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can you fill your own tanks?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by goldhunter_2, Aug 12, 2003.

  1. DA Aquamaster

    DA Aquamaster Directional Toast ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: NC
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    Carbon Monoxide is odorless and tasteless which is one of the things that makes it so dangerous. While it is busy tying up all your hemoglobin and depriving you of oxygen, you won't even know it.

    A dive shop will have it air tested periodically, normally every 6 months to ensure that it meets the required standards.

    Air here runs $4.00 a fill and Nitrox is $10.00 a fill at the LDS. However we also have an air club and the membership costs $30 per year for a single and $50 per year for a family. The 17 cfm automatic compressor feeds an 8 bottle air bank and lives at the LDS. There are whips for 2250 psi and 3000 psi tanks with automatic shut offs (at 2500 and 3300 psi) so the dimmer members of the club won't blow themselves up doing their own fills. The whips are in locked cabinet outside the LDS so that members can get airfills anytime day or night. I figure my airfills cost less than .40 each during the average year. The LDS gives air club members a break on Nitrox fills (5.00 per fill) as he only needs to supply the O2.

    For keeping and maintaining the compressor, the LDS owner gets unlimited use of it and makes the $4.00 per fill off the non air club members. The LDS also sells the meberships, keeps the books and trains new members how to fill tanks. The LDS also monitors the air club members and their tanks to ensure the tanks are properly hydroed and inspected (violate this policy on a regular basis and you forfeit your membership). The LDS is also has a hydrotest facility on site and makes the money off the hydros ($12.50 per tank) and the VIP ($5.00 per tank). The LDS also benefits as air is very cheap and many new students get certified who would not otherwise, many more divers dive more than they would otherwise, and all of these very active divers in turn buy more equipment and get more advanced training than they would otherwise.

    Business is booming for the LDS and it is a sweet deal for everyone. He saves overhead on a buying and maintainig a compressor, makes money off the air sold to non members, gets additional profits from equipment sales and training and does nearly 100% of the hydro/vip business in the area. We get free space and free maintenance for the compressor and airbank, cheap hydros and VIP's and cheap air and nitrox fills, and access to air fills 24 hours per day. .
     
  2. Uncle Pug

    Uncle Pug Swims with Orca ScubaBoard Supporter

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    win/win

    (I wonder if you have any mix divers topping off.)
     
  3. Aquamaniac

    Aquamaniac Loggerhead Turtle

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    What an awesome deal, Id like to see one of those near me!

    Dave
     
  4. goldhunter_2

    goldhunter_2 Angel Fish

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    Well the club thing sound like a good deal to.

    The cost of the fills are not the issue push my idea, but the conveniance of being able to fill when I want instead of speand all my time diving to LDS

    Now the "Gold Card" idea I like can I use yours???????:mean: If I pulled mine out for that the only sound I would hear is laughing...... it would proablly be loud enough for you to hear where ever you are to:D
     
  5. pasley

    pasley Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lakewood, CA
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    Yep, the annual Vis is just a racket. After all, what could happen if you skip it?
    http://www.diveshop-pr.com/pages.dir/engl.dir/tankexplosion.html
    http://archives.mundoacuatico.com/nov01/20novdiveexperts.PDF
    http://archives.mundoacuatico.com/jan02/01janupperkeysdivecaptain.PDF
    http://www.scubabomb.freeservers.com/

    Besides that you could be killed, blow up your car, or lose a leg or hand. Ya, annual inspections are really a racket and not necessary.

    Seriously, I will wager that the good captain does his own VIS and has been properly trained to do so, and gets them hydro tested every 5 years as required by DOT.
     
  6. captain

    captain Captain

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    Pasley, I think only one of the of the incidents you presented could have been avoided by an inspection and that was the steel tank. If this tank had a boot on it rust under the boot could have lead to the explosion. Boots on steel tanks are a no no unless they are removed after every use and flushed with fresh water and dried. Or maybe there was water in the tank.

    Luxfer has a problem and if I had any of their tanks that were 6351-T6 alloy I would get rid of them asap. They could pass an inspection this month and explode next month.

    I have only steel tanks. I don't inspect them every year because I know what goes into them. I have never found water or loose rust in them. One has an original hydro date of 1957. I have seen LDS's pull a tank they just filled out of a water tank, take the wet filler hose off, pull the next tank to be filled out of the water and hook up the filler without blowing out the water in the tank valve orfice or drying off the filler hose.

    No, I have no special training only 45 years of experience.

    Captain
     
  7. pasley

    pasley Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lakewood, CA
    3,121
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    First off we completely agree on the AL Alloy tanks. I would not own any of them. Not just LUXFER it is all AL Alloy tanks except Catalina made before 1998. Catalina never used the alloy. I do own Catalina AL tanks.

    Regarding the boot. If you are VIS inspecting a tank, it is my understanding that all stickers and boots and anything else that would prevent your from determining the condition of the metal are to be removed to allow you to see the entire tank, inside and out. Both AL and Steel tanks are removed from service every year, or tumbled to remove oxidation as appropriate due to failing Vis inspections. NOt a perfect system, but is is better than nothing.

    Regarding your tanks not needing a VIS because you know what goes into them. Do you really know? How certain are your that your filter system traps 100% of the moisture in the air your are compressing? Do you ever go on boat dives where they fill your tank on the boat? Great place to get moisture in the tank. Are you willing to bet your life, and the life of your loved ones who may be standing nearby when a tank lets go, that your home fill operation traps 100% of the moister in the air so none ever gets into the tank? Bottom line is a VIS does in my opinion help prevent accidents. Maybe Vis inspections will not prevent all accidents regarding exploding tanks, but it certainly does prevent more accidents than not inspecting does. For under $10.00, or learning to do it yourself, you may save a life, yours! It is cheap insurance.

    Tank another look at what that steel tank did to the car, and the fence and the pole, and then ask yourself is it worth saving $10.00? 3000 PSI can really do a job.
     
  8. captain

    captain Captain

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    I didn't say I didn't VIS my tanks, I said I don't do it every year.
    The only time my tanks were filled on a boat it was by me with my compressor.
    I became self contained many years ago because I started to see
    the direction the dive industry was going which was to suck as much money from divers by continually inventing programs and certifications and telling them they can't go on their trips because they aren't AOW,cave,wreck, night or whatever certified.
    I buy 99% of my equiptment used from people who have been sucked in by the dive shops, dive once or twice and give it up because they live hundreds of miles from decent water or can't afford all the certifications the LDS tells them they need to have. Since I have been on this forum I think there are a lot of divers whos total diving experience comes from collecting certifications. I ran a dive charter boat in the 80's. I had instructors on my boat that amazed me with their lack of experience. Simple things like don't push your mask up on your forehead before getting in the boat unless you want a a wave to knock it off. Don't jump off the boat with your fins in your hands and a 2 knot current running and expect to get them on in time to swim to the anchor line.
    All this came about with the for profit certificing agencies and the LDS's getting in bed together. I can buy parts to fix the brakes on my car but the LDS won't sell me parts to fix my regulator. If I screw up my regulator I may end up dead but if I screw my brakes I may kill myself and a lot of others but I don't need a certification to fix my brakes.
    But this is enough, by now you must have figured out I have no love for the dive industry only diving.

    Captain
     
  9. RichLockyer

    RichLockyer Solo Diver

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    That's okay for nitrox.
    Air should be less than $5
     
  10. etype

    etype Nassau Grouper

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    but this thread has got me thinking " i wonder what would happen if i hooked my tank compressor up to a nail gun?' wonder how many sheets of plywood i could shoot a staple through?
     

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