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!