11 Sep 2007 19:04:28
pjbphd
Are Old Tanks Worth Hydroing?

I have a couple old tanks from the 1980s. One is an aluminum 80 and the
other a steel 72. I've just returned to diving from a long absence and
stopped in at a couple shops to look at gear. While there I asked about
hydroing the tanks. One told me $25 each and the other told me $35 for any
tank manufactured after 1991 and $5 for pre-91 tanks. They said this was
because DOT has changed the standards on pre-91 tanks and is likely to
prohibit their use in the near future.

Does this make sense or are they just trying to sell me new tanks?

Thanks.


--
Too many spams have forced me to alter my email. If you wish to email me
directly please send messages to pjbphd at cox dot net




11 Sep 2007 19:15:01
Scott
Re: Are Old Tanks Worth Hydroing?


"pjbphd" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> I have a couple old tanks from the 1980s. One is an aluminum 80 and the
> other a steel 72. I've just returned to diving from a long absence and
> stopped in at a couple shops to look at gear. While there I asked about
> hydroing the tanks. One told me $25 each and the other told me $35 for
any
> tank manufactured after 1991 and $5 for pre-91 tanks. They said this was
> because DOT has changed the standards on pre-91 tanks and is likely to
> prohibit their use in the near future.
>
> Does this make sense or are they just trying to sell me new tanks?
>
> Thanks.

They are trying to sell you new tanks (which is not a bad idea) and with the
aluminum tanks, might not be doing you a disservice.

Take them to a local fire supply place, or find out where the hydro's are
done, and take them there yourself.

Depending on whether you do it through the LDS or a reputable hydro
facility, both tanks may either pass or fail

Usually the old 72's pass.





11 Sep 2007 19:49:03
pjbphd
Re: Are Old Tanks Worth Hydroing?

Should have said "One told me $25 each and the other told me $35 for any
tank manufactured after 1991 and $45 for pre-91 tanks..."

"pjbphd" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>I have a couple old tanks from the 1980s. One is an aluminum 80 and the
>other a steel 72. I've just returned to diving from a long absence and
>stopped in at a couple shops to look at gear. While there I asked about
>hydroing the tanks. One told me $25 each and the other told me $35 for any
>tank manufactured after 1991 and $5 for pre-91 tanks. They said this was
>because DOT has changed the standards on pre-91 tanks and is likely to
>prohibit their use in the near future.
>
> Does this make sense or are they just trying to sell me new tanks?
>
> Thanks.
>
>
> --
> Too many spams have forced me to alter my email. If you wish to email me
> directly please send messages to pjbphd at cox dot net
>




12 Sep 2007 06:31:42
Conshelf
Re: Are Old Tanks Worth Hydroing?

In rec.scuba, on Tue 11 Sep 2007 09:49:03p, "pjbphd"
<[email protected] > wrote:

> Should have said "One told me $25 each and the other told me $35 for
> any tank manufactured after 1991 and $45 for pre-91 tanks..."

Bend over, grab your ankles -- they're not using any lube either.

As Scott mentioned, take it to your local fire extinguisher supply store
and they can do the hydro. You'll want to check around a bit to ensure
that you're not taking it to a store that will just send it off elsewhere.
Depending upon the manufacturer and alloy of the aluminum tank, you might
want to retire it, but the steel 72 cu-ft tank is most likely still good.
I have steel tanks that are nearly 40 years old and the still pass hydro
and their yearly inspection. Not only that, but they've never even been
tumbled. Treat them nice and don't let any water get into the tanks and
they'll last a LONG time.


12 Sep 2007 06:47:07
Lee Bell
Re: Are Old Tanks Worth Hydroing?

I'll add to what others have said with a slightly different twist:

- If the aluminum tank is anything other than a Catalina, drill a hole in it
and recycle the aluminum. Prior to 1988, a number of aluminum tanks,
including Luxfer and Kidde, were made of an inferior alloy. Several have
failed explosively in the last few years. Catalina never used that alloy. If
the tanks are Catalinas, they're probably about as good today as they were
back then.

- Steel tanks tend to last longer, but are vulnerable to rust. Take the
valve off and shine a small flashlight into the tank. If you see scales of
rust, pits or any similar indications that the inside of the tank is
damaged, drill a hole in the tank and start over. There's no point in paying
good money to test a tank you already know won't pass. If it's smooth
inside, have it hydro tested.

Lee




12 Sep 2007 08:57:22
El Stroko Guapo
Re: Are Old Tanks Worth Hydroing?

Lee Bell wrote:
> I'll add to what others have said with a slightly different twist:
>
> - If the aluminum tank is anything other than a Catalina, drill a hole in it
> and recycle the aluminum. Prior to 1988, a number of aluminum tanks,
> including Luxfer and Kidde, were made of an inferior alloy. Several have
> failed explosively in the last few years. Catalina never used that alloy. If
> the tanks are Catalinas, they're probably about as good today as they were
> back then.
>
> - Steel tanks tend to last longer, but are vulnerable to rust. Take the
> valve off and shine a small flashlight into the tank. If you see scales of
> rust, pits or any similar indications that the inside of the tank is
> damaged, drill a hole in the tank and start over. There's no point in paying
> good money to test a tank you already know won't pass. If it's smooth
> inside, have it hydro tested.
>
> Lee
>
>
>
All true, but check the outside, too, especially under the lip of the
boot and under the paint if the Al 80 is painted. For some reason,
divers who will take their regs, BCs, and booties in for annual service
won't bother to maintain their tanks. Maybe because it doesn't cost
anything to do so.

If they've been properly maintained, they should be good for about
10,000 cycles.

esg



12 Sep 2007 08:31:45
Greg Mossman
Re: Are Old Tanks Worth Hydroing?

On Sep 12, 3:47 am, "Lee Bell" <[email protected] > wrote:

> - Steel tanks tend to last longer, but are vulnerable to rust. Take the
> valve off and shine a small flashlight into the tank. If you see scales of
> rust, pits or any similar indications that the inside of the tank is
> damaged, drill a hole in the tank and start over. There's no point in paying
> good money to test a tank you already know won't pass. If it's smooth
> inside, have it hydro tested.

What's wrong with getting it tumbled to remove the rust?



13 Sep 2007 10:47:43
Blah
Re: Are Old Tanks Worth Hydroing?

Greg Mossman wrote:
> On Sep 12, 3:47 am, "Lee Bell" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>> - Steel tanks tend to last longer, but are vulnerable to rust. Take the
>> valve off and shine a small flashlight into the tank. If you see scales of
>> rust, pits or any similar indications that the inside of the tank is
>> damaged, drill a hole in the tank and start over. There's no point in paying
>> good money to test a tank you already know won't pass. If it's smooth
>> inside, have it hydro tested.
>
> What's wrong with getting it tumbled to remove the rust?
>
Everytime you do it reduces the wall thickness and reduces strength?


13 Sep 2007 03:53:04
-hh
Re: Are Old Tanks Worth Hydroing?

Blah <[email protected] > wrote:
> Greg Mossman wrote:
>
> > What's wrong with getting it tumbled to remove the rust?
>
> Everytime you do it reduces the wall thickness and reduces strength?


And a lot can depend on how the tank was stored. Upright can be Ok,
but if it was stored laying down, then you can get a "rust line" on
the bottom that takes a lot of tumbling to dig it all out, which
results in significant wall thinning.


-hh



13 Sep 2007 07:29:18
Lee Bell
Re: Are Old Tanks Worth Hydroing?

-hh wrote

>> > What's wrong with getting it tumbled to remove the rust?
>>
>> Everytime you do it reduces the wall thickness and reduces strength?

> And a lot can depend on how the tank was stored. Upright can be Ok,
> but if it was stored laying down, then you can get a "rust line" on
> the bottom that takes a lot of tumbling to dig it all out, which
> results in significant wall thinning.

I was pretty specific about the conditions that would lead to scrapping the
tank. It included significant flaking and pitting, either of which are
likely to fail the tank on the next visual, with or without a hydro. Even if
the tank might make it one more time, the cost benefit of tumbling a steel
tank that old is limited and the risk of depending on such a tank for the
five years until the next hydro date is higher than I'd choose to take.

Lee




13 Sep 2007 05:10:34
Scott
Re: Are Old Tanks Worth Hydroing?


"Blah" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Greg Mossman wrote:
> > On Sep 12, 3:47 am, "Lee Bell" <[email protected]> wrote:
> >
> >> - Steel tanks tend to last longer, but are vulnerable to rust. Take the
> >> valve off and shine a small flashlight into the tank. If you see scales
of
> >> rust, pits or any similar indications that the inside of the tank is
> >> damaged, drill a hole in the tank and start over. There's no point in
paying
> >> good money to test a tank you already know won't pass. If it's smooth
> >> inside, have it hydro tested.
> >
> > What's wrong with getting it tumbled to remove the rust?
> >
> Everytime you do it reduces the wall thickness and reduces strength?

Sure, you leave it run for a decade.




13 Sep 2007 07:11:36
Greg Mossman
Re: Are Old Tanks Worth Hydroing?

On Sep 13, 5:10 am, "Scott" <[email protected] > wrote:
> "Blah" <[email protected]> wrote in message
>
> news:[email protected]
>
> > Greg Mossman wrote:
> > > On Sep 12, 3:47 am, "Lee Bell" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> > >> - Steel tanks tend to last longer, but are vulnerable to rust. Take the
> > >> valve off and shine a small flashlight into the tank. If you see scales
> of
> > >> rust, pits or any similar indications that the inside of the tank is
> > >> damaged, drill a hole in the tank and start over. There's no point in
> paying
> > >> good money to test a tank you already know won't pass. If it's smooth
> > >> inside, have it hydro tested.
>
> > > What's wrong with getting it tumbled to remove the rust?
>
> > Everytime you do it reduces the wall thickness and reduces strength?
>
> Sure, you leave it run for a decade.

Thanks. That's what I was wondering. After all, if the tank is
tumbled to get rid of the rust, and it then passes hydro and a visual
inspection, what's the worry? I think my local shop charged me $15 or
$20 for a tumbling the last time, which wasn't much in the scheme of
things after the tank passed hydro and earned me another 5 years of
usage.



13 Sep 2007 07:18:11
Greg Mossman
Re: Are Old Tanks Worth Hydroing?

On Sep 13, 4:29 am, "Lee Bell" <[email protected] > wrote:

> I was pretty specific about the conditions that would lead to scrapping the
> tank. It included significant flaking and pitting, either of which are
> likely to fail the tank on the next visual, with or without a hydro. Even if
> the tank might make it one more time, the cost benefit of tumbling a steel
> tank that old is limited and the risk of depending on such a tank for the
> five years until the next hydro date is higher than I'd choose to take.

It's my understanding that only aluminum tanks fail catastrophically,
and even then it usually fails when filling and is therefore more a
worry for the dive shop than the diver. If the tank passes the rigors
of a hydro test, it's pretty much guaranteed to withstand another 5
years of mere air fills. Tumbling only costs $15-20, a fraction of
the cost of a new steel tank. Even at $20, that's only $4 per year.
If you tumble and the tank fails hydro, you're out a lousy $20 at most
(plus the cost of the hydro). Risking a potential loss of $20 versus
having the use of a steel tank for the next 5 years at a prorated
additional cost of only $4 a year is definitely a risk I'd be willing
to take. Obviously we all have different risk thresholds.



13 Sep 2007 12:53:53
El Stroko Guapo
Re: Are Old Tanks Worth Hydroing?

Greg Mossman wrote:

> On Sep 13, 5:10 am, "Scott" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>>"Blah" <[email protected]> wrote in message
>>
>>news:[email protected]
>>
>>
>>>Greg Mossman wrote:
>>>
>>>>On Sep 12, 3:47 am, "Lee Bell" <[email protected]> wrote:
>>
>>>>>- Steel tanks tend to last longer, but are vulnerable to rust. Take the
>>>>>valve off and shine a small flashlight into the tank. If you see scales
>>
>>of
>>
>>>>>rust, pits or any similar indications that the inside of the tank is
>>>>>damaged, drill a hole in the tank and start over. There's no point in
>>
>>paying
>>
>>>>>good money to test a tank you already know won't pass. If it's smooth
>>>>>inside, have it hydro tested.
>>
>>>>What's wrong with getting it tumbled to remove the rust?
>>
>>>Everytime you do it reduces the wall thickness and reduces strength?
>>
>>Sure, you leave it run for a decade.
>
>
> Thanks. That's what I was wondering. After all, if the tank is
> tumbled to get rid of the rust, and it then passes hydro and a visual
> inspection, what's the worry? I think my local shop charged me $15 or
> $20 for a tumbling the last time, which wasn't much in the scheme of
> things after the tank passed hydro and earned me another 5 years of
> usage.
>
>
Tumbling gets rid of the dust, superficial scale, and cockroach eggs. If
the tank is actually pitted, you've got a permanent problem.

esg



13 Sep 2007 20:04:51
Matthias Voss
Re: Are Old Tanks Worth Hydroing?

Blah wrote:

> Greg Mossman wrote:
>
>> On Sep 12, 3:47 am, "Lee Bell" <[email protected]> wrote:
>>
>>> - Steel tanks tend to last longer, but are vulnerable to rust. Take the
>>> valve off and shine a small flashlight into the tank. If you see
>>> scales of
>>> rust, pits or any similar indications that the inside of the tank is
>>> damaged, drill a hole in the tank and start over. There's no point in
>>> paying
>>> good money to test a tank you already know won't pass. If it's smooth
>>> inside, have it hydro tested.
>>
>>
>> What's wrong with getting it tumbled to remove the rust?
>>
> Everytime you do it reduces the wall thickness and reduces strength?

Not relevant.
There is a minimum wall thickness which can be measured with
an ultrasound thickness meter.
Matthias



13 Sep 2007 21:19:52
JRE
Re: Are Old Tanks Worth Hydroing?

This is a no-brainer. Just go get them tested. I'm dropping off a tank
to be hydrotested tomorrow. It's going to cost a whopping (USD) $16.50.
It will cost more to get it O2 cleaned afterward.

A new AL80 costs between $150-180 depending on where you get it. A new
steel tank (Faber HP100) costs around $300-350. Even for an AL80, why
wouldn't you just drop off the tank and see what happens? If there's a
safety problem with the tank, the tester should let you know by
condemning the tank.

The odds are in your favor unless the tanks was stored with water in
them or with the valves open. My 6351-alloy AL72, which I purchased new
in 1972, passed hydro 3 years ago without incident. (It gets an eddy
current test *every* year without fail but is OK so far. I might retire
it soon nonetheless.) The LDS sends out a few every week and gets back
a condemned tank or two a year. And some people are diving steel 72's
that were made before I could walk...

--
John Eells


13 Sep 2007 22:41:03
RayC
Re: Are Old Tanks Worth Hydroing?

pjbphd wrote:
> I have a couple old tanks from the 1980s. One is an aluminum 80 and the
> other a steel 72. I've just returned to diving from a long absence and
> stopped in at a couple shops to look at gear. While there I asked about
> hydroing the tanks. One told me $25 each and the other told me $35 for any
> tank manufactured after 1991 and $5 for pre-91 tanks. They said this was
> because DOT has changed the standards on pre-91 tanks and is likely to
> prohibit their use in the near future.
>
> Does this make sense or are they just trying to sell me new tanks?
>
> Thanks.
>
>


Steel tanks rarely go bad unless they are seriously abused. Assuming
you didn't store water in it, get it cleaned (tumbled), get a valve
overhaul (including a new burst disc) and a hydro. Steel tanks are
expensive and really are worth saving.

As far as the aluminum, hydro stations are now required to do an extra
test on the tanks that have been giving our little industry fits. So
you may have to pay a little extra for the hydro service since most
shops just pack them off to the local fire extinguisher or welding
supply and are going to have to pay the extra themselves.

There is one shop in Florida I know of that is doing it's own buyback on
the "exemption" tanks basically for their cost. They are doing this
because of a tank that cracked while being filled ... even though it had
been hydro-ed and inspected a couple of weeks before. I think their
deal is something like trade in your tank plus something like $90 and
get a new tank. Of course, you still keep your old valve. Then they
haul them to the scrap yard.

See if you can find someone that will do something similar with yours.
If you can't, I think the going rate is about $15 at the scrap yard.

Just my $.02

--
Ray Contreras
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Webmonkey for:
http://www.ossystems.com
http://www.bobs-garage.com
http://www.coltri-usa.com
http://www.rayzplace.com


14 Sep 2007 22:56:40
Ed
Re: Are Old Tanks Worth Hydroing?

Many shops now won't fill an AL past 15 to 20 years old.

I have a couple 79's in my garage that I use an "equalizer" to put 1/2
the left over air from my dives in.... then I use it to fill tires and
pool toys. (any tank can handle 500 PSI or so... ) BTW... yes I do
inspect it on occaision.



RayC wrote:
> pjbphd wrote:
>
>> I have a couple old tanks from the 1980s. One is an aluminum 80 and
>> the other a steel 72. I've just returned to diving from a long
>> absence and stopped in at a couple shops to look at gear. While there
>> I asked about hydroing the tanks. One told me $25 each and the other
>> told me $35 for any tank manufactured after 1991 and $5 for pre-91
>> tanks. They said this was because DOT has changed the standards on
>> pre-91 tanks and is likely to prohibit their use in the near future.
>>
>> Does this make sense or are they just trying to sell me new tanks?
>>
>> Thanks.
>>
>>
>
>
> Steel tanks rarely go bad unless they are seriously abused. Assuming
> you didn't store water in it, get it cleaned (tumbled), get a valve
> overhaul (including a new burst disc) and a hydro. Steel tanks are
> expensive and really are worth saving.
>
> As far as the aluminum, hydro stations are now required to do an extra
> test on the tanks that have been giving our little industry fits. So
> you may have to pay a little extra for the hydro service since most
> shops just pack them off to the local fire extinguisher or welding
> supply and are going to have to pay the extra themselves.
>
> There is one shop in Florida I know of that is doing it's own buyback on
> the "exemption" tanks basically for their cost. They are doing this
> because of a tank that cracked while being filled ... even though it had
> been hydro-ed and inspected a couple of weeks before. I think their
> deal is something like trade in your tank plus something like $90 and
> get a new tank. Of course, you still keep your old valve. Then they
> haul them to the scrap yard.
>
> See if you can find someone that will do something similar with yours.
> If you can't, I think the going rate is about $15 at the scrap yard.
>
> Just my $.02
>



16 Sep 2007 21:04:25
news
Re: Are Old Tanks Worth Hydroing?


"Greg Mossman" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> On Sep 13, 4:29 am, "Lee Bell" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>
> It's my understanding that only aluminum tanks fail catastrophically,
> and even then it usually fails when filling and is therefore more a

This is wrong, steel tanks do fail, you just dont hear as much about it.

> worry for the dive shop than the diver. If the tank passes the rigors
> of a hydro test, it's pretty much guaranteed to withstand another 5
> years of mere air fills. Tumbling only costs $15-20, a fraction of

There are cases where tanks have passed hdyro with neck cracks,
only to explode later when the fill station operator goes to fill it. A
hydro
does not guaruntee there are no cracks in the neck.






09 Oct 2007 14:27:29
pjbphd
Re: Are Old Tanks Worth Hydroing?


fyi,

I did have them both hydroed and VIPed and they passed with no problems.
I'm now good until 2012!

pjb


"pjbphd" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>I have a couple old tanks from the 1980s. One is an aluminum 80 and the
>other a steel 72. I've just returned to diving from a long absence and
>stopped in at a couple shops to look at gear. While there I asked about
>hydroing the tanks. One told me $25 each and the other told me $35 for any
>tank manufactured after 1991 and $5 for pre-91 tanks. They said this was
>because DOT has changed the standards on pre-91 tanks and is likely to
>prohibit their use in the near future.
>
> Does this make sense or are they just trying to sell me new tanks?
>
> Thanks.
>
>
> --
> Too many spams have forced me to alter my email. If you wish to email me
> directly please send messages to pjbphd at cox dot net
>