Gas - Tanks
Give Tank Boots the Boot, Decals Too!
Some decals like the VIP sticker, MOD and Nitrox decals are necessary, but those should be the only decals on your tanks. Tank boots on steel cylinders are necessary because steel cylinders always have a round bottom and won't stand up without them. Tank boots aren't available for most of the aluminum tank sizes we sell because tank boots are only made for 6.9 inch(AL-72), 7.25 inch(AL-80) and 8.0 inch (AL-100) tank diameters. Aluminum tanks don't need boots because they have flat bottoms and so we don't include tank boots on aluminum cylinders in those diameters for a very good reason: they are the most common cause of damage to the tank and most experienced divers don't use them on aluminum tanks.
The most common reason we see for cylinders failing their annual inspection and being condemned is corrosion under the tank boot or beneath decals. Decals (including those big 'Nitrox' decals) should be scraped off every year during inspection. If your local dive shop takes the time to remove all decals, then you know they are protecting your investment. Only the required decals should be replaced, a single current VIP decal and if necessary a nitrox wrap or MOD decals. If you must have a boot on your tank, the moment you get home from the dive knock the boot off then rinse the tank and boot. Leave the boot off until everything is dry, then replace the boot and store the tank standing upright until the next time to go diving.