Keep an eye on painted tanks
Aluminum tanks are often painted at the time of manufacture and you can get them in almost any color imaginable. Although these tanks look great when they’re new, keep in mind that it’s almost impossible to prevent the paint from getting scratched and chipped through normal use. As the painted surface is broken, it becomes very easy for water (and salt) to work its way beneath the paint which will start corroding the metal of the cylinder. It’s a good idea to look for any bubbles in the paint from time to time, as this is the #1 sign that water has made it’s way beneath the paint. Alternatively, you can just buy unpainted aluminum tanks and avoid the problem entirely!
Some steel tanks are painted as well, but this “paint” is not for cosmetics: it’s designed to protect the cylinder from corrosion. The process is much more detailed and costly than that used on aluminum cylinders. The resulting finish is much more durable as well, although it’s still very important to inspect the finish from periodically for chips and bubbles.
Preventing a scuba tank explosion is easy…
… if you follow some basic guidelines in taking care of your cylinder. So what do YOU do to keep your tanks like new? Let the rest of us know in the comment section!