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What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

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  • bruin
    replied
    Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

    From what I know of the ridiculous DOT and EPA regualtions surrounding this issue... the only way the tanks might be legitimately re-certified is if the manufacturers were willing to make the effort. Obviously, none of the manufacturers have any sort of vested intereset in doing so when they can simply sell new tanks.

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  • Lotta gue
    replied
    Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

    I have been an oxygen acetylene dealer for many years and think CNG it the future. Being in the state of Missouri there are no CNG filling stations, It seems the tanks are the biggest cost and there are allot of expired ones out there so anyway I was speaking to my gas supplier about tanks and he told me they would could recertify them. Am I missing something??

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  • cowboy
    replied
    Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

    if you just fill all the way with water there can be no gas left and just drill it with a air drill so you dont get the shock of your life when the water runs out

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  • ericguy320
    replied
    Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

    And use a air drill, not electric!

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  • Highmarker
    replied
    Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

    Originally posted by larrycng View Post
    When the tanks expireCGA C-6.4 requires that the tanks have at one 1/2 hole drilled into the tank (after it is vented to zero pressure).
    Larrycng
    Don't forget to purge the tanks before you drill the 1/2" hole. Do not purge the tank with air, use water. Fill and drain it several times with water. Usually what I do is drill two 1/2" holes so that they overlap each other and make kind of a figure eight that way this is not chance at all of someone finding the tank and putting a pipe plug in it and trying to re-use it.

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  • larrycng
    replied
    Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

    Yes Michael you can run on gasoline until it dies. You're on the right track about running the tanks down on CNG until the engine dies. Yes, there is a procedures for venting the tanks to zero pressure and should be done by a trained individual. When the tanks expireCGA C-6.4 requires that the tanks have at one 1/2 hole drilled into the tank (after it is vented to zero pressure). I would suggest removing the tanks; why carry the weight?

    Hope this helps

    Larrycng

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  • michael714
    replied
    Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

    Sorry for reviving this dead thread, but...

    I have a 1996 Ford F-250 Bi-Fuel and the fuel door says that the tanks expire in May 2011. Other than that, the truck is fine. There's no certified CNG inspectors or mechanics within 60 miles of me and even if there was, it seems the cost of new tanks is just too much for me. So, here are my questions:

    If I just run the engine using CNG until the tanks are "empty," can I just forget about the CNG and run the truck on unleaded til it dies? Or, is there some special procedure necessary to depressure the expired tanks?

    Any thoughts would be appreciated,
    Michael

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  • Franz
    replied
    Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

    One of the primary issues with cylinder life is exposure to liability by the cylinder manufacturer. In many cases, the cylinders have not changed appreciably in design but their insurer underwriter bacame more willing to accept a longer life/greater risk due to the increasing number of cylinders on the market. This is why many newer cylinders have an increased life rating. As for the steel type 1 cylinder, it has not changed since the 80's, yet they are rated for 3600 psig and a longer life than the late 80's 2400 psig 5 year life with hydrostatic pressure testing. The cylinder manufacturer underwriter has been willing to accept the longer life even though there are no appreciable changes in the cylinder design since there have been relatively no problems with the design.

    Any modification to the original tank design by the cylinder manufacturer by extending the life by lowering the pressure or just keeping the cylinder in service after the expiration date would leave absolutely no support by the manufactuerer and the vehicle/cylinder owner would bear ALL liability IF there were an accident of any type, even if not related to the cylinder.

    One case I was involved as an expert witness, the plantiff's counsel demonstrated that the defendant showed a disregard for safety by circumventing a manufacturer designed safety system (he had defeated the antilock brake system by hydraulically bypassing the control unit). The case did not involve the brakes, but the plantiff's counsel was able to successfully shift the focus to the defendants history. In court, its called "Exploration", where by a through a series of related investigations, other issues are uncovered which may have some effect on the outcome of the case.

    In the case of CNG cylinders, any attempt to circumvent the manufacturers rating would likely shift the focus directly to the owner even outside of the cylinder issue.

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  • Steven86
    replied
    Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

    Originally posted by cngacrossusa View Post
    Tanks typically had 15-year lives stamped on their labels . . . thus a 98 Civic GX or bi-Fuel Ford pickup would have tank with expiration dates printed on the tank label saying like Expires Sept 2013. Older cng vehicles like Dodge vans from early 90's (let's say a 1992 Dodge) would have tank label saying Expires Oct 2007.

    FYI to Steven86 in Houston . . . there are also different "Types" of tanks ranging from Type 1 (steel) to Type 4 (full composite). Many old school cng guys feel that Type 1 steel tanks (when installed and taken care of properly) likely could have much longer life than stated 15 years . . . . reason being is that DOT bottles (typically 6 gge) that are used for storage in some public cng stations (ie bunch of bottles daisy-chained together) can have lives longer than 15 years if they are inspected and repainted to gain an additional 5 years at a time.

    However, recent tank manufacturing techniques are getting better and better and now vehicle installed tanks generally have 20-year life stamped on the tank label for all types (1 through 4).
    Thanks for the info!

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

    Tanks typically had 15-year lives stamped on their labels . . . thus a 98 Civic GX or bi-Fuel Ford pickup would have tank with expiration dates printed on the tank label saying like Expires Sept 2013. Older cng vehicles like Dodge vans from early 90's (let's say a 1992 Dodge) would have tank label saying Expires Oct 2007.

    FYI to Steven86 in Houston . . . there are also different "Types" of tanks ranging from Type 1 (steel) to Type 4 (full composite). Many old school cng guys feel that Type 1 steel tanks (when installed and taken care of properly) likely could have much longer life than stated 15 years . . . . reason being is that DOT bottles (typically 6 gge) that are used for storage in some public cng stations (ie bunch of bottles daisy-chained together) can have lives longer than 15 years if they are inspected and repainted to gain an additional 5 years at a time.

    However, recent tank manufacturing techniques are getting better and better and now vehicle installed tanks generally have 20-year life stamped on the tank label for all types (1 through 4).

    Leave a comment:


  • Steven86
    replied
    Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

    What is the average life span of these tanks? Do they expire 1 year, 2 years, 5 years, or longer?

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

    Hey Steverinomeister of Portland, OR . . . . I'd sure recommend getting your own Fuelmaker rather than wasting money tearing down a perfectly good working dedicated cng vehicle!! Further, with the massive trunk of the Crown Vic, you could easily put some other current cng tank in there. Watch CL listings for a tank bargain, and ask a guru here on cngchat where to get closest tech to swap out the cng tank. CNG folks in Utah find ways to get new cng tanks as well.

    Best case scenario, I'm guessing a used tank could be found for $500 to $750 in the 9 gge size range, and add another $500 for installation and your dedicated Crown Vic with only 26,000 miles is good to go for another 300,000 or 400,000 miles!!! Buy yourself a used C3 for FM4 Fuelmaker for $2,500 to $4,000 and you've got a commuter car for the rest of your lifetime!!! Sure beats throwing away money on a stinking Prius!!

    Worst case scenario, just sell it to cng supporter who will do what it takes to save the car if you won't . . . . do Not tear it down, that'd be such a waste.

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  • cowboy
    replied
    Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

    good question on the fill. how about we install a regulater that is set at 2000 lbs in the fill line of the car and not change the fill fiting than one could fill at 3000 or 3600 but only get a 2000 fill to the tanks and we could do this to the 3000 cars also and than they could fill at 3600 pump or could we come up with a onboard temp compensater that could be set for the 2000 or 3000 limit?

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  • mbalce
    replied
    Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

    Interesting idea, but where would you get a 2000 psi fill? I only see 3000/3600 options. Now, not meaning to open an old can of worms, and i read through a lot of old threads on the subject even on this board, but what I still don't get is that my understanding is the most stress and wear comes from the fill/empty cycle and that 15 years was a bit arbitrary. If that is the case, how do taxis run these things for over half a million miles with no incident? I have heard that some of the Super Shuttles went over a million miles.

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  • cowboy
    replied
    Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

    I have been thinking again so get feared why cant the expired tanks be checked for damage and re rated for say 2000 psi and change the filler this should give a good margin of safety and say 5 or ten more years and move the car to local use say for moma to go to the store or you to the parts store kinda like when we were kids moma got dads old car

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