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Thread: SCBA bottles

  1. #41
    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by volfireman034 View Post
    But Scott and all them are telling firefighters not to use a component that they them selves use.
    No. Scott isn't telling them anything. NIOSH and OSHA are. This is a regulatory approval issue; not a manufacturer issue. Scott couldn't tell you it's okay to mix and match even if they wanted to.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.


  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by The nots so new FNG View Post
    Underwater is an IDLH environment too. Scuba divers generally have far less training and expierence overall than firefighters.
    If you are referring to sport divers, I agree. The same doesn't apply to professional commercial divers who are indeed regulated by NIOSH/OSHA regulations. NIOSH doesn't automatically consider diving an IDLH condition, BTW. When it does, full face respirators (typically hard hat dive gear) which is considerably more regulated than sport gear is required.

    NIOSH certfies only the EXACT item they test. In theory, if the SCBA facepiece did not include glasses inserts, then using them voids the NIOSH rating.
    Eyeglass inserts aren't considered part of the system and are specifically addressed in the test standards. All of the major SCBA manufacturers certify their SCBA with their inserts anyway.

    OSHA now states only NIOSH certfied equipment is OK. This is the problem area.
    Possibly. I tend to think that the NIOSH testing standard should be addressed to provide leeway for intermixing specification approved cyclinders rather than altering the OSHA enforcement standard.

    Cylinders are well regulated by the DOT. It is a trivial to install a proper valve into a tank and it is trivial to ensure a proper physical size.
    Inevitably the issue comes back to liability no matter how trivial the actual assembly appears. Afterall, this is America; land of the fee.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    So if I put AC Delco plugs in a Ford they won't warrantee it? Or if I use Motorcraft oil and a Wix filter in my GMC?
    Good point, of course it's up to them to determine how far you can stray from the OEM parts list. Auto's may not be the best analogy given the sheer numbers of consumers, the auto builders must be more flexible or suffer with an exclusive product that is far more expensive to maintain (like Mercedes, BWM, etc). Comparatively the SCBA manufacturers are a cottage industry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    If you get right down to it, the bottle has little-to-nothing to do with the operation of the SCBA, it's the air inside. The bottle is built to the same standards as the manufacturer's bottle (in most cases in the same factory) and has nothing to do with the functional portion of the unit.
    This is exactly why they can easily give the "emergency use provision" as they know the risks are few, but they cannot offer a product warranty without knowing what the end user is going to do with it. And while we all might think using and SCI bottle (made for Scott) without the label is fine, they need to have some assurance that they've done all they can to protect the end-user from him/her self.

    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    I think if I was Scott, MSA, Draeger, or whoever, I'd worry more about the FD's out there that don't do regular air testing on their compressors, which can cause more damage than the cylinder that doesn't have anything to do with the actual operation of the unit.
    They are absolved of liability if you fail to use the product correctly, as in guaranteeing the quality of the air from you compressor.

    Look, you can put the cheaper version of the same bottles on your packs and just know that you've picked up the liability if the bottle is found to have caused the failure. It appears that many expect the manufacturer to do this, why not assume it yourself if you beleive the risk is so low?

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by The nots so new FNG View Post

    Cylinders are well regulated by the DOT. It is a trivial to install a proper valve into a tank and it is trivial to ensure a proper physical size.
    I'd say anything that can negatively affect the SCBA is not trivial. Do you know the torque spec of the cylinder valve? How many "mechanics" skip the torque wrench and go by feel? This is the kind of control the SCBA manufacturer needs, to ensure you don't crack the neck of the bottle screwing in the valve.

  5. #45
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    That was actually a general reference. Been a long night when I posted that and after a second look I thought you were going somewhere else with that post, anyway.
    Figured as much. And,NO,no hidden agenda.I'm just amused at times by regulatory BS. Get rid of the Laywers we MIGHT be able to make a living again. Like that would happen. T.C.

  6. #46
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    Isn't it funny how we all hate lawyers until we need one ourselves? Then we really don't care how they do it as long as in the end we prevail.

    And no, I am not a lawyer. But I do have a really good one who has done me right over the years.
    “The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.” Leo F. Buscaglia

    This place gets weirder and weirder every day...

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    I'd say anything that can negatively affect the SCBA is not trivial. Do you know the torque spec of the cylinder valve? How many "mechanics" skip the torque wrench and go by feel? This is the kind of control the SCBA manufacturer needs, to ensure you don't crack the neck of the bottle screwing in the valve.
    Believe it or not - the torque spec is not a critical number. Its specified of course but the actual seal is done by an o-ring. The purpose of the torque is to ensure the o-ring has seated and will not come loose.

    BTW - that spec is published in the DOT test standards which every cylinder manufacturer and hydro test facility is required to have. Valves are pulled at hydro and re-assembled so I fail to see your point about manufacturer control.

    Then again - since I service sport diving regulators, tank valves and do visual inspections for steel and AL tanks (though not composites), I probably don't know very much......

    As I said before - this issue is NOT rocket science. Everything we are talking about is simple technology. This should be changed. (I do agree though - so long as OSHA has the interpretation it has, its an open/shut case on what you have to do right now - follow OSHA - whether it makes sense or not)
    Last edited by The nots so new FNG; 09-02-2010 at 12:51 PM.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by The nots so new FNG View Post
    Believe it or not - the torque spec is not a critical number. Its specified of course but the actual seal is done by an o-ring. The purpose of the torque is to ensure the o-ring has seated and will not come loose.
    sorry FNG I disagree totally. A few years ago when I was a dealer for a SCBA mfg I sold some to a dept that while they were pricing found new carbon cylinders with my scba manufacurer valves distributed by Dalmation. Dalmation is not a scba distributor. I told them the criteria for OSHA and whatnot in the warnings, but the cost won them over (they were 60 min cylinders that the cost to the customer was 450 dollars under the best price I got from my mfg). Anyway they bought them and at the next state fire school there was a failure. When they brought me the unit while I was there the said it just had a rapid loss of air. Upon investigation it turned out to be a cylinder problem. I had the firefighter to roll the cylinder over and when I saw the Dalmation tag and the oring protruding from between the valve and cylinder, I called the customer and said I am sorry but it wasn't my equipment failure it was due to the cheap cylinder. Anyone around the firefighter at the school however saw it as a failure in my scba mfg.
    Am I being effective in my efforts or am I merely showing up in my fireman costume to watch a house burn down?” (Joe Brown, www.justlookingbusy.wordpress.com)

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capt387 View Post
    sorry FNG I disagree totally. A few years ago when I was a dealer for a SCBA mfg I sold some to a dept that while they were pricing found new carbon cylinders with my scba manufacurer valves distributed by Dalmation. Dalmation is not a scba distributor. I told them the criteria for OSHA and whatnot in the warnings, but the cost won them over (they were 60 min cylinders that the cost to the customer was 450 dollars under the best price I got from my mfg). Anyway they bought them and at the next state fire school there was a failure. When they brought me the unit while I was there the said it just had a rapid loss of air. Upon investigation it turned out to be a cylinder problem. I had the firefighter to roll the cylinder over and when I saw the Dalmation tag and the oring protruding from between the valve and cylinder, I called the customer and said I am sorry but it wasn't my equipment failure it was due to the cheap cylinder. Anyone around the firefighter at the school however saw it as a failure in my scba mfg.
    We can agree to disagree a little bit. I have seen valves so loose you could turn them a 1/4 turn but still maintain on o-ring seal with 3500 psi of air. (Steel Scuba tank)

    If you use the wrong o-ring, this happens. If you fail to seat the o-ring, that could happen. If the valve assembly is not assembled correctly, this could happen. Its quite possible some cylinder valves are more sensitive to exact torque specs than others but I would bet it was more than just the torque set on the valve - more likely not tightned at all.

    The key to my point was that non-SCBA manufacturers are expected to service these valve/cylinder combinations during thier service life so the notion than only the manufacturer is capable of doing so is bunk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The nots so new FNG View Post
    The key to my point was that non-SCBA manufacturers are expected to service these valve/cylinder combinations during thier service life so the notion than only the manufacturer is capable of doing so is bunk.
    In that I would agree
    Am I being effective in my efforts or am I merely showing up in my fireman costume to watch a house burn down?” (Joe Brown, www.justlookingbusy.wordpress.com)

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    Quote Originally Posted by The nots so new FNG View Post
    Believe it or not - the torque spec is not a critical number. Its specified of course but the actual seal is done by an o-ring. The purpose of the torque is to ensure the o-ring has seated and will not come loose.
    It's little discrepancies like this that is exactly the reason you'll never see the manufacturers extend their liability/warranty beyond what they have control over.

    I'm betting that if there was a failure and the non-manufacturer certified person who installed the valve failed to torque the assembly properly, said manufacturer would walk away (more like run!). If the approved person failed to properly torque it? I'd guess they'd be unemployed. So depending on your perspective, it might very well be pretty damn critical.

    My limited understand of the torque spec is that it prevents over tightening which can crack the cylinder at the neck along with damaging the O-ring as was noted.

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by The nots so new FNG View Post

    The key to my point was that non-SCBA manufacturers are expected to service these valve/cylinder combinations during thier service life so the notion than only the manufacturer is capable of doing so is bunk.
    Who said non-SCBA manufacturers? I know I noted "manufacturer approved" or certified to conduct the work. This is the same with most consumer products

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    It's little discrepancies like this that is exactly the reason you'll never see the manufacturers extend their liability/warranty beyond what they have control over.

    I'm betting that if there was a failure and the non-manufacturer certified person who installed the valve failed to torque the assembly properly, said manufacturer would walk away (more like run!). If the approved person failed to properly torque it? I'd guess they'd be unemployed. So depending on your perspective, it might very well be pretty damn critical.

    My limited understand of the torque spec is that it prevents over tightening which can crack the cylinder at the neck along with damaging the O-ring as was noted.
    As an FYI - From Luxfer Cylinders guide.

    http://www.luxfercylinders.com/downl...scubaguide.pdf

    We recommend that all straight thread valves be installed in Luxfer high-pressure aluminum scuba cylinders with a torque recommended by the valve manufacturer for aluminum cylinders.
    Without a recommended torque from the valve manufacturer,we would recommend a torque of 50 lbf-ft, plus or minus 10 lbf-ft. All torquing should be done such that valve, valve components and cylinder are not damaged.
    Now for medical tanks with the CGA 870 valve:

    http://www.luxfercylinders.com/suppo...20060221.shtml

    .....
    Luxfer has extensive experience with new aluminum and composite cylinders, as well as new valves of the standard 870 post-type valve design for oxygen. For such new equipment, Luxfer recommends a torque value of 75 ft.-lbs. However, under certain circumstances described below, this torque value may not apply.
    ......
    Thus, Luxfer’s current recommended torque value of 75 ft.-lbs. applies only to the installation of a new standard brass, straight-threaded, nickel-coated 870 post-type valve with an approved o-ring into a new Luxfer oxygen cylinder. The o-ring makes a seal in a seat that Luxfer has machined into the cylinder opening. Since Luxfer seat dimensions may differ from those used by other aluminum cylinder manufacturers, Luxfer’s recommendations only apply to Luxfer cylinders. The o-ring material and size are critical for a leak-tight seal—not just any o-ring will work properly with a Luxfer cylinder. In fact, with valve types that use a metal o-ring, if the o-ring is installed incorrectly, gas will leak from the cylinder no matter what torque is applied.
    Basically - this is a cylinder manufacture who gives a baseline range for valves from other manufacturers - with a plus/minus 10 ft-lb range and then proceeds to give an exact value for a valve/tank combination they have and describe the ramifications for failing to adhere to it. The SCBA tanks luxfer makes out of Al have the 50ftlb ±10ftlb torque spec - or 40-60ftlb range and the 'non-critical' comment I have made above. Conversely, the 870 tanks have a specific 75ftlb requirement.

    Every tank and valve combination has this information on file with the DOT. A properly trained tech will have access to these references to know how to set the torque on the valves - especially since hydro testing requires valve removal.

    I still don't see how using a tank made to a spec but not by the same manufacturer as the SCBA can been seen to be dangerous.

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by The nots so new FNG View Post
    I still don't see how using a tank made to a spec but not by the same manufacturer as the SCBA can been seen to be dangerous.
    It is highly dangerous. It is dangerous to the bank accounts of MSN, Scott, Drager,...
    Could you Imagen the price war if you did not have to buy what is effect a proprietary tank?

  15. #55
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    I price war like that could put this country in deeper recession and fire departments would have more money, or be able to buy new tanks they couldn't before. Oh the same of it all. lol

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