SCBA fill station SCUBA

Discussion in 'Public Safety Divers' started by HenryG, Dec 3, 2007.

  1. HenryG

    HenryG Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Connecticut
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    Does anyone know of any problem with using a Fire Service SCBA cascade system for filling SCUBA tanks. Our SCBA tanks fill to 4500 psi and the scuba is to 3000 psi. Seems to me like it should work with an adabtor that I have purchased, but some question if it can be done. I say if I can use the air in there to go into a fire I can use it to go underwater ... but, just in case, I figured I'd ask the forum.
     
  2. waylander48

    waylander48 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Thailand
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    I used to get mine filled at the fire department all the time the only problem you should have is the the valves are different you will have to buy an adapter or a fill whip for SCUBA
     
  3. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
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    We've been doing it for over 20 years. Just make sure the system is installed , filtered and maintained properly. We get less than 5% of our air through dive shops.

    Gary D.
     
  4. bridgediver

    bridgediver Scuba Instructor

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    We do too.

    One thing you need to double check is the air purity standards. Make sure that the values meet scuba. Some of the partial pressures which may be OK for ambient (or fire) may not be good for depth (or scuba). Especially mositure content and CO2
     
  5. CBulla

    CBulla ~..facebook conch..~ ScubaBoard Supporter

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    I used to get mine filled off an SCBA setup for a while and I'm still alive to talk about it. I've since learned that more filtration might have been needed, but its to late to look back then and see.
     
  6. Boater Dan

    Boater Dan Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Western PA
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    As someone else stated, the filtration for diving air is greater than fire service air. I am going from memory (whichi is dangerous for me), but I believe diving air is Grade E and fire service is Grade D. Our compressor system had been check for air quality and was inspected to dive quality air.

    Dan
     
  7. bleeb

    bleeb Single Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Ottawa, Canada
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    I don't know about the uses of Grade D, but dive grade air appears most often (but not universally) to be somewhere between E and 'E+'. The standards for diving air (or other gasses) aren't all that definitive and how a particuar compressor is operated is subject to individual decisions on the part of the operating organisation.

    Here's a link with some background that I copied down from another SB discussion, although it's oriented a bit towards the LDS providing the gas: Fill Express -- Quality of Breathing Gases
     
  8. mavdog

    mavdog Barracuda

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Western Pa
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    We use our system to fill both scba and scuba tanks. We just updated (thanks to homeland security grant) to 4500 psi scba bottles but the compressor fills to 6000psi for the air bank. The tech that installed the system said that because of the hepa fillters we will have no problem with scuba.

    Semper Fi
     
  9. dittrimd

    dittrimd Force Fin Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Coventry, CT
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    Grade D for SCBA/fire fighting is right out of OSHA 29 1910 134 as is testing to certify air purity every 6 months. What I cannot find in OSHA is Grade E for SCUBA. Maybe that is just a NFPA requirement. I know that your compressor must have a certificate visible on the compressor from a qualified company that shows your breathing air quality test and grade as well as the date of your last inspection. This is a requirment for either SCBA or SCUBA.

    Mark D.
     
  10. mdjh51

    mdjh51 Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Fort Worth, Texas, United States
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    As long as your SCBA compressor meets the air purity standards for SCUBA you should be okay. Remember that firefighting takes place at ambient pressures while diving involves increased partial pressures. Hence the different standards in air quality. A benign contaminate at ambient pressure may be catastrophic at depth.
     
  11. jumbo

    jumbo Barracuda

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    Ive done it a few times

    jumbo
     
  12. BladesRobinson

    BladesRobinson ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    There is extensive information that has been condensed to a four page PDF for your convenience. Please visit:

    http://www.airsystems.com/Reference/CGA%20Air%20Grade%20Specifications.pdf

    In a nut shell, the dive industry recommends Grade E and the fire industry recommends Grade D.

    A quick scan shows Grade D allows for O2 variation between 19.5 to 23.5 %

    Grade E has allows for a small fluctuation, between 20 to 22 %

    If the air is used for blending then the tolerance levels are more restricted. Many filling cylinders at the local fire department may find that the air is tested for Grade D compliance but would also pass the Grade E standard.

    FYI only...

    Blades Robinson
     
  13. Desert Pirate

    Desert Pirate Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Bingham County, Idaho.... Thats S.E.
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    Im a lil ignorant on this, I fill at our SCBA station 90% of the time, I dont know what the firestation compressor grade is, but if it is required to be grade D, will they only test it only to be certified to be grade D... or is it the same filtration test, were if it is greater, they would give it an E grade? If anyone knows, I dont want to open a door were ppl argue over how they do or should do these tests...
     
  14. Boater Dan

    Boater Dan Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Western PA
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    Desert Pirate: They should be testing the air on a regular basis anyhow even for Fire Service. I "believe" a testing company will only certify to what you ask for. So, they should ask to qualify the air to grade E if it is being used in a scuba environment.

    Dan
     
  15. bridgediver

    bridgediver Scuba Instructor

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    We need to do air purity tests twice a year on all breathing gases up here too.

    When the test comes back it should give you all the levels of the test so it should be easy to determine what realm it falls into be it "E" or "D".
     
  16. Firediver32

    Firediver32 Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Rochester, NY
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    I use ours all the time. We have our air tested quarterly and maintain it for grade E. As for the fill whip, I asked the service guy for a yoke adapter and he made me one for about 100 bucks. From what I can gather though (and depending on who you ask) Grade E is not ok for O2 blending so none of my tanks are o2 cleaned for nitrox.

    Dan
    Barnard Fire District, Rochester NY
     
  17. Desert Pirate

    Desert Pirate Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Bingham County, Idaho.... Thats S.E.
    158
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    Boater Dan > They should be testing the air on a regular basis anyhow even for Fire Service. I "believe" a testing company will only certify to what you ask for. So, they should ask to qualify the air to grade E if it is being used in a scuba environment.

    Bridge Diver> When the test comes back it should give you all the levels of the test so it should be easy to determine what realm it falls into be it "E" or "D".

    ok... conflicting, but this is exactly my question, is the difference because your in seperate countries? I will ask our fire chief too, and post what I find out as well.
    thanks,
    Clay
    __________________
     
  18. bridgediver

    bridgediver Scuba Instructor

    758
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    Could be but I just asked the testing company for the data/print out when they send the cert. It's this data that they used to determine if its safe so they should have it somewhere
     
  19. fireplug

    fireplug Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: South East Ohio
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    We have an Eagle Air for SCBA fills in our FD. One thing we have found when filling SCUBA tanks is having to remove the plastic boot on the bottom of 80 CF tanks. This allows the cylinder to fit into the blast chamber that must be closed and latched to allow air movement from the compressor or bank to the cylinder to be filled. I get real twitchy when I see someone filling a cylinder with a whip or a home made deal and the unrestrained & unprotected cylinder sitting in the middle of the floor. If a cylinder won't fit in our blast drawer it goes somewhere else to be filled.

    Been dealing with "Won't happen to me, people" my whole career.
     
  20. Desert Pirate

    Desert Pirate Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Bingham County, Idaho.... Thats S.E.
    158
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    Thats a good point Fireplug.. I have never done this, but have had ppl tell me that by puting the cylinder in a bucket of water will prove as a blast chamber as well. The tanks that are filled by our portable cascade system in our trailer dont have blast chambers, they fill from 5000 lb tanks through fill whips, and I have seen this done for saftey measures. I know the air out of this system is grade E... but I am more willing to chance the air from the FD than an absence of blast chamber in our trailer. reason why 90% of my fills come from the FD and not our cascade...
    my question now is ... does a bucket of water form a blast shield? i dont see how, but Im not a scientist either.

    this thread is making me think...
    Clay
     

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