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To start, to hydro a tank (aka hydro test) means to have the paintball tank pressure tested, which includes submerging the air tank into the water and then subjected to large amounts of pressure to ensure the integrity of the unit, plus avoid explosions.
You can test a tank innumerable times, but the general rule of thumb is that Paintball tanks only last between three- and five-years tops.
Now, this does not mean that one should overly test their tanks, there should be regular testing within the three to five-year range, but there is no need for excessive testing.
How Many Times Should You Do it for Non-Pressurized Systems?
Concerning markers that use ballistic or mechanical means of launching paint, there is no need for hydro testing the air tanks because there are none.
One should know that as invaluable as knowing whether or not your paintball air tank will explode, it is equally as important to know that non-pressurized systems do not require a compressed air (or CO2) tank.
In short, knowing what type of marker you intend to go into paintball combat is invaluable. Additionally, understanding the differences between an HPA and non-pressurized system will help combatants avoid confusion.
And How Much for Pre-Pressurized Systems?
Regarding the experts’ word, a regular paintball air or CO2 tank will need to be pressure tested before the three-year mark.
After that, a paintball player should either consider getting a routine test done or replacing the old air tanks with a new one and three more years of worry-free play.
To be blunt, there is not much hydro testing required for paintball tanks. Still, they assure you that your air tank equipment is functioning correctly and will not fail you on the paintball field.
It is recommended to have at least one test done at the three-year mark of an air tank’s usage.
What Happens if you Hydro too Often?
Just like refilling a tank regularly and expanding it just as often, there will be wear and tear, especially on the seals and nozzle of the tanks, but even more so under the higher pressure tests underwater.
Suppose a player hydro’s their tank too often, in effect. In that case, they will be shortening the longevity of the air tanks and risking an eventual explosion.
One risk of performing the Hydro testing too often is that the system and seal integrity could be compromised by exposing the tanks to such pressure and conditions too often, which can lead to a dangerous explosion.
When is the Best Time for Hydro?
The best time to test one’s equipment, specifically the air tanks, with hydro testing is after about three to five years of using the same tanks. During that time, the manufacturer warns that the integrity of the seals may be compromised after all that time.
The best time to test an air tank is when you notice the change in the performance of your marker during a match. Immediately afterward, it would be wise to seek a hydro testing facility.
Another good time is to set up a schedule with a professional on when to take tests and replace the old air tanks.
What Would Happen If You Don’t Re-Hydro?
There are a few possibilities of what might happen if a paintball player does not re-hydro test to ensure the integrity of the air tanks but also to avoid explosions. There are many risks when considering what happens if an air tank is not adequately tested.
The most dangerous of those possible outcomes comes with an exploding tank that went untested for too long.
Knowing the dangers of being uncertain about the integrity of your equipment and the possibility of a deadly explosion makes it clear-cut to the importance of having your air tanks adequately maintained.
Final Thoughts on How Many Times Can you Hydro a Paintball Tank
Participating in a combat sport like Paintball takes split-second decision-making and a reliable marker. Nothing is more frustrating than a Marker getting jammed in the middle of a competition or having paint misfire because of a pressure issue.
From the information gathered here, it can be gleaned that maintaining paintball tanks is essential to having a working marker. Getting tanks checked around the three to five years mark is crucial to ensure the integrity of the seals and canister.
Remember to research when selecting a place to test your tanks – an informed customer is an empowered buyer.