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Is this a rip-off ?

Discussion in 'Tanks, Valves and Bands' started by lamarpaulski, May 12, 2013.

  1. lamarpaulski

    lamarpaulski Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Calif.
    Had my tanks hydro'd via my local dive shop, they passed and were stamped BUT then the same LDS required a visual on the tank before filling them ???!!! I questioned this and even pointed out that the hydro was a far more intense test of integrity than the clerk shining a light down the neck but they would not relent. I called the hydro outfit that that same LDS used and they of course visually inspect AND hydro as part of the hydro protocol. Back in the day I seem to recall a visual was needed 1 year after hydro stamp but I could be wrong. Is this legit or is it the equivalent of auto mechanics changing the air in your tires ?? Yeah, I realize it ain't much money but I hate to ripped off.
  2. tstormdiver

    tstormdiver Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Kentucky
    Our shop does visuals, but not do Hydro's. The cost of the visual is part of the Hydro charge. While the Hydro is a DOT requirement, the visual is dive industry standard. Most shops will require a visual sticker for a fill. Even though the business that does our hydro's also does a visual, they don't supply a sticker as proof. We simply do another visual when the cylinder come back, then also supply the sticker. Not really that big of a deal.
  3. DCBC

    DCBC Banned

    You are correct when you indicate that the hydro is a test to measure the strength/integrity of the cylinder material. It does not however address the cylinder threads, any internal surface corrosion, or the valve which would affect the safe operation of the cylinder. In other words, because the cylinder is strong doesn't mean it's suitable to use as a life support device.

    The need for a visual inspection annually is reasonable. In the case of a cylinder under "heavy use" (rental or used 4 or 5 times per week), most manufacturers recommend an inspection every 4 months.

    I would not complain about the cost of the inspection, but would be concerned about the qualifications of the person doing the inspection. All too often, a dive shop employee undertakes an inspection who hasn't received training from the manufacturer. That in my opinion is questionable practice...
  4. oly5050user

    oly5050user Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Westchester NY
    A tank can come back from a hydro facility with water/dirt or even an animal like a bug ,mouse,lizard in it..visual is required ..we charge for hydro and visual but include free fill..
  5. redacted

    redacted Guest

    Unless you can find a gas source that does not required a VIS sticker, you will have to meet the tank filler's requirements. It is a somewhat redundant inspection, but not completely redundant.
    Peter_C likes this.
  6. FM1520

    FM1520 DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Coronado, CA
    Yea, its sort of a rip. Because the shop sends it out the tank comes back with no viz sticker and then they charge you to do the viz. I take my tanks to the shop that actually does the hydro, the viz and sticker is included as part of the hydro at the same price or lower than the shops that send them out.
  7. ams511

    ams511 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Miami, Florida
    I have never been to a shop that charges separately for both a viz and a hydro. The Viz and a fill was always included in the hydro cost. What is a rip to me is requiring a Viz on a new tank, especially when the person just slapped on the sticker and charged me but never bothered to look at the tank.
  8. oldschoolto

    oldschoolto Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: maine
  9. flots am

    flots am Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Wherever you go in life, that's where you are.
    The hydro verifies that the tank won't explode when filled and is required every 5 years by the DOT.

    The VIP typically includes an eddy current check on the tank neck (for aluminum tanks) and is required every year by dive shops in the US. There's no law for it, but if you want your tank filled, it's the price you pay.

    A VIP right after a hydro seems to just be a money grab for a steel tank, but reasonable for aluminum. The annual check after that is nice to make sure you're not breathing from a tank full of crap or water.

  10. oldschoolto

    oldschoolto Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: maine
    But the eddy current check is really for older aluminum tanks, And really for the bad alloy tanks.... I don't know of any of the good alloy tanks having any real troubles... I don't mind paying for a eddy test with the hydro... But don't see the need on a tank that's 2-3 years old...

    VIP's every year on a new tank is a ripe-off.... Knock the valve open and look for water and new o-ring, ok 2 bucks... 5 tops... Things change when you start talking about much older tanks... A really " GOOD " VIP after hydro I can see... But other then that, It's a money game...


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