Getting your scuba tank tested is a bit like getting a WOF for your car, it's required by law and it is done to ensure your tank is safe for us to fill, and for you to use. There are two types of test that need to be done here in NZ, the first is the Visual test, this test involves looking inside/outside your tank for any signs of deterioration or damage. The visual test is done annually. The other test that is done is the Hydrostatic test, This test involves filling the tank with water and pumping it up to high pressure to check the integrity of the metal. This is done every 2 years.So year 1 will be a visual test then year 2 will be a combined hydro/visual test.
How do I know when and which test my cylinder needs?
You find this by looking at the tag around the neck of the tank. These tags are colour coded by year, so the colour for 2020 is Dark Green the colour for 2019 was Grey. So at a glance if your tag is any other colour you know its due for testing. If it is grey then we know it will need a test some time soon. Now to check which test is due. Look on the tag, it will have either some numbers on it or the letter H. The numbers show us that the last test was a visual test, and the numbers represent the month and year the test was done, below that is the testing station number of where it was tested. If your tag is marked with an H then its last test was a Hydro/Visual test and you will find the date the test was done stamped on the tank itself.
So remember visuals are due every year and hydro's are due every two years. It is best to keep your hydro and visual dates in sync with each other.
When we test your tank it only involves the tank itself not the valve, this is a separate part. However it is important to keep your valve serviced and in good working order. If your valve is stiff to turn etc then it is defiantly time for a service. The other thing to be aware of with your valve is that it contains a burst disc, this is to ensure that if the pressure gets too high the disc will rupture rather than the tank. These disc's wear out and need replacing, when they rupture its pretty loud and intense. Also remember to check the o-ring before every use and replace if worn or damaged.