Special Ops Paintball: CO2 & HPA Air Tanks, check your hydro dates!!!! - Special Ops Paintball

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CO2 & HPA Air Tanks, check your hydro dates!!!! A little sage advice from the meow-man Rate Topic: ***** 1 Votes

#1 User is offline   Tyger 

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Posted 06 February 2005 - 04:58 AM

Finally went to play tonight. Broke out the Fusion camo set (review coming soon) and went to an indoor field that just opened up around here. But somehting happened that I'd like to share with the group, and give you some sage advice from an old paintball player.

I brought with me two air tanks to get filled. I noticed that the guys filling the tanks were just putting them on the ASA and filling, not looking at the tanks at all. So when he handed my tank back to me, I asked him "What's the hydro date on my tank?"

He just looked at me, and said "No clue, dude."

I had two 20 ounce tanks filled. One was dated 06@00, the other 07@03. They DID look at the second tank after I mentioned it, a PMI pure energy CO2 tank, and it had a "re-test date" on it, but they both didn't know how to look for the stamped "born on" date on the Co2 tanks.

By law, all compressed air tanks must have the month and year they were created. On the top of your air tank you'll see a series of numbers, and you'll see a series on there that have a number set that should look like 00@00 or similar. This is the 'born on' date of your air tank. Depending on when your tank was created, you'll need to get it tested periodically.

METAL Co2 tanks need to be tested every 5 years. If your tank is under 2 inches in diameter and less than 2 feet in lenght, then you do not need to get it checked. So 12 and 20 ounce tanks WILL need to be tested every 5 years.

FIBER WRAPPED tanks (HPA / Co2) must be re-checked every 3 years, no matter the size or compression they can hold. They also have a lifespan of 15 years, and after that they are disposed of.

(Source : http://www.vm68.com/...egulations.html If you want to see the RARE exemptions of the hydro rule, go to that site.)

If you don't know how to check your tank for the hydro date, don't fear. Here's a link on how to read a nitrogen bottle label And I've been looking for a good "pic" of the hydro date on CO2 tanks, but I can't find one easily out here. It should be easy to find, however. If not, I'll take a pic of mine and show you all.

So, before you play next time, CHECK YOUR TANKS!!!! If the staff doesn't look, you should. Just remember that when you shoulder your paintgun, you've got 12 ounces of 1800 PSI compressed CO2 (or higher if you run Nitro!) on your shoulder or on your back if you run remote. It's for YOUR safety that you check to see if your tank is in code. Not to mention it's just a good idea anyway. If you need your tank re-hydroed, talk to your local field owner, or hit up the web for several places you can send your tank in for testing.

Play safe, have fun!

-Tyger
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#2 User is offline   tyguy 

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Posted 06 February 2005 - 08:39 AM

Good advice, Tyger, but I need to make a little clarification for safety purposes:

> Metal tanks with "3HT" stamped on them must be hyrdro tested every 3 years.

> Many, many fiber wrap tanks produced since 2002 have 5-year hydro test dates, depending on the DOT code printed on them.


Here's how "Airguy" from Oklahoma D-Day explained it in their air test rules:

There are some "E" codes stamped on some fiber-wrapped HPA bottles. Many people believe that if their bottle is stamped with an "E" code it means they are exempt from testing, this is not true. It means that bottle falls under an exemption from the blanket rule in some specification, but that exemption may or may not address the hydrotest date. Here are the only listed "E" codes for fiber-wrapped tanks on the DOT site, and how they will affect your bottle.

E-07277 - manufacterer SCI, to be tested every 3 years, 15 year service life. This exemption deals with the manufacturing process, not the hydrotest schedule.

E-09634 - manufacturer Luxfer, to be tested every 3 years, 15 year service life. This exemption deals with the manufacturing process, not the hydrotest schedule.

E-10915 - manufacturer Luxfer, may be changed to 5-year schedule, this will be explained below.

E-10945, manufacturer SCI, may be changed to 5-year schedulue, as explained below

E-11005, manufacturer Careton Tech, to be tested every 3 years, 15 year service life. This exemption deals with the manufacturing process, not the hydrotest schedule.

E-11194, manufacturer Careton Tech, may be changed to 5 year schedule, as explained below

E-12479, manufacturer Luxfer, to be tested every 3 years, 15 year service life. This exemption deals with the manufacturing process, not the hydrotest schedule.

5-year test schedule exemption explained - All these bottles still have a maximum service life of 15 years from original manufacture. These bottles were originally manufactured under a 3-year retest schedule, but the manufacturer was allowed by the DOT to move them to a 5-year retest schedule, provided they have been tested/manufactured after a certain date, as applied below.

For exemption code E-10915, if the last test date was before May 11, 2001 then your bottle is still on the 3-year cycle and must be tested every 3 years. If it shows a test date after May 11, 2001 then your bottle is now on a 5-year test schedule.

For exemption codes E-10945 and E-11194, your bottle is on a 3-year test schedule if the last test occurred before July 1, 2001. If your bottle has been tested after that date, you are now on a 5-year test schedule.


These are the regs according to the DOT, and represent what they claim to be the current rules.
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#3 User is offline   pepsi 

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Posted 06 February 2005 - 01:24 PM

So I have two 9 oz tanks. They dont need to be checked? My 20 oz and my nitro both have test dates. So I should be ok right?
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#4 User is offline   tyguy 

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Posted 06 February 2005 - 05:43 PM

pepsi: What were the test dates for the 20 oz and nitro?

You'll want to locate the DOT number on your nitro tank and compare it to the list I gave above. Some are checked 3 years and some 5 years, so it depends on your specific tank DOT number and manufacture date.

As for the 9 oz tanks, measure the diameter of the cylinder. If it's less than 2 inches, it never needs to be tested.

-Ty
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#5 User is offline   Tyger 

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Posted 07 February 2005 - 02:02 AM

There's too many forums here. :P

I'm gonna say "What tyguy said!" and move on. If you're having a hard time, ask the guys at your local field / shop, and they SHOULD know what to look for.

I say "should", becasue I assumed the guys filling my tanks last night would know...

-Tyger
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#6 User is offline   Tyger 

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Posted 08 February 2005 - 11:46 PM

Oh, just found this too thanks to the guys on automags.org :

Quote

Federal law provides for civil penalties up to $27,000.00 for violations of the Hazardous Materials regulations. PSI training greatly reduces the likelihood of non-compliance. Willful violation could result in a $250,000.00 fine and prison.

http://www.psicylinders.com/

Now think about having your tanks checked for a little under $20. :)

-Tyger
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#7 User is offline   sartek 

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 10:42 PM

For those with CO2 cylinders: There IS an exceptions to the 2" x 2' rule.

This is where the misconseption about having an E number being exempt from testing. 3E tanks have the option of only having the exception number stamped on them, instead of 3E. If the tank does have a 3E designation, many times that is ALL that will be stamped into the tank, along with the date of manufacture.

The tank MUST be stamped with a 3E number. The tank will read DOT-3E-1800, or the exemption number will specify a 3E tank, such as: DOT-E8096-1800-M1060-0899F. (M#### is Manufacturer, 0899F is Date Code)

3E tanks are ONLY chrome-moly tanks, BUT not all chrome-moly tanks are 3E.

ALSO: in order for hydro test dates to be valid, they must be STAMPED into the tank.
If the tank cannot be stamped (such as a fiber wrapped HPA), the hydro test info must be stamped into a metal plate, which is attached to the tank.

The ONLY exception listed is for Fire Extinguisher tanks, meaning designed, and USED as a fire extinguisher. Those are allowed pressure sensitive sticky labels.

Fiber wrapped tanks must have the test tag located near the original manufacturer's sticker, and be coated in clear epoxy to afix it to the tank.

The test date stamp for should look somethign like this for tester RIN# A123:
     A 1
  9      05 X
     3 2


The RIN is stamped in a square, with each character moving clockwise. this is supposed to be stamped between the month and year of retest, in this case, September 2005.

The X is a special character and is changed, depending on what test was done.
*10yr volumetric expansion test is a 5 point star.
*10% overfill test is a '+'
*Proof Pressure test is an 'S'
*5yr external visual inspection is an 'E'

Prior Retest dates ARE NOT legal to remove unless all of the following conditions are met:
1: There is no further room for retest dates to be added:
2: The original manufacturing test date is not removed.
3: The owner's permission is obtained FIRST.
4: Minimum sidewall thickness is maintained (for metal cylinders)

The re-test date cannot be stamped into the sidewall of the tank, unless permitted by the ORIGINAL tank specification. 3E cylinders do allow for this.

I realize that there is a small list of 5-10 common Exemption numbers posted all over the web, but there are over 10,000 exemption numbers assigned.

If your tank has an exception number for ANY reason, you should look it up online to find out what it affects.
Your Cylinder Exemption Number can be found here:DOT HAZMAT Exemptions Index

You can find authorized DOT retesters here: Authorized DOT Hydro Testers

FYI: The E8096 exemption is for Scott High Pressure Equipment, and is specified for NON-Standard sized 3E cylinders. They manufacture 3E compliant tanks that do not fall under the 2" x 2' rule

This post has been edited by sartek: 16 November 2005 - 12:13 AM

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#8 User is offline   sartek 

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 11:00 PM

49 CFR §180.209
Table 1. - Requalification of Cylinders
Specification for cylinder - Minimum test pressure (psig) 2 - Requalification period (years)
3 - 3000 psig - 5yr
3A, 3AA - 5/3 times service pressure, except noncorrosive service - 5, 10, or 12yr
3AL - 5/3 times service pressure - 5 or 12yr
3AX, 3AAX - 5/3 times service pressure - 5yr
3B, 3BN - 2 times service pressure - 5 or 10yr
3E - Test not required
3HT - 5/3 times service pressure - 3yr
3T - 5/3 times service pressure 5
4AA480 - 2 times service pressure - 5 or 10yr
4B, 4BA, 4BW, 4B-240ET - 2 times service pressure, except non-corrosive service - 5, 10, or 12yr
4D, 4DA, 4DS - 2 times service - 5yr
4E - 2 times service pressure, except non-corrosive (see § 180.209(g) ) 5
4L - Test not required
8, 8AL - test at service pressure - 10 or 20 yr
Exemption cylinder - See current exemption - See current exemption
Foreign cylinder - As marked on cylinder, but not less than 5/3 of any service or working pressure marking - yr



Any cylinder not exceeding 2 inches outside diameter and less than 2 feet in length is excepted from volumetric expansion test.

NOTE: 49 CFR 180.209 does not say ONLY tanks adhering to this rule are exempt. It says tanks that meet the 2 x 2 rule are INCLUDED in the testing exemption.
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#9 User is offline   druid 

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 12:51 PM

so...tvguy....my tank was created (born) on 04/04 and it's exemption code is E 10945. So, when you say:

Quote

For exemption codes E-10945 and E-11194, your bottle is on a 3-year test schedule if the last test occurred before July 1, 2001. If your bottle has been tested after that date, you are now on a 5-year test schedule.


I would conclude that since the tank was created after the July 1, 2001 date...I would have a 5 year rehydro...correct? Thanks.
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#10 User is offline   sartek 

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 03:24 PM

That is correct.
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Posted 27 August 2005 - 02:26 AM

thank you very much!
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Posted 03 September 2005 - 07:38 AM

deluxestogie said:

http://www.a5og.net/...ead.php?t=11074

- How to buy a used HPA bottle-


First of all, if you've decided to buy an HPA bottle used, rather than new, you will need to know how to read the labels that are permanently attached to every bottle. Check out Telman2's sticky.

There are a number of good sources for an explanation of the label.Here's one.

Info that you must have to select a bottle for your marker:

  1. DOT exemption code
  2. Manufacture date or last hydrotesting date
  3. Time left until next required hydrotesting
  4. Rated pressure of the bottle (psi)
  5. Rated capacity of the bottle (cubic inches)
  6. Output pressure for a fixed output reg
  7. Output pressure range for an adjustable output reg
  8. Type of output gas attachment
  9. Does it require a cradle?
  10. Dimensions of the bottle and reg
  11. Condition of the bottle

1. Many older bottles will state on the label that they must be retested every 3 years. Some of these, though not all, have new exemptions that allow them to be tested every five years, but you will have to look up the exemption on the DOT site to see the difference. Just look at the DOT E-XXXXX number on the label and then go to:
http://hazmat.dot.go...tions_index.htm
and read through the (lengthy) exemption for that code. If your bottle label says 3 years, but the current exemption says 5 years, you would be well advised to print out the first page and the page that says 5 years from the DOT exemption document and carry that printout in your gear bag, since many shops and fields are not fully aware of such distinctions, and may refuse to fill your bottle.

2 & 3. Once you know the exemption period, you can compare that to the last hydrotest date (or manufacture date if that's the only date on the bottle) and determine how much longer the bottle is good for. Re-hydrotesting should cost between $25 and $40 dollars, depending on whether or not you have to ship the bottle to the test site.

4. Most HPA bottles are rated for 3000 or 4500 psi. Some newer ones are available at 5000 psi, though few fields can fill them to that pressure. A 4500 psi bottle will provide roughly 1/3 more shots than a 3000 psi bottle of the same capacity.

5. The rated capacity (in cubic inches) is also a measure of how many shots to expect. Since A-5s tend to have an hearty appetite for gas, I'm inclined to go with a larger bottle than one might need for a closed-bolt marker. I use a 90 ci /4500 psi bottle, and have never run out of air before I run out of paint, and I sometimes carry nearly a half-case into the field (usually as a heavy gunner). It's heavy, but reg and all, it doesn't weigh much more than a filled 20 oz. CO2 bottle. ZDS Paintball has a useful chart of balls per tank, though it's based on more gas-efficient markers than an A-5.

6 & 7. Most adjustable HPA bottle regs will adjust from about 1000 psi all the way down to something below 200 psi. So these will probably meet your needs, but are more expensive than pre-set regs. Pre-set, non-adjustable regs typically come in both high (750 - 900 psi) and low (~400 psi) output. Unless you are running a low pressure kit, you will need the high output reg. If the seller doesn't list which one it is, and can't tell you when you ask, you probably will not be able to determine which it is from simply looking at a photo of the reg. Some manufacturers now color code the reg for high and low, but their older regs may look identical.

8. Many new HPA bottles come with a standard ASA output pin valve (like a CO2 bottle), allowing you to screw it directly into your bottom line or a remote coil ASA. Those that do not have an ASA output may require 1/8 npt gas fittings and possibly the addition of an on/off valve to avoid having to crank down the reg to zero in order to turn off the bottle.

9. Most bottles with an ASA output can be used directly on your bottom line without any additional support. Those without an ASA output will usually require either a block cradle or rings to attach and support it. These adapters can be expensive, so consider that when computing the savings of buying a non-ASA bottle.

10. Depending on the physical setup of your bottom line, some bottle/reg combinations may be too wide to fit beneath a drop forward. I use the large ShockTech drop forward. In the images below, you can see that, with the Rhino cover, the bottle (a Nitro Duck 90 ci) barely clears. The fill nipple, with its dust cap in place does not allow the bottle to be screwed in place. With the dust cap removed, the nipple clears. The guage, which I worried about the most, clears easily.


11. The condition of the bottle is critical in determining if it is safe to fill. If the exterior has any scratches, you will need to verify that the scratches do not expose strands of the underlying fiber wrap. If it does, do not buy the bottle. Although some fiber exposure can be repaired by a qualified shop, why waste the money. If any fiber is damaged, the bottle probably can not be repaired, and will be condemned by any competent technician. To learn the specifics of what scratches, gouges, etc. are safe, read the details on the DOT exemption document that you looked up to check the hydro exemption.

If you shop for a used HPA bottle on ebay, you will find that some sellers are careful to show clear photos of the label and provide detailed descriptions of the pressure rating, capacity and condition of the bottle. Most won't tell you the dimensions, so you'll have to go to the manufacturer's site to find those. Be sure to look up the exemption, even if it is described by the seller. Some ebay sellers are less than scrupulous. Well in advance of the auction close, ask the seller any questions you need answered with regard to dates, rating, capacity, output pressure, condition, etc. If you can't get the right answers, don't buy the bottle. Do your homework so you don't end up getting a great price on something that doesn't meet your needs (or even has a condemned exemption).



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#13 User is offline   Pwnt 

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 10:00 PM

ok what if the rehydro test date on my bottle has been rubbed off? do i have to test it, and write the new one back on? assuming i dont remember how long its been since the last test. also, where would one go to dispose of a co2 tank?
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#14 User is offline   sartek 

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Posted 27 September 2005 - 12:05 AM

I'm assuming you're referring to a PE 20oz tank, since they print the re-hydro date on the label.

If you look on your tank, there will be a bunch of information stamped into the tank itself, not on the label.

there will be a set of numbers/letters that looks like this:

Posted Image


The numbers/letters may be different, but it will be ONLY 5 characters long. this is the date code on your tank.
The above example is for 11 / 02

that date code is the date of manufacture. hydro testing is required to be done at 5yrs from that date. hydro testing expires the 1st day of the month.

So, on the above tank, the hydrotesting has to be done BY november 1st.
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Posted 15 November 2005 - 09:29 PM

so, what about steel 3k HPA tanks?
I'm unsure, it's kinda confuzzing.
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