Purchasing used scuba equipment is an economical way to outfit oneself for a sport that is equipment intensive. When doing so, however, there are some precautions that should be taken to ensure that you’re purchasing quality equipment and not just someone else’s headaches. Scuba tanks are fairly straightforward and have only a few items that need to be checked to determine whether or not they are still fit for service
1. Verify that the tank has a current hydrostatic test date stamped on it. For the test to be considered valid, it must have been performed within the past five years. This test is done to ensure that the tank is structurally sound and is capable of operating at the pressure for which it is rated.
2. Visually inspect the exterior of the tank. It should be free from any deep gouges or rust. Also check to see that the valve, the “O” ring and the valve thread are free from damage.
3. All scuba tanks should be stored with a few hundred pounds of air pressure inside. This is done to prevent water from entering the tank and causing rust or corrosion to build up inside. Attach either a pressure gauge or a regulator with a pressure gauge to the tank and open the valve to verify that the tank was properly stored.