Thread: SCI air bottles

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    Default SCI air bottles

    New to the forum...we are in the process of replacing some SCOTT cylinders and I am curious to know any opinions on the "cheaper and as good as Scott" bottles from SCI. Your thoughts???
    wfdbrown@glwb.net

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    Quote Originally Posted by wfdbrown View Post
    New to the forum...we are in the process of replacing some SCOTT cylinders and I am curious to know any opinions on the "cheaper and as good as Scott" bottles from SCI. Your thoughts???
    wfdbrown@glwb.net
    Beware of doing this as AFAIK the warranty on your air pack states that it will be used with Scott equipment. If anything were to go wrong and it was found that a non Scott bottle was used with the pack that warranty may not be honored. Additionally if something were to go wrong and an injury resulted the investigation would show that the pack being used was not NIOSH compliant because it was not used as tested.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Shawn M. Cecula
    Firefighter
    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

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    We just recieved some info from our local Scott dealer with regard to SCI bottles. They stated that SCI does in fact make the bottles for Scott, BUT that does not include the cylinder valve assembly. So generally the lower cost doesn't include the valve which you must buy and install or have installed. As Lewiston stated Scott points out that the SCBA is tested by NIOSH as a system using their cylinder with the Scott label and valve assmebly as installed by them. Anything different is a violation of the NIOSH certification. The real issue it seems is who will install the valve body. If you use an SCI bottle (as does Scott) and have a Scott valve installed by SCI then it would seem highly unlikely that you were using anything that hadn't been tested (except the valve installation?). I wouldn't install them myself but what is the likelyhood of an SCBA failure being with the cylinder valve vs. regulators, pressure reducers, gauges, etc...
    Good luck with what ever you do, its too bad the costs are so high when it's readily apparent that they don't need to be.

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    The only way a Scott SCBA is OSHA compliant is with a Scott air bottle. The only exception is during an emergency when it is allowable to mix and match different manufacturers' compatible air bottles.

    IOW, if you've got Scott SCBA, you need to be buying Scott air bottles.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    The only exception is during an emergency when it is allowable to mix and match different manufacturers' compatible air bottles.
    Oh well that makes it ok then? This is what I remember too from years back, that all SCBA had to have the bottle from the same maunfacturer in it while it rested in the truck. Not that I advocate using third party stuff with your Scott packs,but what kind of logic says "we won't certify the pack with another bottle unless its an emergency". It's got to be all or nothing. I guess we shouldn't worry about the baby Blue Bottles for awhile. Interoperability with built in liability!

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    Well i guess all our scotts are not complaint we never have used scott bottles. While liabilty is a concern functionality and price means more to us. Stop take a breath This assumes that the only differance is in the price and the quality and standards are the same. If we did everthing compliant and by NIOSH, OSHA, and NFPA we would never be allow on the fire scene and never be able to put a fire out unless the fire dept had a million dollar plus budget.

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    Quote Originally Posted by volfireman034 View Post
    If we did everthing compliant and by NIOSH, OSHA, and NFPA we would never be allow on the fire scene ...
    NIOSH doesn't create regulations for you to comply with. NFPA compliance is an option -- albeit a highly recommended option. But if your department isn't at least OSHA compliant, then you have no business being on the fireground.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

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

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    The are only tow manufacturers of SCBA bottles that I know of, SCI and Luxfer. They make them for everybody. You can install the valves or have a local tech guy install them for you. The main issue is NIOSH. If it is not from the same manufacturer they have issues. It all boils down to how much liability your department is will to accept. If you check them regularly and hydro test like you are supposed to, what difference does it make. We are looking at SCI or Luxfer bottles to replace some of our older hour bottles for CSR. The valves are still good, why should we spend double to money for the bottle?
    Jason Brooks
    IAFF Local 2388
    IACOJ

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbrescue View Post
    ... why should we spend double to money for the bottle?
    To be legal? Or isn't that important to any fly-by-night operation like you sound like you're willing to be a part of?

    You claim to be IAFF. I hope you aren't planning on putting these mongrel units on you union Brother's backs...
    Last edited by DeputyMarshal; 08-04-2007 at 11:56 AM.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

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

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    JB, there is another cylinder manufacturer, Carlton. My ISI SCBA have them on there. I contact my ISI person sometime back and was told the reason they went to Carlton was that with Luxfer ISI had to give a 6 month order and to keep from having extra on the shelf Carlton didn't require a 6 month, only 30 days. this allowed for a closer to manufacturing date on new units leaving the plant.

    As for NIOSH, they only say how a SCBA must leave the plant. NFPA is only a standard. OSHA will be the one to fine you if there is an issue/violation of their standards. OSHA says you can use another manufacturers cylinder in "emergency" situations however there is of definition of emergency on there website.

    I retract the "emergency" issue above as I found a clarification letter on OSHA's website. Here is the link: http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owad...ONS&p_id=23479

    June 20, 1997

    MEMORANDUM FOR: REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS


    FROM: JOHN B. MILES, JR., Director
    [Directorate of Enforcement Programs]


    SUBJECT: SCBA Cylinder Interchangeability


    Recently it has come to our attention that some manufacturers are promoting their lower priced cylinders for use on other manufacturer's self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBAs). They are also telling their customers that this practice is allowed by OSHA standards. This statement is misleading. Employers who use components from other manufacturers on respirator equipment are voiding the NIOSH approval for their respirators.

    Two of OSHA's standards [1910.156(f)(1)(iv) and 1910.120(q)(3)(x)] do permit the use of other manufacturer's cylinders on self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBA's), when deemed necessary to meet the tasks at hand. OSHA's concession to this practice is only intended to be granted in emergency, lifesaving situations.

    An example of an allowed situation would be when several different emergency response organizations respond to a hazardous situation that requires the use of their SCBA's. As the cylinder supplies are depleted, the appropriate approved cylinder may not be available for a particular SCBA when a life-saving response is required. Rather than waiting until the appropriate cylinder is obtained, the responder is permitted to use another manufacturer's cylinder provided it meets the specifications of the respirator manufacturer and has the same capacity and pressure rating. Although this, temporarily, voids NIOSH approval, OSHA believes the interchangeability of air cylinders is important enough to life safety of fire brigade members to permit it. After the emergency, OSHA expects employers to return their SCBA's to their original NIOSH-approved condition.

    In non-emergency situations, OSHA still expects SCBA's to be maintained and used in their approved condition.

    I hope this clarifies OSHA's position on the interchangeability of cylinders on SCBA's. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact [the Office of Health Enforcement at 202-693-2190].
    Last edited by Lieutenant387; 08-05-2007 at 04:28 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    To be legal? Or isn't that important to any fly-by-night operation like you sound like you're willing to be a part of?

    You claim to be IAFF. I hope you aren't planning on putting these mongrel units on you union Brother's backs...
    Maybe reading what I said would have lowered your blood pressure. I said we were going to be potentially be using them for the air cart for confined space. I did not say anything about using them in any of our SCBA's.
    Jason Brooks
    IAFF Local 2388
    IACOJ

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbrescue View Post
    I said we were going to be potentially be using them for the air cart for confined space.
    Nice try, but you said no such thing. You mentioned CSR, that's all.

    Quote Originally Posted by jbrescue View Post
    I did not say anything about using them in any of our SCBA's.
    Not that the use you now claim is any less of an issue.

    Give it up. You're just just looking to save money by cutting corners. You should work for management...
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

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

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    JB, AirCart or SCBA it shouldn't matter. I know you said SCI cylinders but everyone needs to be aware of "cheap" cylinders period should have a red flag attached to the red tag sale they are having. I know of a cylinder failure in a 60min carbon cylinder that had a ISI valve in it but came from that place in Canada named after our favorite fire dog breed, that had a rapid blow out where the valve o-ring meets the cylinder. Problem is it wasn't torqued correctly. It blew out just before the firefighter started an evolution at a regional fire school involving live fire. It looked like a problem with the SCBA manufacturer but in all reality it was the cheap cylinder from outside the US.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    Give it up. You're just just looking to save money by cutting corners. You should work for management...
    Not the case at all. We are trying to make our tech rescue budget go farther. We have a fixed budget, area team. The more we get from our money the better off we are.
    Jason Brooks
    IAFF Local 2388
    IACOJ

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