How to Test a Scuba Tank

How to Test a Scuba Tank
Regulation and testing of scuba tanks in the U.S. is controlled by the Department of Transportation, mainly to ensure the safety of the vehicles that transport pressurized vessels. The testing of a scuba tank involves filling the container with water in a special, hydraulic tank designed to measure its pressure response. Every scuba tank must pass this test before it can be sold and must undergo another such test every five years. As a rule of thumb, scuba tanks should be discarded after 10 years of use. Testing must be done at a certified testing facility.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Look for visible signs of corrosion around the top valve stem of the tank. If you see any rust or oxidation, discontinue use of the tank.
Step 2
Look for any bulges or dents in the side of the tank and all around the tank cylinder. These dents or bulges can be a sign of pressurization problems, and the use of the tank should be discontinued.
Step 3
Listen to the sounds coming from the tank as you're diving. If you start to hear any whistling noises or "pinging" sounds, resurface safely and take the tank to a testing facility.
Step 4
Contact your local diving supply company or the place where you bought the tank. They can instruct you on where to bring your tank to have it hydrostatically tested. Tank inspection is a tightly regulated industry that leaves no room for error. Tanks must complete the inspection process with no less than a 100 percent passing rate before they're allowed to leave the facility.

Tips & Warnings

 
Keep less than 200 psi of air in your tank when you store it.
 
Keep less than 200 psi of air in your tank when you store it.
 
Take the tank to a testing and disposal facility immediately if you feel concerned about its pressurization. A scuba tank holds an enormous amount of energy, and when filled with oxygen is extremely volatile.
 
Take the tank to a testing and disposal facility immediately if you feel concerned about its pressurization. A scuba tank holds an enormous amount of energy, and when filled with oxygen is extremely volatile.

Article Written By Jeremiah Blanchard

Jeremiah Blanchard has been writing professionally since 2006, specializing in topics related to nature, the environment, conservation and philosophy. His work has appeared in activist columns on Socyberty and Authspot. Blanchard studied art at William Carey College and history at the University of Southern Mississippi.

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