SCBA & SCUBA

National Fire Control offers hydrostatic testing services of most types of D.O.T. rated cylinders, both steel and aluminum. At our Kona facility, we have our high pressure hydrostatic testing lab where competent testing and safety are stressed. At our Maui, Kauai, and Oahu labs we can quickly turn-around low pressure cylinder testing with careful handling of cylinders as our top and most important consideration. Most cylinders can be tested and back in service in 2-3 working days. Our technicians are trained and certified to meet D.O.T. requirements and our facility is licensed, certified, and monitored by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Hydrostatic testing is a nondestructive test required by the Department of Transportation to insure the integrity of pressurized cylinders. These include everything from small fire extinguishers, to Self Contained Breathing Apparatuses (SCBA) used by fire departments, to CO2 cylinders used for soft drinks, to medical and industrial oxygen cylinders, to Nitros cylinders used for race cars and SCUBA tanks used by divers.

Hydrostatic testing for different types of cylinders is required at different intervals.

All DOT-3AL marked CO2 cylinders are to be inspected and hydrostatically tested every five years as required in CFR Title 49 Part 180.205(c). Cylinders still with charge at the time the 5 year test is due, do not have to be tested until the charge is used, but prior to the re-filling of the cylinders.

High pressure, fiber wrapped aluminum cylinders, such as those used by fire fighters must be tested every three years and must be decommissioned after 15 years.

Additional information can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 49, under "transportation".

 Cylinder type

Testing Interval

 SCBA bottles, composite

 3 years (15 year life)

 SCBA bottles, carbon composites by Luxfer

5 years

 SCBA bottles, steel or aluminum

5 years

 Oxygen bottle, steel or aluminum

5 years

CO2 bottles

5 years

A/C bottle, 4BA bottle

5 years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFPA 10 lists these guidelines for portable fire extinguishers.

 

 Extinguisher Type

Hydrostatic Testing Interval 

Stored Pressure Water, Loaded Stream, and/or Antifreeze fire extinguishers

5 Years

Wetting Agent fire extinguishers

5 Years

AFFF (Aqueous Film Forming Foam) fire extinguishers

5 Years

FFFP (Film Forming Fluoroprotein Foam) fire extinguishers

5 Years

Dry Chemical With Stainless Steel Shells fire extinguishers

5 Years

Carbon Dioxide fire extinguishers

5 Years

Dry Chemical, Stored Pressure, with mild steel shells, brazed grass shells, or aluminum shell fire extinguishers

12 Years

Dry Chemical, Cartridge or cylinder operated, with mild steel shell fire extinguishers

12 Years

Halogenated Agent fire extinguishers

12 Years

FE-36 fire extinguishers

12 Years

Dry Powder, Stored Pressure, Cartridge or Cylinder-Operated, with mild steel shell fire extinguishers

12 Years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First, the cylinders are visually inspected. Visual inspection, at the time of hydrostatic testing, must be performed by a DOT licensed test agency. Visual inspection must be performed in accordance with CGA pamphlet C-6.1; Standards for Visual Inspection of High Pressure Aluminum Compressed Gas Cylinders. Internal and external visual inspection of a cylinder is performed prior to hydrostatic testing.   The visual inspection includes:  checking for cracks and fissures, sidewall stamps, rust, and verifying the correct tolerances for outside diameter, wall thickness, length and straightness.

Next, the cylinders are put under pressures of over 66% higher than their normal working pressure.  Hydrostatic testing must be performed by a DOT licensed re-test agency. Hydrostatic testing must be performed in accordance with CGA Pamphlet C-1; Methods for Hydrostatic Testing of Compressed Gas Cylinders. 

Once a cylinder has successfully passed all visual inspection and hydrostatic test requirements, it is to be permanently marked with the test date, month and year, and licensed test agency's number in the proximity of the previous hydrostatic test date.  No cylinder is to be marked with the licensed test agency's number until the cylinder has passed all visual inspection and hydrostatic test requirements. No cylinder is to be marked with a licensed test agency number by any other person or agency other than the personnel of the licensed test agency.

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