O2 fills (was how are you all going to dive RBs?)

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O2 fills (was how are you all going to dive RBs?)

Postby Azza » Thu Nov 22, 2007 2:08 pm

It's always been illegal to fill any dive tank in New Zealand with more than 40% oxygen but apparently OSH are really starting to crack down on this. While I think this whole thing is a joke, I am wondering how you RB divers are going to dive your RB's now?

I certainly don't relish long deco hangs breathing 40% instead of 100%.

I have tried talking with NZUA and they referred me to OSH and the guy at OSH ignored all my messages and phone calls.

I also spoke with the guy in Wellington who decides which tanks can take which % of O2 and he basically said "Boo Hoo, tell someone who gives a shit". Cant remember his name or phone number otherwise I would publicly post it so you all could ring him and tell him he is a prick.

Anyone know of an organisation that exists to protest this bullshit?
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Postby nathanbarlow » Thu Nov 22, 2007 2:17 pm

that seems total bullshit - IMO as long as your tank/regs etc are 02clean (if needed), you have the training and skills to use it correctly and the tanks are hydro'd, what is the problem? Probably someone has messed it up for the majority as usual?

Its similar to that "seal" system they implemented a while back with those tags around the bottle neck for hydro'd tanks - beaurocratic red tape.

I suppose the work around would be to buy a medical O2 bottle and just use that with a regulator lol - pain in the bubbles and $$$ though
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Postby Andy » Thu Nov 22, 2007 3:08 pm

I think this is a LAB number issue, and to be fair affects me with my desire to fill a deco tank with 50% and 100% O2.

The problem is that most LAB numbers are awarded on the basis of a single gas, such as air or O2. If a cylinders LAB number is awarded for O2 (there are some) then it's actually illegal to fill it with air.

The way around this is to apply for either a LAB or SP number for what is determined as 'Permanent Gas Traffic", which allows pretty much any combination of gas mixtures involving O2, N2 and He. As I understand it, the person who applies for the majority of LAB numbers for the 3L Fabers used on the Inspriations actually applies for PGT LAB numbers, so the effect on Inspo divers is nil. The few homebuilds, KISS divers etc using Luxfer or Catalina cylinders may have an issue.

I could be wrong, but this is what I've been told recently - maybe Slent Solutions will have a better view on this??

More depressing is simply the fact that I can't get my 63 cu ft luxfer deco tank filled any more. There are, as I say, some tanks that have LAB numbers approved for O2 - so I now need to track down one of these for use as an O2 only cylinder, relegating my luxfer to 40% only.

If anyone knows any different, I'd be keen to hear the information.
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Postby Andy » Thu Nov 22, 2007 3:12 pm

Here's the list of LAB numbers, which lists the cylinders including which gas they are approved for. Note this is not just scuba tanks;

http://www.ermanz.govt.nz/search/gcreg.xls

There's a similar list for SP numbers, but both are actually a bugger to find on the ERMA website.
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Postby Andy » Thu Nov 22, 2007 3:28 pm

Found the SP number list;

http://www.ermanz.govt.nz/search/sgcreg.xls


I think on these lists that permanent gas traffic is referred to "P & L gases", which probably stand for permanent and liquified gases?? Guessing here, mind you.
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Postby Hybrid » Thu Nov 22, 2007 3:43 pm

Azza, are you sure it is illegal - ie the police knock on your door and take you away or just "not allowed" like filling tanks out of test?
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Postby Packhorse » Thu Nov 22, 2007 6:17 pm

Shouldnt NZUW be sorting this shit out. Isnt what they are there for? To represent divers? I emailed them last weekend about this and have yet to receive a reply.
Thanks NZUW
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Postby Andy » Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:39 pm

I'm not sure that this really fits in NZUA's remit?

I'm in the process of finding out specifically what tanks in the 5-7L range are ok for filling with O2, and will be looking to import some (preferably lukfer 40 cu ft if I can wangle it). It may well be that applying for an SP number is a work around.

If anyone is keen to add a tank on to my order once I've sorted it out, please drop me a PM.
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Postby Azza » Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:56 pm

Andy wrote:I'm not sure that this really fits in NZUA's remit?

I'm in the process of finding out specifically what tanks in the 5-7L range are ok for filling with O2, and will be looking to import some (preferably lukfer 40 cu ft if I can wangle it). It may well be that applying for an SP number is a work around.

If anyone is keen to add a tank on to my order once I've sorted it out, please drop me a PM.

I have talked to NZUA and the OSH guy that certifies tanks and NONE are certified for anything above 40%. Apparently it is to do with pressures and gas expansion...ever notice how those G's of O2 are around 150-180 bar?
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Postby MuscleBob.Buffpants » Fri Nov 23, 2007 2:13 am

<rant>I cannot believe that >40% O2 is banned. HSE in the UK might be a bit on the nanny side, but at least they allow the use of and sale of O2 up to 100%. FFS, what are divers supposed to do, get bent?

Why doesn't NZUA get off its butt and start agitating - it is BS to say that gas expansion and pressure laws (Boyle and Dalton for example) are different in NZ to the rest of the world. In that frame of mind, what about the dive industry, isn't this an OSH problem too - preventing divers from using the best mix for the conditions in order to reduce their risks of getting bent (I'm thinking of commercial divers here).</rant>

Also, when looking at the Excel spreadsheets Andy posted, keep in mind that the neck threadform needs to be either M25 or 3/4" NPSM or else your valves won't screw into the cylinder.
"Oh, Bother" said Pooh as he chambered another round.
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Postby Azza » Fri Nov 23, 2007 6:56 am

Hybrid wrote:Azza, are you sure it is illegal - ie the police knock on your door and take you away or just "not allowed" like filling tanks out of test?

I dont know about "illegal" but it is against the OSH Gas Cylinders and dangerous goods bizzo.
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Postby Azza » Fri Nov 23, 2007 7:02 am

Packhorse wrote:Shouldnt NZUW be sorting this shit out. Isnt what they are there for? To represent divers? I emailed them last weekend about this and have yet to receive a reply.
Thanks NZUW

Are they there to represent divers? Thats what I thought but cant really see what they do. From memory I seem to recall they were formed as a self regulating authority (that could be the wrong word) to stop government involvement in regulating the dive industry. Once upon a time divers were issued an NZUA divers card that went something along the lines of CMAS...

I cant really see what they do now so are they a waste of time or is that another argument? I certainly have had no luck getting them to sort this ean bizzo out. I first tried in 2003 and nearly 5 years later.....zip.
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Postby Packhorse » Fri Nov 23, 2007 8:34 am

Come on Azza they do much more than that.
Just look at this full and very helpfull database of dive incidents case studies and statistics they have to help up learn to be safer divers....

http://www.nzunderwater.org.nz/incident.asp
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Postby plumb bob » Fri Nov 23, 2007 9:00 am

Wow I think that has to be the most singularly useless page I have ever seen.. :roll: It's kinda like a black hole of information.. you can submit reports but never see them again..

Oh no wait you can't even submit anything.. :lol:
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Postby Andy » Fri Nov 23, 2007 9:22 am

Azza wrote:I have talked to NZUA and the OSH guy that certifies tanks and NONE are certified for anything above 40%. Apparently it is to do with pressures and gas expansion...ever notice how those G's of O2 are around 150-180 bar?


Ah, but are you talking to OSH or to ERMA??

Since the HSNO act was brought in, ERMA are now responsible for filling scuba tanks not OSH.

I've worked with enough government agencies around the world to know that the two probably aren't talking to each other, so one of them may be giving out of date information.

So, is it the filling with O2 - or the boosting to high pressure that's the issue? ERMA clearly allow some tanks to be filled with O2 (according to the information on their website) but maybe it's the fill pressure that OSH are concerned about.


There's obviously some confusion here - but if both OSH and ERMA are saying no O2 (which I doubt) then all it's going to do is push the O2 boosters into the backyard... I can't think of anything scarier that a home made O2 booster in the garage. :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
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