Hydrostatic Testing Certification

By Brendan Malloney
The Department of Transportation requires compressed gas containers be tested every five years to ensure their integrity.

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Hydrostatic certification is the standard test required every five years for compressed gas canisters used by divers, fire departments and medical personnel, among others, to be requalified for use. This testing is required by federal law and governed by the U.S. Department of Transportation.


The integrity of the pressurized container is checked to ensure no leaks are present and the integrity of the canister is capable of maintaining rated pressure.


Each enclosed tested container is placed in a sealed vessel and water or air pressure is applied to the container from within the jacket. The sealed vessel is pressurized to five-thirds of the amount of pressure for which the tested container is rated. For example, 5,000 pounds per square inch (PSI) would be applied to a container rated at 3,000 PSI of pressure to ensure integrity.

Other Requirements

All containers must have pressure-relief devices installed capable of relieving the entire container. Containers may not re-qualify for their specific usage if the compressed gasses would damage or chemically react with the holding tank or otherwise cause the gas to leak from the container. Markings used to identify enclosed hazardous materials must also be legible.

About the Author

As a professional pilot, Brendan Malloney began writing technical publications in 2006 for flight students at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Some of his works include "Aerodynamics for Student Pilots" and "Understanding Federal Regulations." Brendan holds a Bachelor of Science in aeronautical science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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