2nd Hand Cylinders: Buyer beware
Just had a 12 L 300 bar cylinder fail test on wall thickness. It's new from 2008 and I bought it 2nd hand around 2010, so this surprised me.
The fill centre noted several pits on the outside of the cylinder, which I assumed were ok, but the whole cylinder had been repainted to look like new.
Upon close examination it appears this bottle has sat in the bottom of a boat, been bashed around, and because it was going to fail it's 2 year test in 2010, it was painted up, fitted with a surface only valve and put out on the 2nd hand market. As I use it as a decanting bank it's not been filled that often, perhaps once or twice in the time I've had it, and the filling centre was different from this place. The last time it was filled was only a couple of months ago, so they should have noticed the pitting, but as it's under the paint, and there's no rust or marks, they probably didn't look beyond the test stamp.
Further chatting to the dive centre revealed more horror stories akin to this, with people 'rescuing' bottles that have been put on the scrap heap with holes drilled in them, with the holes filled with a bolt, the head sanded down and filled, and repainted. There's been some covered in plastic as well. And then there was the one with the handle welded to it...
Oh and they've had a few Carbon Fibre bottles in that the owners have believed are 20 year lifespan, only to find that these are the ones that have 10, and they can't be life extended by tests.
So lesson learnt, bottles that are around 2 years old, may not be the bargains they appear to be even though for surface only they appear to have another 3 years before a test. More responsible fill centres may still scrap them, as they are duty bound to do so.
When the shop is doing the next scrap cuts they're going to pass me the pieces to so I can photograph them for here.
BFTA/NSRA County Coach
CSFTA Chairman/BFTA Rep