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Thread: What to do with 1987 aluminium tank

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Keller View Post
    Your LDS can not over rule the DOT on what is safe...
    That being said the DOT is not going to get involved either...
    Quoting from a recent article by Bill High of PSI:

    The US DOT has, in its proposed HM220F rules that all 6351 alloy cylinders be examined at least annually with an eddy current instrument. If enacted as proposed then those millions of cylinders, including scuba, found to be free of SLC will remain in service. That same rule will require that those filling cylinders be given some form of protection. Commonly used plastic garbage cans, sheet metal tubs, etc. will not qualify as cylinder filling containers.
    ----------------------
    While any business can enact a policy, DOT rules and regs have the force of law behind them; I can also easily see this as an OSHA concern as well.
    Last edited by PlatypusMan; 11-07-2011 at 10:05. Reason: Better link to Federal Register
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlatypusMan View Post
    Quoting from a recent article by Bill High of PSI:

    The US DOT has, in its proposed HM220F rules that all 6351 alloy cylinders be examined at least annually with an eddy current instrument. If enacted as proposed then those millions of cylinders, including scuba, found to be free of SLC will remain in service. That same rule will require that those filling cylinders be given some form of protection. Commonly used plastic garbage cans, sheet metal tubs, etc. will not qualify as cylinder filling containers.
    ----------------------
    While any business can enact a policy, DOT rules and regs have the force of law behind them; I can also easily see this as an OSHA concern as well.
    6351 alloy scuba tanks were already getting annual tests so if enacted this will make it impossable for shops to refuse to fill them. It will also end up costing them to upgrade their fill stations. Now you have the government taking its first step into regulating scuba diving. It should have never come to this!

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    Rich, that will not make it impossible for me to refuse... I can say no to anyone for any reason. It will just mandate that if I do want to fill them, I will need to upgrade my fill station to offer a blast cage to protect my employees. I choose instead to simply not allow them in my shop. Easy.

    So yes, if the industry will not regulate its self by taking out dangerous tanks, then osha or dot may walk in and say if you insist on filling 30 year old tanks that are known to have problems.. you must put these measures in place. But no one can force a business to fill any tank.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Keller View Post
    6351 alloy scuba tanks were already getting annual tests so if enacted this will make it impossable for shops to refuse to fill them. It will also end up costing them to upgrade their fill stations. Now you have the government taking its first step into regulating scuba diving. It should have never come to this!
    Not true, as the upgrade is not a requirement; it gives teeth to a fill station operator refusing to fill said tank by pointing out that there is no protection for the operator in place should that specific alloy tank let go. The DOT has given them a perfectly acceptable 'out' with the protection requirement as written, without bringing shop policies into play at all.
    John Lewis--the PlatypusMan!


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    I get what you are both saying and for now you have an out but the bigger problem as far as I am concerned is not the issue of filling 6351 alloy tanks, it is that the DOT is now involved. Today they are saying you need to upgrade your fill station in order to fill this type of tank. Tomorrow they may tell you that all fill stations must meet that standard if that is not already part of this bill. This has opened a door that can never be shut and as I said earlier this is one of the worst things I can think of that could happen to the sport.

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    I know what you are saying... It's too bad that the scuba industry didn't impose a self ban on these tanks when the problems first arose, but too many people cared more about their 100 dollar 30 year old tank, instead of someones leg, arm, or life.

    But guess what... DOT has always been involved. They set the rules for tank testing... that is why it's stamped DOT on the tank. They tell us to get hydro's etc.

    They are not going after scuba here. The are going after things that are dangerous to protect people, and it is no different for scba, scuba or paintball, or anyone else who wants to fill these tanks.

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    Until now the DOT standards applied only to the places doing the hydros and as far as I know no dive shop in the country does hydros. The VIP and eddy tests were done by us, not required by them. I still think this is not a good thing for the sport.

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    I guess that speaks to how dangerous these tanks are. And if new regs means 1 less person loses an arm or a life... then I think it is good for the industry.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScubaToys Larry View Post
    Rich, that will not make it impossible for me to refuse... I can say no to anyone for any reason. It will just mandate that if I do want to fill them, I will need to upgrade my fill station to offer a blast cage to protect my employees. I choose instead to simply not allow them in my shop. Easy.

    So yes, if the industry will not regulate its self by taking out dangerous tanks, then osha or dot may walk in and say if you insist on filling 30 year old tanks that are known to have problems.. you must put these measures in place. But no one can force a business to fill any tank.
    Excuse me but isn't that a part about filling 30 years old tanks with problems a little convoluted in light of the fact that DOT is implying they are "safe" to fill after testing? If there are dangers then why isn't DOT doing it's job and protecting us by refusing to give "their stamp of approval" to them. I've got one that I retired on my own, I don't need to carry around a time bomb. As far as I'm concerned a dive shop is no different from any other business in that they can refuse service to anyone.

    Having some kind of protection when filling tanks isn't a bad idea but shouldn't be required by Federal law. Someday OSHA will get involved and some kind of protection will be mandated for worker safety.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by AfterDark View Post
    Excuse me but isn't that a part about filling 30 years old tanks with problems a little convoluted in light of the fact that DOT is implying they are "safe" to fill after testing? If there are dangers then why isn't DOT doing it's job and protecting us by refusing to give "their stamp of approval" to them. I've got one that I retired on my own, I don't need to carry around a time bomb. As far as I'm concerned a dive shop is no different from any other business in that they can refuse service to anyone.

    Having some kind of protection when filling tanks isn't a bad idea but shouldn't be required by Federal law. Someday OSHA will get involved and some kind of protection will be mandated for worker safety.
    When I started diving, the industry was very good at regulating itself to keep out governmental red tape...I mean regulation. I still think this is a good process to take. The less medelling in the Diving industry the better IMO. So the more the industry keeps itself safe the better. Remember, there are more than dive tanks out there if 6351 alloy: SCBA's, fire extinguisher to name two. DOT is controlled by the goverment, which menas that it is highly influenced by politics and to a lesser degree lobbyists. There are over 10 million 6351 tanks out there which means if you mandate that all of those be condemned, there is a huge amount oc compensation that has to be done which means a huge loss of revenue and jobs. IS the DOT standard safe? Probably...I'm not a metalurgist so I can't say with any confidence.

    The 6351 controversy has been brought up here a number of times, so I will only add this thought: the odds of your tank suffering a SLC failure are low: 1 to 2 to maybe 5 tanks out of 10 million is a statistically small risk when you consider that there have been only 16 documented SLC failures that resulted in injury or death. But to a LDS, it's a bit different: There are maybe 2,000 fill stations in the US for those 10 million tanks so the risk to an LDS is 16 in 2,000 which is statistically significant. The lsat time I had my last 6351 filled, I found myself uncomfortable standing near where it was being filled. That sealed it's fate. It's now headed for lamp land.

    I once saved a man in Wichita just to watch him dive...(inventor)

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