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Sep 2, 2009

Check those dates...

There are a bunch of numbers on a CO2 tank. The two that are most important are the two numbers separated by a symbol (sometimes a @). The first number is the month your tank was "born". The second number is the year. CO2 tanks are out of date, can not be filled and must be inspected five years from that date. For example, this tank is out of date and can not be filled on the last day of January, 2014.

I am not trained nor do I have the elaborate testing machine to test them myself. There is a testing location in Little Rock that will test CO2 tanks for $29. Back when a 12 ounce tank cost over $45 it was worth the $29 to have it inspected. Now you can buy nearly any size CO2 tank for less than $29 so basically what you have after the inspection date is a handful of scrap aluminum (and a bit of brass).

Keep this date in mind when you find a good deal on EBay or locally. Nearly every CO2 tank you buy from EBay is out of date or very close. When you see a "great deal" always figure in the cost of a new tank and then do the figures again.

The only exception to the inspection date rule is CO2 tanks that are 2 inches or less in diameter. They, along with certain chrome moly tanks, are exempt from inspection at this time. Keep in mind the person you ask to fill your tank can refuse to fill any tank, even those within inspection date, if they feel the tank is not safe in anyway.

HPA tanks also have an inspection date but they are a bit more difficult to read. Some have a 3 year date while others have a 5 year date, which isn't always noted on the tank. Bring it in if you are not sure and I can try and figure it out for you.


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