What You Need to Know About DOT Hydrostatic Testing Requirements for Low Pressure Cylinders

Travis Jolliff

Hydrostatic testing is one of the most effective ways to test the structural integrity of stainless steel cylinders. Successful hydrostatic testing of low pressure cylinders can help businesses to effectively prevent potential disasters that may occur due to use of structurally weak cylinders. In addition, companies can avoid penalties from DOT for not complying with cylinder testing certifications. The Department of Transportation employs strict guidelines for any business which transports low-pressure stainless steel cylinders containing compressed gas and other chemical materials. These guidelines are set forth by DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), and in accordance with the Compressed Gas Association (CGA). 

DOT Specifications

DOT specifications are designed to regulate the strength and quality of stainless steel cylinders. The DOT specifications require stainless steel cylinders are tested every 3, 5, 10, or in exceptional cases, 12 years. The frequency with which a cylinder must be tested depends upon the age of a cylinder, the type of gas or chemicals it contains, the particular material of the cylinder, and its OEM rating.

If a cylinder is designated for a specific pressure limit, and it is determined that the cylinder is not equipped to handle that pressure, then the cylinder cannot be certified for use. These guidelines are designed to help prevent unnecessary disasters that may occur due to the transporting of faulty cylinders, and therefore it is crucial to understand and comply with these regulations at times. Since 2009, PHMSA oversight programs have helped to decrease serious incidents associated with catastrophic failure of cylinders by 39%.

Markings and Pressure Limits

DOT controlled cylinders are required to be marked with a specific rating, and each required marking must be maintained so that it is clearly legible at all times. When a cylinder is retested or rebuilt, the marking must be updated as necessary to continue to meet this requirement.

DOT Testing Certification

In order to maintain DOT compliance, all DOT regulated cylinders must be periodically tested by a certified DOT testing facility. The testing facility should be equipped to test, inspect, certify, repair and/or rebuild low-pressure stainless-steel cylinders according to the appropriate methods for hydrostatic testing.

The DOT hydrostatic testing facility  must meet the requirements of 49 CFR Sections 107.805, 180.211, and 180.212 to be approved to inspect, test, certify, repair, or rebuild a cylinder in accordance with a DOT specification. A facility may be certified for testing one or more ratings of cylinders. Therefore, it’s important to research any businesses offering DOT cylinder testing services, to ensure that they are certified to test to the particular cylinders that are being transported.

Jay L Harman Fire Equipment is certified and qualified to test, inspect, and certify low-pressure stainless-steel cylinders. We use a state of the art hydrostatic tester to perform re-qualification testing. Cylinders are inspected for leaks, and the integrity of each unit is confirmed. If you have low-pressure canisters that require certification or recertification, please contact us to discuss your specific needs.

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.