Bali Diving Academy Tank Service and Hydrostatic Test
It is this time of the year again and all our scuba cylinders are currently undergoing the annual service and cleaning, but at the same time Bali Diving Academy will have over 70 cylinders hydrostatically tested in 2016.
The hydrostatic test is crucial for all scuba cylinders, however the intervals of when the test should be conducted varies throughout the world.
There is differences between steel and aluminum cylinders so the hydrostatic test interval might be as little as 12 month, the norm in pretty much all Asian countries for aluminum cylinders is to at least have them tested every 5 years. If a scuba cylinder however shows signs during the visual inspection the tank should be tested immediately.
Most people simply trust when diving that the operator they use will look after this and never personally check the scuba cylinder themselves, but it is a crucial part of every ones safety and we believe very important.
While everyone should have learned it a long time ago during their Open Water course what all the numbers on the cylinder neck actually mean, it only takes a few seconds to check and find the manufacture date and if older than 5 years the date of the most recent hydrostatic test.
While this cylinder we found being used in Tulamben recently (it wasn’t ours of course) looks actually pretty new from the outside the manufacture date is 05@02 so May 2002, there was however no hydrostatic test ever performed on this particular scuba cylinder. Hmmm that should make you frown, remember they are filled to over 200Bar/3000psi of pressure or about 100 times the pressure of a car tire. If no hydrostatic test has been conducted, has this cylinder ever been opened, serviced and cleaned (from the inside) in the last 14 years?
Yes hydrostatic tests do cost money and you need to bring the cylinders to the facility and take them out of service while they are being tested. Looking into the costs and time over a 5 year period it is however a very small price to pay for every ones safety.
Scuba cylinders can be used for many years, even 20 years is not uncommon, but of course only if they are looked after properly. In general aluminum cylinders can stay in service till they literally fail the visual inspection or the hydrostatic test, but important is that your cylinder that you use is within the regular intervals.
Here is a picture of a hydrostatic test date. It is either stamped right under the manufacture date or on a free space, on the tank neck.
So do yourself a favor and before your next dive check the cylinders you will be using for the hydrostatic test. If it is older than 5 years we strongly recommend you to not dive with this particular cylinder and inform the operator immediately.
Till then dive save and we are looking forward to see you in 2016 for some diving in Bali.