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Cost of tank inspections(hydro, Vis, & refilled)......

Discussion in 'Tanks, Valves & Bands' started by diver 85, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. jscott099

    jscott099 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Branford, FL
    Well we both have sources. One says yes, another says no. I am indeed a PSI inspector. And I am speaking of my ability to certify a tank as safe. I am not claiming to perform nor will I perform oxygen cleaning service. While the cleaning procedure is relatively easy with the required solvents, the drying procedure calls for hot filtered air or nitrogen, which I do not heave easy access to. All I am doing is determining if the tank needs to be cleaned. We will have to settle that we disagree on how CGA G-4.1 does not apply to scuba equipment. As far as I am concerned "equipment and systems handling any gas in excess of 23.5% oxygen by volume shall be designed as if that equipment and system is handling oxygen" sounds a lot like a scuba tank that may come into contact with 100% O2 to me.

    As any open minded scuba diver should, I am interested in seeing what other agencies have to say. I have looked into what I believe are IANTD requirements. The also mention the CGA standards by the way. As far as I could tell, they do not require but strongly suggest and annual oxygen cleaning. I believe though that IANTD requires a less rigorous 40% as their level of O2 contact. I found info on the use of simple Green as a cleaning agent, which is OK, but not on the drying method. I am not an IANTD Gas Blender but I am interested in what they have to say. Are you able to share any electronic info?
  2. oxyhacker

    oxyhacker Contributor

    Not to be picky, but your choice of words continues to make me nervous. As your PSI instructor should have made it very clear, a visual inspector does NOT "certify a tank to be safe". Only god could do that, and if you say you are doing that you are exposing yourself to unecessary liability. A visual inspector can only certify that the tank met visual inspection standards at the time the tank was inspected. Bill High has a great screed on this on the PSI website.

    I am confused as to what you are actually doing. Are you stickering tanks as being O2 clean or suitable for PP mixing nitrox? If so you should be specifically trained in doing so, as your posts here show a lot of misconceptions. If you are just certifying them as good for <40% premix, then no problem, since that doesn't require any special prep anyhow and your blacklight while it won't help much, won't hurt.

  3. Nemrod

    Nemrod Solo Diver

    Just photoshop your own VIP stickers, simple and effective. Do your own cleaning and inspection and of course continue to have a proper Hydro every five years. N
  4. jscott099

    jscott099 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Branford, FL
    Agreed on both counts Oxy. I can only certify as to meeting visual standards. And not O2 clean, just the <40%. Only a cleaning can do that. Appreciate the banter with you and your professionalism.
  5. mictrik

    mictrik Contributor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: New York
    The VIP seems a bit ridiculous after having a hydrostatic test done. The hydro procedure includes an external and internal visual inspection; why are shops selling an additional VIP?? I just had an old HP80 (sherwood by PS) tank hydroed at a local hydro test center and i am now told that scuba shops will flag me for not having a VIP. My shop filled it without a sticker after i mentioned that it had just been hydrostaticly tested the day before. Prior to getting the fill I checked the tank myself after hydro because i am always weary of flash rust (from the hydro) but that is me and flash rust a day old could easily be cleaned. I check my tanks myself before any VIP is done as a rule; this way I know its condition before i get a sticker. I dont trust everyones opinion of good and try to mitigate any small issues before they become big and I need to get the tank rolled or worse. I think i may make up my own stickers...
  6. james croft

    james croft Solo Diver

    I pay 18 bucks for the hydro and do my own VIPs. I own around 30 cylinders and was going broke paying for VIPs. I got PSI certified and am money ahead. My cylinders are taken to a commercial testing facility for hydro as the dive shops tack on a charge for taking them to the same place.
    I do remove my valves and plug the cylinders as I have had problems with the commercial facilities mixing up my valves or screwing the valves in so tight they cannot be removed without messing up the valve. I have had not trouble with any tanks I take them, some of which are over 50 years old.
  7. xbonnie

    xbonnie Registered

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Montana
    Our local hydro facility recently purchased an eddy current machine and has employees trained in its use. But, it does not employ any qualified visual inspectors and does only a cursory visual inspection as part of the normal hydro. A VIP involves a lot more than sticking a light into a tank. The inspectors at our dive shop are all PSI trained. We inspect the exterior of the tank for defects including extensive gouges and bulges. As part of this inspection, we remove tank boots and all decals which could be hiding corrosion. We then inspect the interior for corrosion and pitting, using probes to confirm pit depth. We also use special tools to magnify the threads in the tank neck and check for cracks/defects. We then replace the tank valve o-ring and clean and lubricate the valve threads with the proper lubricant. The procedure normally takes about 20 to 30 minutes for a thorough inspector and a normal tank. It can take much longer if there is anything suspicious about the tank. I think it is more than worth the $10 we charge for the service.
  8. mictrik

    mictrik Contributor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: New York
    Yeah, well if i was in Montana I would go to you! But here in NY, I see more cut corners than thoroughness... Case in point; I had to have one of my tanks rolled a few years back. The tank corroded (HP steel 80, one mentioned in previous post) and it had not bee used since a hydro. The hydro facility either did not completely dry the cylinder or its air contained too much water vapor or maybe they never hydro'd the tank at all and just stamped the tank and sent it off.
  9. mike_s

    mike_s Solo Diver


    why are the shops still charging for a VIP when the hydro facility has already done it? come on.... surely you can figure that out.... it's because they can!

    It's just a way for them charging you another dollar. every shop does it.

    The hydro facility could care less about the VIS sticker as it's a scuba industry standard and not a hydro DOT standard.

    To be completely fair to the shops though, they do incur some liability though when they take your tank in for hydro and put their name on the sticker on your tank. So I wouldn't expect them to do it for free. While most stuff in the dive industry is overpriced (profit/margin), they are in the business to make money and not give stuff away for free.

    btw.... I think my local hydro facility must have raised their prices also in the past year. I thought it was $12 bucks but they charged $15 this time. Still cheap. Got a visual and fill on one tank also and they didn't charge me for the visual sticker. I think the fill was $3.50 or $4 bucks, so I got out of there for about $18-$19 bucks for a hydro, vis and fill.
  10. DirtRider

    DirtRider Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: NW suburbs of Chicago IL
    man if I could get them that cheap I never would have gone through certification to be able to VIP my 9 tanks myself!

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