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August 2002 Vol. 17, No. 8   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Potential Valve Fire from a Nitrox Fill

from the August, 2002 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Some scuba cylinder valves sold by Abysmal Diving (Lake Havasu City, AZ) between January 2000 and July 9, 2002 may contain rubber O-rings that could cause spontaneous fires when used with pure oxygen or Nitrox mixtures with more than 21% oxygen.

No fires have been reported, but Abysmal was notified by the Japanese valve manufacturer that the O-rings didn’t meet oxygen compatibility specifications. That has led Abysmal to issue a product safety notice calling for owners who intend to use them with pure oxygen or Nitrox mixes with greater than 21% O2, to return them to be inspected, cleaned, and fitted with oxygen-compatible O-rings and lubricants. Their press release implores users to “immediately discontinue such practice due to a risk of spontaneous fire and serious personal injury or death.” The company maintains that the valves are safe with regular compressed air.

Abysmal is notifying thousands of owners of Abyss tanks as well as customers who bought separate Thermo valves affected by this recall. Some retail stores may have installed Thermo valves or manifolds on other manufacturers’ cylinders, as well. So if you’re using a tank bought since January 2000 for oxygen or Nitrox, Abysmal CEO Chris Parrett suggests that you check to see if it has a Thermo valve with a black hand wheel.

If you think your valve is subject to this notice, contact Abysmal Diving at 2099 Acoma Boulevard West, Suite C, Lake Havasu City, Arizona, 86403 USA Phone: (928) 854-9470 Fax: (928) 854-9473.

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