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  • Caveat Emptor - Tank Buyers Beware

    I have been seeing a lot of expired and nearly expired (months left) cylinders going for some pretty absurd prices lately. Without a proper physical inspection you have no idea what your getting. On some cylinders, a scratch only .035" deep is enough to condemn a cylinder as unsafe by factory standards.

    Even more disturbing, there have been several attempts by individuals to sell cylinders (new & used) that they do not actually own or possess and want to use your money to pre-order quantities that are not even in this country. I personally know of someone who was selling tanks that he had never seen nor purchased before and didn't even have a firm commitment from the supplier who is not even in this country. I know the supplier.

    My suggestion, before bidding or buying, would be to assure that you or a third party could inspect, take possession or be shipped domestically within a day or two of the transaction.

    Be Smart, Be Safe!
    Your Friendly Nazi Squirrel Administrator

  • #2
    Re: Caveat Emptor - Tank Buyers Beware

    Hal et al,

    Also keep in mind the standards that some of these cylinders are made to may not be up to the current U.S. NGV-2 or Federal FMVSS-304 requirments.

    A recent thread mentioned using scuba tanks and failed to note that scuba tanks use a different Pressure Relief Device (PRD) than NGV-2 cylinders. Scuba tanks are only concerned about overpressure whereas NGV-2 cylinders have to have a thermal relief. Big difference.

    Stay safe.

    afvman/Bill

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    • #3
      Re: Caveat Emptor - Tank Buyers Beware

      Right Bill,
      A perfect example, "CNG Only" bottles used on boats to supply a stove cannot be legally or safely used in an NGV. Also check PRDs for a temperature stamp(ex: 212-225 degrees F) and not a pressure stamp(rupture disc pressure 3775 or 5000psi).
      Last edited by cnghal; 06-13-2008, 09:31 AM.
      Your Friendly Nazi Squirrel Administrator

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Caveat Emptor - Tank Buyers Beware

        Originally posted by cnghal View Post
        I have been seeing a lot of expired and nearly expired (months left) cylinders going for some pretty absurd prices lately. Without a proper physical inspection you have no idea what your getting. On some cylinders, a scratch only .035" deep is enough to condemn a cylinder as unsafe by factory standards.

        Even more disturbing, there have been several attempts by individuals to sell cylinders (new & used) that they do not actually own or possess and want to use your money to pre-order quantities that are not even in this country. I personally know of someone who was selling tanks that he had never seen nor purchased before and didn't even have a firm commitment from the supplier who is not even in this country. I know the supplier.

        My suggestion, before bidding or buying, would be to assure that you or a third party could inspect, take possession or be shipped domestically within a day or two of the transaction.

        Be Smart, Be Safe!
        So that said, I was feeling pretty good about Alternate Fuel Technologies, Inc in Huntington Beach which would only install a new cylinder. Alas today they told me their only supplier stopped selling limited quantities for small volume tanks. Evidently the supplier will only sell in quantities of 20 or more.

        The man I spoke with indicated in the past on large runs they'd run a few extra and shelf them, but because they have a shelf life they stopped doing it.

        So he was unable to do anything to accomodate my request.

        As I feel this guy probably knows the industry better than I do I'm thinking there's probably not another small quantity vendor out there.

        So now I wonder, is there no safe way to add an extra tank to a GX now? Or is there a dealer or some other company with enough exposure to justify a 20 tank purchase where I can either take my car there and pay to have a tank installed or maybe have Alternate Fuel Technologies, Inc. get a tank from them and resell it to me?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Caveat Emptor - Tank Buyers Beware

          BUYER BEWARE!!

          Here are two tanks for sale that were manufactured in November 1993. These are DOT exempt cylinders (Not NGV2) and have (had) a service life of 15 years. THESE TANKS ARE OUT DATED. I have emailed the seller to let him know.

          http://saltlakecity.craigslist.org/cto/1366920574.html
          Jared.
          Mountain Green, Utah
          2003 CNG Cavalier
          2003 CNG Silverado 2500HD

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Caveat Emptor - Tank Buyers Beware

            BUYER BEWARE!!

            Here are more tanks for sale, this time on Ebay. These were manufactured in September of 1993 and had a service life of 15 years. I have emailed the seller to let him know.

            http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/CNG-G...RCHQ3aUSQ3a101
            Jared.
            Mountain Green, Utah
            2003 CNG Cavalier
            2003 CNG Silverado 2500HD

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Caveat Emptor - Tank Buyers Beware

              I looked at the EBay blurb on the tank. I have a copy of that DOT Exemptionp -- DOTE-8725. The "8000" is a typo.

              I had several of those tanks at the College, they all had do not use after dates.

              For what it is worth.

              Larrycng
              Last edited by larrycng; 09-30-2009, 08:38 PM.

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              • #8
                Re: Caveat Emptor - Tank Buyers Beware

                Originally posted by larrycng View Post
                I looked at the EBay blurb on the tank.
                Under Questions and Answers on that auction:
                Anyway the tanks can be used for other applications non DOT.
                Correct, for example, like a really big door stop.



                “Innovation is driven by having access to things.” -- Gleb Budman, CEO of backblaze.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Caveat Emptor - Tank Buyers Beware

                  As I recall, the DOT Exemption is specific on the use of the cylinder with reguard to stored materials and life span along with a few other specifics. Any other use of the cylinder would be at the owners risk and would leave them open to negligence suits.

                  I know what I would do with them -- but I don't have any horses.

                  Larrycng

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Caveat Emptor - Tank Buyers Beware

                    Hi Hal, its tom v. from vegas, lvcng, I had a question on expiration date for tanks, can they be extended with a certification or is this a must replace date? 7024981906. tom...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Caveat Emptor - Tank Buyers Beware

                      Hey Tom,
                      Long time, hope all is well with you. The answer to your questions is "No", the printed/stamped expiration date( do not use after) is final. "No" NGV-2 type cylinders used in motor vehicles in the US can be re-certified or have their life extended.
                      New cylinders (made in the last year or so) on the other hand, can have a longer than 15 year life if the manufacturer chose to certify them for 20 years (like the Canadians have been doing).
                      Hope this helps.
                      Your Friendly Nazi Squirrel Administrator

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Caveat Emptor - Tank Buyers Beware

                        I would just contact advanced gas in HB. They can get cylinders no problem.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Caveat Emptor - Tank Buyers Beware

                          Originally posted by wparish View Post
                          So that said, I was feeling pretty good about Alternate Fuel Technologies, Inc in Huntington Beach which would only install a new cylinder. Alas today they told me their only supplier stopped selling limited quantities for small volume tanks. Evidently the supplier will only sell in quantities of 20 or more.

                          The man I spoke with indicated in the past on large runs they'd run a few extra and shelf them, but because they have a shelf life they stopped doing it.

                          So he was unable to do anything to accomodate my request.

                          As I feel this guy probably knows the industry better than I do I'm thinking there's probably not another small quantity vendor out there.

                          So now I wonder, is there no safe way to add an extra tank to a GX now? Or is there a dealer or some other company with enough exposure to justify a 20 tank purchase where I can either take my car there and pay to have a tank installed or maybe have Alternate Fuel Technologies, Inc. get a tank from them and resell it to me?
                          Not sure if anyone answered your question. Small volumes can be purchased from most of the suppliers like *** (www.******.com) and its usually possible to order directly from suppliers in Asia (http://www.alibaba.com/). The shipping from Asia is around $7/kg, so it doubles the cost of the tank. You will be looking at about $1k for a tank shipped from Asia and about $1k to $1.5k for a tank from one of the american suppliers like ***. *** uses brass fittings so you will need to throw those in the garbage and buy stainless ones from an oilfield supply outlet.

                          You need to watch out for a few things.

                          (1) Tanks not filled with nitrogen.
                          If there is any oxygen in the tank (ie filled with air), you will reach a point during the initial filling where your tank contains a combustible mixture of CH4 and O2.

                          If that point happens to be at sufficient pressure, the pressure will cause the combustible mixture to ignite. So get a tank filled with N2 and don't cheap out.

                          (2) The torque settings for tank valves are very specific. You cannot do this yourself.

                          (3) The biggest risk with CNG is from road vibrations that slowly loosen the fittings. The torque settings must be very accrurate. If you do not know what you are doing, have someone else install.

                          (4) You need a vented valve if the tank is in the interior of a vehicle. A PRD is not sufficent, the valve must actually be vented.

                          I hope this is an actual answer to that question. PM/post if you need any more info man.
                          Last edited by Lakewood90712; 06-18-2012, 07:34 AM. Reason: Removal of ref. to vendor of un-approved equipment

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                          • #14
                            Re: Caveat Emptor - Tank Buyers Beware

                            Originally posted by tsta5780 View Post
                            ...(3) The biggest risk with CNG is from road vibrations that slowly loosen the fittings. The torque settings must be very accrurate. If you do not know what you are doing, have someone else install.
                            ...
                            Thanks. In the end I had cngmotors install a second tank. I can pretty much go where I want now. I'm happy enough I'm having him put a second tank in my truck too.

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