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Thread: tanks & rebreather-related regulations in Australia

  1. #1
    RBW Member Nicool is on a distinguished road Nicool is on a distinguished road Nicool's Avatar
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    tanks & rebreather-related regulations in Australia

    G'day mates!

    Wifey and myself are considering to migrate to Australia in a few years time, where we used to spend 1 year and learn diving... some time ago.

    We are very excited with the idea of going back diving down-under with the extra reach which our rebreathers will allow.

    However i reckon there are specific regulations in Australia which impact (rebreather) diving. I have in mind specific regulations applicable to tanks, or was it only oxygen tanks?

    If you guys could shed some light on this that would be much appreciated.

    Indeed, we already own 8x 3L tanks (steel) + 2x 7L tanks (alu) which comply with the regulations applicable in France, but i am not sure whether these tanks could be imported and used in Australia.
    If not, then i should know and refrain from buying extra

    cheers
    Nicolas

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    RBW Member horaceanddumpling is an unknown quantity at this point horaceanddumpling's Avatar
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    Re: tanks & rebreather-related regulations in Australia

    Leave all the tanks behind, replace them here. In theory... There's a way of getting them in and fillable, practically, you need engineering diagrams and an engineers signed report saying they meet oz spec. Forget it. PS given the tiny market in oz Rebreather cylinders they're bloody expensive.

    Al.

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    Re: tanks & rebreather-related regulations in Australia

    G'day Nicool

    Because you're moving to the southern hemisphere, where the coriolis effect works backwards to the northern hemisphere, you'll need to reverse the direction of the loop on your breather and, if you have a BOV, you'll need to bring your gas feed in from the other side. Because you're moving to Australia, you'll also need to add a beer feed to your DSV/BOV and a reservoir somewhere on your unit: most of us just use the dil cylinder.

    :D


    Seriously, though:

    Short version: sell your tanks over there, buy new (or secondhand ones) when you get here.

    Longer version: No shops in Australia will fill a tank without a current (ie within the last year) hydro test stamp from an Aussie test centre. And you'll struggle to find a test centre - usually the bigger dive shops - who will test and stamp a cylinder that doesn't already have an older stamp on it, because whoever puts that first stamp on it assumes the responsibility for ensuring that the cylinder meets Australian Standards.

    Furthermore, your euro tanks use an M25 neck thread where Australia follows the US lead of NPS 3/4 threads. On its own that's annoying, but it gets worse - you can wind an NPS 3/4 valve into an M25 tank and it will feel snug, but the thread teeth don't engage to full depth and will fail after a couple of fills.

    After an incident in Perth recently where this happened and it nearly killed the fill monkey when it let go, Aussie dive operators are now extra paranoid about euro spec cylinders so you'll have even more hassles getting fills.

    Finally, burst discs. Unlike Europe, but same as US, Australian Standards mandate the installation of burst discs into cylinder valves. Which many dive shops look for. And you'll struggle to find an M25 valve with burst discs because, where M25 valves are used, they are not required. So you'll end up having to get a threaded seat machined into your valves and burst discs added.

    So:
    - Cost of shipping the tanks. ?
    - Cost of machining a burst disc seat - about $25 per valve.
    - Cost of the burst disc button, spacer and disc - about $40 per seat.
    - Cost of the magic first hydro IF you can find a dodgy hydro station that will do it - about $50 per cylinder plus a carton or two of beer (another $50-$100).
    - Cost of having half the LDS simply refuse to fill in spite of all of this: ?

    I've imported a tank from the US which had all the right threads and burst disc because it was from the US, not Europe, and STILL can't get it hydro tested. Fine, I have my own compressor, so it doesn't matter so much. But if I'm travelling I'm hosed. And, although I do annual visuals, I'll still want to do a hydro at some point - at which point I'll also be hosed. So it turned out to be not that great a deal in the end.

    I picked up a 10l twinset cheap because a UK immigrant hit all this way back when and got a dodgy shop to test and stamp it after I did the burst discs, but it took a lot of stuffing around to sort out.

    In hindsight, it's just not worth the hassle.

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    Re: tanks & rebreather-related regulations in Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Starfish  View Original Post

    Furthermore, your euro tanks use an M25 neck thread where Australia follows the US lead of NPS 3/4 threads.
    Wouldn't this mean that if he were to get a set of Auzzie cylinders he would also need to replace the first stages?

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    RBW Member Nicool is on a distinguished road Nicool is on a distinguished road Nicool's Avatar
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    Re: tanks & rebreather-related regulations in Australia

    Thanks for the detailed feedback Captain Starfish, very helpful though not the reality inwas hoping for. Anyways you still have nice reefs and i miss Carton Draught, so worth a few new tanks

    Interested in the answer to Deepdavd question too!


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    Re: tanks & rebreather-related regulations in Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by deepdave  View Original Post
    Wouldn't this mean that if he were to get a set of Auzzie cylinders he would also need to replace the first stages?
    Nope. The threads I'm talking about are the ones at the base of the valve that go into the neck of the cylinder. When it comes to the first stage to valve connection, DIN is DIN is DIN. Except for the 5 thread / 7 thread aka 240 vs 300 bar change. And that fartbrained insanity of M26 for O2 which AFAIK no-one really uses even in Europe.

    So flog your euro tanks with their valves in Europe, pocket that cash. Come to Oz and buy new tanks with valves of the correct DIN size for the pressure, already stamped and ready to go. And, given the pisspoor state of the Australian Peso (oops, I think I mean dollar) at the moment, it'll end up costing you very little to do the changeover.

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    Re: tanks & rebreather-related regulations in Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Starfish  View Original Post
    G'day Nicool

    Because you're moving to the southern hemisphere, where the coriolis effect works backwards to the northern hemisphere, you'll need to reverse the direction of the loop on your breather and, if you have a BOV, you'll need to bring your gas feed in from the other side. Because you're moving to Australia, you'll also need to add a beer feed to your DSV/BOV and a reservoir somewhere on your unit: most of us just use the dil cylinder.

    :D
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    Re: tanks & rebreather-related regulations in Australia

    You're best off buying a small compressor used in europe for 1500-2000 euros, taking your tanks along and doing your own fills in Australia, that way you only have to visit a dive shop whenever you want to buy something.
    When you set up an account with a gas supplier, remember that you are a welding shop specializing in non magnetic stainless steels - under no circumstances ever mention diving to your gas supplier.
    Look up omnibooster on thedecostop.com, I've been using that setup since the early 90s to pump He and Ar to 300Bar and the outlay for the setup is less than the price of a good meal in europe.

    Mike

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    Re: tanks & rebreather-related regulations in Australia

    Where in Australia do you want to live and dive? Each state has its own regulations that will affect what you can or cant do. Queensland are probably the most restrictive.

    Its not impossible to join a club and find someone that will fill your cylinders. You then take all the gas you will need to the dives and not rely on local fills. Not much of a problem if you have plumbed in off board.

    I returned to Aus with ~20 cylinders. No, i cannot get them filled by 3rd parties but between my and friends fill equipment, i get by well enough.

    I wouldnt buy a fill setup just to get around your problem. The real cost is not the compressor but the on going bottle rentals. When calculated as $$/ltr of gas they are the killer

  10. #10
    RBW Member Nicool is on a distinguished road Nicool is on a distinguished road Nicool's Avatar
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    Re: tanks & rebreather-related regulations in Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by Goferrin99  View Original Post
    Where in Australia do you want to live and dive? Each state has its own regulations that will affect what you can or cant do. Queensland are probably the most restrictive.

    Its not impossible to join a club and find someone that will fill your cylinders. You then take all the gas you will need to the dives and not rely on local fills. Not much of a problem if you have plumbed in off board.

    I returned to Aus with ~20 cylinders. No, i cannot get them filled by 3rd parties but between my and friends fill equipment, i get by well enough.

    I wouldnt buy a fill setup just to get around your problem. The real cost is not the compressor but the on going bottle rentals. When calculated as $$/ltr of gas they are the killer
    Thanks Goferrin and all, you guys are really helpful!

    I think i wouldn't go to the compressor route, as i would be concerned to have O2 compressor & associated gear at home, i don't do my own fills here.

    I target to live in New South Wales, though i may be travelling to other states for vacations.

    So it looks like i'll be buying new tanks down-under! I can't help having few more questions then:

    1/ Are the tanks i can buy there the same that you can purchase in Europe? In particular, i like quite much a certain model of 3L steel tanks which rEvo are selling (the ones on the smaller rEvo here http://store.addhelium.com/assets/im...evo%20pair.png) as they have a very good weight/buoyancy balance in my view.

    2/ As for bailouts, i like my long 7L alu tanks, though i would consider an upgrade to 7L carbon tanks, and enjoy fills to 300 bars... provided this is frequently possible in Oz? Here in France having carbon tanks has little interest unless you're doing your own fills: difficult to find shops able to pump 300 bars, and to do the tanks servicing.

    3/ Would those Australia-friendly tanks be accepted in other countries, say i go in vacations in Fidji, New Zealand, or South East Asia?

    cheers
    Nicolas

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