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trekkindave
08-12-2008, 15:03
Is there anything specific that a shop looks for in a visual inspection sticker??


I have seen some generic stickers on leisurepro.com... what is stopping someone i buy a used tank from from getting one of those stickers and slapping it on there to make it look like it is actually inspected?


Also...

If one was to fill their own tanks through a compressor (a high quality breathing air compressor, not a sear's special garage compressor)... then how important is the visual inspection on an aluminum tank?

monant
08-13-2008, 07:05
I am not sure of everything an inspector looks for but from a safety stand point the tank should be inspected every year. As we all know, a dive shop will not fill a tank without a current VIP. If a tank passes the yearly VIP, then the only thing the VIP accomplished was allowing the tank to be filled. If the tank failed the VIP then the safety of the person filling the tank, all those in range if the tank should rupture, and the diver were protected.

I'm sure there are studies showing the best interval for a VIP in order to catch the majority of problems before safety is a real concern; an inspection every year vs. every two years or even every six months.

I have seen these generic stickers as well. If I ever become certified to perform VIPs I would buy them. I really do not know if they are a "controlled item". You could probably have your own printed at most printing companies.

However, the bottom line is safety trumps other considerations in a leisure activity and if I'm not mistaken DOT requires the yearly VIP.

ScaredSilly
08-13-2008, 09:38
Sorry, you are mistaken on the DOT requirements. DOT requires a requal every 5 years (requal == hydro & visual inspection). The VIP is an american scuba industry "standard".

If you are filling your own cylinders with your own compressor you are free to do whatever makes you happy - no hydro and visual inspections are needed.

As for what a shop looks for. Typically the date of the last inspection and often who did it. Some shops will not recognize particular inspections. Pretty any twit can print up an inspection sticker and slap it on a cylinder. This is one of the problems with the whole program, exactly who is doing the inspection and what are their qualifications.

mchain
08-13-2008, 10:12
I noticed in my LDS the other day that they had a sign on the wall saying that they do not honor VIP stickers from online retailers. They even named a few. In order to get fills from them you would have to get the tank inspected again.

MSilvia
08-13-2008, 10:29
I've seen a local shop refuse to honor stickers from entities they didn't trust, but otherwise they've been pretty open to different inspectors.

If I walked in expecting a fill on a tank with a shop no one had heard of, or with a sticker from an inspector they hadn't heard of, they might not honor it, but if I said, for example, that the mystery inspector was a buddy of mine who had been doing his own tanks for years, and who just renewed his credential at the Sea Rovers show last March, they'd probably give me a hard time about it, but would likely take my word for it and fill the tank.

awap
08-13-2008, 10:36
I noticed in my LDS the other day that they had a sign on the wall saying that they do not honor VIP stickers from online retailers. They even named a few. In order to get fills from them you would have to get the tank inspected again.

They are just doing what they can to make the customer suffer a bit for doing business with an online retailer. I'd avoid them if I could. Just stupid.

BoomerNJ
08-13-2008, 10:44
Leisure Pro is notorious for being shady, IMHO... I have heard of several complaints with them. If you look them up on this site or scubaboard.com you will see what I mean... This is just what I have heard from other people & read online, so if I am wrong, well then I'm wrong...

BoomerNJ
08-13-2008, 10:47
I noticed in my LDS the other day that they had a sign on the wall saying that they do not honor VIP stickers from online retailers. They even named a few. In order to get fills from them you would have to get the tank inspected again.

They are just doing what they can to make the customer suffer a bit for doing business with an online retailer. I'd avoid them if I could. Just stupid.

I agree with this also for the most part & with msilvia too. If nobody has heard of the name on the sticker I can understand, it's the lds's a$$ on the line liability wise too...

monant
08-13-2008, 11:40
Sorry, you are mistaken on the DOT requirements. DOT requires a requal every 5 years (requal == hydro & visual inspection). The VIP is an american scuba industry "standard".

If you are filling your own cylinders with your own compressor you are free to do whatever makes you happy - no hydro and visual inspections are needed.

As for what a shop looks for. Typically the date of the last inspection and often who did it. Some shops will not recognize particular inspections. Pretty any twit can print up an inspection sticker and slap it on a cylinder. This is one of the problems with the whole program, exactly who is doing the inspection and what are their qualifications.

Since the DOT requirement is a VIP every 5 years do you suppose the driving force for the yearly requirement is for profit, liability, or a stricter self imposed industry regulation to prevent the government from becoming too involved in the industry?

No Misses
08-13-2008, 14:42
Quotes from multiple posts

DOT requires Hydro & VIP every 5 years. False. DOT only requires a Hydro every 5 years for portable cylinders.

If you have your own compressor you do not need VIP or Hydro. False. You need Current Hydro (<5 yrs) in order to transport the cylinder (DOT = Department of Transportation). You are correct when you state that you do not need a VIP. This is a dive industry requirement. There is no law stating that you need a VIP.

The Visual Inspection Process looks at:
Condition of external surface (number and size of pitting)
Current Hydro Stamp y/n
Condition of internal surface (debris, Pitting, corrosion)
Condition of valve (burst disk, dip tube, threads)
Condition of Cylinder threads
Inspection for neck cracks

These are all valid inspection points that every diver should be concerned about. IMHO

P.S. I use PSI printed VIP stickers with my insp# written on them.

monant
08-13-2008, 15:45
Quotes from multiple posts

DOT requires Hydro & VIP every 5 years. False. DOT only requires a Hydro every 5 years for portable cylinders.

If you have your own compressor you do not need VIP or Hydro. False. You need Current Hydro (<5 yrs) in order to transport the cylinder (DOT = Department of Transportation). You are correct when you state that you do not need a VIP. This is a dive industry requirement. There is no law stating that you need a VIP.

The Visual Inspection Process looks at:
Condition of external surface (number and size of pitting)
Current Hydro Stamp y/n
Condition of internal surface (debris, Pitting, corrosion)
Condition of valve (burst disk, dip tube, threads)
Condition of Cylinder threads
Inspection for neck cracks

These are all valid inspection points that every diver should be concerned about. IMHO

P.S. I use PSI printed VIP stickers with my insp# written on them.

Thanks for the good info.

ScaredSilly
08-13-2008, 17:31
DOT requires Hydro & VIP every 5 years. False. DOT only requires a Hydro every 5 years for portable cylinders.

If you really want to be picky this is not even correct as there are some that it is not required at all, for others every three, ten, or twelve years. But I was speaking specifically to cylinders commonly used for scuba and not bank and other cylinders.



If you have your own compressor you do not need VIP or Hydro. False. You need Current Hydro (<5 yrs) in order to transport the cylinder (DOT = Department of Transportation).

This is for cylinders transported in commerce.

in_cavediver
08-13-2008, 18:49
If people want to get even more technical - The DOT process is a "Hydrostatic test and Visual Inspection" not 'Hydrostatic test and VIP'. VIP is dive industry only. These conform to different bits of code depending on the cylinder type. For the Visual Inspections, CGA 6.0 and 6.1 govern the 3AA steel tanks and 3AL AL tanks. Many of the exemption tanks (HP 3500 and 3442) use the same guidelines for visuals with different hydro procedures. Every hydro has a visual inspection component irregardless of the type of tank - steel, AL, composite, hoop wrapped etc.

Now, when is it applied - easy. To any tank used in commerce. In theory a personal owner wouldn't need a hydro ever but its best to think of it applying to everyone.

Now, for frequency of the VIP (not hydro). Here you will get a lot of opinions. I can see every six months to a year as a reasonable but I do my own inspections. I do NOT inspect my med o2 bottle every year and its a 3AL tank as well. Its on the DOT schedule only.

Lastly, the fun part. What is the VIP. A VIP is Visual Inspection Program which the dive industry started and promotes. Its a standard and carries no force of law. It gets better when you ask to define the 'standard'. My opinion is there isn't a uniform standard. There is no universal certification accepted by all. PSI would like you to believe otherwise but it simply is not true. I personally was trained by Scuba Cylinders Inspectors International and I follow the CGA 6.0 and 6.1 guidelines in my inspections.

I have yet to be questioned about my VIP's but I figure if someone asks me about the 'qualifications', I tell them mine and ask them about theirs. A few words with the right information should settle that issue. (if it doesn't, they don't need my buisiness).

trekkindave
08-13-2008, 23:37
No assuming that someone has the proper training, like you have, how do you prove to the LDs (i am assuming you use them for fills??) that the VIP is done. A co-worker/dive buddy is certified to do inspections but I think the LDS might give me lip without a sticker...

in_cavediver
08-14-2008, 05:11
No assuming that someone has the proper training, like you have, how do you prove to the LDs (i am assuming you use them for fills??) that the VIP is done. A co-worker/dive buddy is certified to do inspections but I think the LDS might give me lip without a sticker...

I make my own stickers. Of course, I get some of my fills at the local Fire Station where they don't have a clue what a 'VIP' is. Its NFPA and DOT all the way and they call for every 5 years. The other main shop is in the heart of cave country. They give me 3800-4000 in LP tanks if I want it so...

cummings66
08-14-2008, 11:22
You can't really prove that a sticker means the person is qualified to inspect the cylinders. There are many misconceptions out there, and trained inspectors that differ in their interpretations. For example, the DOT hydro, it's not required for divers because it's not used in interstate commerce, yet many believe it's a requirement. Many think the VIP is a government requirement and it's not.

The further you get from your training the more you forget and drift from that training. I am a certified PSI inspector and contrary to what in cavediver says, in my PSI certification course they did say that not all inspections are accepted everywhere. They stressed the point that a sticker should contain certain data but that it's up to the shop filling the cylinder as to whether or not they accept it. It might be a regional thing with the trainers though, mine was pretty good and didn't seem stuck on PSI being universal.

At any rate, IMO PSI has a very good in depth program and it's worth taking. For what it's worth, anybody can go to Luxfer's website and download the inspection requirements for AL cylinders, it's freely available and then you'll know what's tested and why.

Here's the link for you;

http://www.luxfercylinders.com/downloads/docs/scubaguide.pdf

monant
08-14-2008, 12:13
One of my pet peeves is information being passed as fact when in reality, what is being passed is the way that person, "thinks it should be".

I didn't start this thread but appreciate the info given. I realize now that I've been given bad info in the past and have passed bad info to others based on the trust I had in those giving me the information.

I wonder what else I'll learn from thin forum.

in_cavediver
08-14-2008, 17:05
One of my pet peeves is information being passed as fact when in reality, what is being passed is the way that person, "thinks it should be".

I didn't start this thread but appreciate the info given. I realize now that I've been given bad info in the past and have passed bad info to others based on the trust I had in those giving me the information.

I wonder what else I'll learn from thin forum.

One of the best things I've learned is that you always need to question information you get, even if its in a book. Actually, that's a great philospohy for life in general.

Matt is somewhat right about PSI. They just like to run an add that gets me with how they phrase it. They make it sound like the VIP is government mandated each year.

Like most things, there is truth to parts of it but its all subject to interpretation. IE, is the tank used in an extreme environment that meets certain criteria to trigger it.

Another good one is that by CGA standards, you must segrate tanks used for air (23% or so O2) from tanks with higher O2 concentrations. To go between them requires a full cleaning and servicing of the valve. Trimix and argon require yet more dedicated tanks. These tanks also have to be permanently marked for their contents. (changeable with service/cleanings though). This works well in the industrial gas trade but fails in the dive industry and we pretend like it doesn't exist.

Yet another, technically, when a dive instructor transports tanks as part of thier class over a certian number, they need to have hazmat endorsement and follow hazmat shipping procedures. Again, good in the industrial gas market but ignored by the dive industry.

cummings66
08-16-2008, 21:42
Yeah, we talked about that in our class. I can't recall how many cylinders it takes to actually exceed the limit but you could do it in a truck or trailer. For divers, you and me, we don't need to worry. If you make money off of it, well, then you just might want to get a bit up to date on things.

The odds are you'll never be stopped, and if you are stopped and don't have a ton of them they're not likely to say much to you. I have not heard of any local divers getting busted over hauling too many cylinders.

As to when a VIP is needed, what we were told is this. It's needed when we need it, it's NOT good for a year under all conditions. Say you just dropped that shiny new AL cylinder on the sidewalk as you walked out of the dive shop with a new VIP. Guess what, you need another one right now. Why? Because any damage to a cylinder requires a VIP to insure it's still safe to use.

They also suggest schedules for usage, if it's hard you inspect them very frequently, if it's light then a year is good, if it's somewhere in between then perhaps every few months. The VIP therefore is good until it's not or at most a year. PSI wants to say it expires on the first day of the month, but they'll accept the last day as well because there was a small change in that area in terms of how some government agency does their dates. IMO I treat it like aviation, last day of the month or until it's needed again.

in_cavediver
08-17-2008, 07:49
As to when a VIP is needed, what we were told is this. It's needed when we need it, it's NOT good for a year under all conditions. Say you just dropped that shiny new AL cylinder on the sidewalk as you walked out of the dive shop with a new VIP. Guess what, you need another one right now. Why? Because any damage to a cylinder requires a VIP to insure it's still safe to use.

They also suggest schedules for usage, if it's hard you inspect them very frequently, if it's light then a year is good, if it's somewhere in between then perhaps every few months. The VIP therefore is good until it's not or at most a year. PSI wants to say it expires on the first day of the month, but they'll accept the last day as well because there was a small change in that area in terms of how some government agency does their dates. IMO I treat it like aviation, last day of the month or until it's needed again.

This is one part that I love. By law, DOT does hydro's every 5 years. A Visual Inspection is part of that process. That visual is up to DOT specs with records etc.

Now, CGA recommends visuals done more frequently based on tank usage, possible damage etc. For it to count though, it really needs to be done by a DOT inspector with the requisite documentation. Now, most scuba inspectors don't hold the DOT cert so any inspection done may meet CGA standards or it may not. Even if it does meet those standards, there is not clear way to prove that it did. (that's why we have certifications)

If law was interpreted to mandate this, it would be by a DOT certed inspector, not any dive shop employee. The interesting part is the court involved would have to determine whether that usage met criterea for a type of usage and what schedule was appropriate. Best guess is that they would use the dive industry's 1 year norm. That's not because there is anything special about it but because its the well publicized norm and established and you would argue against that.

As for severe use inspections - The Fire Dept where I volunteer would need to inspect our SCBA bottles after every training session/fire. We are a LOT harder on those than I have ever seen a Scuba tank be treated. (we use 6061 3AL 2106 psi bottles for the record). They see high heat, rapid fills and drops/impacts. The only thing scuba tanks can see worse is the possibility of water in the tank.

To me, the take away message is that there is a lot of code and interpretations that have to be done when using high pressure tanks outside of the gas industry. The regs are written with typical industrial uses not 'fringe element' usage for which scuba clearly resides. A lot of common sense needs to reign and lots of parties provide a wealth of mis-information. Other provide a great wealth of information with interpretations.

A little common sense can go a long way.

cummings66
08-17-2008, 08:22
Common sense and government doesn't mix and that I think is where much of the confusion starts. The government does leave it to the scuba industry to self regulate itself and yet they would like for us to observe their rules in the process but haven't exactly said we need to do so. That leaves a lot of grey area to think about.

Believe it or not, in our PSI class we talked about the flash chambers and their effect on the AL cylinders, but no answer was forth coming. The rub is, according to one of the firemen there who was a trainer for that sort of thing that the temps they get exposed to are way in excess of what's allowed for those cylinders to remain in operation. He claimed it was so hot that you could take a turkey into the chamber and it would be cooked immediately, which means that you are exceeding by a large margin the safe temps for the AL cylinders that many rural fire departments use. He wanted to know if you could pass one of those cylinders if it came in. If you failed it you would be condemning lots of cylinders because many municipalities undergo flash training.

I never researched the claim, but PSI does claim they are the only agency recognized by name by the DOT. That's their one MAJOR boast they make, but I didn't really care enough to check it out because frankly that's not why I took the PSI brand course.

in_cavediver
08-17-2008, 17:18
Common sense and government doesn't mix and that I think is where much of the confusion starts. The government does leave it to the scuba industry to self regulate itself and yet they would like for us to observe their rules in the process but haven't exactly said we need to do so. That leaves a lot of grey area to think about.

Believe it or not, in our PSI class we talked about the flash chambers and their effect on the AL cylinders, but no answer was forth coming. The rub is, according to one of the firemen there who was a trainer for that sort of thing that the temps they get exposed to are way in excess of what's allowed for those cylinders to remain in operation. He claimed it was so hot that you could take a turkey into the chamber and it would be cooked immediately, which means that you are exceeding by a large margin the safe temps for the AL cylinders that many rural fire departments use. He wanted to know if you could pass one of those cylinders if it came in. If you failed it you would be condemning lots of cylinders because many municipalities undergo flash training.

I never researched the claim, but PSI does claim they are the only agency recognized by name by the DOT. That's their one MAJOR boast they make, but I didn't really care enough to check it out because frankly that's not why I took the PSI brand course.

I did the flashover training and it does get really hot. I think we hit around 200F at head height. (1200F-1300F at the ceiling according to the IR camera). Around my parts, every firefighter needs to go through it in thier first years, paid or volunteer.

As for agencies - I have the utmost respect for Bill High and PSI. They are a very well run and very competent agency. There materials are great and if you wanted to set an industry standard for everyone to meet - they be the best choice. Still, they have one ad aimed at newer divers that irks me for some reason.

BoomerNJ
08-17-2008, 17:38
Hey in_cavediver, you guys still use AL tank in your department? I though they had pretty much been phased out... My fire dept is pretty much famous for being last to adopt anything & we haven't used AL tanks for over 15 years... I don't mean this as criticism by any means, I'm just curious...

in_cavediver
08-17-2008, 21:02
Hey in_cavediver, you guys still use AL tank in your department? I though they had pretty much been phased out... My fire dept is pretty much famous for being last to adopt anything & we haven't used AL tanks for over 15 years... I don't mean this as criticism by any means, I'm just curious...

Yep, we still do. The officers have some of the 2016 composite 30 minute bottles the bulk are AL. At this point, we don't see enough fire to justify much else (2-5 working structure fires a year, some car fires and MVAs but mostly in house medicals, last year had around 450 calls). AL tanks are good forever, composites for 15 years. We have probably 40-45 bottles on 7 trucks (about 20 complete SCBA's with spare bottles on the trucks). It gets pricey to replace tanks. We have some 'new' bottles who have yet to get used in service needing hydro's (2nd bottles on truck). We have to have them but they rarely get used.

That said, we do have some other modern features. All 40+ of our members have portable radios issued to them, we run CAFS on our two main pumpers and we just got a major addition to our station.

cummings66
08-18-2008, 08:43
Around here I see lots of those al cylinders too. I think it's common in rural states to run across them. Mostly I see them at a hydro station, come in batches and there's a bunch of them. So somebody is still using them.

CompuDude
08-18-2008, 19:42
Is there anything specific that a shop looks for in a visual inspection sticker??

I have seen some generic stickers on leisurepro.com... what is stopping someone i buy a used tank from from getting one of those stickers and slapping it on there to make it look like it is actually inspected?

Also...

If one was to fill their own tanks through a compressor (a high quality breathing air compressor, not a sear's special garage compressor)... then how important is the visual inspection on an aluminum tank?

To bring the thread back full circle:

Don't just buy generic stickers and put them on. Tank inspections are important, whether the DOT actually legally requires them or not... and they are NOT just a "profit generator" for MOST LDS's. (I'm sure there are exceptions out there, but generally, it's for everyone's safety that these are done, not the bottom line.)

If your friend is truly qualified to inspect your tanks, he should be able to provide valid VIP stickers, and if your local LDS will not accept them, then it falls to your friend to either make it right by talking to the LDS and convincing them he's qualified, or pay for the shop's VIP on your tank to replace his. If you friend is not willing to provide stickers and take on the liability, he has no place inspecting tanks, and I wouldn't trust him to inspect mine. It's not that much money, in the end... just get it done at the shop if there is any hassle.

If you're filling your own tanks, with an appropriate compressor, the VIP stickers are less important from an industry standards standpoint (but will you EVER get those tanks filled elsewhere?), but the inspections are still important from a safety standpoint... YOURS, if you're the one filling.

mike_s
08-19-2008, 13:38
Quotes from multiple posts

DOT requires Hydro & VIP every 5 years. False. DOT only requires a Hydro every 5 years for portable cylinders.

If you have your own compressor you do not need VIP or Hydro. False. You need Current Hydro (<5 yrs) in order to transport the cylinder (DOT = Department of Transportation). You are correct when you state that you do not need a VIP. This is a dive industry requirement. There is no law stating that you need a VIP.


hmmm.... I'll have to dig this up in my DOT PDF's, but isn't part of the hdyro process to visually inspect the cylinder before pressuring the cylinder to test? This is to rule out the cylinder having a failure during test due to a knick or dent in the tank for example.

Also. DOT added a "Visual Eddy" requirement for aluminum 6351T tanks in the last year or two. I've got that PDF file if you want to read it. So it is a DOT rule for at least some tanks.





You can't really prove that a sticker means the person is qualified to inspect the cylinders. There are many misconceptions out there, and trained inspectors that differ in their interpretations.


I think you'll find that most shops have no one that has gone through any "formal training", nor do they have any written procedures for how to visual a tank, and the ones that might don't have anyone following them. I'm sure there are a few shops that do, but I'm willing to bet that 90% of them don't.

Often average, the "low man on the totum pole" at the shop usually gets stuck with air fills, which often by default means that he has to visual some tanks before he fills them. Sometimes any training they get is just about like "you just open this here tank and shine that there light in it and see if anything is wrong with it".

Then you'll often see shops that won't accept other shops visuals because they have some bone to pick with that shop and say that the other shop "doesn't do visuals" right when they themselves have no procedure themselves to follow and have no clue what the other shop realy does.

go figure huh? :smilie40:

monant
08-19-2008, 15:40
These posts have been great and extremely informative. I appreciate everyones inputs. I've learned a lot.

cummings66
08-19-2008, 17:44
For what it's worth, in your first posting in this thread you mentioned you'd buy those stickers and that they're not controlled. That IMO makes them worth less because they don't mean that much. PSI for example on their stickers require that they not be given out to anybody not qualified to use them, ie I can't see you 10 of my stickers if you're not qualified to buy them yourself, and that means you must have a PSI inspector number of your own.

I think the custom stickers are a nice idea though, and done within the guidelines that PSI likes for the stickers to adhere to I think it's a great idea.

in_cavediver
08-19-2008, 21:04
I think the custom stickers are a nice idea though, and done within the guidelines that PSI likes for the stickers to adhere to I think it's a great idea.

I've never read the PSI guidelines - my stickers vary but have month/year of inspection and O2 cleanliness status. I used to use my cert number but dropped it in favor of one sticker rather than seperate o2 clean vs premix only varieties. Since I only visual my tanks, I didn't see the great value in my name on sticker. (of course if I did other tanks - then it ID's me as the inspector)

I'd be curious to see if there is something I ought to add.

in_cavediver
08-19-2008, 21:06
Quotes from multiple posts

DOT requires Hydro & VIP every 5 years. False. DOT only requires a Hydro every 5 years for portable cylinders.

If you have your own compressor you do not need VIP or Hydro. False. You need Current Hydro (<5 yrs) in order to transport the cylinder (DOT = Department of Transportation). You are correct when you state that you do not need a VIP. This is a dive industry requirement. There is no law stating that you need a VIP.


hmmm.... I'll have to dig this up in my DOT PDF's, but isn't part of the hdyro process to visually inspect the cylinder before pressuring the cylinder to test? This is to rule out the cylinder having a failure during test due to a knick or dent in the tank for example.

Also. DOT added a "Visual Eddy" requirement for aluminum 6351T tanks in the last year or two. I've got that PDF file if you want to read it. So it is a DOT rule for at least some tanks.


He is somewhat right. DOT doesn't do 'VIP'. They do Visual Inspections. They also don't use stickers - they stamp the metal on tank (as part of the hydro). It means the tank passed both Visual Inspection and Hydrostatic test. It also means that technically, when a tank has a hydro less than a year old, it doesn't require a VIP sticker as the hydro indicates it has been visualed in the last year. (try explaining that to a dive shop)

VIP is dive industry only.

CompuDude
08-20-2008, 15:35
I think the custom stickers are a nice idea though, and done within the guidelines that PSI likes for the stickers to adhere to I think it's a great idea.

I've never read the PSI guidelines - my stickers vary but have month/year of inspection and O2 cleanliness status. I used to use my cert number but dropped it in favor of one sticker rather than seperate o2 clean vs premix only varieties. Since I only visual my tanks, I didn't see the great value in my name on sticker. (of course if I did other tanks - then it ID's me as the inspector)

I'd be curious to see if there is something I ought to add.

The main thing of interest that I found in PSI's sticker guidelines is they strongly recommend against any sort of language that says the inspection cert is "good for a year". I see that a lot on shop stickers, and it's just plain misleading. An inspection sticker is no guarantee of being good for a year, it means it was good at the time of inspection.

mike_s
08-20-2008, 16:06
He is somewhat right. DOT doesn't do 'VIP'. They do Visual Inspections. They also don't use stickers - they stamp the metal on tank (as part of the hydro). It means the tank passed both Visual Inspection and Hydrostatic test. It also means that technically, when a tank has a hydro less than a year old, it doesn't require a VIP sticker as the hydro indicates it has been visualed in the last year. (try explaining that to a dive shop)

VIP is dive industry only.


That's part of the problem.... There is no industry standard and people use terms interchanged.

I mean for the term of "visual inspection" you'll see the terms "get a visual", a VIS, a VIP, a VIP+, a VIS+ (or VISplus), an EDDY inspection, etc...

"VIP" (VIS Plus) Might be "dive industry only", but the Dive Industry is the only group of morons that require a bunch of stuff that is not needed.

cummings66
08-20-2008, 16:32
I think the other thing PSI really wants on the stickers, more as a liability protection, the inspector's name, number, or some sort of ID so it can be traced back to one person. That person then can be proven to have taken a course and thus there is a trail.

If a sticker is vague as most are, if there's a problem who gets the blame? The shop as a whole, the inspector is unknown and there is no way to tell who did it.

I disagree that the Dive Industry is the only group of morons that require a bunch of stuff that's not needed. There are other groups out there that are just as bad.

mike_s
08-20-2008, 17:39
I think the other thing PSI really wants on the stickers, more as a liability protection, the inspector's name, number, or some sort of ID so it can be traced back to one person. That person then can be proven to have taken a course and thus there is a trail.

If a sticker is vague as most are, if there's a problem who gets the blame? The shop as a whole, the inspector is unknown and there is no way to tell who did it.


hmm.... that makes sense, but they still are going to sue the shop regardless of who did it. Afterall the inspector (if this was a shop) still works for the shop.

You typically can't get much money out of a $7.50/hr tank inspector at a LDS.

I wonder if PSI is doing this to remove liability from themselves? (just a thought).




I disagree that the Dive Industry is the only group of morons that require a bunch of stuff that's not needed. There are other groups out there that are just as bad.

ok... you're right there.... :smilie39:

cummings66
08-20-2008, 18:18
You're right, the shop is the bullseye and will always be that way because that's where the money is. However, if it's a problem it's traceable. PSI is big on paperwork, for every cylinder I inspect I log every possible detail you can imagine including tank finish and color, pits both depth and location, stamped numbers. It honestly takes a lot of time filling out the paperwork and keeping track of it, but it's an involved process. I use a checklist during the inspection process to insure I don't forget something.

mike_s
08-21-2008, 09:25
You're right, the shop is the bullseye and will always be that way because that's where the money is.

It's not so much that "shops have money", but they have insurance and typically insurance companies settle because it's cheaper for them in the long run over legal expenses, etc.



However, if it's a problem it's traceable. PSI is big on paperwork, for every cylinder I inspect I log every possible detail you can imagine including tank finish and color, pits both depth and location, stamped numbers. It honestly takes a lot of time filling out the paperwork and keeping track of it, but it's an involved process. I use a checklist during the inspection process to insure I don't forget something.

Playing devil's advocate here, but you don't work directly for a shop full time. And your cylinder inspections per year are prob pretty low compared to most shops... So although it's time consuming for your, I can't see a shop doing that for 100 plus cylinders a month.

I'd be willing to bet that 90% of most shops don' fill out any paperwork for a visual, other than maybe the cash register receipt, and a lot don't even do that (especially Mom and pop shops on cash sales).


chaning subjects slightly since you mentioned the paperwork, checklists, recording tank info, etc...

I wonder what creates more liability for the inspector (or shop), having this paperwork or not having it? If you have it, then a lawsuit would supeona it and all other paperwork and then if any inconsistancies are found, then you have provided evidence so to say... If you don't have it, you don't have any basis for saying that you followed procedure.

just an interesting thing to think about for anyone huh?

cummings66
08-21-2008, 16:22
Not having it. If it can be proven that you have no standard you follow (which was proved by your lack of a checklist) you will lose on those grounds.

You are right, many shops don't do jack when it comes to paperwork. I do, whether it's for me or for the LDS which I freelance for sometimes. I never skip on the paperwork. Besides, consider this. You inspect a cylinder and it blows. It comes back with your sticker on it and the guy lost a hand. You're guilty as sin now aren't you, your sticker is on it? Not if you proved the guy removed your sticker and placed it on another cylinder. People do things like that, really they do. I've seen weird things done to them, tape is a popular choice. Both electrical and the Teflon one.

The paperwork is a CYA effort and can prove you placed the sticker on "that" cylinder and not the one that blew up. Plus, it's understood that the inspection is not good for a year. You drop it on the way out and your inspection is worthless. Every diver should be educated to that.

Here's why shops do an informal inspection on an empty cylinder. If it's empty you don't know why it's empty. Crack in the neck? Bad Valve? Owner dropped it and damaged someting? There could be a problem beyond he just sucked it dry and you need to know why before you fill it because if it's cracked and it blows you're going to suffer one way or another.

in_cavediver
08-22-2008, 05:20
I'm with Matt. If you are going to do the inspection - then do it right. If you think it's BS, make some stickers up that state:

"This tank has been inspected in strict compliance with DOT standards and has met the criteria for use given in CGA 6.0 (6.1)"

Then its good for 5 years and you aren't lying about it.

trekkindave
08-22-2008, 06:36
I did get the tanks a VIP since i was buying the tanks used.. just wanted to make sure that there wasnt a dead rat in the tank for some reason..

Im fairly certain that I will just keep getting them VIP'ed since I never know where i will fill them.. Idealy i can say i will fill them at the Cascade system at the fire house, but what if I take a camping trip and its easier to go to the LDS then drive to my fire house to fill them... then i would be screwed and need to get a VIP there and risk not having my tanks for the day and have to rent a tank just to dive...

Its like most hobbies I have though, "It's better to cry the first time and buy the more expensive RIGHT equipment, then buy cheap stuff and have to CRY when I have to replace it with the RIGHT equipment"

CompuDude
08-22-2008, 12:50
Its like most hobbies I have though, "It's better to cry the first time and buy the more expensive RIGHT equipment, then buy cheap stuff and have to CRY when I have to replace it with the RIGHT equipment"

Words to live by. :smiley20: