Everything about hydrotesting.
Hydro testing is short for hydrostatic testing where the tank after a certain amount of time are inspected (for paintball tanks between 3-5 years, see here.)
The tank is inspected visually and if deemed unfit the tank must not be used, if the tank passes the visual test it then moves onto the hydro-static test, where water is put into the tank at high pressure and it tests the strength and integrity of the tank. This MUST BE DONE every 3-5 years depending on the tank. It is your responsibility to do so and if not done things can turn disasterous. Even if you take top notch care of your tank, if you get it filled outside of your house or use it outside of your house you are required by law to have it hydro tested. Almost all tanks, CO2 and N2 alike must be retired after 15-24 years depending on bottle material, no exceptions. Even if the tank was capable of being safe for longer it most be retired after 15-24 years. Small tanks of 9-12 oz. under the right circumstances(at or under 2 inches in diameter) dont have to be retired after 15 years.
While it is correct that fibre wrapped tanks have a lifespan of 15 years, and metal tanks marked "3HT" have a lifespan of 24 years (and require testing every 3 years), aluminium tanks often have no limit to their lifespan - as long as they keep passing their hydro test of course! The bottle will be marked to show if there is a set condemnation date - Uziel
^^Uhhh.....What he said
Where can I get Hydrostatic Testing Done?
You can take your tank to your local pro-shop and see if they can arrange something for you. You may also be able to get it done at
-Any-other place that deals with high pressure bottles(ask around).
-If you really need a place to do it and dont have anything local there are online companies that you send your bottle to and they will do it and ship it back to you.
Such as this one which has some good information on it as well.
How do i tell when my tank was made so i know when to get it Hydro'd?
If you look on the bottle there should be 2 numbers then a symbol(this varies by bottle manufacturer) and then 2 numerals after them. The first numerals are the month it was made, the last 2 after the symbol is the year it was made. Add 3-5 years onto this to find out your FIRST hydro date. After your first hydro a new sticker will be placed on the tank, add to that sticker, and so on and so forth.
How do I read the bottle label in general?
Here is a great picture and site explaining everything.