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Old 22-08-2018, 08:47   #1
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Liferaft CO2 tank failure

Thought I'd share a recent experience and make my first post (not counting classifieds!). I recently had my Plastimo Offshore 4 person raft inspected. I was transporting the raft back to the boat in a dock cart when the CO2 tank decided to let go. It blew the side of the valise open and sounded like a shotgun! I called the service center and they have never heard of this happening with out being purposely released. The tank was hydro tested during the inspection and refilled. Anyone ever heard of this happening? My theory is the tank was overfilled and the rupture disk went.
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Old 22-08-2018, 13:02   #2
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Re: Liferaft CO2 tank failure

That certainly sounds like something they did overstressed something in the CO2 bottle. Random failures happen, but CO2 bottles tend to be damned rugged and not randomly fail after inspection.

I think I would want to BE THERE and actually witness the reservicing.
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Old 22-08-2018, 13:20   #3
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Re: Liferaft CO2 tank failure

Not something you'd expect to happen for a raft designed to be thrown over the side. I'm just glad I didn't find out offshore...
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Old 23-08-2018, 05:53   #4
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Re: Liferaft CO2 tank failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by FLAlliedCruiser View Post
Thought I'd share a recent experience and make my first post (not counting classifieds!). I recently had my Plastimo Offshore 4 person raft inspected. I was transporting the raft back to the boat in a dock cart when the CO2 tank decided to let go. It blew the side of the valise open and sounded like a shotgun! I called the service center and they have never heard of this happening with out being purposely released. The tank was hydro tested during the inspection and refilled. Anyone ever heard of this happening? My theory is the tank was overfilled and the rupture disk went.
Was the station that inspected the Raft a Certified Plastimo Service Agent?
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Old 23-08-2018, 09:27   #5
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Re: Liferaft CO2 tank failure

Yeah it was a very reputable service center in Florida. I'll know more when I bring the raft down next week.
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Old 23-08-2018, 10:15   #6
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Re: Liferaft CO2 tank failure

It was probably the pressure relief valve. They can fail if the cylinder is overfilled.


I've had them fail on scuba cylinders. It's dramatic.
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Old 23-08-2018, 10:22   #7
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Re: Liferaft CO2 tank failure

Not enough info to even speculate, really. Nevertheless... Did the facility do the hydro test on-site, or send it out to a third party? Hydro is supposed to be followed by visual inspection before refill... One gas vendor that I use (for lab gases, including CO2) doesn't even return my specific tanks. They just send back a full tank from their stock of the same size that's still in hydro. Who knows where they've been? The only advantage is that I never have to pay for a hydro test.
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Old 28-08-2018, 07:30   #8
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Re: Liferaft CO2 tank failure

It happens on occasion and usually because of the operating head being installed wrong or reset wrong. Another cause is the painter line packed wrong. SOLAS requires a 15 kilo pull to activate a cylinder which isn't much. A painter line that is packed wrong could put additional strain on the operating head, causing the firing line to activate the cylinder. An overfilled cylinder would also be a problem if it got too warm and the gas expanded. The result is usually a lot worse than a raft inflating. The one I saw actually exploded and sank a fishing vessel.
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