Hydrotesting Worthington SCUBA cylinders

Worthington’s steel X-Series cylinders are becoming more an more popular in the SCUBA industry. While they might be great for the user they are a nightmare for hydrotest facilities. These cylinders are governed by the US Department of Transportation Special Permit number 14157 commonly referred to as SP-14157. This special permit “authorizes the manufacture, marking, sale and use” of these cylinders.

While we as a hydrotest facility need to deal with all of the technical parts of the SP, users must worry about the “use” section.

  • You must have the cylinder requalified (hydrotested) every 5 years. This is not a big deal, all cylinders require requalification.
  • “A current copy of the special permit must be maintained at each facility where the cylinder is offered for transportation.” This is not a requirement if you transport the cylinder in your personal car but does apply if it is in a company vehicle or is being transported commercially.
  • “Under no circumstance are these cylinders to be filled to a pressure exceeding the marked service pressure at 70 degrees F.”
  • “MODES OF TRANSPORTATION AUTHORIZED: Motor vehicle, rail freight, cargo vessel and cargo aircraft only.” This is a big deal, you can not transport these cylinders on a PASSENGER VESSEL. ┬áIf you go on a dive charter and want to take one of these cylinders it is illegal!

My guess is very few people have read and understood this special permit and understand the ramifications to the SCUBA industry. I was part of that group until the transportation section was pointed out to me. If you own any of these cylinders it would be worthwhile to read the special permit.