Time to Test your Tank?

Time to Test your Tank?

Tacoma, Wa.
by Tolena Mahlum

The tank marking on a compressed air tank

The United States Department of Transportation makes it mandatory to have all nitro/air and co2 tanks tested every 3- 5 years. How do you know if it’s time for your tank to get re-certified?

On every tank there’s a date. It’s either the date that the tank was made, or it’s the date that the tank must be re- hydrotested by. For example, on a 3,000 psi Pure Energy tank, the numbers 6 and 03 are printed on the tank. So we know that the tank was made in June, 2003. With compressed air tanks, the re-certification is usually every three years.

On a Pure Energy Co2 tank, there is a section of the sticker that says “re- hydrotest before 08 2008.” That simply means that you need to have your tank recertified before August of 2008. (Co2 tanks usually need to be recertified every five years).

On a Co2 tank
The most common way that companies hydrotest tanks is to screw a special valve into the tank. The tank is then held in water and filled up to approximately 160 percent of its capacity. As the bottle expands, the water level rises. If the level of the water surpasses a certain point, the bottle could fail.

Next time you get your HPA tank filled, put your hand to the bottle and you will actually feel it expand and flex with the demand of the air.

In Washington, there is a great place to get tanks checked. Go to their Web site at www.hydrotester.com to check them out. They can also take tanks from all over the country and still get them back to you within a day of receipt. You can also check with your local paintball store to see if there’s somewhere closer to you. Cost is usually around $10 for Co2 and around $15 for compressed air tanks.

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