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When playing a combat sport like Paintball, players must keep their equipment in the cleanest and most functional state possible. This will require regular maintenance of their equipment and the various components that make up the paintball marker.
One of the most critical parts that make the whole paintball marker work is the compressed air and CO2 tanks.
If not properly tended to, these high-pressure tanks could not only rupture and then explode, injuring players or worse but could also cause performance issues in the midst of combat.
Therefore, it is essential to know that the hydro date is located on the third row of information placed on the crown of most paintball canisters.
Where is the Hydro Date on a Tank?
First, let us add a bit of context; a hydro date is the same as a manufacturer’s date. The application of this information is to maintain the performance of the air tank but also to estimate when the units will need to have them re-hydro tested when they expire.
To find the hydro date, locate the manufacturing date on the crown of the compressed air or CO2 tank. The testing will then allow a participant or professional to have a sense of control over the maintenance and performance of his paintball marker.
Some brands will have different locations; the best action plan is to ask a professional at the fields you play at or purchase paintball equipment.
How Can I Tell When My HPA Tank was Made?
As mentioned previously, most manufacturers will place the ‘Hydro date’ or ‘Manufactured on a date’ on or around the crown of the tank, close to the portion that screws onto the paintball marker. This is, however, only the case for some paintball equipment producers.
One easy way to get the date an HPA tank was made is to ask the experts at the store the tanks were purchased. They should know the location of that information or how to access it for the customer.
One thing to consider when purchasing tanks from an online store or directly from the manufacturer would be to find a batch date or to call the logistics department and find out that information straight from the warehouse.
How Many Digits for a Date are There?
When looking at specific models of paintball HPA tanks, the dates will be mixed in with a jumble of other information. The dates are, however, reasonably uniform regarding the number of digits that make up the Hydro date.
There will be a total of four digits that will make up the dates of manufacturing, which will be usually separated by a four-digit code made up of both numbers and letters.
Not all units will have those dates, for some HPA paintball tanks under two feet in length are not required to take the re-hydro test and come in smaller sizes than the standard bottles.
What does 5-year Hydro Mean?
When referring to the maintenance needs of paintball equipment and markers, there are bits of information that a player must know about to ensure they will get the best out of their stuff. One of these tidbits of information would be the five-year hydro test date.
This statement refers to the three-to-five-year range in which most HPA tanks are projected to begin failing, most commonly by leaking pressure.
This is common in all pressurized gas and liquid systems; over time, most materials break down or fail with age, which then can cause pressure loss or cause an explosion.
What do the Letters Stand for?
When looking at the information printed on a CO2 tank, most manufacturers will have more than just the four digits of the Hydro-test date.
Much of that information pertains to the model, the design type, batch labeling, and other details the company uses to identify products.
The vital information for the player will be the four digits that make up the month and year in which the product was manufactured.
Those dates will generally be found on the third row of information printed on the tank, and for your information, under that print will be instructions on how to find the life expectancy and Re-Hydro date.
Final Thoughts on How to Read Paintball tank Hydro Dates
It is crucial for those that would like to be competitive, or at least not make a fool of themselves, in the combat sport of Paintball to maintain the integrity of their HPA tanks and systems.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to know the manufacture date, which happens to help identify the date when a hydro-test will be required.
There are smaller tanks that will only last for a short time during combat and will not require hydro-tests. These are not standard sizes and will generally be shorter than two feet in length.
Paintball HPA tanks are like any pressured gas apparatus. Therefore, they need to be tended to with a certain level of seriousness to avoid unnecessary injuries.