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  • New reqt Utah (mandatory tank inspection)

    Took the OEM vehicle in for emissioin testing yesterday and was told I need a tank inspection every three years now. What gives? Where, how much? This nanny state BS is getting ridiculous!

  • #2
    Re: New reqt Utah

    rty9a,

    The state of Utah has had this requirement for over a year now. Don't blame the "nanny" state for it. Having your tank inspected every 3 years or 36,000 miles has been a requirement of the DOT / NGV2 since 1992. Unfortunately nobody has took the initiative to follow the requirement. Look at the label on your tank - it says that the tank should be inspected for damage and deterioration. The Utah Highway Patrol is very smart on implementing this requirement into the Safety Inspection of Natural Gas Vehicles. The inspection must be carried out according to CGA C 6.4 or the tank manufacturer's requirements. A "qualified" CNG inspector must do the inspection. To find a CNG fuel system inspector you can visit the following website:
    http://peoplesearch.csa-america.org/
    CSA is the national recognized agency for certifying CNG fuel system inspectors. There are currently 29 iin the state. I am one of them. Contact me if you like.
    Jared.
    Mountain Green, Utah
    2003 CNG Cavalier
    2003 CNG Silverado 2500HD

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: New reqt Utah

      We are trying to avoid loss of life and limb such as occurred in these recent explosions:
      http://cngchat.com/forum/showthread....oday-7-16-2008

      http://cngchat.com/forum/showthread....n-Los-Angeles-[Merged]

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: New reqt Utah

        Originally posted by rtry9a View Post
        nanny state BS!
        You didn't say what kind of NGV you have, but except for a vehicle that's been in an accident or has tanks mounted outside, I agree it's ridiculous to require tank inspections on private vehicles.
        02 GX
        01 GX
        03 Crown Vic
        06 GX
        Home Fueler

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: New reqt Utah

          Originally posted by freedml View Post
          I agree it's ridiculous to require tank inspections on private vehicles.
          I don't know how you can say that. Utah has the second highest private NGV owners in the country (2nd to California). There are quite a few "private" vehicles being converted in Utah. Probably more than any other state. There are so many things that can make a tank be condemned. Don't think that just because your vehicle is an OEM that the tank is safe. I have seen a tanks on Cavaliers, Contours, and Honda Civic GXs that have had nicks and scratches on them from God knows where. These tanks have covers on them and some of them (Honda GXs) are completely blocked off from the backseat. You don't know the history of your tank.
          Jared.
          Mountain Green, Utah
          2003 CNG Cavalier
          2003 CNG Silverado 2500HD

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: New reqt Utah

            Vehicle is 01 F150 with the tank installed in the bed under a heavy protective cover that has never been removed, same material as the bed liner that will possibly have to be removed to get to the tank. Since the tank has never seen sunlight, damage, or contact with anything, the inspection is a collosal waste of time and money, esp since I now have to drive back to clearfield twice to compete the registration process. Next time Ill register my trucks in Summit county and avoid all this BS!
            Last edited by rtry9a; 02-11-2010, 11:33 AM.

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            • #7
              Re: New reqt Utah

              Originally posted by rtry9a View Post
              Vehicle is 01 F150 with the tank installed in the bed under a heavy protective cover that has never been removed, same material as the bed liner that will possibly have to be removed to get to the tank. Since the tank has never seen sunlight, damage, or contact with anything, the inspection is a collosal waste of time and money, esp since I now have to drive back to clearfield twice to compete the registration process. Next time Ill register my trucks in Summit county and avoid all this BS!
              Are you the original owner of the vehicle? If the answer is no, then how do you know that the tank has never seen sunlight? How do you know that the protective cover has never been removed? That is what I am saying. You don't know the history of your tank. And registering your vehicle in another county will not eliminate the need for the inspection. The tank inspection is mandated by the Utah Highway Patrol in the safety inspection which is done in every county. It is not an emissions issue it is a safety issue.
              Jared.
              Mountain Green, Utah
              2003 CNG Cavalier
              2003 CNG Silverado 2500HD

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: New reqt Utah

                Ok, so if you're not the original owner it might be worth removing the cover and taking a look. You'll be able to tell if there's any significant exterior damage and if the mounting is secure, etc.

                "How can I say that"? Because it's my opinion and the last time I checked opinions are opinions.

                I've worked with high pressure cylinders my whole adult life. SCUBA, industrial gases and CNG. SCUBA and industrial gas cylinders undergo a REAL inspection every few years, inside and out, and hydrostatically tested well beyond the everyday working pressure. If they pass, you have REAL confidence that they are safe. An exterior visual-only inspection is (in my opinion) practically worthless (and, since the tank isn't removed, it's only a 'partial' visual inspection), especially for tanks which have never 'seen the light of day.' CNG tanks need a REAL testing regime, not 'looks good to me' BS. And, one that gives the tank 'indefinite' life, not this 15 year BS.

                There is also no 'type of usage' consideration. The 15 year life is partly based on a high number of 'fast-fills' per year. If you 'time-fill' as we do 98% of the time the tanks should last much longer, as fast-filling is much more stressful than time-filling.

                I would be curious to find out if the Dy-dee trucks had been visually inspected and one still ruptured. Or if there has ever been a GX which failed a visual tank inspection and why. We KNOW the Super Shuttle at LAX had been in an accident and not checked out properly. And, of course, no one expects any tank to withstand arson.
                Last edited by freedml; 02-12-2010, 07:07 AM.
                02 GX
                01 GX
                03 Crown Vic
                06 GX
                Home Fueler

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: New reqt Utah

                  Originally posted by Highmarker View Post
                  Are you the original owner of the vehicle? If the answer is no, then how do you know that the tank has never seen sunlight? How do you know that the protective cover has never been removed? That is what I am saying. You don't know the history of your tank. And registering your vehicle in another county will not eliminate the need for the inspection. The tank inspection is mandated by the Utah Highway Patrol in the safety inspection which is done in every county. It is not an emissions issue it is a safety issue.
                  Not to pee in your cherrios, I just had the required Utah Safety inspection completed by a Ford dealership. They should do the complete safety inspection required by the UHP, including the tank, not a daisy chain of inspectors. Incidentally, I am sure the cover has not been removed. It is sealed to the bed liner. FWIW, Im all for a reasonable safety program, not this crap.

                  If there are extra requirements for ng vehicles that require a special inspection, fine let us know before the fact, and let one of you do the entire safety inspection for some state mandated fee. This all sounds like under the table collusion by special interests to me. A rule drafted by special interests looking for a way to overcharge and rubber stamped by uninformed regulators and lawyers.

                  Removing a heavy tank OEM from its original mounting bracket for "complete inspection" sounds like an excellent opportunity to damage it to me...talk about a stupid rule!!!
                  Last edited by rtry9a; 02-12-2010, 08:34 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: New reqt Utah

                    The Ford dealer probably didn't realize an inspection was required and probably doesn't have anyone certified to do it...
                    02 GX
                    01 GX
                    03 Crown Vic
                    06 GX
                    Home Fueler

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: New reqt Utah

                      Originally posted by freedml View Post
                      The Ford dealer probably didn't realize an inspection was required and probably doesn't have anyone certified to do it...
                      And maybe an extra inspection of an OEM undamaged cng tank is not really needed, at least not until the end date has been reached.

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                      • #12
                        Re: New reqt Utah

                        Whether it 'needs it' or not he's not going to get the car reregistered without it (at least in that county).
                        02 GX
                        01 GX
                        03 Crown Vic
                        06 GX
                        Home Fueler

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: New reqt Utah

                          Where do I begin?

                          First off, freedml, you may have experience being around high pressure compressed gas storage tanks, but the majority of the public has not. A trained eye (i.e. qualified and certified) can look at a cylinder and determine if the damage present is detriminal to the cylinder or not. Why doesn't UHP let the vehicle owner perform their own safety inspection? You are saying that anybody "can look at a tank and see significant damage". Why can't anybody look at your brakes and at your other safety features on your vehicle and say "looks good to me"? It takes a trained eye. And unfortunately not everybody has a trained eye for high pressure compressed gas storage tanks. It is just unfeasible to remove a CNG tank from a vehicle every 3 years, purge the tank, and perform a hydrostatic proof test on the tank, dry the tank, and re-install it in the vehicle, and then purge the entire CNG fuel system. Can you imagine doing this every 3 years? Wouldn't it be easier to have a "trained eye" visually inspect your tank for damage or deteriation.

                          Second off, rtry9a, how can the safety program be more reasonable that this? You get your tank inspected by a qualified CNG tank inspector and you get your other safety features inspected by a UHP qualified mechanic. If the mechanic shop wants to certify one of its employees to inspect CNG tanks then more power to them. Also during the CNG tank inspection, the tank does not have to be removed. If it is determined that damage needs to be repaired or that the tank needs to be condemned, then the tank is properly removed. Why would you inspect a tank when the end date has been reached? Once the "Do Not Use After" date has been reached, the tank must be condemned and removed from service. That is the law, the track record has been proven.

                          Don't blame UHP for this. They are just doing what needs to be done to ensure the safety of vehicle operators and passengers in Utah. Like I said before, the requirement to have the CNG tank inspected every 3 years or 36,000 miles has been around since the early 90's. All tank manufacturers are in favor of it. It is mentioned on every label on every tank manufactured and sold "legally" in the United States.

                          These tanks are not your regular gasoline tanks made to only withstand being filled with a liquid at ambient temperature and at atmospheric pressure. These tanks are engineered to withstand up to 4,500 psi ranging from -40°F to 180°F. That is 4,500 pounds on every square inch of surface area on the interior of the tank. Do the math and you will be amazed at the forces the tank has to withstand. For example, a tank that has a 14 inch inside diameter (approx. 15 inch OD) pressurized to 3,600 psi has to withstand 554,000 pounds of force acting on the end domes of the tank. If a 10 GGE tank were to fail catastrophically at 3,600 psi, it would be equivalent to approx. 100 lbs of TNT (I can't remember the exact number). There is a lot a stress fatigue going on in these tanks with you pressurize and depressurize them. It don't matter if you slow fill or fast fill. The aerospace industry has spent millions of our taxpayer dollars to determine if fast fillling a compressed gas tank is more damaging than slow fill, and the answer is "no". You must respect these tanks. The testing procedures and the inspection procedures have had years of experts putting them in place. They are proven to work. So, just to have anybody "take a look" and say "looks good to me" is unresponsible.

                          Did I mention that child car seats have expiration dates? They are supposed to be removed from service 5 or 6 years (I can't remember exactly) after the date of manufacture. Even if the car seat has never been used and is right out of the box years after it was manufactured, it must be removed from service when its expiration date has been reached. Why? Materials deteriorate over time. Fatigue sets in. Same thing for CNG tanks and other compressed gas storage tanks.
                          Last edited by Highmarker; 02-12-2010, 11:03 AM. Reason: Added last paragraph
                          Jared.
                          Mountain Green, Utah
                          2003 CNG Cavalier
                          2003 CNG Silverado 2500HD

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: New reqt Utah

                            It doesn't take any special training to notice big gashes or delaminated wrapping. If a tank looks like new, it doesn't have any obvious external damage.

                            If someone took disc brakes apart and had a picture or a new brake pad in front of them, they could instantly tell whether it needed to be changed or not and if anything serious was wrong (I taught myself this a few years ago and have saved thousands in overblown 'brake jobs' with no prior training or experience.)

                            I'm saying that I think a partial external inspection is not a useful test. The only examples of CNG tank rupture I know of had other proximate causes -- fire or accident damage. Even the bus fire in OC wasn't a tank rupture -- it was firefighter who didn't remember that CNG tanks vent in a planned way when they get too hot. And, has any GX or Cavalier tank FAILED a visual inspection (other than from accident, fire, etc.)? It seems to me the only non-traumatic cause of GX tank 'failure' is the in-tank shut-off valve which Honda refuses to replace without replacing the whole tank.

                            These tanks have been dropped, fired at, frozen, baked, etc. etc. etc. They are literally 'bulletproof'.

                            If there is a significant danger in not partially visually inspecting them every 3 years, where are the ruptures you would expect to occur? I think there is no danger and the 3/36 inspection requirement is a CYA for the tank manufacturers.
                            02 GX
                            01 GX
                            03 Crown Vic
                            06 GX
                            Home Fueler

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                            • #15
                              Re: New reqt Utah

                              There are two things that damage composite pressure vessels: broken filaments and degraded resin/delamination. The former is caused by physical damage, the latter by exposure to uv radiation (sunlight). A quick visual inspection will quickly identify either and it does not take special training and certification to see it. Id really like to see reasonable data that proves a good undamaged tank is worthless after 15 years. It is certainly a ploy to sell tanks, planned obsolesce, not based on failure rates. I could swallow a tank inspection every year or so after expiration or following an accident' physical damage.
                              Last edited by rtry9a; 02-12-2010, 11:48 AM.

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