hassle.

VIP is not required by DOT. The VIP is a scuba industry practice and has no legal requirment

Personal tanks do not require a hydro, if you have your own compressor you can do as you please. You can also remove those tags on pillows and matresses that say "do not remove under penelty of law" and low and behold but Homeland Secuity does not go to Code Orange and does not send black suited thugs to arrest you.

N

oxyhacker
April 11th, 2007, 04:14 PM
- If by "Vi" you mean visual inspection, then it is not the same thing as a VIP at all. "Visual inspection" is a very general term that must be used in a specific context to have any meaning, but VIP is specific to the annual tank inspection done by dive shops. That is to say, a VIP may be a visual inspection, but a visual inspection is not necessarily a VIP.

- the DOT does not set any guidelines for the annual inspections done by dive shops.

- it is perfectly legal for a retester to disable a tank by drilling a hole in it rather than marking it. See 49CFR180.205 or thereabouts, "Alternatively, at the direction of the
owner, the requalifier may render the cylinder incapable of holding pressure." This is something, obviously, best negotiated with the tester beforehand.


OK,
Well lets break it down. A Vi/VIP is the same thing. DOT does set some guide lines for Dive Shops. DOT states that this is ok and this is not for pass or fail. A dive shop can say this tanks fails but I would hope if they take it to another dive shop they will say the same thing. It was stated earlier about vintage tanks. If you send it in for hydro-test and it fails they must stamp out the DOT markings not just drill a one in the bottom as was stated by anothe member. If you want to keep it vintage with the markings keep it at home and don't send it in for test.

drywaterdiv
April 11th, 2007, 06:27 PM
Reference tanks that need eddy current test. All tank made prior to 1990 need the test. A new law the DOT made went into effect Jan.1, 2007.

As for Nemrod comments on personal tanks not needing hydro, DOT CFR49 180-205 (c) states Each cylinder bearing a DOT specifiaton markings must be requalified. You can do what you want with anything till you get caught then you get in trouble. Don't tell the public something that isn't true. You my chose not too but it doesn't make it right.

As for DA comment - a visual inspection is done prior to a hydro-test and after. There is no sense of testing a tank first to fail it later. Why take the time to fill it with water, test it then drain it and dry it if it is going to fail a visual.

As for the eddy current test the new law says for condemnation criteria-A cylinder must be condemned if the eddy current examination combined with visual examination reveals any crak in the neck or shoulder of 2 threads lengths or more.

I know this puts a dive shop in the middle of a big mess. Most guidelines used for VIP's come from the CGA. Now with this new law on eddy testing does a shop have to render the cylinder unserviceable if it fails??? What a mess is all I have to say.

in_cavediver
April 11th, 2007, 07:33 PM
Reference tanks that need eddy current test. All tank made prior to 1990 need the test. A new law the DOT made went into effect Jan.1, 2007.

False. DOT regs say 6351 alloy tanks need the eddy current test and must be stamped VE at requalification. 6061 is not mentioned at all


As for Nemrod comments on personal tanks not needing hydro, DOT CFR49 180-205 (c) states Each cylinder bearing a DOT specifiaton markings must be requalified. You can do what you want with anything till you get caught then you get in trouble. Don't tell the public something that isn't true. You my chose not too but it doesn't make it right.

This is again up for debate. DOT's authority come in governing commerce and transportation. An arguement can be made for personal tanks not filled by a commercial entity and used for purely personal endevours. This is purely academic since except in very rare cases, your tanks will touch a commercial entity. That, and it just makes sense to test your tanks.


As for DA comment - a visual inspection is done prior to a hydro-test and after. There is no sense of testing a tank first to fail it later. Why take the time to fill it with water, test it then drain it and dry it if it is going to fail a visual.

As DA said, the official inspection is done post hydro. A non-official test is done pre hydro for the reasons both of you mention but it is not the official inspection unless it fails and the hydro test is not preformed.


As for the eddy current test the new law says for condemnation criteria-A cylinder must be condemned if the eddy current examination combined with visual examination reveals any crak in the neck or shoulder of 2 threads lengths or more.

For 6351 alloy tanks when taken to a DOT licensed requalification station only. As stated above 6061 alloy does not require eddy current.


I know this puts a dive shop in the middle of a big mess. Most guidelines used for VIP's come from the CGA. Now with this new law on eddy testing does a shop have to render the cylinder unserviceable if it fails??? What a mess is all I have to say.

Bunk. Most dive shops are not licensed by the DOT for cylinder requalification. The new law/rules specifically governs licensed requalification stations ONLY. Dive shops are not required to do annual visuals at all let alone eddy current testing.

Please stop spreading misinformation. Dive shops do not have legal standing with regard to qualification and permanent condemnation of pressure vessels unless they are licensed by the DOT as a requalification provider (hydro shop). Period.

If an unlicensed dive shop wishes to permanently condemn a tank without the owners consent, they must take it to a DOT licensed requalification center (hydro shop) and the DOT licensee can make that determination and have legal standing to make a tank unusable.

drywaterdiv
April 12th, 2007, 12:07 AM
Well I went to our local hydro company and had them make me a copy of the laws and what tanks have to be tested. They are to test tanks made before 1990. And for VI and DOT tanks they made me a copy of the law. That is all I was quoting is what was printed. Enough said

Nemrod
April 12th, 2007, 04:01 AM
drywaterdiv, I am sorry that your wrong but you should not spread false info to the public because your interpretation of the law is incorrect. So, not enough said, your wrong. Private use is not included in DOT regulations governing commerce and transportation. I don't have to hydro anything, I can carry my non hydroed tanks on my boat and fill them with my compressor till hell freezes over and there is nothing the DOT can do about it under the current laws.

N

DA Aquamaster
April 12th, 2007, 10:16 AM
Well I went to our local hydro company and had them make me a copy of the laws and what tanks have to be tested. They are to test tanks made before 1990. And for VI and DOT tanks they made me a copy of the law. That is all I was quoting is what was printed. Enough saidThe way I read the CFR in question, the eddy current test requirements apply only to 6351-T6 tanks (and excludes those used in CO2 applications which are by definition much lower pressure) and the 1990 date is mentioned only in the context of this being the date after which no more 6351-T6 tanks were produced.

This is also supported by the fact that several times during the Federal Register discussion of public comments and the rationale for the final rule, the phrase "DOT cylinders manufactured of 6351-T6 alloy aluminum" is mentioned several times in the context of what tanks are affected by the new regulations.

If you disagree, feel free to post a pdf of the copies of the regs you have in your posession. Otherwise, drop the issue as no one benefits from the dissemination of second hand false information.

The issue is already going to be confusing enough as the average tank monkey and local dive shop owners are probably not going to bother checking an individual tank against the cut off dates for 6351-T6 aluminum in that type of tank, are not going to be concerned that Catalina never used 6351-T6 aluminum in their tanks and are in essence going to insist on eddy current testing any tank older than 1990 - which also coincidentally has the effect of increasing their cash flow for the needless eddy current inspection of all of the 6061-T6 tanks produced prior to 1990.

I'd prefer to provide divers with accurate information so that they at least know the socre an perhaps can "educate" ignorant dive shop owners when they encounter them and/or take their business elsewhere if the LDS owner is not ammenable to being educated.

Jim Lapenta
April 12th, 2007, 10:41 AM
Whatever happened here may be happening lots of places. The new law that went into effect on 1/1/2007 has made it so that the facility we use for hydro will not even test tanks made before 1990. Whether they pass an eddy or not. Their reasoning is even if it passes hydro today 3 months from now it could fail. Sounds strange but that is what their policy is now and another facility we use when they are tied up is doing the same. No aluminum tanks before 1990 are going to be accepted for hydro. Glad all of mine are steel except for the al pony which is only two years old and my 40 stage which is only two.

Leadking
April 12th, 2007, 11:10 AM
Whatever happened here may be happening lots of places. The new law that went into effect on 1/1/2007 has made it so that the facility we use for hydro will not even test tanks made before 1990. Whether they pass an eddy or not. Their reasoning is even if it passes hydro today 3 months from now it could fail. Sounds strange but that is what their policy is now and another facility we use when they are tied up is doing the same. No aluminum tanks before 1990 are going to be accepted for hydro. Glad all of mine are steel except for the al pony which is only two years old and my 40 stage which is only two.

Sounds like a real "professional" operation!!!

I'd look elsewhere.

DA Aquamaster
April 12th, 2007, 11:32 PM
The eddy current test protocols have been effective in identifying 6351 tanks with cracks before they can propogate to the point of failure and they pose no additional risk of failure. In fact, I can find no documented case of a properly inspected 6351 tank catatrophically failing due to SLC since eddy current testing came into use.

However despite this, the reality is that some dive shops are electing not to fill older tanks due to concerns about sustained load cracks in 6351 tanks. That is their perogative as they are the people assuming the risk and the liability. It remains to be seen if the DOT final rules on the issue and the DOT additionally declining to impose a 40 year lifespan on 6351 tanks will change that situation to any great extent.

The same thing could be said about a hydro test facility that elects not to test tanks older than 1990. There is no law that compells them to do so and like any other business, they can refuse service to anyone - as long as they do not do so in a discriminatory manner.

That said, I agree that I'd find another test facility...but then I tend to come down pretty hard on the customer service and consumer advocacy side of the fence.

DA Aquamaster
April 13th, 2007, 08:03 PM
I managed to locate my list of the dates and manufacturers copied from a DOT Safety Alert Bulletin. These are the scuba tanks considered by the DOT to be most likely to be made from 6351-T6 alloy. If there is any doubt, it's obviously better to err on the side of caution and assume it is 6351-T6 alloy.

1. All DOT-3AL tanks manufactured under one of the following exemptions or special permits: 6498, 7042, 8107, 8364, 8422

2. All composite cylinders manufactured under one of the following exemptions: 7235, 8023, 8115

3. All Walter Kidde DOT-3AL scuba tanks.

4. All Cliff Impact DOT-3AL scuba tanks made before July 1990.

5. All Luxfer 80.8 cu. ft. scuba tanks (S80.8) made before May 1987.

6. All Luxfer 72 and 100 cu. ft. scuba tanks (S72, S100) made before August 1987.

7. All Luxfer 80 cu. ft. scuba tanks (S80) made before January 1988.

8. All Luxfer 50 and 92 cu. ft. scuba tanks (S50, S92) made before April 1988.

9. All Luxfer 30 and 63 cu. ft scuba tanks (S30, S63) made before May 1988.

10. All Luxfer 40 cu. ft. scuba tanks (S40) made before June 1988.

11. All other scuba tanks made in the US before February 1990 (except Catalina).

12. All scuba tanks not made in the US.

A hydro tester freind of mine advised me that hydro testers are being advised to test all tanks made prior to 1990. However, that recommendation itself may be inadequate given that Walter Kidde tanks were made at least into 1990 and possibly 1991 (if I remember correctly) Cliff Impact tanks were made of 6351 alloy until July 1990.

On the other had, Luxfer switched to 6061-T6 alloy on some of its tanks as early as May of 1987 and switched S80 production to 6061 in January 1988 so there are 2 years worth of Luxfer AL 80 production that are made from 6061 and would be tested as 6351 tanks under the "test everything made prior to 1990" recommendation.

If I owned a tank in that age range I'd probbaly want to check to see if the test facilty was using the latest Visual plus equipment or was doing a good job of eliminating false positive test results on 6061-T6 tanks with older visual plus equipment.

Scared Silly
April 14th, 2007, 12:26 AM
DA_Aquamaster and others - Kudos for hanging out and writing out the specs.

drywaterdiv - Like others have said your interpertation of the current and new regs are so far from correct it is not even funny. Enough said.

superstar
April 14th, 2007, 01:11 AM
I have an old luxfer 50 due for hydro next month and the local welding supply company will do the hydro but is not going to offer the eddy test. They do so few aluminum cylinders it is not worth it for them. They recommend the test be done by Fill-Tech in Chicago 1-630-844-8800. Fill-tech will do the hydro, eddy, and visual for $45. The only issue I now have is $20 shipping each way plus the $45 test fee and I now got $85 into an old cylinder a dive shop may not fill.

Scared Silly
April 14th, 2007, 10:29 AM
This is actually a problem for quite a few hydro places. Mine is sending them over to the other facility for the hydro/eddy current as they are still deciding on whether they want to invest in the testing equipment and training.

If a local dive shop had an eddy current test I would encourage some sort of working relationship between the two - however only the hydro facility will be able to stamp the cylinder - a sticker for the eddy current test is not valid for DOT purposes.


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