Shipping Used Oxygen System

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by SoCal 182 Driver, May 13, 2020.

  1. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Friends - I'm buying a used Aerox system. The tank will be emptied before shipping. Are there any issues with shipping the empty tank (and the rest of the system) via UPS or FedEx?

    Thanks.
     
  2. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Call and ask UPS or FedEx.
     
  3. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I did...and it is impossible to get a live person on the phone at UPS. Endless and circular phone trees.
     
  4. A1Topgun

    A1Topgun Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Call Aerox support line. I am sure they ship tanks all the time.
     
  5. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Good idea. Thank you.
     
  6. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Don't think either one will take a previously filled cylinder (even if you claim it's empty), at least not for other than ground.\\
     
  7. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Ground is fine. Will check with Aerox tomorrow. I have to believe that at some point, someone has shipped a tank back to them for service. I will report what I find out.
     
  8. catmandu

    catmandu Cleared for Takeoff

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    Remove the valve from the cylinder. At that point, it is just raw material. It is how I move them as checked luggage.
     
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  9. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Is it as simple as taking a wrench and unscrewing the valve from the top of the cylinder? And then, to replace it, screwing it back in with Teflon tape? Or, because it's for use on humans, is there more to it when reassembling?
     
  10. Brad W

    Brad W Pre-takeoff checklist

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    the cylinder and valve would need to be cleaned prior to refilling. Any idea what the hydro cert date on the tank is? If it's close might as well get it re certified anyway.

    edit: I should add...if you were to reinstall the valve yourself like that, it in theory at least represents an explosion risk to refill it if not cleaned. O2 equipment is cleaned to be grease/oil fee (tanks, valves, and even the hoses and fittings)
     
  11. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Due for re-cert 4/21. Can I just take the components to an oxygen supplier and have them reassemble and re-certify?
     
  12. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Not necessarily when shipping, but when storing a tank, keep at least a few pounds of pressure in it. The positive pressure will keep any risk for contaminants low and if you find it with 0 psi in it, you'll also know you have a problem.

    For testing, I googled "hydro testing oxygen cylinders los angeles" and came up with Tyms, Hydronet and Air-Source in the LA area which all say they do hydro testing. if you're not in LA, fill in your city.

    If I were buying a used tank, I'd want a fresh hydro anyway.
     
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  13. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Good suggestion. There's a dive shop nearby that does hydrostatic testing of O2 tanks. They might have information on shipping, too.
     
  14. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    I believe you can ship small O2 cyls empty via ground without dismantling anything, as long as the package is properly labeled as empty and non-restricted.
     
  15. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hopefully Aerox will be able to shed some light on this tomorrow!
     
  16. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    +1 for the dive shop. Especially a more tech dive shop vs a warm water travel dive shop which unfortunately is probably closed due to stay at home or worse yet, gone under (pardon the crappy, unintended pun). Warm water divers often carry "pony" bottles which are just compressed air.

    Tech divers on the other hand are often checking (airline baggage) actual 02 bottles for shallow water safety stops and rebreathers. So the tech dives ships will have dealt with O2 bottles that have been emptied and had valves removed for flights.

    For hydro they often send them out so it may turn into a drop off and get it a week later (and filled). The good news is that places doing hydros would have to be open for welding and medical at that is CISA.

    I would not just screw the valve on with teflon tape and get it filled. Have someone else do that part. Afterwards refills will be simple.
     
  17. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If I'm reading their website correctly, they are marginally open, and it looks like they do in-house hydrostatic testing.
     
  18. PaulMillner

    PaulMillner Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I've shipped empty O2 cylinders via UPS.
    Best deal on Hydrotesting, recertifications is the local fire extinguisher company... $20 in the SF Bay Area, overnight turnaround. Then back to Airgas for a refill...

    Airgas wants $60 and a week or two for a hydro... I used them once, and they lost my tank... took months to get reimbursed, and even then a depreciated amount.

    Paul
     
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  19. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Paul...what was the process? Other than emptying the tank, did you have to do anything else?

    Thanks!
     
  20. Jim Carpenter

    Jim Carpenter Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Ditto what PaulMillner said above. Fire extinguisher companies for hydro test. As far as I recall, we simply shipped our empty bottle, no special procedure required. It is, after all, simply a chunk of metal at that point. Main valve and turn-knob left on, but remove any extra adapters, etc., only so the test shop doesn't lose them. To the OP's point, if it were me, I'd just box up the empty tank, padded appropriately, of course, and send it UPS, just like anything else, brake drum, control yoke, cast iron fry pan, whatever.
     
  21. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    According to Aerox, the appropriate method is to empty the tank to almost zero pressure - just so there's still enough pressure that air is coming out, but you can stop it with your thumb. Then close up the valve, pack carefully, and you're good to go. He said that if the tank is left to run completely empty, technically (under DOT rules) it will need to be taken apart, cleaned and reassembled. So, given that the tank would be due for hydrostatic testing in less than a year anyway, I think what I will do is have the tank emptied, then shipped, and when it gets here send it out to be certified. Aerox said that as part of the testing process, the system will be disassembled anyway, and then reassembled when finished.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2020
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  22. NorthanGool

    NorthanGool Filing Flight Plan

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    be careful as the transportation of such goods can be hazardous
     
  23. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    And thus Aerox's recommendations on how to ship an oxygen system.
     
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  24. crashton

    crashton Filing Flight Plan

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    I just purchased Aerox as of May 1st. I will keep an eye out for the return. Let me know if you need any cannulas to go with the recert....enjoy your system!

    Scott
     
  25. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Congrats on your purchase! Unfortunately, my deal fell through and I wasn't able to buy the system. I was bummed...it was the exact system I wanted/needed. Easy come, easy go...
     
  26. crashton

    crashton Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks! Give us a call and we'll see what we can do to hook you up with something - 800-237-6902.
    Scott@aerox.com
     
  27. PaulMillner

    PaulMillner Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Have you got a reference for that? I don't see such a rule... thanks!

    Paul
     
  28. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    No, I don't have a reference. It's what I was told by Aerox tech support. He did say that it was an obscure rule, IIRC.
     
  29. PaulMillner

    PaulMillner Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Maybe one of those "rules" no one ever got around to writing down? If I can't find it, and you can't find it... Maybe it doesn't exist?
     
  30. crashton

    crashton Filing Flight Plan

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    I will get an answer for you on Tuesday regarding the emptying of the tanks. I suspect that as the pressure equalizes, there is a risk of dirt being pulled into the tank, so a small positive pressure keeps that from happening. Will confirm for sure with the team.

    Scott