How To Use Scuba Air Compressor

Knowing how to use a scuba air compressors is a useful skill for anyone that loves to scuba dive. Using air compressors can get tricky for an inexperienced user, and it may be necessary that a professional helps you. Scuba air compressors are used to fill up the scuba diving cylinders with compressed air. The pressure of the gas is raised by reducing its volume in order for larger capacity to be carried by the diver in a small air cylinder. Here are some guidelines to the usage of the compressor. These are not instructions per se, having some knowledge about how a scuba air compressor works will lead you in the direction of correctly using it.

Items required:

  • Air compressors

  • Air filter

  • Large piston

  • Inter cooler coil

  • Moisture separators

  • Bleed valve

  • Scuba cylinder

  1. Prior to buying a scuba air compressor, ascertain whether it complies with the international breathing air standards. 

  2. Air compressors are either electric or gas operated. It is safer and more practical to use an electric compressor. A gas compressor is portable and can be taken aboard. The electric compressors need to be adequately wire: a smaller compressor requires 200 – 240V electrical system.

  3. Two tasks need to be executed by a scuba compressor. First, it compresses air to extremely high pressures of 3000 PSI; second, it filters and decontaminates the air to make it fit for inhaling. An in-built air filter sucks in the air into the first phase where it is constricted down to 100 –140 PSI by a large piston. The air leaving the first phase is hot due to a rise in temperature created as a side-effect of the compression.

  1. The air is passed through inter cooler coil that dispels the heat before sucked into the next phase. This is a crucial step so as to avoid damage to the pump. In the second phase, the air is again compressed to 800–1,000 PSI. The air is re-sent through inter coolers and before entering the final phase, it passes through a separator which removes moisture, sending dry air into the last stage where the air is further compressed up to 5000 PSI. This air is cooled yet again using the inter cooler and passed through one or two moisture separators. Now the air is ready to be filled into a scuba cylinder. This is done by using a bleed valve that is fed at 2700–3000 PSI.

  2. To fill gas from the scuba air compressor into a scuba cylinder, connect the compressor input pipe to the valve of the cylinder and open the valve.

  3. Before turning on the compressor, make sure all fastenings are tight and that there is no leakage of gas.

  4. Monitor the gauge of the compressor while it is filling up the cylinder.

  5. When the compressor turns off, close the valve on the cylinder first and then loosen the valve on the input pipe.

  6. The input pipe can be disengaged from the cylinder valve after the air is released.

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