I wouldn't be surprised to hear someone had lifelines fail in only a year. After all, the problem of substandard and counterfeit wire cables goes back all the way to the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. Where yes, they had a scandal involving cables that would have failed.
Today? There's no way to tell where your lifelines really have come from, and most folks shop on price, which means the folks are are cheating and using the cheapest possible sources, are going to pass on some substandard cables. Meanwhile others will be trying to make sure they are using good cable--but fooled by the scoundrels at the back end anyhow.
Which is not to say I disagree with you, I've never heard of vinyl-clad lifeline being a problem for recreational users. I've had one lifeline blow out from under me while I was standing on it (well, there was nothing else to stand on at the time) but that was from punked out lashings on the end of it, not the cable.
That is a good point. There's vinyl coated wire and then there's vinyl coated wire. I know that I have replaced lifelines that were constructed from stuff that you can get at the Home Depot or Walmart.
I'm pretty sure that they were done by people on a very limited budget and not by a reputable rigger.
I guess what I was trying to say is that if you have your lifelines replaced by a qualified rigging shop with a solid reputation. Then there is virtually zero chance that you're going to get something that will fail in a year or less.
Shoot, if I got the reputation for risking people's lives by selling stuff that shoddy, I would have been out of business years ago. As would be any rigger.
The truth is, that the uncoated wire will almost certainly last longer than vinyl coated wire. It's easier to maintain and Stumble
is absolutely right about the oxygen deprivation and moisture thing being really
bad. But the statement, "There is no usable lifespan for wire, (I'm sure he meant to type vinyl
), coated lifelines", is, to put it kindly, not at all accurate.
Even Home Depot wire has a lifespan. Just not a very long one.
In this climate, vinyl coated lifelines, made properly from 7x7 type 316 or 304 stainless wire will last at least ten years. The problems start to happen when that ten years is stretched to 12, 13, 15 years. But even then, you will normally see swage cracks well before a piece of stranded wire will fail catastrophically. You'll see rust bleeding from the terminals and from cracks in the vinyl. You'll see rusted, frozen or cracked (stainless) turnbuckles.
In other words. If one pays attention, they'll know when they should replace stuff.
Brand new, I.E, less than one year old proper lifeline wire will not fail.