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Should you Hydrotest your Paintball Tank? Maybe not...

Hydro test your paintball tank? 

Hey, guys. John Jackson here with Pro Edge Paintball. Today, I'm going to talk about hydrotesting, how much should it cost, is it worth your money and your time to do it, and give you a little bit of insight on the basics


So, hydrotesting is the process of testing high pressure cylinders to make sure they're still safe for you to use for years to come. This is a compressed air bottle or a high pressure air bottle. This is an aluminum bottle. So, typically, if you're out there shopping for paintball air tanks, you're going to look for a 48 cubic inch, that's the size, 3,000 PSI. That's the total pressure that can be stored inside this bottle. This is the most popular size bottle, mainly because it's going to be running you about $50 to $60, depending on where you're buying from. And it's a low cost, entry level, all metal, durable air tank. So, something like this. This is a Ninja 77 cubic inch. So, that's just a physical size, 4,500 PSI. So again, that's how much pressure can be put into the bottle. So 3,000 PSI, 4,500. So, not only is this a larger bottle, but it also can hold more pressure. So, this bottle will be able to get more shots. It's going to be a lighter bottle because it is carbon fiber underneath the color here where this is aluminum. So it's going to be quite a bit different than weight.

When should you test your air tanks? 

So, hydrotesting, usually what will happen is you'll have an older bottle laying around the house or you're considering buying a paintball bottle used. The main thing you want to look for is does the bottle hold air and is it still in the hydrodate? The main concern here is the safety of using the bottle. So, for example, if your bottle is out of hydrodate, you don't really want to fill it up because you want to make sure it's tested first to make sure you're still safe to use. What you're going to look for are going to be two numbers, a weird symbol, and then two more numbers somewhere on the bottle. On an aluminum bottle, it's going to be across here on the top. On a carbon fiber bottle, it's going to be cut out like this. It'll be very clear. For example, this one is 07. It has a L with a C around it, so a weird symbol, and then the number 22.


So, 07 is the month that this tank was made, 22 is the year that the tank was made. So, 07 is the month that this tank was made, and 22 is the year that this tank was made. So, it's good for five years from there. So, 07 of 2027 will be when this bottle needs to be tested. So, the question is, is it worth you getting your bottle hydrotested? Typical price of a hydrotesting is going to be about $40. Yes, you can find a little lower and a little bit higher, but on average throughout the country, you'll find it for about $40. This bottle here, brand new, retails for about $50 on that one. So, you say, okay, well, it's actually cheaper for me to go ahead and get it tested than it is to buy a new bottle. Not so much in my opinion. So, I would usually recommend, in that case, to go ahead and purchase a new bottle, mainly because the regulator you're going to get on the new bottle has all fresh new o-wings on there and hopefully there's a warranty that comes with the bottle. Where your old bottle has been sitting around and no idea what conditions, the o-wings are worn out in there and you can need a new regulator as well.

Let's say you pay $40 to get it tested, then you go get your bottle aired up and it leaks everywhere. You're going to pay at least $10 to have it service cleaned or a new regulator. In that case, go and take your air tank, maybe take it to a recycle company, see if they're recycled for you. Go take it to your local paintball store. They should recycle it for you if they offer that. So, as far as your aluminum air tanks go, I would definitely recommend to purchase a new bottle for about $50 instead of paying the $40 to get them hydrotested. There are a few larger compressed air bottles that are aluminum. I still recommend to purchase a new one just because of all the unknowns that you don't know of. So, if you're shopping for a used bottle and you're looking at getting an aluminum one, definitely recommend to spend the extra money a little bit upfront and go ahead and purchase yourself a new aluminum compressed air tank. It's a different story when you're dealing with a carbon fiber bottle because a carbon fiber bottle is going to run you anywhere from $150-$300.


Is it worth it to test your old paintball air tanks? 

So, even if you were to pay the 40, $45 to get your bottle hydrotested and assuming it passes, which they don't always pass by the way, if it passes, you're only $40 into it instead of buying $150-$250 or even $300 compressed air tank. So, let's say you pay your $40 Hydrotest, but your regulator, for example, needs to be rebuilt. Even a brand new regulator is only going to be about $50-$60 in most cases, sometimes less. $40 to get it tested, $50 to buy a new regulator, you've got $90 into it and your bottle should have a brand new regulator, a new hydro test or a new hydro date, and you're good to go for $60 less or even $160 less, depending on what style bottle you have. So, one important thing to take into account when you're looking to get hydro tested or buy a used bottle is the hydro date, because each bottle has a lifespan of 15 years. From all the research I've done, 15 years is the maximum lifespan of a total bottle. So if your bottle was made in, let's say 2022, it's going to expire in 15 years from that date.

Let's say it's 12 years old, 13 years old, and you're going to go get it hydrotested again, you're only supposed to get another 2-3 years lifespan out of that bottle. So, in that case, it might be worth, go ahead and spend a little bit extra money, get yourself a brand new bottle because that's going to last you 15 years. So, if you think you really like the size that you're looking at and you're shopping for, go ahead and purchase a brand new bottle. And after five years you can get that same bottle hydrotested, I believe, up to two more times because that'll be your 15 years. That pretty much answers most of the questions that we get about hydrotesting in the store. It's not usually a quick process depending on where you go. Sometimes it can be a couple of days, sometimes it can be a couple of weeks. It just depends on the company that you're working with.

If you have any questions about Hydrotesting or any research on purchasing new bottles or anything like that, give me a shout out in the comments below. Leave me a comment and ask your questions. I'm usually pretty quick on replying back to those. So, any question about Hydro testing or different bottle recommendations or different brands, regulators, all that good stuff, hit me a comment below.

If you enjoyed this video and found it helpful at all, please go ahead and like the video. That'll help this video show up to other players like yourself. And also, if you like weekly paintball videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel and help us grow. Other than that, thank you guys for watching. Again, if you have any questions, let me know. Otherwise, we'll see you guys next time.

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