What does it mean to get your tank hydroed - Paintball Forum - Paintball guns and gear forums
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 12:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Arrow What does it mean to get your tank hydroed

Ya, Iam a newb to nitro. when they say it needs to be hydroed what does that mean. Iknow you have to do it for every scertain amout of years.
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 12:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It just means that you need to take your tank into a welder and have the hydro test it. It just makes sure it is safe to use.
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 12:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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THats it..........COol
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 01:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Depending on where you go, it can cost $15-50 dollars. So ASK AROUND before you have them do it.

Somewhere on your tank is a date. It might look like 02@03 meaning Feb-2003.
That is the date of manafacture OR the last hydro.

Depending on the type of tank, it might need to be hydroed within 3 years, or 5 years, or never. Both steel, fiber and alum can be 3 or 5 year.

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Old March 23rd, 2005, 01:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Perhaps what you are asking is "what the heck is hydro testing anyway?" Well pull up a chair there young'in and I will tell you.

You see, when every tank is filled, it expands ever so slightly. The carbon fiber or fiberglass wraps give strength to the aluminum core so that the expansion is very minimal -- the mesh like structure of the wrap flexes slightly and helps contiain the tank.

Over time, and repeated filings and therefor 'flexing' of these fibers, they can wear.

When they hydrotest a tank, they place teh empty tank in a water bath that is very specifically measured. Then it is filled. Once filled, they measure the amount of water that was displaced and thusly can determine how much the tank is 'flexing' when it expands. There are some very well defined forumulas then that are applied to this data to tell if the fiber wraps are doing their job within tolerances. If not, the tank is more likley to fail.

That in a nutshell is hydrotesting.

Incidentally, it is possible to fill a fiber wrapped aluminum tank with liquid CO2 and it was somwhat of a common practice years ago to do so. Some tanks were advertised and sold as 'dual gas' tanks, but you will not find them anymore. Why? Well its simpe actually, the opposite was happening to these tanks wth Co2 then when filled with compressed air. The absoulte cold of liquid co2 was causing the aluminum tanks to shrink slightly and thus pull away from the fiber wraps. This lead to some increased possibility of catastrophic tank failure and manufacturers put out many a builliten to discourage the practice. I never heard of a failure of a tank in this regard, but it was certainly discouraged as an unsafe practice.

So there ya go.. more then you ever wanted to know on the subject.
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 02:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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HOW TO READ TANK HYDROTEST RATINGS
Tank hydrodates are used for a reason. While it is true you will save $25-50 before you actually re-test your expired tank, filling it after the expried date is extremely dangerous as well as illegal. You must ALWAYS obey all tank hydrostatic regulations.

Hydrodates:

All tanks must be periodically re-tested every few years to verify they are
still able to hold their rated pressure amounts. HPA tanks have labels slaved into the fiber which give the details on the previous tests. It is denoted by two separate numbers, for month and year.

Depending on your tank type and regulation, it will need to be teated every three or five years in order to be refilled. All steel tanks are five-year; some fiber-wrapped are three-year, where some others are five.

HPA tanks are not manufactured to be either three or five-year hydrotested. Instead, if your tank was tested before the dates below, it must be tested in three years from that date. After it then gets tested, it is good for another five years (not another three). Just because a tank says 10915 on it dosen't mean it is a five-year hydro. Also note it is different between Carleton and Luxfer. As far as I know, no other manufacturer is certified to test tanks for five years.

Carleton DOE-E 11194 last hydro before 7-1-2001 needs to be hydrotested in three years.
Carleton DOE-E 11194 last hydro after 7-1-2001 needs to be hydrotested in five years.
Luxfer DOE-E 10915 last hydro before 5-11-2001 needs to be hydrotested in three years.
Luxfer DOE-E 10915 last hydro after 5-11-2001 needs to be hydrotested in five years.
Cylinders dual marked TC-SU 5134/DOT-E 10915 must be retested every three years if you're in Canada.

Let there be no mistake, this is the current regulation.

Taken from ZDS Paintball.
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 03:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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All steel tanks are NOT 5 year!

Any steel tank with a DOT-3HT stamp are 3 year. These are very common.

Nick
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 03:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Lol, maybe you should email him and tell him of his mistakes.
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 04:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Actually, DOT-3HT should not be used for paintball.

They have thinner walls then other HPA tanks, and are not designed for impact. They are designed to be wall-mounted.

They actually have a much stricter hydrotest, and tanks must be destroyed after 15 years....

Yet.... paintball companies still sell them!

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Old March 23rd, 2005, 04:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Aw. Come on guys, he was happy with my response.
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 05:11 PM   #11 (permalink)
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PBF...Above and Beyond the simple answer.


Don't they over-pressure tanks during a hydrotest? I thought I read that on a site that does the testing. For example a 3000psi tank will see more than 3000psi during the test and will be stretched because of it.
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 05:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Medic missed a step.
They place it in a water tank THEN overfill it.
The water serves 3 purposes:
1- To absorb heat from tank while filling.
2- To measure amount of expansion (and contraction)
3- To slow down shrapnel if it explodes

Basically, they are testing HOW much it stretches.
For example, if your tank was subject to HIGH TEMPS accidentally, it would weaken the metal, and they would find that out during a hydrotest (and fail it).

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Old March 24th, 2005, 07:39 PM   #13 (permalink)
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what would happen if the tank fails? the test i mean.
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Old March 24th, 2005, 08:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Well there are two ways to fail the test..
1) The displacement of the water measured is in excess of tolerances and therfore the tank will not be certified, or;

2) the tank explodes.


either way you are not going to get to use it ever again.
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Old March 24th, 2005, 09:18 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Yep, it won't be certified. I'm pretty sure that it will be returned to you with a notice it didn't pass.

In addition to the letter and to prevent people from trying to just use it anyway the tank is "destroyed." Usually they will drill a hole through it and/or cut the threads so that a reg can't be attached. And we all know that there are people out there that would try to use the tank if this wasn't done.
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