View Full Version : Tank inspection stickers

07-04-2010, 23:23
I bought two tanks from a dive store and apparently they are generic inspection stickers on them. I took them to a different store to have them filled and they really didnt want to fill them because the stickers didnt have a store name and contact info on them. The shop did eventually fill them but he said that most places wont because of the generic stickers.

Anyone have this problem? I told the other shop where I bought them about it and they said "oh they just want to rent you a tank". Seems like a cop-out to me.


07-05-2010, 05:03
An inspection sticker is an inspection sticker...

There are zero requirements for what one is supposed to say anyways...

07-05-2010, 06:38
Anyone have this problem?

I've had a shop here in Austin pull that one on me.

I don't give them my money any more.

07-05-2010, 06:39
Nice thread.

Is there a good source for the tank label requirements?

07-05-2010, 06:46
I can see both sides of the arguement. But still, what would they do if I brought one of my tanks in that has the generic PSI sticker that a friend put on it as he is PSI cert for VIP's? Not good business IMO.

A good number of years ago I was diving La Jolla and had to get a fill and the first shop I went to literally demanded that I get a new VIP from them as mine was from a non-existant shop-he literally said that no one dives in Kansas. I told him that I am from KS, showed him my drivers license and AOW card. I also gave him the number of the shop since I worked there. Still wouldn't fill .

The guy about a half mile away gave me no problems, only question he asked was how I could dive in Kansas. He also let me in on the fact that the first shop I went into will only fill His tanks-doesn't take anyone else's VIP's and it's a good thing that I didn't get his VIP: it would have cost me $80 (in 1984!!!!) plus he wouldn't fill without my buying his $150 - 20 fill card. I went back 4 months later and I was totally shocked he was out of business.

07-05-2010, 07:14
Well I just did a google search on-line and low and behold you can get visual inspection stickers for a few dollars.

The reason that the dive shop gave me was that if a shop puts a generic visual inspection sticker on they are not taking responsibility of the inspection. Which sorta makes sense combined with the fact that you can buy them online. Looks like anyone can pay a few dollars and slap a vis sticker on.

Ianr33, the shop that gave me a bit of guff about filling them was in Austin, the one I prefer to frequent. Other than that I have had nothing but a great experience there, and he may be right.

NavyHMC, I would have been pretty insulted in there. There is a local dive shop around here thats kind of cocky. My wife rented some tanks there and not one of them was full. 2 of the 4 we rented had 2500 psi the other two had 26-2700 psi. I went in to complain when I returned them and he told me that its not possible and they are checked before they leave. I guess my gauges were off and everyone else over fills them then. No one I dive with will set foot in that shop. Even thier rental gear was pretty old.

07-05-2010, 08:07
Well I just did a google search on-line and low and behold you can get visual inspection stickers for a few dollars.

You might have a hard time actually buying them without being PSI certified to do inspections though.

Ianr33, the shop that gave me a bit of guff about filling them was in Austin,
Any chance this shop might be on 620?

07-05-2010, 10:05
The most shocking part of a VIS/VIP is that the inspection is really only legitimate for the day and time that the inspection is performed.

Once that tank or cylinder leaves my hands, I have no way of knowing what happens or what will be done with that tank. Even though the cylinder has a sticker on it, the key point that gets lost is that it is valid for UP TO ONE YEAR. At anytime, your fill station can request a VIS/VIP if they have any doubt as to the integrity of the tank.

07-05-2010, 12:22
Amazon.com: Scuba Tank Visual Inspection Sticker: Sports & Outdoors (http://www.amazon.com/Scuba-Tank-Visual-Inspection-Sticker/dp/B003JP2YMU)

There you go, its a sticker you can buy on amazon.

Anybody can buy stickers on the internet and put them on their cylinders.
By picking up stickers and putting them on your own cylinders can save you money, but it could also cost the guy filling it his/her life.

So , I can see why a shop that sees an unknown sticker or a generic sticker would be a little gun shy.

A tank sticker is just that , a sticker. What you don't see is what is under the sticker, or better yet whats inside the cylinder. If you take your cylinder in for an annual vip. The inspector will inspect the cylinder inside and out and put a new sticker on it that lets the fill station know that on the inspection date the cylinder was in good working order.

Jim Breslin

Jack Hammer
07-05-2010, 12:55
A few shops I've seen use generic stickers. I've been questioned a few times about them too and just asked them to call the other dive store, which of course, they didn't. But I still got filled.

07-05-2010, 14:29
Buying the stickers on line and just slapping them on your tank is possbile. To me, the saving of $15 to maybe $20 is not worth the risk. If I could do the VIP myself I would have no problem in slapping on my own sticker-would love to take the PSI course! The fact remains that I could do somehting silly as this and yes, could preobably get away with it for years. Until something bad happens, then I am totally SOL.

At he first of the year, while discussing a planned dive, it was found that a shop had a compressor problem and their air back was literally half full of oil. I am sure that a good number of tanks had a little oil in them too. What if this was the exclusive shop you had fill tanks and never had a vis done, you could get a serious shot of oil in a reg at depth and now have a big problem. To me, it's not worth the risk!

Lake Michijim
07-05-2010, 15:25
I only really use one shop for air fills, when I don't fill them at the fire dept. His thing is he will give me CHEAP air fills. We're talking $1.00 per tank, but he get's my VIP business and charges about $20.00 per jug. I think thats a real good deal as most other shops around here get $7.00 a fill. I also have a s**t load of tanks so he makes out on it.:smiley36: I have to call in advance as he keeps screwy hours and I'll roll in with several singles and a couple of double sets. Then he has his bank full when I get there. I too would like to take the PSI course. But more for my personal info then saving cashola. Bogus stickers are like creating sticks of dynamite. I stand pretty close to where my cylinders are filled and I certainly do not wish to lose body parts that have become near and dear to me. Just not worth it.

07-05-2010, 18:41
I have learned a lot from taking the PSI course, and I learned even more when I took my refresher earlier this year!

07-05-2010, 18:54
Crazy thing is, by law tanks aren't even required to be visually inspected except for every 5th year, at the same time they are hydro'd...

By doing it annually is both good for business and most likely overkill for safety...

There is nothing unlawful about filling a tank that is out of vis... Hydro now, thats a different story...

07-06-2010, 05:00
Personally - I inspect my own tanks and put my stickers on them. I wasn't trained by PSI but by Scuba Cylinders Inspectors International.

I view the annual VIP as a chance to check on the status of the tank between required DOT inspections. Since there is not true regulations, you see the quality of the inspection vary from 'There is no rust in that there AL tank' to a true visual inspection with eddy current test for neck cracks. The problem is, there is no way to guarentee what level its done too.

I can see a shop who see's a tank and decides they don't like the way it looks or they have questions about its safety. They have an obligation to inspect the tank prior to filling. I am sure there are unscrupulous shops out there who use this to deny fills to anything they have not inspected. For me though - I have had zero issues with my tanks and my inspection stickers. (they are pretty generic)

07-12-2010, 21:12
I've yet to run into problems using my psi stickers too, but I am certified to do it as well and most of the shops I use know me. I prefer doing my own because I know of a shop that used to just slap a sticker on and never even look inside.