Technical Support Document
Corrosion Maintenance of SCUBA Cylinders
March 21, 2002
Catalina Cylinders recommends the following care and maintenance of SCUBA cylinder to minimize corrosion.
Daily Corrosion Maintenance
Never fill a cylinder with wet or contaminated air.
SCUBA cylinders must be thoroughly rinsed off with fresh water after each dive - especially when diving in saltwater. It takes time to dissolve salts and chemicals so just wetting the cylinder shall not be enough to remove dried salt and mineral deposits. While rinsing off the cylinder, wipe around every feature, accessory, and area where paint has been removed. When rinsing is completed, dry the cylinder. In areas where accessories are attached to the cylinder it is recommended to dry the cylinder with a towel.
Minimize the type of handling, storage and racking of a cylinder that will produce continuous isolated wear to the paint on the cylinder. If a cylinder is fitted in a pack, make sure the cylinder does not move in a way to cause scarring to the paint. If the cylinder is stored in a storage rack, make sure the cylinder is cushioned from hard impact or constant rubbing.
Periodic Corrosion Maintenance
For SCUBA cylinders filled daily, all accessories must be removed from the cylinder and the cylinder be thoroughly washed and dried once a month. The accessories should be washed and dried too. It is recommended that the valve of the cylinder is removed at least every six months and the cylinder is inspected internally to ensure that the cylinder is dry inside. If the cylinder is wet inside, clean, and thoroughly rinse and dry the inside of the cylinder before returning the cylinder to usage. Never fill a cylinder with wet or contaminated air. This is in addition to the standard daily cleaning.
It is recommended that accessories made of dissimilar metals be insulated from being in direct contact with the cylinder. For accessories made of dissimilar metals that are in contact with the scuba cylinder, remove the accessories and then wash and dry the cylinder and accessories twice a month.
Long Term Storage Corrosion Maintenance
For SCUBA cylinders that will not be used for a long period of time, a month or longer, remove all accessories from the cylinder. Thoroughly wash and dry the cylinder inside and outside. Wash and dry the accessories too. Inspect the valve for corrosion or missing chrome plating. If the valve is free of corrosion and the chrome platting is intact, re-install the valve with a little Dow III lubricant on the threads and with a new o-ring. Catalina Cylinders recommends using a 214 o-ring with a 90 shore. Store the washed, dried and valved cylinder in the upright position in a cool, dry and salt-free environment. If the cylinder cannot be stored in a salt-free environment it is recommended that the cylinder be stored without the accessories attached. Store the cylinder with a slight positive pressure, approximately 20 - 100psi.
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