When it comes to diving, everyone knows that a scuba tank is an essential requirement. These tanks provide the oxygen we need to function while enjoying the underwater world and all the marine life that lives beneath the waves. You need a fresh tank of air every time you go scuba diving. Renting a tank every time you go is an option, although it can be costly. If you're going to dive frequently and not always at a dive centre, you might consider purchasing a scuba tank and refilling it yourself.
Although refilling your own scuba tank involves installation costs and a rather pricey investment in the equipment initially, it will help save you money in the long run. Operating a compressor, the main piece of equipment required for refilling scuba tanks also requires training and a certification.
The certification you require is a Professional Scuba Inspector (PSI) or other DOT- or OSHA-approved certification in order to legally fill any cylinders. Once you have the certification, follow these simple "How To" steps:
1. Start the refill process by checking the hydrostatic testing dates on the cylinders. It is imperative not to fill cylinders that do not comply with this requirement.
2. Empty the cylinder until there are only five to ten pounds per square inch (PSI) of air. Pay attention to sounds of loose objects or water inside. Cylinders that sound damaged or flooded must not be filled. Before placing the cylinder in a cool-water tank at a compressor facility, you must also inspect the valve for damage, rust or debris.
3. Once you have performed the preliminary inspection of filters, gauges and the compressor itself to make sure they comply with the operational specifications, as well as set the compressor to shut down automatically at the specified rating for the cylinder, you may begin the actual work of refilling the cylinder.
4. Make sure you have wiped the cylinder valve and compressor yoke clean and dry, fasten yoke to the cylinder and open the cylinder valve completely. Start the compressor cycle in order to fill the cylinder.
5. As a precaution, you must monitor the automatic shut off, and be prepared to shut off the compressor manually if need be. Remember, the compressor must never be left unattended while filling the cylinder.
6. Finally, be sure to take steps to ensure your safety of that of those around you, as unexpected accidents may occur.