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

What do you use? Got a question about buying and maintaining your tank /valve? Then post in here.

Postby Andy » Fri Nov 23, 2007 9:30 am

Hope you don't mind, Azza.... but I've renamed the thread and moved it to general equipment discussion. I'm hoping that it will get some more traffic here than it would in the rebreather section as it effects a wider range of tanks.



If we could also keep it to topic - if people want to discuss what NZUA does (or does not do) outside of the issue of O2 fills, please start another thread. Thanks.
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Postby Azza » Fri Nov 23, 2007 9:59 am

Andy wrote: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.

It is both. I asked why they couldn't just rate the bottles for a lower pressure if higher O2 was used and the guy said that was possible but wasn't going to happen and wouldn't elaborate any more. To be fair he was in the shop during his lunch break...

I believe it will push all boosters and o2 blends in the backyard...oh wait...most of them are already there :lol:

Nothing has changed over the years they are just cracking down on it now apparently...not sure why
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Postby Hybrid » Fri Nov 23, 2007 10:11 am

Azza wrote:....I believe it will push all boosters and o2 blends in the backyard...oh wait...most of them are already there :lol:

Nothing has changed over the years they are just cracking down on it now apparently...not sure why


I for one, went looking around asking questions trying to work out how to go about buying 02 or any mix above 40% and was hit with a wall of "you can't do that", "why do you want to do that?", " Thats dangerous", etcc..etc.. There wasn't anyone that could help me. I went to The Deco Stop and found heaps of info, and seemingly 100's of people doing it. Found out, what I needed and.... 8) 8) 8) 8)
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Postby Azza » Fri Nov 23, 2007 10:28 am

Hybrid wrote:I for one, went looking around asking questions trying to work out how to go about buying 02 or any mix above 40% and was hit with a wall of "you can't do that", "why do you want to do that?", " Thats dangerous", etcc..etc.. There wasn't anyone that could help me. I went to The Deco Stop and found heaps of info, and seemingly 100's of people doing it. Found out, what I needed and.... 8) 8) 8) 8)

Exactly. I didnt really pay as much attention to this erma guy as I should off because...well... :twisted:
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Postby Hybrid » Fri Nov 23, 2007 3:36 pm

It's only natural to take the path of least resistance. :D
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Postby petemes » Fri Nov 23, 2007 9:25 pm

This is one hell of a discussion and one that really needs addressing. But unfortunatly I really dont know which ears it should be aimed at. because we are all talking the same language of ludicracy when it comes to this topic of "which tank is OK for O2 use!"

Here is the low down on how things got to this. Back in 95 when PADI introduced their Nitrox course there was a need to get things underway with Nitrox in NZ. A meeting was set up with PADI, NZU, OSH and dangerous goods. (now it is important to understand the difference between OSH and dangerous goods ( now ERMA) OSH dont give a dam if you go out, get a panel do some blending and blow your self to hell. What they do give a dam about is dive facilities who offer it. If they are dangerous in their ways and hurt someone in that process then that is when they will come down on you with the full force of 10 pulp fiction movies!!
Now dangerous goods' job ( yeah I had to really reach out here to really find out whay exactly their job is!) is is to make sure that any gear that comes into NZ is going to be safe for the punter.

Now we all have our own ideas as to how this occurs. I was a part of this initial meeting and I was just sitting there with my head in my hands.

There was a guy called Roger Marshall who worked for dangerous goods along side people like Mike Nankaville and Kim Combin. Now these were stand up guys who only wanted to sort things out safely for the punter. Roger now got it in his head that you needed special calculations to work out how elevated percentages of Oxygen would increase if the temperature was increased in the tank. Now this developed pressure calculation was introduced. Admittedly pressure does increase SLIGHTLY when O2 is introduced but Roger never gave out the exact results, he just deducted whether the tank was deemed safe or unsafe. bearing in mind that ALL air tanks should be filled at 15oC ( we all know that is bollocks!) So a list was made up and seeing that PADI only needed up to 40% Mix they did the calcs ONLY for 40%. Now I put my arm up in the corner and said "what about the techo???" bearing in mind that this was 1995-6 sometime. Noone wanted to rock the boat "Lest get the 40% first THEN work on teh higher mixes right " was the call.

Now (lucky for Roger) they were all made redundant - maybe he knew it was coming, and now there was a little list out in the market of a select few tanks that had these (bogus) calcs done on them. That is why you have to pay for any of these SP lab numbers because they have to get our friends in to do their (calcs) and thus YOU pay for them.

The extremly funny thing that happened just a few years ago ( hell its over 5 years now) we had another massive meeting, OSH, Dangerous goods, BOC, Air Liguide, NZU, PADI, hell all the guns were there, we had the meeting at dive HQ Greenlane when I was managing the place.

The topic was all this gas traffic mulakee. Long storey short I stood up and asked why only 40% when we were partial pressure filling and after i explained the process the room went silent.......... "You put PURE O2 in your tanks" they gasped????? Hell they didnt even know the process of blending? Then I spent the next hour explaining what procedures we have to ensure O2 service is kept at all times.

Heres some interesting knowledge for you. How often do you think O2 tanks get O2 cleaned from BOC or Air Liquide? 1 -2 -5 -7 years maybe? NOPE, every 10 years!!! Hows that!

anyway I digress......

So after the meeting I thought we were really getting places because everyone had agreed that the "world" standards we were following were good. - PROGRESS!!!!? Maybe not.......... some months weny by and nothing was heard about from dangerous goods then there was talk about making all facilities O2 clean their tanks for ALL applications wither it be membrane or partial pressure blending. again we fall into this chasm of clewless people.

So I gave up! Now you CAN get tanks Oked for O2 use, pay your money and GAZAAAANG it MAY get the all clear from the all seeing eye of Moredorrrr All breather O2 tanks are SP labed for O2 use when they are applied for - and cleared.



So there is a few things we can do?

1. do it all yourself and blend from home ( you will need a blenders cert AND fillers ticket issued by a periodic tester) BUT you will need to be officially registered by ERMA if you wish to fill from home ( yeah they are coming for you!!!!!) which means joining an outfit like NZU or Telarc for gas analysis quarterly.

2. Get NZU to try and sort it ( NZU are going through some massive changes here and due to their lack of manpower - basiclaly there is two of them in the office and thats it!) that is why you have been put on the burner because they are so busy.
3. Have a wip around to help fund change of gas traffic application for a few well used deco tanks
4. do nothing.


long post I know. Hope I didnt lose you after the first line
I put a nice little fishy picture at the end just to let everyone know why the hell we are doing this!!!!!!



Image
this is a shot of the late, great "BORRIS" from the Coolidge. He has been dead now for a number of years but people used to flock from all round the globe to see this 600kg fish that was a big as a single bed!
"A little less talk a little more action" Elvis Presley
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Postby Andy » Sat Nov 24, 2007 7:51 am

Thanks for the history on this, Pete.

So, am I right in thinking - whether it's ludicrous or not - that some tanks are ok for O2. Don't suppose that you know which ones other than those for the breathers?
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Postby petemes » Sat Nov 24, 2007 10:53 am

Andy wrote:Thanks for the history on this, Pete.

So, am I right in thinking - whether it's ludicrous or not - that some tanks are ok for O2. Don't suppose that you know which ones other than those for the breathers?



Not entirely sure mate, everything is so grey, I for one have never got straight answers from the people that make the decisions when it comes to tanks. I dont think they know either!!! World requirements will hopefully be adopted then any tank can be put into O2 service, provided the valves and manufacturers say its ok to do so. But to get something on paper will be wonderful ( and yes..... world peace too!!)
Globals mini B tanks are cleared as far as I know for O2. but until we get more done, the NZ requirements way, facilities will be open to legal problems if they officially offer such high % fills.

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Postby Andy » Sun Nov 25, 2007 8:50 am

petemes wrote:Globals mini B tanks are cleared as far as I know for O2. but until we get more done, the NZ requirements way, facilities will be open to legal problems if they officially offer such high % fills.



Cheers, Pete - yeah, Grant said the other week that those tanks were cleared and was tempted to just buy one. I wanted to look around at the alternatives, as they are a little small - but then if it's the only option for a dedicated O2 cylinder that's not going to dump someone in the kacky then will make it work.
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Postby Packhorse » Sun Nov 25, 2007 8:34 pm

Thanks Pete. I must say thats one of your best posts yet!!

Is there an option 5.?
5. Email bomb someone at ERMA and push for the change to these world standards?
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Postby Azza » Mon Nov 26, 2007 6:36 am

Thanks for that post Pete. Very Interesting.
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Postby Andy » Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:10 am

Option 5 is tempting, PH...... but.... 8) 8)

How about option 3? I'm sure no one really wants to spend any money, but if it's a choice of O2 or no O2 then I'd happily buy a new tank or two and go through the SP application process.
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Postby Space Kat (=^.^=) » Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:54 am

Andy wrote:Option 5 is tempting, PH...... but.... 8) 8)

How about option 3? I'm sure no one really wants to spend any money, but if it's a choice of O2 or no O2 then I'd happily buy a new tank or two and go through the SP application process.


How much does an O2 SP application cost I wonder? I'd be tempted to take option 3 if it were economically viable but is it not perhaps the importers duty to do this since they could then cash in on it and market the tanks as > 40% O2 safe ??
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Postby Andy » Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:34 am

Space Kat (=^.^=) wrote:How much does an O2 SP application cost I wonder? I'd be tempted to take option 3 if it were economically viable but is it not perhaps the importers duty to do this since they could then cash in on it and market the tanks as > 40% O2 safe ??


I don't think so. If an importer brings in tanks, they have to be issued LAB numbers as opposed to SP numbers - and to get a LAB number, you need to destructively test a certain number of tanks.

I've been quoted in the past around $150-200 to get an SP number, though that may not apply to the current circumstance. That may have been to identify an imported tank that already has a LAB number.

I believe that there is scope to put through a number of tanks on a single SP number application, which would let us share costs if there was enough interest. There is a risk, of course, that we import a bunch of tanks and then don't get permanent gas traffic clearance for them in which case we're left with a bunch of unusable tanks.... :cry: :?
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Postby Hybrid » Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:39 am

What power does ERMA have to enforce anything? what (if any) laws are being broken if you've got 02 at home and you're blending in your garage?
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