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Scuba Tank Visual Inspection Expiration
Eric_R - 7/17/2016 2:06 PM
Category: Equipment
Replies: 16

I have my tanks inspected annually as required and the stickers my local dive shop uses has all the months and several years listed so they don’t have to have stickers made every year. They Punch the month and the year the inspection was done. That being said if I get my tank inspected at the beginning of the month it’s still good through July of the next year so your technically you could be getting a free month in this scenario but you wouldn’t, getting them inspected near the end. I took my tanks to another local shop and the owner refused to fill them because he said they need inspections as the stickers were stamped July and the actual date was July 15. I told him they were inspected on July 31 as he doesn’t know the actual date they were inspected. He still refused so I said he was the first shop to ever do this and I will get them filled else where. I didn’t have time to wait for inspection as it was a on the way stop.

What do the rest of you experience with visual inspection dates from shop to shop? Does your shop punch the next month if the inspection is being done after the 15 of the month? Does your shop use the actual date? Am I wrong in feeling that the owner was splitting hairs on the date?
DiverfromBaskingRidge - 7/17/2016 2:34 PM
I make sure the Hydro test is done on all my tanks every 5 years. I don’t visually inspect my tanks - ever.

BTW - a visual is not a DOT or any other agency requirement, it is done at the discretion of the dive shop. First it is a money maker but secondly for an LDS it is a small insurance that someone is looking at the tanks to ensure they are not being abused and could possibly hurt their fill equipment or employees through a ruptured tank. But think about this - firemen use SCBA all the time and NEVER do a visual inspection - they do Hyrdo’s...

I am lucky - I fill my own tanks and on vacation I bring my tanks or rent...
ELLOCODIABLO - 7/18/2016 8:35 PM
Every place ive ever filled went til the end of the month.
John_giu - 7/24/2016 6:25 PM
I didn’t know Vis was optional
I think you would get the boot from most shops without a VIS
because it seems to be a standard. Even the PADI training tells you a VIS every year

That being said I don’t winter dive so at the end on the season I fill my tanks.
I can either get one dive out of them in the beginning of the next season or just eat the air fill.
I figure its worth throwing away an air fill to know the tanks are filled with dry air.

Im only paying $10 for the VIS air is free or I pay for the % of O2 I order.

Im glad to throw NES the $12 for each tank.

They put up with all my dumb questions from when I started diving.
John_giu - 9/03/2016 8:58 AM
Not worth $12 when your tank or valve blows out at 100’. my buddy’s tank just got caught on a vis with corrosion and a crack forming in the neck.

Cigarettes $9 a pack
Vis $12 a years.

Do the math, which would you rather die from?
ELLOCODIABLO - 9/15/2016 8:41 PM
The statute your quoting refers to visual inspection at the time a tank is hydroed once every ten years or in the case of scuba tanks every 5. The yearly vip required by dive shops is not law its only scuba industry standard. Not a bad idea. For all the people that complain about the cost isnt your life worth 13$ a year? Ive got more then a dozen tanks and finally just started doing all my own maint to help save cash but fir those of u that only have 3 or 4 tanks is it really that much of an expense compared to what you pay for other gear.
ELLOCODIABLO - 9/15/2016 8:43 PM
And with as much biz that ur lds has lost to the internet how does everyone expect them to survive without service work
ELLOCODIABLO - 9/15/2016 8:46 PM
Has anyone thats bitchen about the cost priced a tank tumbler,whip,tank drying rack,ceramic media, or chemicals to servive ur tanks
ELLOCODIABLO - 9/17/2016 2:21 AM
I guess if your just renting 1 alum 80 at a time for u it makes sense. We often take 4 or more depending on the dive and i like not havin to run for tanks or worry about the return. Rentals here r 10$ single 22$ for doubles for me its cheaper to do my own tank work short of hydro and pay my lds to slap the sticker on. U may not give 2 craps about the guy behind the counter or how much he makes but he is the one that owns and maintains the compressor thats pumpin ur air and when he is gone how far will you have to drive to get fills.for me it would be close to 90 min round trip not including fill time ......on 6 to 8 tanks if i take my buddys with me........and im in fl were dive shops r abundant. Jus sayin. Is yearly vip a scam on steels ...yep i think so. Alum prob not a bad idea. Ive seen more then a few with cracked necks. Id rather know that for the cost of the stickers the guy can afford to change the filters when the clock ticks off
ibJones - 13 days 5 hours ago.
A VIP is good for up to 12 months (365 days).

That means if your cylinder was inspected on March 15th, it can be valid up until March 14th of the following year. "Good until the end of the month" is not really true because that could possibly put you more than 365 days.

Since we don’t usually put the day of inspection on our VIP stickers, just the month and year, we normally allow that "extra time" to slide.

Under the "good til the end of the month" logic, I could get 13 months out of a VIP, and that would violate the "required annually" rule the industry has established.

If I inspect your cylinder on Jan1st, and you allege your sticker is good until the end of the month, that would actually put you 30 days out of VIP as you could use that tank until January 31st of the next year, 30 days more than "a year".

I wouldn’t worry about it much. If you run into a dive shop that won’t fill your cylinder because your VIP is out by a week, they are just being nit picky. Hell, if I inspect your cylinder today and deem it "safe to use" and put my sticker on it, there’s no possible way I can say it’s going to be safe to fill next week. I don’t know what conditions your cylinder is exposed to one it leaves my possession.