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What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

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  • What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

    Thre was a thread a few months back regarding what to do with an expired tank. I would like to take this conversation a step further. What can we do with a car that has expired tanks? There are many used "fleet" vehicles that have been resold into the consumer market. I, myself, own 2 of these vehicles. As the vehicle (and the tanks in them) age, what can be done to keep the vehicles on the road after tank expiration?

    What are the options and the costs?

    Frank Q.

  • #2
    Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

    Options ?

    1. Retire the vehicle, part it out , or If bi-fuel , it's gasoline time again.

    2. New tanks. Could run as little as $ 3,500 to as much as $10,000 - each .

    3. Used tanks in date . Cost $500 and up.

    The tank certification process is QC of the production lot, inspections of all ,and distructive testing some of the lot. If any fail the destructive test, the whole lot is failed and scrapped.

    No known way to re-certify.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

      And be prepared to replace them when you go in for the inspection. If they are expired the technician is supposed to render them unusable. (drill holes in them) The inspector should warn you though.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

        Frank,

        I am a CSA certified CNG Cylinder inspector and can inspect the cylinders for you if needed. In early 2009 we will be offering services to add or replace CNG Cylinders. Let us know if & when you need us, mean while check out our website below.


        Mario
        CNG CARS
        AAA CNG Systems
        www.CNGCARS.la
        Mario
        AAA CNG SYSTEMS
        CSA Certified CNG Cylinder & Fuel System Inspector

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

          Originally posted by Amfuel View Post
          And be prepared to replace them when you go in for the inspection. If they are expired the technician is supposed to render them unusable. (drill holes in them) The inspector should warn you though.
          Hate to say it, but you are incorrect.

          The job of the inspector is to inspect the cylinders. As part of inspection, the inspector must remove guards and/or shields (and replace them when the inspection is completed), unless the owner of the vehicle wants to remove and replace the himself. The inspector should also clean the cylinders with gentle soap and water so that he may see any damage. The owner could also do this to save a little money. I charge by how much I have to do to inspect the cylinder.

          The Inspector DOES NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY under the terms of his certification to render the cylinder "un-useable". The cylinders belong to the owner of the vehicle. Unless the owner of the vehicle authorizes the inspector to render the cylinders un-useable, the inspector MAY NOT DO SO (CGA C-6.4 section 9.

          There is nothing in NFPA -52 or CGA C-6.4 giving the inspector the authority to render the cylinders un useable in the event the cylinders have damage classified as Level 3 -- and out of date is considered level 3 damage,

          If the inspector indentifies the cylinder as having level 3 damage, He is suppose to affix a cylinder inspection fail label to the cylinder indicating the cylinder is unsafe and should be distroyed, noting the condition that determined level 3 damage on the inspection form, and have the owner of the vehicle sign the inspection form. The owner of the vehicle should be given a copy of the completed and signed inspection form and inspector keeps a copy. Under CGA C-6.4 section 7.12.3, the owner is entitled to second opinon.

          This is a little long and detailed. but I wanted to cover the bases and make sure there is no question. If there is a local ordinance giving the inspector the authority to render the cylinders unuseable, please let me know, and I will appreciate it and stand corrected. Local authorities having jurisdiction (AHJ's) can make any rules or regulations they want

          I hope this helps

          Larrycng

          P.S. Please defuel the cylinder before drilling any holes in it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Local laws?

            Anyone know of state or local laws allowing an inspector to drill holes in the cylinder without the owner's permission?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

              As far as the Cavalier is concerned. I check with a Chevy Dealer in Utah and he said that he could order new tanks from GM for the Cavalier. It would take 3 days to get it and would cost $3000. Pressed steel made the tanks for the Cavalier. Everything I have heard about them is they are no longer in business, although they still have a website. GM might have some tanks in a warehouse somewhere, but the expiration date on the tanks are set at the date of manufacturing, not the date of installation, so those tanks in stock are soon to expire as well.
              Jared.
              Mountain Green, Utah
              2003 CNG Cavalier
              2003 CNG Silverado 2500HD

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

                Thanks for all of the ideas and replies. I still have about 3 years before my first vehicle runs out of time, but I find it amazing that a replacement tank can cost from $500 to $10,000 according to the posts. Unless something is done about issues like this, I can definately see a limit to the acceptance of CNG as an alternative motor vehicle fuel in the general populace.

                If we have anyone on these forums with a foot in industry or government, this is why we need EPA and CARB to make sure we have certification programs that work and don't discourage companies from producing new and replacement CNG parts in the United States.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

                  The bi-fuel service manual supplement I have on my 2002 Express Van states (6-179: Fuel Tank Inspection):

                  "Any tank in service for fifteen years or more must be removed from service using the following procedure:
                  1. Remove the tank . . .
                  2. Vent the tank . . .
                  3. Disconnect vent hose
                  4. Allow tank to stand for 24 hours . . . [with valve open]
                  5. Place tank outside in ventilated area
                  6. Drill 1/4-in hole after the last digit in the tank identification number at the valve end of the tank.
                  7. Dispose of tank in safe & approved manner."
                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by Luke; 11-09-2008, 11:42 AM. Reason: Attach PDF

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

                    Originally posted by CNGCARS View Post
                    Frank,

                    I am a CSA certified CNG Cylinder inspector and can inspect the cylinders for you if needed. In early 2009 we will be offering services to add or replace CNG Cylinders. Let us know if & when you need us, mean while check out our website below.


                    Mario
                    CNG CARS
                    AAA CNG Systems
                    www.CNGCARS.la
                    Why does your website, on the following page, say "Comes with a HUGE Factory 11.4 gge CNG Tank that is equivalent to 35.7 US Gallons"? gge means Gasoline Gallon Equivalent, yet you are trying to say it's 3 times that much.

                    http://www.cngcars.la/inventory.html

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

                      I'd place my bets that there is the GGE equivalent energy storage for CNG and then there is the actual volume of the tank. Probably a bit confusing as it is advertised.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

                        For those who plan to remove their CNG tanks from service, one trick to assure the vessel is completely purged is to fill it with water befor drilling the hole. Remember that a concentration of 5-15% natural gas with air is combustible.

                        Also, it wouldn't hurt to drill a few holes, destroy the threads at the neck or cut the cylinder in two. I just now at some point someone will try to patch a 1/4" hole on a condemned cylinder and continue using it. Do what you must to be assured it will never be used again.

                        Good luck.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

                          Well, it is suppose to be a 1/2 inch hole according to CGA C 6.4. Another trick is to take out the valve and use hack saw to cut the tank in half starting with the valve port -- you only to go deep enough to go through the threads in the port -- slice in like a hot dog. Use some WD 40 or oils to keep the saw lubricated and prevent sparks on steel or steel lined tanks

                          Larrycng

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

                            If the valve is removed a pretty good sized hammer blow will ruin the threads. I saw a tank where someone had actually threaded the 1/2" hole and installed a pipe plug!

                            Go figger.

                            Franz

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

                              Well Franz, someone once told me to never to underestimate the power of human stupidity

                              Larrycng

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