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View Full Version : Older Al 2250: Worth a Hydro?



blewgrass
06-03-2008, 10:44
The original Hydro date is 4/89. The tank is in visually excellent condition. It has air in it. The most recent hydro I can find is 4/95 and a visual of 97

At my local fire extinguisher company it is $28 for a hydro and visual. This is the shop all the scuba shops take their stuff to.

Whadya think?

Thanks

Steve

terrillja
06-03-2008, 10:57
Depends on your local shops and if they will fill it or not. Most New England shops won't fill pre- 1990 from what I have seen posted at their fill stations.

cummings66
06-03-2008, 13:48
Before I did a hydro on it, I would do a VIS because believe it or not that catches way more problems than hydro's do.

I would only get it done if the thing was free or cost maybe no more than $10. There are many shops that will not fill them no matter what. Plus, there have been a couple recalls on cylinders IE they're pulled from service if the hydro shop see's them and others that just aren't worth it.

If you had the data from the cylinder a better answer could be provided.

Geoff_T
06-03-2008, 15:02
This brings up a good question. If an al cylinder is simply old say 15 years or so does that necessarily make it bad. I.e. if said cylinder has been sitting around in storage can anything happen to weaken said cylinder, besides the obvious stuff like corrosion. With climbing rope the nylon will lose its elasticity and need to be taken from service after so many years. I do understand that there have been some recalls and there was a problem with luxfor cylinders pre 1990 exploding but other than that there is nothing I can think of.

rawalker
06-03-2008, 15:22
There is nothing requiring those old cylinders to be condemmed.
As stated many places that do hydro refuse them without cause.
Most dive shops will fill them if a valid hydro and vis have been performed. (they just look for the valid stamp and sticker)
The problem is that many LDS won't send them to be hydro tested.
(most don't do this test themselves) If this happens to you the first thing I'd do is ask who does their hydro work for them and cut out the middle man. If they won't disclose who ask a local welding gas supplier who they use. Finally a fire extinguisher supply company will also know of local tank testing facilities. Once hydro is passed a simple vis puts you back in the game for 5 years. I've never heard of a LDS refusing to fill a tank that has a valid VIS.

terrillja
06-03-2008, 15:43
There is nothing requiring those old cylinders to be condemmed.
As stated many places that do hydro refuse them without cause.
Most dive shops will fill them if a valid hydro and vis have been performed. (they just look for the valid stamp and sticker)
The problem is that many LDS won't send them to be hydro tested.
(most don't do this test themselves) If this happens to you the first thing I'd do is ask who does their hydro work for them and cut out the middle man. If they won't disclose who ask a local welding gas supplier who they use. Finally a fire extinguisher supply company will also know of local tank testing facilities. Once hydro is passed a simple vis puts you back in the game for 5 years. I've never heard of a LDS refusing to fill a tank that has a valid VIS.
I'll counter with Mass Diving and Northeast Scuba.

This is the page on their site: Tank Explosion 6351 (http://massdiving.com/tank_explosion_6351.htm)

and the relevant info:

Most dive centers in New England will no longer fill these tanks. Check your tank and if it is suspect, drain it now. For safety reasons, we are committed to getting these tanks off the market. Thousands of tanks nationwide have already been taken out of service. It is time to get the rest out now. Diving is an extremely safe sport and we want to keep it that way. Feel free to bring your tank in and we will destroy it safely for you so no one will get hurt.

So no, they won't fill 6351 tanks. Period. VIS is irrelevant to them.

Geoff_T
06-03-2008, 15:49
I'll counter with Mass Diving and Northeast Scuba.



This is the page on their site: Tank Explosion 6351 (http://massdiving.com/tank_explosion_6351.htm)

and the relevant info:

Most dive centers in New England will no longer fill these tanks. Check your tank and if it is suspect, drain it now. For safety reasons, we are committed to getting these tanks off the market. Thousands of tanks nationwide have already been taken out of service. It is time to get the rest out now. Diving is an extremely safe sport and we want to keep it that way. Feel free to bring your tank in and we will destroy it safely for you so no one will get hurt.

So no, they won't fill 6351 tanks. Period. VIS is irrelevant to them.

I can understand why this is the series I mentioned earlier. But other than the 6351 series do they have a problem with other older tanks that are not known for going off like bombs with shrapnal and all.

blewgrass
06-03-2008, 16:02
You are precisely correct rawalker. I blew off the LDS all together knowing the speech I would have to endure... no thanks. So I went to my local fire extinguisher supply/servicing operation which does the hydro and visual for $28.

I passed on this cylinder for several reasons, the main one being covered by cummings66-it wasn't free and I'm a big guy for a 2250 tank, so the numbers don't work for an old cylinder.

I found an AL80 with a brand new hydro and visual by a dive shop, so I'm good.

I'll wait to get a second cylinder. A cool dive shop near me offers 10 fills for $30 and they open at 4AM on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. They cater to hardcore fishermen and divers.

WD8CDH
06-03-2008, 16:02
There is no reason to take an old tank out of service unless it doesn't pass the required tests. Even the "wrong alloy" tanks are still safe if they pass the tests. If that tank is what I think it is (are you sure the origional hydro wasn't in the '70s?), it may be one of the safest of the "wrong alloy" tanks becaues is was under rated.

But I wouldn't even bother to test that tank. If it's what I think it is, it has more value as a collectable item than as a usable item. It was one of the first non military aluminum SCUBA tanks.

That tank has about the worst buoyancy characteristics of any tank that I have ever seen. That is why I wouldn't dive it.

If the tank isn't what I think it is, it still may not be worth the trouble of getting it hydroed. What are all of the tank stampings? I can probably identify it.

Rainer
06-03-2008, 16:07
Some of the local greater-Boston shops DO have an issue with pre-1990s AL cylinders. Pretty stupid, but not all that surprising...




I'll counter with Mass Diving and Northeast Scuba.



This is the page on their site: Tank Explosion 6351 (http://massdiving.com/tank_explosion_6351.htm)

and the relevant info:

Most dive centers in New England will no longer fill these tanks. Check your tank and if it is suspect, drain it now. For safety reasons, we are committed to getting these tanks off the market. Thousands of tanks nationwide have already been taken out of service. It is time to get the rest out now. Diving is an extremely safe sport and we want to keep it that way. Feel free to bring your tank in and we will destroy it safely for you so no one will get hurt.So no, they won't fill 6351 tanks. Period. VIS is irrelevant to them.

I can understand why this is the series I mentioned earlier. But other than the 6351 series do they have a problem with other older tanks that are not known for going off like bombs with shrapnal and all.

WD8CDH
06-03-2008, 16:07
I'll counter with Mass Diving and Northeast Scuba.

This is the page on their site: Tank Explosion 6351 (http://massdiving.com/tank_explosion_6351.htm)

and the relevant info:
[quote]Most dive centers in New England will no longer fill these tanks. Check your tank and if it is suspect, drain it now. For safety reasons, we are committed to getting these tanks off the market. Thousands of tanks nationwide have already been taken out of service. It is time to get the rest out now. Diving is an extremely safe sport and we want to keep it that way. Feel free to bring your tank in and we will destroy it safely for you so no one will get hurt.

So no, they won't fill 6351 tanks. Period. VIS is irrelevant to them.

And then they will get $30 for it as scrap metal. :smiley24:

Rainer
06-03-2008, 16:14
Yeah, that's pretty sad about the "we'll take it from you for free". After this accident in RI, most of the shops that refused to fill these cylinders at least offered a rebate toward new ones (at least equal to the scrap metal prices). Mass Diving has always had crummy deals...

cummings66
06-03-2008, 16:45
There is no reason to take an old tank out of service unless it doesn't pass the required tests. Even the "wrong alloy" tanks are still safe if they pass the tests.

Hydro facilities can't pass a cylinder if it's one who's exemption has expired. There were some Mag/Al cylinders made by Kaiser for example that absolutely can not ever be used again, at least commercially. There are steel cylinders that lost theirs too, no exemption no hydro. A hydro facility must abide by the DOT regulations, it doesn't matter the purpose of the cylinder to them.

Those alloys which are wrong have a mandatory pull from service order, you bring one in and it gets pulled and never even tested. I'm not home or I'd look in my books and tell you the SP number on them, but there are a few out there that are bad.

The real issue is this. A hydro, and a vis are not required for your cylinders if it's personal use. You can fill your own cylinders until the cow comes home, it's fine and the DOT won't come after you. But, no dive shop will fill a cylinder if it doesn't have a current hydro and vis. Many dive shops won't fill the old cylinders either, I know of several in Missouri that won't fill it knowingly. In a rush things get pushed through and they slip up so I know they violated their policies, even if they don't know that.

In the end, the issue is one of value. If you get it nearly free it's a great deal and I know there are shops out there who would fill it.

blewgrass
06-03-2008, 18:20
(are you sure the origional hydro wasn't in the '70s?), it may be one of the safest of the "wrong alloy" tanks becaues is was under rated.

But I wouldn't even bother to test that tank. If it's what I think it is, it has more value as a collectable item than as a usable item. It was one of the first non military aluminum SCUBA tanks.


The tank had a "white stag" branding, and I think you are correct in that it had another hydro date of '73... but I wasn't sure.. I just passed on it due to age.

My new one has an original hydro date of 03/91 and it is a LUXFER
Here are the markings as they read left to right:
CTC/DOT-3AL 3000 P547503 LUXFER 03 (A symbol) 91-S80

rawalker
06-04-2008, 02:39
You are precisely correct rawalker. I blew off the LDS all together knowing the speech I would have to endure... no thanks. So I went to my local fire extinguisher supply/servicing operation which does the hydro and visual for $28.

I passed on this cylinder for several reasons, the main one being covered by cummings66-it wasn't free and I'm a big guy for a 2250 tank, so the numbers don't work for an old cylinder.

I found an AL80 with a brand new hydro and visual by a dive shop, so I'm good.

I'll wait to get a second cylinder. A cool dive shop near me offers 10 fills for $30 and they open at 4AM on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. They cater to hardcore fishermen and divers.

Thanks Blewgrass,
I am a fire alarm systems tech and I did work as a extinguisher tech a few years ago. I used to do hydro for all but CO2 extiguishers myself. The CO2 bottles had to be done and filled by our gas distributor. As such I had to be aware of the regulation imposed by DOT.