Oxygen servicing

I recently got into a conversation regarding oxygen servicing more specifically, the benefits of dealing with a designated shop to refill and overhaul the portable cylinders. My counterpart felt that there wasn’t much of profits to be made from the refills since a lot of operators do this task themselves. That is very true. The fact is, this operation is made (for the most that I have observed) as casually as the servicing of a tire.

Where I am concerned is that in reality, how many technicians are really aware of all the standards governing this operation?

For instance, take a very ordinary 9700-C1A-[xxxx] Portable Cylinder Assembly. The CMM will lead you to SAE publication AIR1059 and CGA P-15 for refill instructions and stabilized cylinder pressures. Are these publications available to your staff performing the task or designing work instructions?

First and foremost, all personnel assigned to oxygen servicing should be trained for the performance of this task (re: AIR1059, paragraph 3). If your company has an incident and that you do not have evidence of such training, are you covered by your insurance? Maybe yes! Maybe no!

Now the infamous temperature rise during refilling. I heard stories of servicing in the back of a pickup truck with the cylinder dipped in water to cool them off during the refill. Now here, we are looking for an accident to happen. The cleanliness of the truck that is also used to service the engine oils (I hope no one reading this is saying: so what?) is one thing but let’s go back to the temperature rise. Are you aware that this value can reach more than 1600 F? Imprudent refilling could lead to accident on the spot but also slow leaks due to damaged seals from the high temperatures that could be encountered with inappropriate refilling technics. Are you doing the right stuff at your company?

This article is only meant to increase the awareness of my colleagues performing (or responsible for) the auditing of this process. We will happily share our own checklist to whom would like to see it or use it to create your own (this is a convenience service with no warranties).

Get your standards at cganet.com and sae.org

Happy refilling!