How Can a Diver Test a Scuba Tank for Durability?

August 23, 2022 4 min read

Scuba cylinders made of aluminium or steel have received a lot of media attention since the Riviera Beach explosion in February 1998. This explosion was widely publicised and the incident was well-covered on the internet. While the occasional explosion of a steel or aluminium cylinder was previously unreported, this event brought a whole new level of attention to the dive industry. The main cause of failure of steel and aluminium cylinders is internal and external corrosion. In most cases, however, the failure is due to a crack found during a visual inspection. Most tanks last about 10 years, but durability test should be taken often.

Hydrostatic Test

A Scuba tank is made of durable metal and contains highly pressurized gases. If a tank is compromised, it can cause a lot of trouble underwater. If the tank breaks or gets dropped, the gas could escape and cause injury. Hydrostatic tests ensure that a Scuba tank is durable enough to keep you and your gear safe. Moreover, they help you determine whether or not a tank has a leak or not.

The process of hydrostatic testing a scuba tank is a crucial part of the purchasing process. This type of testing uses specialized equipment to pressurize the tank to 5000 psi and fill it over its typical capacity with water. A secure chamber contains water to protect the technician from the pressurized tank. Once the pressure is released, a specialized measuring device, called a burette, measures the displacement of water in the cylinder.

Visual Inspection

One of the most important steps to ensuring the durability of your Scuba tank is to perform regular visual inspections. Check the tank for signs of corrosion and wear. Check the valves for damage and make sure to replace them if necessary. It is best to perform these inspections during the first visual inspection. When you do visual inspections, you can also perform hydrostatic tests. This is an important step to take before each dive.

The first step is to check the inside and outside of the tank. The technician will remove the boot and look for signs of rust or corrosion. They will also check for paint and stickers that can trap salt water against the tank. If the inspector notices either, the tank will need to be tumbled. This will remove the corrosion or pitting. If the tank is too damaged, the technician will whip it so that it can be reused or replaced.


Scuba tanks are usually made of steel or aluminum, which are both susceptible to corrosion and brittleness. The steel tank is thicker than the aluminum tank, and its walls are about half the thickness of the aluminum tank. However, the interior volume of the steel tank is greater. This difference in thickness and volume is due to the different properties of the steel and aluminum alloys. In order to ensure the safety of a scuba tank, it is important to check the markings on the scuba tank.

Scuba tanks are required to be hydrostatically tested every five years to ensure their safety. In addition to hydrostatic testing, visual inspections should be conducted at least once a year to ensure the tank's quality. Most tank failures are caused by defects that can be detected during a visual inspection. These defects may include cracks in the walls or corrosion. A wrong valve or leak can also lead to a failure.


While the process of corrosion is inevitable, you should take precautions to prevent it. In addition to proper care, you should also check the tank regularly for signs of corrosion. Even just a few drops of water can cause corrosive corrosion inside the tank. This also affects the tank's exterior, as moisture can get trapped in small spaces. To avoid this, it's important to store your tank in a dry place.

Scuba tanks should be checked on a regular basis. If the tank is steel, corrosion will be more likely to occur. Seawater corrodes steel quickly, causing it to rust from within. Aluminum alloy tanks can also corrode, leading to white sediment in the tank. Steel tanks are also more susceptible to damage, and they should be checked regularly. Corrosion is a serious problem and should not be ignored.


When choosing a scuba tank, it is important to know the exact cost. This depends on the gas used and the capacity of the tank. Most people forget that the price of a full versus a half-filled tank is different. The price of a scuba tank fill depends on many factors. The following table provides an average price range. It is important to note that the price listed is an estimate and may not be correct in every case.

Checking the valves and other components is another part of the cost of a scuba tank. Sometimes, corrosion can lead to valves jamming. Valve replacement is about $50 and can often save you the cost of a new tank. It is also important to check the scuba tank for dents, which can be a sign of bigger problems. Checking for cracks and dents can help you identify larger issues that could require costly repairs. Interested in buying used scuba dive tank? Learn more about how much it costs.


Re-qualification of a Scuba tank for durability is an essential part of a dive shop's maintenance program. It's important to have your tank checked annually by a trained technician. A trained technician can spot obvious cracks, corrosion, and even very small dents in the material. A trained technician can also use specialized imaging modes to examine the interior of the cylinder. In addition to visual inspections, a Scuba tank must also undergo hydrostatic testing to guarantee its integrity.

Hydro-tests validate the structural integrity and safety of high-pressure cylinders. Scuba tanks must undergo this same procedure to meet Dot requirements. If the Scuba tank is not hydro-tested, it may leak and endanger the life of its user. Visual inspections are not enough. A degraded Scuba tank must undergo hydro-testing to ensure its durability. Most Scuba fill stations conduct hydro-testing of Scuba tanks.

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