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Thread: 20 year shelf life for Aluminum dive cylinders

 


  1. #11
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    Finally reached 25 dives and
    it only took 2 years...
     

    fjpatrum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Lapenta View Post
    He is not telling you the truth at all. There are lots of stories about shops pulling this kind of crap to try and sell you something else. I seriously hope you inform him of your findings and then inform him that you will be posting the name of his operation here and on your facebook page if you have one. May save someone else from being screwed over. Shops like this do not deserve to make it. They should be shut down.

    Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk
    While I agree that shops knowingly doing this deserve to be shut down, if the guy is genuinely misinformed it might be best to just inform him properly before tarnishing him with a bad brush.

    OP, let the guy know you found his information to be inaccurate first and then decide whether he was being dishonest or just misinformed.
    Never judge a day by the weather. The best things in life aren't things. He who dies with the most toys still dies. There are 2 ways to be rich - make more or desire less. No rain, no rainbows. Take it easy.
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  2. #12
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    Teller's Avatar
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    That is a false statement and I dont agree with this but his compressor his rules. Find a new shop.
    Culcuhain likes this.
    Brent Teller
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  3. #13
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    DandyDon's Avatar
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    Mistakes and misunderstandings happen. I once received a message from a shop I still generally trust that my 5 year old pony needed extra testing at hydo - eddy current test I think it was, but there was a mistake in info transfer along the way. It didn't. It was made in 2001, now up for another hydro, and I am taking it to the facility myself - then to the shop for viz.

    Tanks produced prior to 1990 are subject to more scrutiny. Some of those do require the eddy current test, but determining which often require the dealer to check further as it's not an every day thing. Some stations will not fill them at all.
    beaverdivers likes this.
    You can test the tanks you breathe or - dive on hope.
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  4. #14
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    Bob DBF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DandyDon View Post
    Tanks produced prior to 1990 are subject to more scrutiny. Some of those do require the eddy current test, but determining which often require the dealer to check further as it's not an every day thing. Some stations will not fill them at all.
    The 6351-T6 AL and some other alloys of AL tanks were found to have problems on many tanks prior to 1990, because of the problem of that alloy the tanks have an eddy current test as well as a hydro and viz. By 2010 it was getting harder for a dive shop to sort this out so a lot of them decided to make a cutoff of 20 years to make it easier on their staff than actually finding out which tank needed what. A mistake might end in an explosive failure so I understand their thinking.

    Anyone not knowing why this was instituted in 2010 might think 20 years is the rule.



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  5. #15
     


    is an entanglement hazard
     

    DaleC's Avatar
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    The problem with basing decisions on easy instead of fact is that it allows the mind to stop paying attention to reality. I've had a shop refuse to fill my 20 year old steel tank and another give me 3000psi fills in my 2250 rated tanks.

    If the OP wants more info they can go here and read a lot about aluminum tanks from the people who train people who work on them PSI-PCI - Home
    If no one reinvented the wheel we'd still be driving around on stone wheels.

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  6. #16
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    As others have said, find another shop. My shop had no issues doing visual/eddy current testing on my 2 1987 AL tanks a few months ago.

    I ran into another shop that was closing up a few weeks ago and asked him what his fill costs were and if he cared about thsoe tanks. He said he wouldn't touch them. Good luck with your closing, guy...

  7. #17
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    still looking for a clue
     

    NWGratefulDiver's Avatar
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    I think this is probably more a case of misinformation than disinformation ... ignorance rather than malfeasance, if you will. I have seen several references in scuba training materials and other texts that say the typical lifetime for an aluminum cylinder is 15-20 years. Now, ask yourself what does "typical" mean in this instance? Is it referring to rental cylinders that get heavily used and not particularly well cared for? Or would this be for cylinders that are privately owned and may go weeks or months between uses? Or would it be referring to cylinders that are used as deco bottles that may be getting chronically overfilled?

    Also, does it take into consideration the different types of aluminum alloys that tanks can be made from?

    There's a tendency among some dive professionals to read things like that and apply it indiscriminately, without really considering those questions ... and I suspect you just ran into one of those people. He may have been completely well-meaning, but just applying a rule of thumb in a way that doesn't take all those factors into consideration. There's a great deal of that happening in our industry, and it tends to take on a mythological life all its own.

    FWIW - one of the two AL80 cylinders I currently own was "born" in 1988, and just passed hydro last year ... meaning it's good until at least 2016. I expect that come that date, it will pass hydro once again.

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
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  8. #18
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    To the OP, if you want to continue to use the shop you try to talk to the owner again about his information. For instance, when the rules regarding cylinders made from AL6251 were being formed it was proposed but NOT implement

    "a 40-year service life for cylinders manufactured
    of aluminum alloy 6351-T6 and used in SCUBA, SCBA, oxygen and carbon dioxide services."

    You can read a bit about it here:


    http://www.epa.gov/EPA-IMPACT/2006/A...-29/i14255.htm

    As for the 20 year lifetime - a specious argument that I have heard but found the origin. But I have seen several shops have such rules. Instead of trying to educate the owner I have noted the mfg of the cylinders being sold in their shop and called the mfg directly and told the sales reps that they need to educate their sellers as the dive shop is damaging their product reputation. NOt sure how affective my efforts have been as the shop was one I used while on vacation in Florida.
    4 out of 3 people have trouble with fractions

  9. #19
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    drbill's Avatar
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    I have Al (and steel) tanks dating back to the 1970s. Haven't had a problem getting any of the Als VIPed or hydro'ed.
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  10. #20
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    Rich Keller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DandyDon View Post
    Look in the phone book for Fire Extinguishers, then call to ask about Hydroing a scuba tank. More work, less cost, straight scoop. You keep the valve and give them the tank.
    This site will help. Not all of these places deal with scuba tanks but the ones that do can hydro, VIP and fill your tanks. In my opinion the shop that told you that 20 years was the limit is either ignorant or trying to sell you new tanks. In either case I would find a new shop or bypass shops altogether. Buy your gear on line, get your instruction from an independent and have your tanks filled at one of these locations.

    PHMSA - Cylinders - Authorized DOT Cylinder Retesters: Domestic
    DandyDon likes this.
    Learning is easy but understanding takes time.

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