How To Use Scuba Diving Tanks
Planning to get wet and want to know how to use SCUBA diving tanks? Good news--it's easy to do, and can be a ton of fun!
First things first: SCUBA diving, while normally a very safe and widely-pursued activity, is only safe if you are properly trained and certified. If you attempt any SCUBA related activities without proper training or supervision, you can die. Most SCUBA shops won't sell tanks or fill air for non-certified customers. Keep that in mind. But assuming you know that already, here's how to use SCUBA diving tanks.
What you'll need:
- Certification - No really, we're not kidding. Be safe and stay alive.
- Equipment - To use a tank effectively, you'll need the full loadout.
- SCUBA Tank
- Valve fittings
- Regulator set
Ready to learn how to use SCUBA diving tanks? Here you go!
- Get Certified - We're talking about hundreds of PSI in a heavy steel or aluminum tank. If you shear the top off a tank, the resulting pressure can send the tank flying through concrete walls. Be safe, get certified. Better to beat a dead horse than mourn a dead diver.
- Get Set Up - Before you can use the tank you need to get an appropriate valve. Your local dive shop can set you up with the appropriate valve for your regulators, or set you up with one to rent that works with their equipment. Valves are screwed in using an allen wrench, and altogether the process is fast and simple.
- Fill 'Er Up! - Your local dive shop is going to have to fill the tanks, too. You can do it at home only if you have some very expensive and specialized equipment, and even then there's risk of contamination if you're not careful. Trust me, you don't want to be breathing gas-filled air at 100 feet deep. Air fills aren't expensive, and once you're full, you're good to go! As a final side note, unless you're Nitrox certified, make sure to ask for an "Air Fill" and not a "Nitrox Fill."
- Some Assembly Required - Make sure you're familiar with all the pieces on your kit, especially if you've never used it before. If you're not, ask the dive shop and they'll help you out. There should be tape covering the tank valve. This tape keeps some dust out, but it also helps keep track of which tanks are full and which tanks are empty. Remove the tape and turn the valve about a corner turn for a moment to blow out any latent dust, then close the valve again. Attach your Buoyancy Control Device (BCD), if you're using one. Position your regulators. Your primary stage and your safe second should go over your right shoulder and your gauges and the BCD hose go to the left. Finger tighten the regulator to the valve, connect the BCD hose (if you're using one), and turn on the air.
- Test - Go through the standard check procedures. Make sure your BCD will inflate and deflate, check your pressure on your gauges (check with your dive shop for the proper amount), breath through each of your mouthpieces, and taste to make sure the air is dry and clean.
- Dive, Dive, Dive! Enjoy the experience-it's like nothing else!