Gases such as oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide are stored at high pressure in seamless metal cylinders. The construction of these cylinders allows for some flexibility of expansion and contraction to contain the pressurized gases safely, but over time, the integrity of the outer shell begins to deteriorate. Combined with other defects, this decrease in flexibility could render an oxygen tank or carbon dioxide fire extinguisher unsafe to use.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) has established regulations concerning the safety of high-pressure gas cylinders. It’s vital to schedule hydrostatic or hydro-testing on a routine basis to ensure compliance with these standards.
Is it time for your gas cylinder’s next hydro-test? If so, please contact United Fire Protection at (407) 218-8348 for hydrostatic testing in Central Florida.
What Is a Hydrostatic Test?
This is the process the DOT has established for testing cylinders of compressed gas. The standard way to test these cylinders, known as the water jacket method, involves enclosing the cylinder in a steel test chamber filled with water. Pressure is applied to the interior of the cylinder, bringing it to about 150% of the designated pressure limit, and the elastic expansion of the outer wall is measured. As long as the cylinder passes the test, it can be recharged and put back in service.
At United Fire Protection’s hydrostatic testing facility in Orlando, Florida, we can pressurize cylinders up to 10,000 psi. This gives us the ability to test the structural integrity of most high-pressure cylinders in use today.
Types of High-Pressure Gas Cylinders We Hydro-test
Our fully equipped facility is capable of hydro-testing seamless cylinders pressurized with non-poisonous gases, including:
- Oxygen: Life-sustaining oxygen tanks are often found onboard ambulances, fire engines, and other rescue vehicles. Even cutting torches are outfitted with oxygen cylinders. Regardless of their size or intended use, oxygen tanks must be hydrostatically tested every five years.
- Air: Examples of air-filled cylinders include SCUBA tanks, SCBA bottles, and air-horn and air-chisel supplies. Canisters made of aluminum and steel are retested every five years, while composite cylinders require testing every three years.
- Carbon dioxide: CO2 cylinders, including those used for fire extinguishing purposes, need to be retested every five years. Check the original date of manufacture stamped on the exterior of the cylinder or listed on the identification label to find out if it’s time for the next hydrostatic test.
- Nitrogen: The most commonly used nitrogen cylinders are made of steel or aluminum, weigh 150 lbs and are rated at 2200 pounds per square inch gauge (psig) or higher. These cylinders require hydrostatic testing every five years.
When to Schedule Hydro-Testing for High-Pressure Cylinders
Most compressed gas cylinders are required to undergo hydrostatic testing every five years. However, certain steel canisters may be eligible for retesting every 10 years. If our testing facility determines that your cylinder qualifies for this prolonged use before tests, we will affix a five-pointed star to the cylinder after the last hydro-test date. To learn if your pressurized tank meets the requirements for 10-year hydro-tests, please contact us.
Schedule High-Pressure Gas Cylinder Hydrostatic Testing in Orlando
If your goal is to keep your high-pressure cylinders safe and code-compliant, you simply can’t overlook hydro-testing. Trust United Fire Protection to deliver a reliable test for your peace of mind. Our experience serving the Central Florida area dates back to 1994.
If the five- or 10-year mark has arrived, and it’s time to schedule hydrostatic testing in Orlando, please call United Fire Protection at (407) 218-8348 or contact us online to arrange a visit to our hydro-testing facility.