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Tank testing legality


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1 hour ago, Welshd1k said:

So biught a tank that was sold to me as 2019 but turns out it 2016 the seller is stating that tanks under 1l don't legally need to be re tested. Can't find any laws online etc any advice 

‘Under 1 litre’ is wrong 

A 48ci cylinder is subject to testing, which is about 0.78litres


What cylinder type/size do you have?


What a site will accept may vary, but in the UK:


an aluminium 3000psi cylinder has a test cycle of 10 years, but have generally been marked as 5 years.

A ‘standard’ aluminum 3000psi is sized at 0.48ci


A 13ci aluminum 3000psi cylinder is test exempt and has an unlimited life, subject to visual checks


TPED regulations cover the EU & UK legal requirements and cylinders under these have the Pi mark


Trevor of Armoulite/HPAC is an authoritative contact,  can confirm status and do the testing as an IDEST centre



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10 hours ago, Welshd1k said:

I was pretty sure it needed every 5 years but the seller is addimant it isn't and telling me there's no law on it. Its a 48ci tippman steel bottle 



That’s aluminium not steel (Actusl steel bottles were a thing)


Yours is therefore valid for 10 years from July 2016 (2016/07)


But the printing may still show a contradictory 5 year due date




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42 minutes ago, Welshd1k said:

OK perfect and then mu carbon is 5 years correct 


Yes - a 5 year cycle is correct

If it’s Pi marked then look for the summary markings (example below)



But there could be a variation on total life.

The default has always been 15 year maximum, but a new ISO design could have an unlimited lifetime.

However many manufacturers are producing ISO cylinders with a 15 year life marked, so don’t have unlimited life

(I will turn a blind eye to a good condition Pi aluminum that has 5 years printed rather than 10 which will run off,  but won’t be turning a blind eye to fibre markings)


There should be another set of markings, like on here:


Note on the top dial that this still has air in it, but it is currently out of test and cannot be refilled.







Near the middle is the Pi gate symbol, so it’s UK & European legal


To the right of that is ‘2010/01’ (manufactured January 2010, and was therefore due for testing in 2015)

Left and down a bit is the final date of 2025/01 (therefore it becomes a paperweight from February 2025)


The big yellow sticker shows testing at July 2016 (which means it could not be used for all of 2015 and half of 2016, and also that the test expired in July 2021)

I can technically use the air that is in there, but cannot fill it as the test has expired. When I get around to testing I will not get a further 5 years as it’s final date is 2025






5 hours ago, rocketdogbert said:

My local dive shop has told me there isn’t a legal or recommended check for 48ci and smaller tanks, but never looked into it

I’m going to say that they are wrong 


Under 48ci and I agree with them 


The other point they might have meant could be that with the cost of new vs testing that it’s not worth testing a 48ci aluminum 


The guru is Trevor of HPAC

(There is a technical element on the legal status ….. TPED compliance affects the filling and transporting)


If you’re not commercial (and do not have a company car) then you can wiggle your way out of transporting 


If you manage to self fill then that’s down to you, but a site cannot (should not) permit you to fill an out of date cylinder 



Back in the day some paintball sites turned a blind eye to scuba self fills in the car park of US specification fibre cylinders - they would refuse it at the site fill station but ignore use on the field

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43 minutes ago, Welshd1k said:

OK so this tank has unlimited life? Where can I get it tested as my local dive place won't do carbon composite tanks 


Yes/maybe - that can be unlimited due to the ISO standard 


Scan around for anything else, you have the born date of 2016/11, and as long as they have not sneaked in a death date then you do have an unlimited cylinder.


You can get tests done by either a test centre or a middle man.

The preferred test centre is Armourlite/HPAC as they are the lead air providers to paintball (and where applicable airsoft) sites 


Any IDEST approved centre can run tests (dive shops often take in testing, either as a test centre in their own right or they pass them through a test centre)



(But as you’ve found not every dive shop is friendly - I used a dive place in Salisbury once with a friendly guy, they didn’t do testing but held on to it and sent it as part of a few bottles in a batch. (I was in no hurry)

But when I went back with others a different guy didn’t like paintballers and according to him they never test out bottles 

(So I hung onto them and dropped them off with HPAC at an event to pick up at another)


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43 minutes ago, Welshd1k said:

Got the carbon tank done in bristol and was 22 quid does that seem the norm I've got a 12l one I need to get tested but nowhere wants to test it 

I’ve seen prices as cheap as £15 (a few years ago) but would expect £30 to £40


A test centre can slim down the price when you’re bringing it in and collecting later, so £22 is a fair price 



The principle remains the same for larger cylinders and one of the IDEST centres will be able to do it.

There are different regimes for diving cylinders that are used to dive, with some references below about hydro and visual inspection cycles for diving and just hydro testing for surface cylinders (random test centre from Google)




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