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View Full Version : How long for a VIP?



wsodonnell
07-03-2008, 08:06
I was just wondering how long most people would expect to wait for an annual visual inspection? I just moved to Houston and one of the shops here seems to think that up to 2 weeks would be appropriate. The same shop also told me a couple of weeks ago that all VIP's expire on the first day of whatever month is cut on the tag (I had to call bull#@*! on that one). Has anyone had any similar experiences?

gregor
07-03-2008, 08:16
you called it correctly, total BS. The vip is good till the end of the month, one year from punch date.

As for how long, two weeks is a joke. The process from start to finish is less than an hour, and that's assuming the tank is full and needs to be drained. I'd say closer to 30 minutes. So 2 weeks basically means this guy doesn't want to do a VIP, and his tank monkey is on vacation or something for 13 days. Find another shop.

fireflock
07-03-2008, 08:47
Some shops have someone who comes in once a week to VIP whatever has come in that week in a big batch. So....1 week tops I'd say. Unless you're just unlucky and happen to come in the day after VIP day, it should be sooner.

No Misses
07-03-2008, 08:48
That is just one more reason to get certified to do your own VIP :-) Of course, the cost break is somewhere around 10 cylinders.

You should find a new shop.

navyhmc
07-03-2008, 08:55
VIP's have gotten a little more complicated, especially on AL tanks since the Sustained Load cracks came to light and DOT requires an eddy current test as part of the VIP. But other than that, I have used to do VIP"S at a LDS and it usually took about 2-3 hours if the tank was full and less than 20 if it was near empty.

The problem with a full tank was to let the air out without getting it so cold that it would get condensation on the inside when you took the valve off.

I can see it taking longer if they only do them on one day, but still.

Vercingetorix
07-03-2008, 08:56
ST does viz inspect in about 30 minutes. Drop it off...look around store for toys...pay for viz and new toys...leave...

$17, including filled bottle

mike_s
07-03-2008, 09:43
VIP's have gotten a little more complicated, especially on AL tanks since the Sustained Load cracks came to light and DOT requires an eddy current test as part of the VIP. But other than that, I have used to do VIP"S at a LDS and it usually took about 2-3 hours if the tank was full and less than 20 if it was near empty.
.


To my knowledge, DOT only required EDDY testing on 6351T Alloy tanks made before something like May 88, (or close date).

I don't think any of the newer Aluminum Alloy tanks require Eddy tests.


Dive shops might do Eddy's on other cylinders, but it's not required.

Martin2
07-03-2008, 11:37
2 weeks is crazy--take it to another shop

wsodonnell
07-03-2008, 11:45
thanks for the feedback. I talked to the owner yesterday and he defended his company procedures vigorously. He seemed to imply I was a little naive expecting a turnaround in an hour or even a couple of days, but I guess he's entitled to run his business however he wants. Fortunately, I know I'm entitled to do business elsewhere.

CompuDude
07-03-2008, 11:52
It's not his company's procedures that should be questioned, it's their crazy slow schedule. 2 weeks for a 20-30 minute job (once the air is bled out) is absurd.

mike_s
07-03-2008, 12:28
The owner basically implied that any shop that only takes an hour to do a visual is reckless or incompetent !


You really think he pays any of his employees to spend an entire hour looking at a single tank?

He's either crazy or stupid. (or both).


The longest part of a visual is the time it takes to drain a tank. You drain it slowly to keep condensation from forming. Seeing how most tanks that are visualled are already at about 500psi anyway, this is usually not an long time issue.

fireflock
07-03-2008, 12:47
Here's the funny thing. If I owned a shop, I would do everything I could to take care of fills, VIPs, whatever.... _while the customer was waiting in the shop_

Why? I bet at least half of my customers would look around the shop and find something else to buy while they are waiting. The other half would learn what lines I carried, which classes are coming up, and what trips are in the works.

A customer who stops in for 2 min to drop off a tank and 4 min to pick it up gets none of this.

This stuff is retail 101. I don't know why shops don't get it.

I understand the there is sometimes a manpower or training issue with VIPs, but I would do everything I could to work around that if at all possible.

Rich

awap
07-03-2008, 12:48
The sticker from the shop that does my VIS indicates that the date is the Month/Year of the inspection, not the expiration. But he does expire them on the first of the month the following year. That really does not matter as I have never figured out how to get away with only 3 additional inspections between 5-year hydros without leaving the tank unused for longer than I care to. If you got 13 months out of each of the first 4 inspections, you would only get 8 months on the last one before the tank was due for hydro. Total cost is the same.

Sounds like your shop is used to saying anything it wants to it customers assuming they are to ignorant about scuba to know the truth. That's the kind of shop I like to do as little business with as possible.

CompuDude
07-03-2008, 13:00
The owner basically implied that any shop that only takes an hour to do a visual is reckless or incompetent and that technically all shops should decline to fill a tank that is marked the current month on the tag.
This is actually the most ludicrous thing he said. His own argument would indicate that the tank he is VIP'ing for me today is actually expired as soon as I get it and if I take it back tomorrow with the new July 08 sticker he just put on it for a fill, he can't do it because the sticker would indicate that it expired on July 1st 2008. And this is one of the shop owners!

PSI/PCI actually does recommend the beginning of the month. Very few shops I know of actually stick to that rule, however. He's not wrong about that, unfortunately. Note: DOT formal ruling has indicated Hydro test dates expire on the last day of the month, by comparison, but PSI still recommends (no strength of law, here) visual inspections expire the first day of the month. A rather strong argument could be made to extend that to precisely one year, if you had proof of the actual day of the month the previous inspection was done, but we're seriously picking nits here.

That said, if you're going to be stuck with this shop for a while, you may as well start now, because it'll all shake out in a year and work out the same, aside from the first month's loss (really more likely a week or two's loss).

All of that said, I don't know of any inspection that could possibly take more than an hour. 30 minutes (starting with an empty tank) is pretty generous as it is. An hour is a LONG time to be inspecting a tank. Give a little more time for Aluminum if it needs the eddy current test, but a general tank inspection should NOT be taking more than an hour, and saying "only an hour" = reckless or incompetent is absurd. If a tank is so heavy damaged that multiple pits need to be measured to make sure they're within limits, I could see it taking longer. But as a general rule, with generally clean tanks, it's quite easy to do a complete, thorough and safe inspection in 20 minutes.

-CompuDude
PSI Certified Visual Cylinder Inspector #20373

mike_s
07-03-2008, 13:05
If he's spending an hour with a tank, he's getting way to intimate with my tank! :rofl:


I would definately insist he o2 cleaned it after that! :rofl:

Martin2
07-03-2008, 13:11
If he's spending an hour with a tank, he's getting way to intimate with my tank! :rofl:


I would definately insist he o2 cleaned it after that! :rofl:

WOW!!

Are the other shops in Houston too far from you? It has been a while since I lived there, but I'm sure someone here can make some recommendations.

Navy OnStar
07-03-2008, 13:28
Here's the funny thing. If I owned a shop, I would do everything I could to take care of fills, VIPs, whatever.... _while the customer was waiting in the shop_

Why? I bet at least half of my customers would look around the shop and find something else to buy while they are waiting. The other half would learn what lines I carried, which classes are coming up, and what trips are in the works.

A customer who stops in for 2 min to drop off a tank and 4 min to pick it up gets none of this.

This stuff is retail 101. I don't know why shops don't get it.

I understand the there is sometimes a manpower or training issue with VIPs, but I would do everything I could to work around that if at all possible.

Rich

You and I think alike. With the age of the internet, people will go where the cost is the cheapest and the service is good. We don't NEED LDS's for gear anymore. However, You can't get an air fill over the net. Stuff like hydro, VIP's, reg repair, etc are easier to do at a LDS than sending your stuff off. If you don't get the service you want from a LDS you will find another. When will Businesses learn this????????

digitalman
07-05-2008, 22:40
ST does viz inspect in about 30 minutes. Drop it off...look around store for toys...pay for viz and new toys...leave...

$17, including filled bottle

I wish I lived closer to the ST store. Maybe sometime when I'm in TX I can stop by and browse the isles.

jimmysdevoted
07-07-2008, 09:21
when we first went into the lds and they put hubby into teh syetm they said itcould take two weeks or more to do a VIS.
Then like I posted,, the shop lost my hubbys tank but pilingtrash in front of it... we still ahvent heard from the shop owners..
So the new shop( actually older than teh one we use) says it will take one day, depends on how busy they are and will do it if you are waiting and ten minutes to fill.....

BTW does anyone know Where to get trained to do VIS? HUbby and others have been convincing me to get into it.. so here I ask..

julie

mike_s
07-07-2008, 10:22
BTW does anyone know Where to get trained to do VIS? HUbby and others have been convincing me to get into it.. so here I ask..

julie


not sure if there is anyone in Knoxville, but you can email PSI and ask them. they prob are more likely to have a trainer in your area than anyone else.

there is one in Nahsville that teaches the class.

But I think that the cost of the course is $200 to $250. You'll have to decide if that is worth it for the cost of the course over what a VIS cost at your LDS. for just 2 or 4 tanks, not really worth it unless you just want to take the course.

of course with gas prices being as high as they are, having to make multiple trips 30 miles into town for example, to pick up tanks that the LDS said would be done, but weren't, and having to make a 2nd or 3rd trip in, might justify some of that course cost.

PSI course certs are good for 2 years... or should I say you can't order stickers from them unless you've taken the update in the last 2 years. there is no real reason to take the update every two years, in my opinion. Just order stickers for the next few years before your 'cert' expires.

I think that TDI (or some other agency) teaches a class, but I'm not sure...


oh... just to pour some gasoline on the fire, chances are the guy at your LDS that does your visual inspection has "no certification", and "no formal training" either. Doesn't mean that he doesn't know what he's doing, but there is an equal chance that he doesn't know either....

I've seen some people or shops that were "certified" and clueless and some that didn't have certs in visuals and knew what they were doing. so it goes both ways....:smilie40:

wsodonnell
07-08-2008, 12:24
Well I took everyone's advice and found another LDS. Get this: the new shop gives free air fills with the purchase of the VIP and the inspection was done quickly. So, good for me! and thanks to all who posted.

CompuDude
07-08-2008, 13:25
when we first went into the lds and they put hubby into teh syetm they said itcould take two weeks or more to do a VIS.
Then like I posted,, the shop lost my hubbys tank but pilingtrash in front of it... we still ahvent heard from the shop owners..
So the new shop( actually older than teh one we use) says it will take one day, depends on how busy they are and will do it if you are waiting and ten minutes to fill.....

BTW does anyone know Where to get trained to do VIS? HUbby and others have been convincing me to get into it.. so here I ask..

julie

PSI / PCI (http://www.psicylinders.com/)

As Mike pointed out, unless you have a enough tanks, you're not going to justify paying for the course from a financial perspective. But the knowledge is very good to have. I suspect I'll about break even on the course I took... eventually.

diver 85
07-09-2008, 14:59
Good the last day of the month punched out...and 2 weeks is too long, shop must be waiting on Christmas to come around...go some other place.......