Every tank is labeled with the date of manufacture and your hydro testing schedule is based off of that. Looking over your label you’ll see lots of information, but you really only need two or three things. The date of manufacture, the last hydro test if applicable, and the PHMSA exemption number.
In the picture above the first line is the regulatory information for Canada’s testing standards. The second line is the US exemption or now called the special permit number. The “DOT” has been replaced with “SP” on more recent bottles. The third line is the serial number. The fourth line is the date of manufacture. If there was a more recent hydro, it should be adjacent to the date of manufacture for ease of locating.
The date of manufacture is the month followed by a symbol or number and then the two digit year. The date in the bottle above is May 2003. Which puts the end of life date at the end of May 2018. So as of this article being written this tank is best used as a windchime and can’t be tested or filled. All fiber wrapped tanks have a fifteen year lifespan, but the solid aluminum paintball tanks can be tested until they fail.
To know how long your tank has between hydro tests, go to: https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/approvals-and-permits/hazmat/special-permits-search and enter in the E or SP number. For example E 10945 as in the picture above. There will be a paragraph labeled testing, and it will indicate how long the period between tests is.
If you have any questions, take a picture of your tank and email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading! Nick.
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