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Old 12-15-2016, 06:04 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by freedummy View Post
It's not like it sounds, I changed the phrasing of the original post. Before, it was a vague "should I be paranoid about the safety of tanks acquired used." That is up to individual discretion, unlikely as it may be.

Now the discussion has swung in a different direction
My (possibly extreme) position on the matter makes the specific wording irrelevant to my response.

Look at how people treat their equipment and apply the same negligence to the single most dangerous component of any paintball gun.

I don't deliberately buy used HPA tanks. I might get one if it's part of a package, but that's it. If it does come into my possession, it's very rare that I will give it to anyone else. That's only happened once for me. The first time was the last time.

I might down-cycle them and use them for lower PSI purposes (say shop compressor tank), but as far as I'm concerned, a tank's HPA days are over as soon as another paintballer takes possession/ownership of it.

I totally understand the convenience and generosity of having loaner tanks, but whoever you're loaning to should go ahead and play HPA roulette on their own terms. Why insert yourself into that game?
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Old 12-15-2016, 09:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Clean it like a scuba tank. Simple Green, rinse with hot water till it flows clean let dry (leave tanks inverted). Should do it.
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Old 12-16-2016, 08:25 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Or have them hydrotested, that way if they will fail it will be somewhere safe ie. inside a cage with shield. That way you know the tank is safe and oil free.
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Old 12-16-2016, 10:53 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I'd take it to a scuba shop and have them clean it and hydro test it. Their inspection requirements are far superior to just a hydro test and they can detect problems easily.

Most of the used tanks I've seen that are old are usually close enough or out of hydro and need testing anyways.
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Old 12-16-2016, 01:13 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Or have them hydrotested, that way if they will fail it will be somewhere safe ie. inside a cage with shield. That way you know the tank is safe and oil free.
^^This.

I've bought and resold about a dozen used HPA tanks in the last few years, but I always get them hydro-tested before selling them to someone else, and I fill/empty them a few times to make sure nothing explodes. And when I fill them for the first time, even when they've just come back from hydro, I connect them to my scuba tank inside my garage, gently open the valve, and then run behind the steel basement door, just in case something terrible happens. But if something bad doesn't happen after the first few fills, I'm assuming nothing bad will happen after that.
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Old 12-17-2016, 12:42 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I'd take it to a scuba shop and have them clean it and hydro test it. Their inspection requirements are far superior to just a hydro test and they can detect problems easily.
Scuba shops are the best source of knowledge when it comes to dealing with paintball tanks, notably better than even the most seasoned paintball tech. They also tend to be more open to sharing their knowledge. I took my first HPA tanks to a scuba shop when they needed to be rehydro'ed. The staff there took me in the back, taught my how to remove the valve from the tank, and also showed me how to properly reinstall it when we were finished. That's a far cry from most paintball shops. Scuba shops usually have old tanks they are willing to sell for next to nothing, which are perfect for an at-home air source for our activities.

As far as oil in used tanks, scrap the tank if you aren't comfortable. It's not like most used tanks are even valuable, and their regs can always be saved for other tanks (particularly those tiny CI tanks).
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Old 12-17-2016, 02:14 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I'm going to preface this with: I can not in any way confirm that this is a safe method, but from over a decade in various forms of mechanical work, I believe it would be. I am open to the idea that I am wrong so if anyone knows better please chime in.

I would do a heavy rinse of the inside of the tank with isopropyl alcohol to remove any oil residue, since alcohol is a good oil solvent but isn't strong enough to potentially damage the resin. Then, once it has been left reg side down in a dishrack to dry, rinse again with plain water and dry for a day or two on the dishrack again.

Again, if someone who has more manufacturing/service experience with high pressure cylinders wants to correct me, by all means chime in. But seems like it would be safe to me. I have to imagine even the best compressor with the best dryer/separator still allows some small amount of oil vapor into the air supply. The real question is how much oil does it take before it nears explosive potential?
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Old 12-17-2016, 10:15 PM   #18 (permalink)
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The real question is how much oil does it take before it nears explosive potential?
I think it's more about friction than pressure. You could probably put gasoline inside a paintball tank and fill it safely, if you did it slowly enough. That much pressure won't cause it to spontaneously ignite. The problem is when you put certain kinds of oil in the fill nipple, and all that air rushing in (or out) causes friction AND heat. That's what can cause problems.
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Old 12-19-2016, 01:37 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Seems like most of the risk is during hot filling. Slamming 68ci of 4500psi in 30 seconds alone seems pretty volatile.

This is why we have 2 burst disks.
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Old 01-06-2017, 10:39 AM   #20 (permalink)
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This is why we have 2 burst disks.
Actually I'm fairly certain that one burst disk is for tank pressure and the other is for output pressure.
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