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Does my Paintball Tank Need to be Re-Hydrotested?

Posted by Will M. on 3/8/2014

We are often asked “How do I know when my tank needs to be hydrotested?” Searching online can be frustrating, as you try to decipher markings on your tank. Instead of searching and reading countless forums, grab your paintball tank and keep on reading. In a few short minutes you will know exactly when your paintball tank needs to be re-hydrotested!

First, a bit about paintball tanks and hydro testing. Paintball high pressure air tanks will need to be hydro tested every 3 or 5 years depending on the bottle manufacturer. The date of manufacture will be marked on the tank, and it is your responsibility to have it re-hydrotested when your tank expires.  Hydro testing involves pressurizing your tank to a level much higher than the tank is rated to handle. If your tank is able to withstand the pressure without failing, it will pass the test and be valid for another 3 to 5 years. If it fails, you will need to purchase a new tank. If you live in Ontario, Badlands recommends heading to Paintball City or Wasaga Beach Paintball to have your tank hydro tested.

If your tank passes the hydro test, the testing facility will apply a new month and year tag to your tank, usually protected under a layer of epoxy, in order to demonstrate that the tank has been tested, and has passed. This new date stamp will act as the new point of reference to be used for testing the tank again after the next 3 or 5 year period has expired.

It is illegal to fill a tank that is out of hydro-date, so if your local field refuses to fill your out-of-date tank, do not give them a hard time - the penalties for filling an expired tank are severe, and not only will the field be held responsible, but so will the individual who fills the tank.

Below is a picture of the manufacturing date of a Guardian 48/3000 compressed air tank. You will notice that this manufacturing date is stamped directly onto the bottle. The majority of steel or aluminium tanks are stamped in this manner. 
                    
The manufacturing date is visible at the end of the stamp as 07 TUV1 13. The numbers that we care about in this case are 07 and 13. The first number indicates the month the tank was manufactured, and the second represents the last two digits of the year. This informs us that this tank was manufactured on the 7th month of 2013, or July 2013. Since this tank is valid for 5 years, it will have to be retested in July of 2018.
                                                   
The picture above is taken from a Guardian 48/4500 Carbon Fiber tank. It shares the same manufacture date as the aluminium tank, but looks different. Carbon Fiber tanks will have their hydro dates and information on a label underneath the clear coat of the tank, instead of stamped onto the tank itself. You will also notice that it clearly states the tank is good for 5 years from the original hydro date, and has a total lifespan of 15 years.


Are any tanks exempt from being re-hydrotested? Yes. Tanks that have an external diameter of 2 inches or less, and are less than 2 feet long are exempt from being re-hydrotested. Tanks generally included in this category are 13/3000 compressed air tanks and small 3.5oz CO2 tanks.

Some paintball tanks will not have the TUV1 marking in between the month and year, and will instead use an arrow, “C”, or some other symbol. Below you can see some of the common manufacturing symbols that you will come across. If you are unsure of your tank’s hydro date, stop by your closest Badlands store, or send us an email with a picture of your tank’s information, and we will be more than happy to help you find the hydro date!
                            
The above tank uses an Arrow to separate the month and year, and has a manufacture date of March 2007. It needed to be re-hydrotested in March, 2012.
  
This carbon fiber tank uses a "CL" to separate the month and year. This tank was manufactured in January, 2004.

Is your tank out of hydro or damaged? We have tanks to fit all your needs in stock! Order yourself a new tank HERE.



Comments

Date 4/8/2014
Calvin
Date 10/17/2014
William
My tank had to be retested by 2011, I haven't played since then so I never had it retested. Can I go have it tested now even though its been 3 years? Thank you in advance for your help.
Date 10/17/2014
Badlands-Will
Hi William, You certainly can have it retested even though it is past its date. Give your local dive shop a call or let us know where abouts you are and we can see if we know of any shops around you!
Date 11/21/2014
John Vun
What if my carbon tank never been used since then? Do i need to re-hydrotested after 5 year? Thanks for your advise.
Date 11/21/2014
Badlands-Will
Hi John, Your tank will need to be hydrotested once its hydro date has expired regardless of usage.
Date 12/10/2014
Patrick
What if you hydro test every five years, your tank passes an say your tank is past the fifteen years. You hydro test it an it passes is it fine to use? Not every tank will get wear like another
Date 12/10/2014
Badlands - Trevor
Hi Patrick. If your tank is past the fifteen year mark, then it cannot be passed for use again, regardless of its condition. The hydro-testing facility should simply inform you that your tank can no longer be tested or filled.
Date 1/14/2015
Javi
I have a 48/3000 empire tank aluminum but I am not sure where the hydro test date is there is a date on the bottom but it's not that visible because of wear but there is a date 11/13 on top where you fill it.Is that the date?
Date 1/15/2015
Badlands-Will
Hi Javi, the hydro date will be at the top of the tank. If you see the first picture in this blog post, it shows you roughly where it is located. If the numbers show 11/13, your tank will have to be hydrotested in 5 years from that date, so in November, 2018. If you would like us to confirm the date, snap a picture of the stamped information at the top of the tank and email it to info@badlandspaintball.com.
Date 3/16/2015
Badlands-Will
Hey Preston, give our Vancouver location a call. They will be best equipped to help you find a local area that can hydrotest. Their contact information can be found here: http://www.badlandspaintball.com/ourstores.html
Date 3/16/2015
Preston Lo
I have a Ninja CF 68/4500 and it needs to be hydro tested in May, so where can I send this to get it tested? I live in BC
Date 3/31/2015
Chris
Hey quick question but VERY IMPORTANT. My workplace hasn't told me that the hpa tanks I've been filling are 1-2 years old. They just fired me because I'm not filling them and refuse to be anywhere near them. Is there anything I can do? Or the Canadian Law for filling expired HPA tanks? Thanks, Chris
Date 3/31/2015
Badlands-Will
Hi Chris, If the tanks are 1-2 years past their Re-Hydro date, then that is a problem You can read more about HPA tanks and the regulations surrounding them on the Transport Canada website: https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/tdg/moc-cylinder-faqoncylinders-473.html#what Concerns about workplace safety should be brought up to Transport Canada, or the WSIB: http://www.wsib.on.ca/
Date 4/2/2015
Israel
If I fill up a 62ci 3000psi HPA Tank and dont use it for about a week. Will I have to refill the tank again even if the tank wasnt used. My question is also for CO2 tanks. Thanks in advance.
Date 4/2/2015
Badlands-Will
Hi Israel, if your tank is filled, there is no need to have it refilled. It will not lose its contents unless there is a leak. With HPA tanks, you will be able to visibly see on the gauge how much air is in the tank and confirm you have not lost and air. CO2 tanks are filled by volume and will need to be weighed to ensure that it is still full.
Date 4/5/2015
Wenerei Karaka
Hi, how do you know how old a tank is! Or when it was made?
Date 4/6/2015
Badlands-Will
Hey Wenerei, check out the blog post for instructions on how to read your tanks date. If you are having trouble, send us a picture of your tank to info@badlandspaintball.com and we will help you out!
Date 4/7/2015
Alex
Hello, if my HPA tank has been full for a long time and gone past its re-hydrotest date (for about a year) is it safe to empty the tank or what should I do about it?
Date 4/7/2015
Badlands-Will
Hi Alex, to drain your tank you can screw it into a remote line or an on/off ASA (that is not attached to your guns regulator) and purge the tank that way. Alternatively, you can simply attach your tank to your gun and shoot the remaining air. If you are uncomfortable with draining it yourself, we recommend heading to your local pro-shop or field and having them drain it.
Date 4/22/2015
Badlands-Will
Hi Steve, the reason 13/3000 tanks are exempt from hydrotesting is due to a rule called the 2 by 2 rule. If a tanks diameter is 2 inches or less and less than 2 feet long, it is exempt from requiring to be hydrotested.
Date 4/22/2015
Steve
Hello, I was looking for a 13/3000 cui tank and I noticed that in the description of the Guardian aluminium tank it said “Does not need to be hydro tested”. Would you please tell me what it means. I’m not a 100% on this. Thank you Steve
Date 4/22/2015
Steve
Date 5/17/2015
Chris
I am selling an old marker with the tanks I used with it as it hasn't seen enough use. Both tanks are out of hydro but they are small. One is an Extreme Rage (Pure Energy) 4 oz CO2 cylinder; it is about the same diameter as the other tank, a 13/3000 HPA tank by Ninja. The ER CO2 tank has a large label starting it must be re-hydro tested before March, 2015. The Ninja tank says it must be retested every 5 years. I was planning on selling the tanks with the marker but I'm sure I won't be able to get nearly as much if they need to be tested. Is this just due to labeling requirements or is it not true they don't actually need to be tested? I'm worried if I sell them to someone a field may refuse to fill them, despite the 2x2 rule. Cheers, Chris
Date 5/19/2015
Badlands-WIll
Hi Chris, Both of those tanks do not have to be tested as they fall under the 2x2 Rule. That being said, anyone filling a tank can refuse to fill them, it is up to the field in question.
Date 5/20/2015
Badlands-Will
Hey Chris, the information you are looking for is not available online, but they should respond to your email with it. It is the 1L rule - Clause 24.2.1.6 of CSA B339-08.
Date 5/20/2015
Chris
Hi Will Thanks for the quick response. I'm having a hard time finding the exact rule on Transport Canada, though I sent them my question in case by some miracle they respond. Do you have any reputable sources to confirm? Cheers, Chris
Date 5/30/2015
D'Alton
Do you guys know any where in Vancouver, BC where I could get a tank hydro tested?
Date 5/30/2015
D'Alton
Do you guys know anywhere near Vancouver, BC where I can get a tank re hydro tested? Thanks
Date 6/1/2015
Corey
Just wondering if there is a hydro test station somewhere in the edmonton area?
Date 6/1/2015
Badlands-Will
@ D'Alton and @Corey, I do not know of any hydro tested in Vancouver or Edmonton.
Date 6/1/2015
Corey
hey guys, just asking if anyone knows where I could go for a rehydrotest in the edmonton area, thanks!
Date 6/23/2015
Andrew
Hi, do you re hydro in Pickering?
Date 6/25/2015
Badlands-Will
Hi Andrew, our Pickering store does not hydrotest tanks.
Date 7/1/2015
Chris
When getting a new tank, I heard you need to make sure the seller is in Canada as US tanks can't be use here is this true? If so how can you tell the tank is from Canada.
Date 7/2/2015
Badlands-Will
Hi Chris, Tanks that are marked TC on them (see the second picture, TC is visible above 07) means they have been approved by Transport Canada for use in Canada. All the tanks carried by Badlands are TC stamped and certified to use in Canada.

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