Cylinder Testing & Maintenance
Adventures In Scuba is an approved Premier PSI Cylinder Testing Facility, (Professional Scuba Inspectors).
All of our service technicians are fully PSI certified in all forms of cylinder inspection
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Dive Cylinders Maintenance:
It’s a legal requirement to have your Scuba Cylinder visually inspected every year and hydrostatically pressure tested every five years. To check if the cylinder is current do the following:
1) Check if there is a visual inspection label attached, ensure the date stamped on this label is less than one year old. If it’s missing or greater than one year a visual inspection is required before filling.
2) Find the most current date “Stamped” into the top of the cylinder. If this date is more than five years old then the cylinder needs a hydrostatic test. The stamp reads month then year.
It’s a good idea to make a note of these dates in a diary as it is illegal for filling stations to fill out of date cylinders (which can be very inconvenient sometimes).
If you bring your cylinder to Adventures in Scuba for a Visual Inspection or Hydrostatic Test, and want to dive right away, we will lend you a cylinder from our rental fleet of over 100 cylinders to use until yours is ready for pickup. No Charge!!!
What happens during an inspection?
Visual inspection, is required annually, it’s your best insurance against corrosion, cracking and premature demise of your tank. However, it constitutes more than looking into a cylinder and pronouncing it “good to go”. A proper visual inspection will detect minor corrosion and correct it before it gets worse. Inspections will also identify suspect cylinders before they fail.
The inspection includes checking the outside of the cylinder for corrosion, dents, cuts and bulges. A bright inspection light is used to detect corrosion or contamination on the inside, Ultra Violet light is used to check for hydrocarbons. Threads are checked with both high gain optical scopes and electromagnetic “Eddy Current” testing to detect cracks and folds.
Valves are often a neglected component, these need to be fully inspected to ensure sound threads, burst disc and O-rings. We strongly recommend that valves be rebuilt on each Hydro date.
Hydrostatic testing is required every five years, including the annual visual inspection. The Hydro process pressurizes your cylinder with water, usually to five-thirds the service pressure. The amount the tank expands under pressure is measured and then the amount it contracts again when pressure is relieved is measured. These figures indicate whether metal fatigue has occurred. If the cylinder passes this test it is re-stamped and good for another five years.
How can you tell you’re getting a Professional Inspection?
If it comes back looking like this, you should probably find another testing facility!!!
PSI is the only full-service organization training scuba tank inspectors and Adventures In Scuba is a Premier PSI testing facility and
only about half of all tank inspectors are actually PSI certified.
Ask lots of questions: “What are you looking for? How can you tell? How did you learn this?” The answers you get back should be clear and confident.
If old inspection stickers are left on the tank, it’s very likely a full inspection was not completed.
You should receive a detailed tank analysis from the Visual Inspection and Eddy Testing.
This analysis shows the test results for your cylinder and any findings from the inspector.
In addition to ensuring that water is never allowed to enter or form inside your tank,
you should take the following precautions in handling and maintaining your scuba tank:
1) Do not store tanks that are full of air for prolonged periods of time (no more than 3 months).
A tank should be stored with just enough pressure (200 psi) to keep moisture out. Remember the higher the tank pressure, the greater the corrosion that may form inside.
2) Your tank should receive a visual inspection at least once a year.
If the tank is in constant use or is constantly filled around salt air, then it should be visually inspected every three to six months.
3) You must have the tank hydrostatically tested at least once every five years.
This should only be performed by a reputable hydro testing facility that is able to totally service your tank, including testing, cleaning, drying, etc.
4) Always give your tank a fresh water rinse before putting it away. Be sure the tank valve is closed when running water over it.
5) Do not overfill your tank past stamped ratings.
This places too much stress on the metal, causing the tank to weaken over a period of time. Overfilling a tank time after time is hazardous and can weaken the metal. It’s also illegal.
6) Avoid rough handling that will cause dents, gouges or nicks in the tank. This can invite corrosion of the metal and can also weaken the cylinder.
7) Always store tanks in a vertical position unless otherwise recommended by a visual inspector.
If there is any moisture in the tank, corrosion may form at the bottom of the tank, which is the thickest part of the tank wall.
8) If you see or smell anything coming out of the tank valve, corrosion or contamination may be suspected.
If you rap on the side of the tank and hear anything rattling around inside, the tank must be opened for a visual inspection.
9) If water is found inside the tank, but corrosion has not yet become pronounced,
the tank can be rinsed in fresh water or steam cleaned, then dried thoroughly with warm air. It is always best to let a qualified inspector determine the extent of the corrosion.
10) If you suspect anything wrong with your scuba cylinder, always have it visually inspected by a professional PSI inspection facility.