Scuba Tank Visuals

Scuba Tank Visuals

Joined: November 4th, 2008, 3:32 am

March 15th, 2010, 3:06 pm #1

While it's true that scuba tanks are only required to be visually inspected at time of hydro,
I can't imagine wanting to take on the liablity of filling a tank that has not been VIP'd yearly.
If you've never seen a tank fail, I can assue you it is not a pretty thing to be around.
Believe me scuba shops don't get rich on visually inspecting a tank. (assuming they are done properly). Most of the shops I've been in over the last 35 years charge a token fee. In addition to visually inpecting the tank for pits and corrosion, most shops now eddy current test the neck threads for micro stress cracks that can cause the tank to fail. The yearly inspection is highly recommended by the tank manufactuers, and has been shown to have reduced the number of accidents caused by failed tanks. There is also the probability that insurance premiums and liability play a big factor too. If there is an accident attributed to scuba equipment usage, the first thing that is confiscated and checked is the equipment. Being that yearly inspections are the norm, heaven help the guy who has to justify filling an uninspected tank to the victims family.
Granted the tank in question is supposed to be for "air gun use only", there is no guarranty that it's not loaned out to someone for diving, or other breathing air purpose.
I can't imagine any repuatable shop owner risking his career on a strangers/friend's promise of the tanks intended purpose.
PLEASE...don't take for granted that that 3000 PSI bomb you carry in your car is safe.
Spend the money to insure your safety.

I use a scuba tank to fill my 2000 psi Disco and soon to be HPA 850 because I have tanks and dive, so no investment there. I get 80 practical fills out of it, and where I shoot, the is not a refill station around for miles, so it's a double benefit for me.

If you only shoot a little, can get away with 7-8 fills per tank, and have refill access, then the smaller purpose made tanks are the way to go.
A scuba tank refill is $5, how much is a CF tank fill? If you had to fill it 10 times, would it cover the visual inspection fee?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not flaming, just making a point about safety and curious about how much it costs to fill the smaller tanks.
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Joined: January 10th, 2005, 4:28 pm

March 15th, 2010, 7:42 pm #2

I had to take my 4500psi tank in for its inspection over the weekend. Right now there doing low preasure tanks and should get to mine next week or so, worth the wait for my safty. I just bought a 80cf 3000psi tank from E-Bay last night (got to admit Im a little nervous about it, but the guy checked out to be a good guy with quality stuff) The tank has been inspected by his scuba shop but I will still be leary of it, so first thing Im going to do when it gets here is take it to my scuba guy and have him check it over. This will give me a better piece of mind.
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Joined: July 30th, 2008, 3:41 pm

March 15th, 2010, 9:34 pm #3

While it's true that scuba tanks are only required to be visually inspected at time of hydro,
I can't imagine wanting to take on the liablity of filling a tank that has not been VIP'd yearly.
If you've never seen a tank fail, I can assue you it is not a pretty thing to be around.
Believe me scuba shops don't get rich on visually inspecting a tank. (assuming they are done properly). Most of the shops I've been in over the last 35 years charge a token fee. In addition to visually inpecting the tank for pits and corrosion, most shops now eddy current test the neck threads for micro stress cracks that can cause the tank to fail. The yearly inspection is highly recommended by the tank manufactuers, and has been shown to have reduced the number of accidents caused by failed tanks. There is also the probability that insurance premiums and liability play a big factor too. If there is an accident attributed to scuba equipment usage, the first thing that is confiscated and checked is the equipment. Being that yearly inspections are the norm, heaven help the guy who has to justify filling an uninspected tank to the victims family.
Granted the tank in question is supposed to be for "air gun use only", there is no guarranty that it's not loaned out to someone for diving, or other breathing air purpose.
I can't imagine any repuatable shop owner risking his career on a strangers/friend's promise of the tanks intended purpose.
PLEASE...don't take for granted that that 3000 PSI bomb you carry in your car is safe.
Spend the money to insure your safety.

I use a scuba tank to fill my 2000 psi Disco and soon to be HPA 850 because I have tanks and dive, so no investment there. I get 80 practical fills out of it, and where I shoot, the is not a refill station around for miles, so it's a double benefit for me.

If you only shoot a little, can get away with 7-8 fills per tank, and have refill access, then the smaller purpose made tanks are the way to go.
A scuba tank refill is $5, how much is a CF tank fill? If you had to fill it 10 times, would it cover the visual inspection fee?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not flaming, just making a point about safety and curious about how much it costs to fill the smaller tanks.
I have been diving since 72 and have seen first hand what a bombshell a tank can make. I have worked at various dive shops and have been around for quite a few years. All shops that I know of will not fill a tank unless it has a current Hydro and Vis. And yes they are not making any money on the deal believe me (or not).

Good post
Last edited by wfmiller on March 15th, 2010, 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: November 5th, 2006, 1:29 am

March 16th, 2010, 3:31 am #4

I recently bought a new 80 tank from a Scuba shop that can be filled to 4500psi. The thing is made of some carbon fiber material and has been great to fill my Marauder. I bought a handle that can be wrapped around it which makes it easier to tote back and forth to the field and a mesh cover to protect it. I am new to these type of airguns where you fill off of a tank. I handle this tank like a baby. How common is it for these tanks to fail? Jeffery
Last edited by jtcrrt on March 16th, 2010, 3:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: July 9th, 2001, 12:24 am

March 16th, 2010, 4:06 am #5

While it's true that scuba tanks are only required to be visually inspected at time of hydro,
I can't imagine wanting to take on the liablity of filling a tank that has not been VIP'd yearly.
If you've never seen a tank fail, I can assue you it is not a pretty thing to be around.
Believe me scuba shops don't get rich on visually inspecting a tank. (assuming they are done properly). Most of the shops I've been in over the last 35 years charge a token fee. In addition to visually inpecting the tank for pits and corrosion, most shops now eddy current test the neck threads for micro stress cracks that can cause the tank to fail. The yearly inspection is highly recommended by the tank manufactuers, and has been shown to have reduced the number of accidents caused by failed tanks. There is also the probability that insurance premiums and liability play a big factor too. If there is an accident attributed to scuba equipment usage, the first thing that is confiscated and checked is the equipment. Being that yearly inspections are the norm, heaven help the guy who has to justify filling an uninspected tank to the victims family.
Granted the tank in question is supposed to be for "air gun use only", there is no guarranty that it's not loaned out to someone for diving, or other breathing air purpose.
I can't imagine any repuatable shop owner risking his career on a strangers/friend's promise of the tanks intended purpose.
PLEASE...don't take for granted that that 3000 PSI bomb you carry in your car is safe.
Spend the money to insure your safety.

I use a scuba tank to fill my 2000 psi Disco and soon to be HPA 850 because I have tanks and dive, so no investment there. I get 80 practical fills out of it, and where I shoot, the is not a refill station around for miles, so it's a double benefit for me.

If you only shoot a little, can get away with 7-8 fills per tank, and have refill access, then the smaller purpose made tanks are the way to go.
A scuba tank refill is $5, how much is a CF tank fill? If you had to fill it 10 times, would it cover the visual inspection fee?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not flaming, just making a point about safety and curious about how much it costs to fill the smaller tanks.
As I said here a bit ago, this is not a code requirement. It's a good idea for sure in diving service, SCUBA tanks can see a lot of cycles and abuse, but it really makes very little sense in the typical useage we put the tanks to. They don't go in salt water, don't get banged on rocks and dropped in use (usually), aren't filled lots of times (cycles kill them, not static load) between hydro tests and generally aren't taken to very low pressures (let alone to zero) like dive tanks are. The risk is just not the same and this is reflected in the fact that at least some shops don't require it for airgun service. In fact the only two I ever took mine to didn't (although they did for diving service).

Consider that similar tanks used for other uses aren't annually inspected. SCBA, welding, Paintball, medical Oxygen and so on. No annual inspections, just normal hydro testing. IMO if there was a real threat in such use, the inspections would be a matter of law, not prudent caution.

Assuming the fill shop doesn't require it when you explain what you're up to (which you'll have to anyway since they don't fill for non divers....) you get to decide if the fifteen bucks a year buys you peace of mind or not.

Doug Owen
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Joined: January 20th, 2010, 8:43 pm

March 16th, 2010, 4:12 pm #6

I bought 5 Aluminum 80's in 1982. As a hard core spearfisherman we ran up to 75 miles offshore once or twice a weekend [weather permitting],and you needed the air for deep dives for max bottom
time. Many dives were cut short because of no legal fish to shoot or sharks moving in. But a short
dive [we called it a bounce] would still use 1000 psi in 80 to 100 ft of water. I live in a Condo/
Marina in Port Richey,FL. I stopped diving in 1998 but live near ten dive shops. Only one of the
ten will fill to 4500 psi. The standard aluminum 80's are rated for 3000 psi, the used to give 10%
over fills but no longer. You pay for what you get. I chose a new 106 CF fiber wrapped aluminum tank rated for 4350 psi, they only come with a DIN valve much different than the K-valve thats not rated for the pressure. The fill yoke is more exspensive but the tank provides '95' fills @2750 on
the M-ROD. I sold one of the 80's with 100 psi first stage regulater and hose for filling tires. It was ten years out of hydro but he is in the boat buisiness and didn't care. Luxer makes tough tanks, one blew a burst plug in the back of a pick-up [black cover on a 95 degree day] it sounded like a bomb went off and re-arranged everything in the back of the truck. The new 96 CF tank is just over 31 LB's empty, steel tanks are heavier but have a longer service life. What ever floats
your boat.
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