Inspección de la botella de buceo
In accordance with the provisions of Royal Decree 366/2005 that approves the Complementary Technical Inspection MIE-AP18, it is mandatory to pass periodic inspection of diving bottles every three years and visual inspection every year to avoid security and legal problems.
The annual inspection must be carried out in a Bottom Inspection Center for autonomous respiratory equipment for underwater activities and surface work recognized by the General Directorate of Industry, Energy and Mines, as established in Royal Decree 366/2005.
The PERIODIC INSPECTION of bottles (commonly known as retimbrado), establishes the following inspections and tests every three years:
– Bottle identification and control of engraved marks.
– Exterior visual inspection: According to the UNE EN 1968: 2003 standard, exterior cleaning and inspection of physical defects and body materials are included, as well as corrosion on the bottle wall.
– Interior visual inspection: According to the UNE EN 1968: 2003 standard, internal cleaning and inspection of physical defects and body materials are included, as well as corrosion on the bottle wall.
– Inspection of the neck of the bottle and the internal thread
– Hydraulic test by volumetric expansion
– Valve inspection.
The VISUAL INSPECTION (called “visual” by the Royal Decree, although it is not a visual inspection, much less) of bottles, establishes the same inspections and tests as the periodic inspection, with the exception of the hydraulic test by volumetric expansion, to be performed annually.
Bottle inspection: current situation
From the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, it is recommended that diving bottles over 20 years are discarded, although the condition of the bottles will depend on the use and maintenance to which they have been subjected. With the new regulations, the internal cleaning of the bottle will be carried out annually, as well as the repair of external defects and corrosion.
In Malaga, the BENALMADENA DIVING CENTER offers the additional shot blasting and exterior painting service with antioxidant expoxis paint, when the bottle is significantly deteriorated externally.
The critical points where corrosion accumulates in the diving bottles are the upper and lower end of the bottle, the neck of the bottle accumulates corrosion due to the condensation suffered by the bottle when it is opened. On the other hand, the plastic bib that supports the bottle in an upright position accumulates saline water, which over time affects the protective film and reaches the steel.
Internally, the water that manages to enter the bottle accumulates in the bottom and by the vertical stowage system to which the bottles in the diving clubs are subjected, it corrosion the bottom of the bottle.
The inspection of bottles: What should we do with our bottle?
No person who does not belong to a Bottle Inspection Center should handle a bottle, open the screaming or repair its surface.
Only a Certified Center is duly prepared in this matter, with machinery and specialized technicians, it would be reckless to open a bottle that could damage its valve or close it to Newton of force other than those indicated in the standard, which would cause an accident when filling it with compressed air.
The owner of the bottle should rinse the bottle and its net with fresh water, remove the plastic culottes periodically to rinse it whole and avoid blows. It is recommended to transport empty bottles or at 50 bar pressure.
We must require the diving centers and clubs to have the bottles inspected annually, for our own safety, we can see that a bottle is checked every three years if the indentations (top) of the bottle are cracks with:
– The date of the last revision.
– The mark of the Inspection Center.
– The date of the next revision.
The annual inspection will be marked with a sticker.
The Bottle Loading Centers must reject the bottles that do not have the regulatory inspections, we must remember that in the loading of the bottles is where we find the most serious accidents.
Legal problems due to the use of non-inspected diving bottles:
Be it a bottle of a diving center / club or a particular bottle we are obliged to comply with the law, that is, to pass the required inspections. In case of not doing so, you cannot load that bottle in any bottle loading center (prohibited by law), so it is in the case of an accident that who has loaded that diving bottle will have problems.
In addition, diving insurance, always provide a clause of “the equipment will be in perfect condition” which does not cover the case of use of unreimbursed (inspected) diving bottles, so we will not be covered by the insurance in case of diving.