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Service Life of Aluminum Scuba Tanks

Discussion in 'Tanks, Valves & Bands' started by CaveSloth, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. CaveSloth

    CaveSloth Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: The Deep South
    I am in the market for an AL80 scuba tank. As long as it has a current hydro and viz inspection, how old of a tank should I consider purchasing? At what age should I think twice?
  2. _Ralph

    _Ralph Contributor

    1/ Ask your dive shop you get fills at if they have an age limit on tanks.

    2/ I’d avoid anything older than 10-15yrs for an aluminum personally. (Not that there is anything wrong with a maintained and tank of good shape that old, just referring to point 1 about tank age and fills with certain shops I frequent - they have a 20yr rule.) I like to get 5-10+ yrs of use out of a tank.

    3/ avoid anything before 1989. Many tanks prior to that year were made with a different alloy that isn’t favourable to current alloys. Many shops won’t fill them.

    That’s for age. If there are no dents/dings in the exterior of the tank, and the inside is clean (no coloration or oxidization), neck looks good and passes an Eddy test, then i’d buy the tank if they were asking a fair price for current hydro and visual.

  3. ryanski

    ryanski Contributor

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: buffalo ny
    like _ralph said avoid the AL6351 alloy. that was stuff before 1989. i think my tanks are 20 yrs old. they pass vis and hydo each time. some shops have cut off dates so check with your LDS.
  4. Bob DBF

    Bob DBF Contributor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NorCal
    For more info about the "bad alloy" AL tanks read the sticky at the top of the forum.
    Is my cylinder made from the "bad" alloy aka AL6351?

    It's more important to know what AL tanks the dive shops you use will fill than the tank being in hydro and viz. @_Ralph suggestion of 10-15 years is good to keep your bases covered if you travel with it, some shops are overly cautious, or trying to make a sale.


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