Hydrostatic Testing Requirements for Portable Fire Extinguisher Cylinders 

Travis Jolliff

Federal laws (and in some cases state and municipal statutes) require that most of the pressure cylinders associated with portable fire extinguishers must be periodically hydrostatically retested to ensure their safety. In addition, the laws require hydrostatic testing of cylinders which show evidence of corrosion or mechanical injury.

Principal authorities

The two principal authorities that have jurisdiction over portable fire extinguisher cylinders are the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Code of Federal Regulations, (DOT, OSHA and MSHA).

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) hydrostatic testing requirements

NFPA standards have no force of law in and of themselves unless adopted by a regulatory entity that is empowered by statute to enforce regulations. However, as consensus standards developed by teams of recognized experts, they represent sound fire safety principles, practices and procedures. Moreover, some states and municipalities have adopted NFPA standards as a part of their fire protection codes, including those parts dealing with the maintenance and hydrostatic retesting of extinguishers. 

Department of Transportation (DOT) hydrostatic testing requirements

DOT hydrostatic retest requirements apply only to charged pressure cylinders which are transported in commerce in the U.S. or to foreign countries. Once the product reaches its original destination, DOT rules apply only when the container is reshipped in a charged condition or being refilled. 

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) hydrostatic testing requirements

OSHA has safety jurisdiction over most workplaces in the U.S., and as such its regulations have the force of federal law. OSHA has not adopted NFPA standards for hydro-testing per se, but its requirements follow NFPA standards closely. 

Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) hydrostatic testing requirements

MSHA has safety jurisdiction over mines and generally references the appropriate NFPA and DOT regulations for additional guidelines on extinguisher hydrostatic testing. 

Hydrostatic testing should only be performed by trained, qualified persons

No matter what type of cylinders you use for your business, it’s important that they be properly tested to ensure they are in working order. You can count on Jay L Harman Fire Equipment and its certified DOT and hazmat staff to conduct tests on cylinders, tanks, and cartridges.

We follow regulation and code set by DOT and hazmat when testing cylinders. Through hydrostatic testing, we can determine if there are any cylinder leaks. We also check for pressure tightness and test the cylinder’s structural integrity.

The Jay L Harman Fire Equipment team understands your firefighting needs and is ready to help

Jay L Harman’s DOT Hydrostatic Testing facility and equipment meet all NFPA requirements for the hydrostatic testing of self contained breathing apparatus compressed gas cylinders in addition to testing ABC portable fire extinguisher cylinders.

Jay L Harman is the best and one of the biggest firefighting equipment suppliers and service providers in the region, specializing in fire suppression systems, fire extinguishers, emergency lighting, fire hoses, hydrostatic testing and more. Serving El Paso TX, Las Cruces NM and the surrounding areas, we pride ourselves on buying local and hiring local whenever possible.

Jay L Harman Fire Equipment is your go-to distributor for OVAL low-profile fire extinguishers in West Texas and New Mexico.

Contact Jay L. Harman Fire Equipment in El Paso TX at 915-533-7021 or Las Cruces NM at 575-523-8880.

Since 1925, we have protected businesses throughout the area from the harms and hazards of fires. Every Jay L Harman technician is licensed and regulated by the Texas Department of Insurance State Fire Marshal’s Office.  Each of these technicians continually receives the most up-to-date factory training and certifications by our manufacturers. Contact Jay L Harman Fire Equipment today. Let our friendly and knowledgeable staff tell you more about our fire suppression systems and help you find the ideal fire suppression system for your needs. Learn more about our full offering of fire extinguisher trainingfirefighting servicesfirefighting productsrequest a quote, ask a question or request additional information.