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Filling SCUBA Tanks at Fire Station

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by BigDaddy051570, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. knotical

    knotical perpetual student

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Ka'u
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    SCBA compressors are commonly spec’d to provide either CGA grade D or L air.
    SCUBA typically requires Grade E.

    All three are similar with identical requirements for CO and CO2

    See for example.
    CGA releases NEW 2011 CGA G-7.1 Standards « Safe Air Systems

    The major difference is that Grade E limits total hydrocarbons, the others do not. As boulderjohn said, the physiological effects of breathing gas at 1 atmosphere are not the same as breathing at depth.

    If your firehouse compressor provides air that qualifies as Grade E, enjoy. If D or L, you’ll need to decide how important hydrocarbon concentrations are to you. Any chance you can get to see their compressor’s air quality test results?
     
    KWS likes this.
  2. BigDaddy051570

    BigDaddy051570 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Forest, Virginia
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    I actually find some information to back up this claim that fire station air is actually higher quality than dive shops typically. Here is a quote from an article from a scuba magazing..."The accredited U.S. compressed breathing air laboratories still report a CO failure rate of 3 to 5 percent for "dive" compressed air samples received from around the globe. Air samples for the U.S. fire service air samples have a CO failure rate about one-tenth that of the global dive centers."

    ---------- Post Merged at 10:21 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 10:18 PM ----------

    I will try to see what grade the air is. I honestly wonder how often dive shops test their air. Apparently PADI has removed the requirements from their shops since they don't want to be left liable if someone gets bad air and the shop has not complied with PADI standards.
     
  3. fire_diver

    fire_diver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NW Oklahoma, USA
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    You won't find anything listing it as a certain grade. By OSHA regulations the quarterly air tests are supposed to be posted at the compressor. It will list the amount of moisture, CO, oil mist and total hydrocarbons. It may give you a specific number, or it may say "less than XXX" with a tested threshold of XXX. so if they are looking for the air to have less than a certain amount, then that may be all it shows.

    Is that clear as mud for you?

    As long as the air is tested regularly and passes, you will be fine. You're better off than many scuba shops air.
     
  4. Paladin

    Paladin Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: West Virginia
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    Some fire depts. add oxygen to their SCBA air. You'll want to check for that.
     
  5. fire_diver

    fire_diver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NW Oklahoma, USA
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    I have NEVER heard of any dept doing this. Please name one.
     
  6. ajtoady

    ajtoady ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Hammond, NY
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    I bought a SCBA to DIN adapter from NE Scuba supply for $50. I had a DIN to Yoke reg adapter already and can fill either tank. The test results are posted at the compressor and I get Grade E air same as a dive shop. Pressure gauges are an integral part of the filling area. Enjoy the close proximity and I trade services with the FD in exchange.
     
  7. fire_diver

    fire_diver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NW Oklahoma, USA
    3,547
    517
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    That's a good point. Don't look at it as "free air". Take the firefighters a few dozen donuts some morning or a tray of cookies or something. If they are a volunteer dept, make sure you attend thier benefit suppers and help them out too.
     
    taucherguy, xdjio and blue sky like this.
  8. BigDaddy051570

    BigDaddy051570 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Forest, Virginia
    22
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    Great thoughts everyone. I've got a guy on it to get the adapters I need. I have also seen two recent air quality reports (they test every 3 months in NY). Specs look great (20.7% O2, <1 ppm CO, <2.7 ppmv hydrocarbon, 2.1 ppmv methane, very low oil and particulate, and a dew point of <-95). I am convinced this will be quality air, and will soon be filling tanks for "free", though I certainly intend to support my local FD more than I have been (just bought a bunch of chicken at their fund-raiser).
     
  9. ajtoady

    ajtoady ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Hammond, NY
    877
    392
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    In my area the fire fighters are all local farmers, state workers and such. We try to help any way we can, with donations and attending the functions or offering services. I have worked in all of the "Big" cities and in this area the locals are down to earth and everyone knows each other within reason. I sure don't miss city living or the BS associated with it. There's nothing like pissing in the middle of the road at night for the heck of it and no cars or street lights. But hey,:D that might just be my take on it.
     
  10. Scubadam

    Scubadam Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Baltimore, Maryland
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    I would only get my tanks filled at a scuba shop, primarily because I don't know if you can use SCBA air while scuba diving. If you can use SCBA, and it is cheaper, by all means use it. I just do not know if it is safe for diving.
     

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