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Please Educate A Newbie on Nitrox :)

Discussion in 'New Divers & Those Considering Diving' started by Aerosynth, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. Aerosynth

    Aerosynth Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Midwest/Central U.S. is where I hang my hat. Where
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    Hi all,

    I was just recently Open Water certified, and have logged 5 freshwater dives so far. I am planning a couple upcoming dive trips. One of the trips I want to go on is 60-80ft saltwater, taking a tour of a reefed ship. The dive shop that handles the trip recommends the use of Nitrox for the dives, and offers certification for people (like me) that don't already have it.

    I understand that Nitrox allows for longer bottom times and reduces the risk of decompression sickness, but that's all I know. Are there any other benefits to diving Nitrox, or any other risks (other than Oxygen Toxicity at depth)?

    Is this something that I as a recreational diver should be certified in, or is Nitrox one of those things that I will only use once in a blue moon?

    Thanks for any help.

    Tim
     
  2. devilkitty

    devilkitty Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Walled Lake, MI
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    I think it's a worthwhile cert to have.
    I find I'm much less tired after a day of diving if I'm breathing nitrox, though some debate this. Given the choice of air or a nitrox mix appropriate to the planned depth, I'll take the nitrox every time.

    On a 32% O[SUB]2[/SUB] mix, your ppO[SUB]2[/SUB] at 80fsw would be somewhere around 1.1: that's a pretty safe number. You'll learn the calculations as part of the nitrox course, should you choose to go that route.
     
  3. Jax

    Jax Deplorable American ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: AZ TX
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    I'll agree with devilkitty -- I feel much less tired on Nitrox. I would dive it all the time were it available. Nitrox is a good "next step". As for its use, only you can decide that.
     
  4. Dirty-Dog

    Dirty-Dog Frequently Censored ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Pueblo West, CO, USA
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    As a new diver, you're probably a bit of a hoover. Most are, including me. If that's the case, then EANx won't actually give you any more bottom time. It will, however, allow for shorter surface intervals if you're doing multiple dives.

    There are quite a few people who say they feel less tired when diving EANx. There's only been (to my knowledge) one formal study, but it would seem to indicate that this is more of a placebo effect than anything else. Realistically, it doesn't really matter. If it makes you feel better, then use it. It certainly isn't going to hurt you (assuming you stay within the MOD, etc...). And there's no such thing as too much knowledge. Get the cert. :)
     
  5. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

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    The major benefit of Nitrox is increased allowable time before hitting NDL limits. In theory, if you dive air limits on Nitrox, you have improved safety, but it is difficult to show this, since few people dive air limits and DCS is rare to begin with. Many of us will claim that we "feel" better diving Nitrox (less post-dive fatigue) but the only study to have looked at this did not find it to be true.

    The risk of Nitrox is central nervous system and pulmonary oxygen toxicity. The first is controlled by not exceeding safe depth limits for the mix you are using, and the second is really not an issue for recreational divers, as the required times are quite long, and the clock basically resets in 24 hours.

    The increased bottom time you can get from diving Nitrox in the middle recreational range (70 to 100 feet) is substantial. I think it's well worthwhile to get the certification. Nitrox is available a lot of places nowadays.
     
  6. Teamcasa

    Teamcasa Sr. Moderator ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Near Pasadena, CA
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    TSandM is right.

    But the lesson learned in the Nitrox class will make you a better, more informed diver. The cert is worth it on that basis alone.

    I too feel better when diving Nitrox. I know it's only anecdotal but who cares, I like it.
     
  7. Aerosynth

    Aerosynth Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Midwest/Central U.S. is where I hang my hat. Where
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    Thanks for all the help. Now let me ask this... the dive shop in question offers the cert for $200. How is that price-wise?
     
  8. Teamcasa

    Teamcasa Sr. Moderator ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Near Pasadena, CA
    12,121
    440
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    That's about right here in SoCal. (Any dives would be extra, but PADI no longer requires a Nitrox dive to get the cert.)
     
  9. CamG

    CamG Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Geneva Indiana
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    Greetings Tim and welcome to Scuba Board!
    Personally I love Nitrox and use it very often and on all of my personal dives.
    When we are training students my instructor likes to use only air for OW-AOW.
    I would highly recommend taking the academics either online or traditional class.
    Be very clear and ask questions if you do not understand the principals. It is not rocket science but there are hazards that you will need to be aware of.

    In the days pre - online coarse there were two check out dives that demonstrated you were aware of these principals under the supervision of an instructor.
    If this was the offering of the dive op I would go for it! You could check out the on-line coarse as well. In any case research and study to cover all the bases.
    You will find that Nitrox will extend your bottom time and reduce your fatigue.

    CamG Keep diving....Keep training....Keep learning!
     
  10. Mike Boswell

    Mike Boswell ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: San Diego
    32,016
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    We don't use Nitrox at home in San Diego, but we DO use it when on dive vacations. Those dives are mostly on Aluminum 80's/shallow depths, and we usually run out of air before we push NDL limits, so the use of Nitrox does not typically entend the length of those dives.

    I can't say I feel any different physically using Nitrox, but when diving Nitrox using air NDL limits I feel I have an added safety factor, and the resulting peace-of-mind makes multi-day, multi-dive trips more enjoyable.

    On the two dive vacations my wife and I have taken - Cozumel and Bonaire - the number of divers using Nitrox was about the same as the number using air, and my recollection is that the dive operations did not charge more for Nitrox. Dive boats here in California also have Nitrox, but the one I have been on charges more.
     

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