Wide Mode Template
Graveyard Diver SCUBA oxygen clean cylinder o2

Graveyard diver oxygen clyinder valve cleaning hydrocarbons
The proper preparation of a scuba cylinder and valve for use with Enriched Air Nitrox is essential for the safety of the cylinder user and the person filling the cylinder.  The primary issue is the introduction, even temporarily, of pure oxygen into the scuba cylinder.  Pure oxygen can create flammable or explosive situations that would not be possible in regular atmospheric air.  Substances that would not burn in atmospheric air burn freely in the presence of pure oxygen.  Routine, everyday substances become ignition sources in a pure oxygen environment.  This was demonstrated clearly in the space program fire of Apollo I, where Velcro, a popular and common substance, became explosive when used in a pure oxygen environment during capsule testing. 

In the scuba cylinder and its valve, the issue is the presence of hydrocarbons, or oil.  When exposed to pure oxygen, hydrocarbons have a much lower flash point.  To safely use a scuba cylinder for partial-pressure filling of Nitrox, special precautions must be taken to ensure that all hydrocarbons are removed from the cylinder and valve prior to use in the Nitrox filling operation.  Oftentimes untrained divers believe they can "oxygen clean" their cylinder themselves simply by putting some water and detergent inside their cylinder and "swishing it around a little", then dumping it out and rinsing the cylinder.  Actually, a little more is involved.  Firstly, we need to understand that the hydrocarbons we are trying to remove can easily hide in scratches, dents, flash corrosion, pits, and other imperfections inside the cylinder.  Secondly, hydrocarbons can stubbornly adhere to the cylinder walls by various methods, including static electricity, and may not be adequately broken down by simple exposure to cleaning detergents.  The proper removal of these hydrocarbons requires special methods, special tools, and attention to detail by a formally trained and certified oxygen cleaning technician.

Nitrox is certainly a beneficial gas for use in SCUBA diving, and it's use is more common these days than it was decades ago.  When your dive shop fills your cylinder with Nitrox, they are taking the risk of a possible explosion if your cylinder has not been properly oxygen cleaned. While most cylinder explosions occur while the cylinder is being filled, hydrocarbons can ignite at any time, especially when the diver opens the cylinder valve.  In this situation, the oxygen atoms racing thru the valve collide with hydrocarbon atoms contaminating the valve...and a potentially deadly explosion occurs.

Graveyard Diver is you go-to place for cylinder and valve oxygen cleaning on the Crystal Coast.  Our turn around time in most cases is several days to a week because there simply are no shortcuts that can be taken.   Cylinders must be inspected, throughly cleaned, sometimes tumbling is required, and the cylinder must be inspected again with ultraviolet light.  The valve must be inspected, thoroughly cleaned in an acid solution in an ultrasonic cleaner, interal valve parts must be replaced with oxygen compatible parts and O-rings, and the valve inspected under ultraviolet light.  If the PSI-PCI trained and certified technician finds any evidence whatsoever of remaining hydrocarbon contamination during the final inspection, the process must be done again and again until the cylinder and valve are free of any hydrocarbon contaminates.

Graveyard Diver oxygen clean PSI-PCI cylinder  Graveyrad Diver oxygen clean cylinder valve PSI-PCI
Graveyrad Diver oxygen cleaning cylinder valve hydrocarbons  Graveyard Diver cylinder valve oxygen clean hydrocarbon contaminates PSI-PCI

When it comes to oxygen cleaning a cylinder and valve, the diver and fill station operator are basiaclly putting his or her life in the hands of the oxygen cleaning technician.  Insist your oxygen cleaning technician is formally trained and certified, and has the proper tools to ensure that hydrocarbon contaminates are completely removed from your cylinder and valve.


psi pci scuba valve technician oxygen clean visual inspections gold standard

Contact Anthony today to schedule time to have your cylinder properly cleaned for safe Nitrox service.