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According to Mark, they don't make them, they try to educate about them. I was quite clear asking if this was an interpretation of a rule. He insisted not, it was the rule. I have not known Mark to be anything but a stand up guy. I'm taking his word on this for the time being.There are rules. PSI makes them.
According to Mark, they don't make them, they try to educate about them. I was quite clear asking if this was an interpretation of a rule. He insisted not, it was the rule. I have not known Mark to be anything but a stand up guy. I'm taking his word on this for the time being.
The rules are so damn hard to find relevant parts, so complex, written so badly, and frustrating that I've given up trying to find the actual part for now.
I got an email from Mark Gresham of PSI-PCI. to call him, which I immediately did. I gather this thread has caused some extra phone traffic for them to deal with. He's been on the road with his whole crew for DEMA and other classes. It would appear that some phone calls and emails went astray or unanswered because of this, which he was not happy about. We had a very nice discussion at some length. He certainly would have like to have had our conversation at the beginning, instead of the way it rolled out. I agree, though I've learned a lot going down this path also.
I got a mini-education from Mark on NITROX tanks, history, filling, labeling, fill stations, O2 compatible air, the widespread lack of compliance in the dive industry regarding adhering to the rules (yes, there apparently are rules), and a fair number of related associated topics. Mark is an encyclopedia of information on this subject and has an enthusiastic willingness to share it. I have met Mark a couple times before when he came to our Club. He has always come across this way, which is why I attempted to call PSI before I finally took this to SB out of some frustration and wanting specific information if I could get it.
What's this all mean, for me at this point after the conversation?
Going forward, at least for now, my NITROX tanks are going to be reserved for NITROX. I'll be making a few more trips to the shop instead of getting a larger mess of them filled with air all at once. I'll probably be doing a few of my more aggressive dives with NITROX, which may be a good idea. Historically I don't have trouble with the dives, but maybe the drive home will be not quite so tiring....we'll see. If so, that would be a good thing.
I'll be asking some more penetrating questions specifically about the grade of air being delivered by my LDS. Grade E, O2 compatible air, is preferred and (theoretically) required for a NITROX tank. I suspect this is often not the case. I'll want to know how they fill a NITROX tank. If they fill with Grade D, and do partial pressure blending (100% O2, then diluted with air to the appropriate %), the whole purpose of a NITROX clean tank is defeated.The labeling is theoretically designed to keep a clean tank clean, or at least that's how I understand it at this point. There was a lot to absorb.
I'll be asking about how their compressor is maintained, and if the air is tested on a regular basis. 20 years of diving and I've never done this.
I know the owner of my LDS is evaluating how to deal with this new information, and how it impacts his business. I suspect consumer education and the rationale for his decision will be somewhat thorny to deal with. I certainly was.
I'll be taking the PSI-PCI course to get deeper into this regulatory confusion. I dislike it when I don't understand stuff. With my stable of tanks it may be a valuable education.
To me it's clear that the consumer/diver is not at any appreciable risk of fire and/or explosion of tanks, shop employees are. At least some of these rules are for their safety during filling. Ultimately they are for everyone's safety, if everyone is on the same page and using the same standards. That's what standards are supposed to be about. Right now, it's kind of a mess with not much compliance and a host of interpretations. No wonder there is confusion.
Something I learned by being on the jury on a wrongful death of a 9 year old boy is that the law is one thing, lawyers and juries are entirely another. I guess that's why the law is so gawd-awful complicated and people tend to dislike lawyers. Their job is to twist, color, subvert, occlude, manipulate and manage the law to sway the jury to their clients favor. The law is written to cover all the a$$holes trying to do anything they can to get around 'common sense', which apparently ain't so common.PSI is not a law making body. Not in the US, not in Canada, not anywhere.