Author: Kris Mifsud
The scuba tank is one of the most important piece of scuba gear, although they are heavy and seem tough, they are complex pieces of scuba gear which must be looked after. A well-maintained scuba diving tank is essential for safe scuba diving besides it could provide you with at least 20 years of service.
When using your scuba tank
A cardinal rule for scuba diving tanks is to never completely empty your scuba diving tank. When planning your scuba dives, it is important that you consider to finish off your dive with enough air left within your scuba diving tank. Empty scuba tanks may allow some water to enter by backing up though your regulator, so having your scuba regulator attached does not necessarily mean that the inner part of your tank is safe from exposure to water.
The best way to be sure that water does not enter your scuba dive tank when diving, is to never allow it to be completely be emptied of air pressure. Always plan to leave at least 1-2Mpa (10-20 bars) left in them to ensure that moisture does not enter.
If for some reason, the scuba dive tank pressure should be completely exhausted, it is important to immediately close the valve to keep moisture out. When bleeding the air from your scuba tank, be sure to bleed the air slowly, as quick bleeding may cause internal condensation.
After your dive, be sure to always rinse your scuba tanks and, especially, the valves in fresh water to remove any grit and salt crystal which may be hindering the operation of the valves. Ensure that the tank valve is easy to operate. Should there be any sort of difficulty on operating the valve, do not try to lubricate it but have it serviced at a professional dive store.
Get your scuba diving tanks inspected
Due to the fact that most scuba diving tanks can rust and corrode, the inside has to be visually inspected by a qualified service center at least once a year. To do this, the scuba tanks are slowly drained of air and the valves removed. Using a special light, the interior is inspected for any deficiencies. If the tank passes the visual inspection, it will be tagged with the test date. You should also be aware that most dive facilities will not fill a tank without this tag containing the visual inspection test date.
Another test which must periodically be conducted is called a hydrostatic test. This test serves the purpose for evaluating whether there are any signs of metal fatigue and stress. When a tank passes the hydrostatic test, it means that your scuba dive tank can hold air at its rated pressure. A test date will then be stamped onto your tank. Again most dive facilities will ask look for the this stamp or else they have every right not fill your tank.
This article is an excerpt from a series of informative guides appearing on Scuba-Snorkeling-Adventures.com.
About the Author
Kris Mifsud– A keen enthusiast, with a lifelong passion for all types of water sports. Editor and publisher of www.Scuba-Snorkeling-Adventures.com – a comprehensive Scuba and Snorkeling guide to techniques, equipment and reviews.