Neil Bennett with the hydrostatic panel.
Mahurangi businesses requiring pressure testing of gas cylinders and tanks now have the chance to have the service performed in Warkworth for the first time.
The opportunity has come about after New Zealand Diving, based in Morrison Drive, decided to expand its testing of scuba equipment to include tanks designed for industrial use.
NZ Diving owner Neil Bennett says the scuba side of the business had slowed down due to Covid and was seasonal. The company was looking for extra work that could make use of its expertise in tank testing.
The company began the service last month, following the successful installation of a $40,000 hydrostatic panel that can test tanks with a capacity of up to 150 kilos.
“Previously businesses were faced with having to send tanks down to Manukau or up to Whangarei, and they would normally have to hire a trucking service to do that. You can’t have these things rolling around in the back of a van,” Neil says.
Neil anticipates the service will be popular with vineyards, who use CO2 in the bottling process, and businesses undertaking welding work, which requires oxygen. Medical centres, which also use oxygen, will likely find the service useful, too.
However, NZ Diving cannot deal with tanks designed to hold more dangerous gases such as acetylene and chlorine.
The hydrostatic panel tests tanks by pumping them with oxygen and air. They are then inspected for any sign of leaking or deformation before the pressure is released. Tanks are also inspected for internal and external damage.
Neil says tanks and cylinders come under the Explosive Goods Act and must be tested regularly using hydro static methods – essentially providing them with a warrant of fitness. Tanks not tested within the required time period cannot legally be filled.
Neil says a tank that fails under pressure is extremely dangerous – leading to an explosion that could kill or maim a bystander or take down part of a building.
“Worksafe condemned a whole lot of scuba cylinders about two years ago because the aluminum in them was starting to fail. They were exploding, and there were several deaths around the world. The final accident took place in Australia when it took a guy’s legs off,” he says.