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Old 07 June 2013, 02:57   #1
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Lifejacket Rearm Kits - Question

Hi Guys

Looking for some advice on rearming kits for my lifejackets.

Just ordered a couple of UML rearming kits from a proper online chandler to replace my out of date units. Problem is, they have just arrived and despite the ďreplace byĒ date on the auto release cap saying 2015, the cylinder is dated 2004. Thatís only 2 years after my old 2002 dated cylinders that came with caps showing a 2005 repl date.

Surely that canít be right?
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Old 07 June 2013, 03:18   #2
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I assume you mean 2014 not 2004. That's entirely possible as the cylinders would have originally come from a different supplier to the arming bit. You would think they would try and match them up but seems not. I guess you could either return them and ask for new ones or just buy a couple of new cylinders when the time comes. Now you raise the point, when I used to work for a major supplier of all this sort of stuff, we never used to check the dates to match them up.
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Old 07 June 2013, 03:45   #3
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No, the cylinders are definitely dated 2004, which I assume is manufacturing date not expiry date? (based on the fact my originals were dated 2002 with 2005 caps)
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Old 07 June 2013, 04:55   #4
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No, the cylinders are definitely dated 2004, which I assume is manufacturing date not expiry date? (based on the fact my originals were dated 2002 with 2005 caps)
That isn't correct really. I have another company Universal Safety, so I know a bit about this. The date on the cylinder is the manufacture date and the date on the UM auto capsule is the expiry date. It is quite common to have a new cylinder that is a year old but not 9 years! The capsules should also have around 3-4 years life. If you want any other advise then please feel fee to call the guys at the office - 02380 987198.
Thanks
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Old 07 June 2013, 05:05   #5
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James, is it the case that the cylinders don't have a shelf life but are judged by physical condition and weight?

If not, what is the policy on replacing/retaining them? I have seven jackets to check soon and a pointer would be appreciated.
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Old 07 June 2013, 05:34   #6
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As a rule, we change cylinders if they are corroded, under weight or 5 years or older. We have noticed over the years that the older the cylinder despite the weight being correct, sometimes don't inflate the lifejackets as much as they should.

As a rule for leisure certainly, there is no shelf life only the weight to consider.
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Old 07 June 2013, 05:36   #7
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James, is it the case that the cylinders don't have a shelf life but are judged by physical condition and weight?

If not, what is the policy on replacing/retaining them? I have seven jackets to check soon and a pointer would be appreciated.
Make sure there is no corrosion on the thread or heavy corrosion on the bottle - if the cylinder is free from corrosion and has not been fired then there is no need to change it

There is minimum weight on the bottle as long as the bottle weighs more than at least this it is fine - you can use the PO scales they use for letters to double check very so often but I have never heard of one that "leaked"

This document should also help - your local Lifeboat Sea Safety Officer will only be too glad to offer anyone a free LJ check .

http://rnli.org/SiteCollectionDocume...Lifejacket.pdf

BTW Malcolm Houston is the LSSO for Lough Swilly which of course you knew
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Old 07 June 2013, 06:37   #8
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I've now had a response from the retailer apologising and promising to send me two new kits next week. He admitted that it looks like someone has cobbled together a kit from some separate parts.

It seems that the capsule is more critical in terms of date but 2 years expiry seems short so i've asked for at least 3-4 years, which i think is reasonable since my 2002 jackets originally had a 2005 expiry on the capsules...

I'll expect the new cylinders to be no more than a couple of years old but in line with the advice here it seems on these weight and condition is more relevant than age.

I haven't weighed any of mine but do I assume the 33g is the total weight I should expect (including the weight of the metal cylinder itself? (sorry if that's a stupid question!)
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Old 07 June 2013, 07:30   #9
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... your local Lifeboat Sea Safety Officer will only be too glad to offer anyone a free LJ check .


BTW Malcolm Houston is the LSSO for Lough Swilly which of course you knew
Yer, he doesn't do SIBs
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Old 07 June 2013, 12:43   #10
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I haven't weighed any of mine but do I assume the 33g is the total weight I should expect (including the weight of the metal cylinder itself? (sorry if that's a stupid question!)
Not a stupid question but indeed a very important question

The 33g relates to the min weight of CO2 gas in the cylinder and is "normally" the weight associated with 150N LJs.

However there will be another "nominal" weight stamped on your cylinder which is the combined weight of the "liquid" gas and the metal cylinder ie I have one here that states the nominal weight as 139.0g.

I hope this is makes sense
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Old 07 June 2013, 12:47   #11
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Yer, he doesn't do SIBs
That is remise of him - if it floats I'll "do" it - I will raise that general issue with Division.
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Old 07 June 2013, 12:57   #12
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...- if it floats I'll "do" it .....
I would take if it floats further - if it suppose to float !

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Old 07 June 2013, 13:54   #13
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I would take if it floats further - if it suppose to float !
S.
Totally agree SPR but the "wags" will be along to disparage this all by talking about other things that float
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Old 07 June 2013, 14:17   #14
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That is remise of him - if it floats I'll "do" it - I will raise that general issue with Division.
No names now - he was only takin' a hand at me
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Old 07 June 2013, 15:42   #15
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so if the nominal wt of cyl and contents is 139 gr you need to know wt of empty cycl to find wt of gas in cycl ? am i correct ?
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Old 07 June 2013, 16:39   #16
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so if the nominal wt of cyl and contents is 139 gr you need to know wt of empty cycl to find wt of gas in cycl ? am i correct ?
You don't need to know the weight of gas in the cylinder. You need to know it should weigh 139 g when full, and if its more than few grams off that on a reasonably accurate set of scales then it needs replaced.
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Old 08 June 2013, 03:40   #17
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I've now had a response from the retailer apologising and promising to send me two new kits next week. He admitted that it looks like someone has cobbled together a kit from some separate parts.

It seems that the capsule is more critical in terms of date but 2 years expiry seems short so i've asked for at least 3-4 years, which i think is reasonable since my 2002 jackets originally had a 2005 expiry on the capsules...

I'll expect the new cylinders to be no more than a couple of years old but in line with the advice here it seems on these weight and condition is more relevant than age.

I haven't weighed any of mine but do I assume the 33g is the total weight I should expect (including the weight of the metal cylinder itself? (sorry if that's a stupid question!)
I'd have to check but I *think* my new Hammar units came with a 5 year service life. In any case I got them from Marine Warehouse Lifejackets by mail order from Marine Warehouse Ltd - Marine Warehouse Ltd

With the hassle of shipping pressurised gas overseas (yes even a 33g CO2 cylinder which will help put the fire out if it pops) I was being quite particular about max life!

As somebody has posted, there will be a 'full weight' on the cylinder which is what you want. Checking mine, I use a set of lightweight electronic scales that are meant to be accurate to 1g, and the weights on mine were all very close about +/- 1 or 2 IIRC.

FWIW a couple of years ago I was working with somebody who replaced a load of out of date Hammar units and we test dunked a few in a sink. They all worked within seconds as they should, despite being out of date.
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Old 08 June 2013, 03:56   #18
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Yep, around a five year service life should be expected, these are the rearming kits for mine, current stock expires Dec 2018

Hammar M1A1 operating head - Marine Warehouse Ltd
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Old 10 June 2013, 12:31   #19
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Real life test !

I decided to test my jacket Sunday ....knowing it was armed with a cylinder dated 09/06 and tablet dated Mar29 07 on the side. I knew I had a spare jacket with me for exactly this purpose and in case Matth needed it (again)

Anyhow ..it worked ! I'm not saying it always would and I know the cylinder looked as new.

All of us (well AJ & MattH) commented it took a while to trigger (I'd floated up and took 2-3 secs before it went off) but I don't think is due to age - just the way Halkey Roberts works.

What was most interesting to me was the cold water. Even knowing it would be bloody cold - it took real effort to control my breathing and not jump out.

We all had a go at jumping in except the biggest girly, pansy, skirt wearing, lightweight of a ribnet member (have a guess who - PM me with title 'MattH is a huge huge girl' if you want) who even after lowering himself in couldn't deal with it and jumped straight out again...

Cold water shock...hard work keeping it all together and this was flat calm water and expected....
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