Recycled Scuba Tank

Once a Tank Fails Hydrostatic or Visual Testing, What Can You Do With It?

Even with proper maintenance, scuba tanks eventually wear out. Dents, cracks, and rust can compromise a scuba tank’s structural integrity. The dive industry recommends that tanks be visually inspected for damage once a year, and the United States Department of Transportation requires that all compressed gas cylinders undergo hydrostatic testing every 5 years. If a tank fails either visual inspection or hydrostatic testing, it is decommissioned. The owner is left with a heavy, bulky hunk of metal. Now what?

1. Be Certain That the Tank Is Unusable
If uncertain, double check to make sure that the tank can’t be used for diving. Old tanks are not necessarily unusable. If the tank’s hydrostatic test date is passed, send the tank in for testing. Steel tanks have a very long life and steel tanks from the 1950’s can still be found in perfect working condition.

2. Save the Valuable Bits
Remove the tank’s valve. Tank valves are valuable, and a valve in good condition can be re-used or sold. Even if the valve is no longer usable, you will need to remove it before scrapping or shipping the tank.

3. Make Some Cash
Sell the tank for scrap metal.

4. Find an Appropriate Disposal Method
Give the tank to your local dive shop if they already have a method of disposing of old scuba tanks.

5. Get Creative
Use the tank for an art project. From door stops to lamp bases, used scuba tanks can be painted, cut up, and polished for a variety of uses. Scuba tanks even make great planters for the diving gardener.

Thanks to Natalie and

Kathy Dowsett


About Kathy Dowsett

I believe in protecting our oceans, lakes and rivers, as well as their aquatic life. I respect the work of conservation groups such as Save the Sharks, Save the Sea Turtles and Save our Wrecks. I believe that the use of plastic bags/bottled water should be discouraged as plastic finds its way to the ocean. I also support Diving for the Disabled and Swimming for the Disabled. As a PADI-certified diver, my interest in diving led to the opening in July 2008 of kirkscubagear, my online business. My site offers more than 2,000 products, including freediving, swimming and outdoor equipment. My continuing goal is to encourage diving and offer customers a shopping alternative for the purchase of scuba gear.

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