Need a few hints to help buy diving rebreather? You aren’t the only one looking for help when it comes to buying a rebreather. The choice can be a difficult one because there are so many options to consider. It’s especially difficult to buy a rebreather when you’re new to this field and have very limited experience with them. Sometimes, you just need a little help (and a push in the right direction) to get your search started.
So, what is a rebreather, and what hints may help find the best one?
Understand How Diving With Rebreathers Work
Rebreathers make circuit scuba diving very unique. This type of diving enables you to reach depths you wouldn’t normally be able to reach with standard open-circuit scuba diving equipment. It’s possible to take part in 100m dives with a rebreather with Navy SEALs able to go far beyond that. However, deep diving is difficult without proper training and safety equipment. A 1.6 bar of oxygen pressure can be reached with dives over 66 meters and oxygen toxicity is a risk for those divers.
Deep or technical diving opens the door to additional risks, such as nitrogen bubbles getting into the bloodstream and causing a condition known as the ‘bends’. Technical divers require a special gas mixture to cope with the ambient pressure. Special gas mixes are essential for those divers, but also, they require a secondary oxygen source. A backup open-circuit oxygen tank can prevent fatalities if something were to go wrong.
You have to be prepared for any eventuality underwater and follow safety procedures if or when they’re required. Mainly, you need to understand how the rebreather works. Remember, it recycles air through the breathing loop within the rebreather. When you exhale gas (carbon dioxide), it is then filtered and converted back into oxygen so the supply is constant. That’s why rebreather diving is so unique.
Consider the Type of Diving You Do
Rebreather diving is a fun pastime, an interesting hobby, and for some, a wonderful career; however, it can also be a big commitment. The type of scuba diving equipment you purchase may depend on the type of diving you do. For instance, if you do a lot of technical diving, you may need a high-end quality rebreather. However, if you’re only into shallow reef dives, rebreathers mightn’t be the best equipment needed. Also, if you do the occasional bit of sport diving once a year, a high-end breather wouldn’t be required since you aren’t using it every month.
You have to think about your diving pursuits and that may help determine which scuba gear you buy.
You want an authentic rebreather experience, but, you have to think about your safety first and foremost. Buying just any rebreather is risky and not the smartest way to approach this either. Before you purchase any rebreathers, go through an official and licensed training course. This is important for your safety while in the water.
However, training may also enable you to find the right rebreather. You train using the same model throughout your diving education and that may enable you to decide on a particular rebreather. During the training, you can learn how the breathing mixture works, along with the gas mixture. You could even learn about diluent gas and some water safety tips.
Think about whether you’re really ready to Use a Rebreather
You might like the idea of technical diving, but you have to think about the risks versus the rewards and whether you’re comfortable using a rebreather. Rebreather diving is incredibly popular but it’s not for everyone. Also, becoming a rebreather diver takes skill and hard work. It’s useful to have a few good years of diving experience before moving onto this particular type of diving.
Remember, you have to learn about rebreathers and how they work. It’s going back to basics, but going beyond what you already know. You’re learning about using gas and oxygen tanks again, but with a new breathing system, and physiology. You have to be familiar with the breathing loop and understand the depth levels you can reach too. New safety measures have to be learned and they may one day save your life. However, they can help reduce accidents in the water. So, are you ready for the additional diving training?
At the end of the day, you have to be happy to use the rebreathers. If you are confident about them, it’ll be easier to find the right diving equipment for you.
What Can A Rebreather Do For Your Diving Abilities?
A rebreather brings something new for divers. It recycles the air breathed underwater so that less oxygen has to be carried around. For instance, when standard scuba diving breathers are used, gas is exhaled and escapes into the ocean (which causes the bubbles to appear). However, with a rebreather, the gas goes into the rebreather and the breathing loop creates a reusable field. Divers are able to remain in the water for longer. It’s a fantastic investment and useful for experienced divers.
Do Your Research
You know about the right oxygen content levels and understand ambient pressure and how important a scrubber can be, but, what do you know about the rebreathers themselves? It can be scary going into the water wearing a rebreather for the first time and the wrong one makes things even scarier. That’s why you need to learn everything you can about rebreathers. From failure points to the scrubber and beyond, you need to know every little detail about them.
Of course, you learn how to become a circuit diver during training and how the rebreathers work; however, training doesn’t show you which rebreathers are the best to buy. Forget what you know about diving for a moment; when you purchase something, what do you do? Most people look at the product as a whole and look at its features and costs. That’s what you could do too to find the right rebreather. However, you may want to go further and read reviews on specific models and even compare one another.
Create a Budget You Can Stick To
This will take a big investment. Circuit diving is hard work and you have to be properly trained because it’s an entirely new diving experience. It’s essential to go through training to ensure you learn about the new breathing loop, oxygen sensors, buoyancy, and much more. A rebreather training course can be expensive and that’s just the start of it. You also have to buy a rebreather mouthpiece, gas, and much more. It’s an expensive pursuit.
However, by creating a long-term budget, you can narrow down the type of rebreather you buy and that’ll be best for you. Also, factor in additional costs, such as suppliers and buying spare parts, oxygen sensors maintenance, and oxygen monitors. Be reasonable but realistic with the budget and stick to it as best as you can.
Always Find a Local Supplier and Distributor
A lot of divers don’t think about local suppliers or distributors when buying rebreather equipment, however, it’s essential. The reason why is simply because you need to service the rebreather from time-to-time. If you don’t have a local supplier available, it might get very expensive. You may have to send your equipment off overseas or even buy additional equipment and that just adds to your overall costs, not to mention, waiting time. Sometimes, local is better so look at a local company and see what options are available. This will make buying rebreathers easier.
Consider the Rebreather Features
Rebreathers vary from model-to-model. There will be some that sport more features than others and that’s something you may want to think about before purchasing. Take the time to look at the features. Consider the depth gauge, as well as the condition of the gas and oxygen supply tanks. Some features will be manual and others electronic in design. Look at the NERD (near eye rebreather display) and other features.
Consider Buying a Used Rebreather
Rebreathers are expensive pieces of equipment and sometimes your budget can’t stretch far enough to purchase brand new gear. However, a used closed-circuit rebreather can be just as good as a new one. This may be something you want to consider before you buy circuit rebreathers. Buying used can be far more cost-effect as long as it’s in good condition.
If you’re buying used, think about the condition of the scrubber canister and the oxygen sensor and gas canisters. For safety, ensure it’s able to work effectively and enhance the dive experience. If the gas canisters aren’t in good shape, replace them, or look for another. Inspect every inch of the rebreathers to ensure the oxygen supply will run smoothly. While used probably isn’t what most divers want, it may be the more suitable option available.
Think About Travel and the Weight of Your Equipment
How heavy is your scrubber? What about the gas tank? Do you have a failsafe oxygen supply tank? Where do you dive? These are the questions you must ask yourself when buying a rebreather. Scuba diving is a fantastic experience, but, depending on where you live, it’s unlikely you’ll be doing most of your diving locally. That means you’ll be taking your rebreather and equipment with you when you travel.
Rebreathers can be pretty heavy to carry around and some airlines have restrictions over them too. For example, rebreathers over a certain weight or size must be put into the cargo hold during a flight. If the scrubber and other equipment exceed a weight limit, additional costs may be incurred. Also, gas and oxygen canisters may not be allowed on board, even if they contain small traces of gas and oxygen. This is for safety. Of course, every airline has policies over such things so you have to check those out before you fly.
However, it’s something to consider, nonetheless, and may influence the type of rebreathers you buy. Just remember, if you travel a lot, you may need to factor in the additional costs to find suitable diving equipment.
Why Divers Use Rebreathers
A rebreather makes diving a more authentic feeling because you’re able to remain underwater for longer. You can remain in the water for up to 3-to-6 hours (depending on the size of the tank and specific model of the rebreather). Every dive depth is dependent on the scuba gear being used and the skill of the diver. Rebreathers do pose a risk – like traditional open-circuit scuba equipment – because things can go wrong, even for an experienced diver.
A rebreather can malfunction if they’re not maintained well or can have a minor fault that’s difficult to spot. It’s also difficult to get used to if you prefer open-circuit breathers and for some, it’s confusing to make the transition over to rebreathers. However, more look to these since they allow divers the chance to get closer to marine life and since they reuse their own oxygen. Rebreathers replace oxygen by converting the gas exhaled. Gas doesn’t escape into the water and is fully filtered to be used as oxygen.
They’re good to use and enhance your diving abilities and experience.
How Safe Are The Rebreathers And What Safety Tips Should You Follow?
A rebreather can be a safe piece of equipment if it’s used correctly. Diving should be taken seriously, no matter your experience or skill level. Proper training is necessary to ensure you’re safe during your dives. However, safety tips might also help you avoid disaster underwater. Here are a few of those tips you may want to consider:
- Check Your Diving Equipment Before You Dive
- Get Your Mind Focused
- Stick To A Dive Depth You’re Comfortable With
- Always Have A Backup Plan In Case Your Rebreather Fails
- Configure Your Rebreather Properly
- Keep A Failsafe Oxygen Or Gas Canister With You During The Dive
While diving can be a fun experience, you never know what or when it’ll go wrong. Following safety procedures and guidelines can be essential, but of course, having the best rebreather does help avoid disaster.
Choosing the Right Rebreathers for Your Diving Abilities
You want to buy diving rebreather. You’re experienced and want to go beyond your current diving abilities. It’s hard work and there’s a lot to learn, but if you’re determined, rebreather diving can be a wonderful experience. Of course, the investment side of things will need to be considered. However, if it’s something you want to try, it shouldn’t hold you back.
Finding the best rebreather is essential and is a lot easier to do than you think. The above tips are a few things that may help you find the right one. You should consider all options available to you, along with your current skill level. Hopefully, it’ll be easy to find the rebreather that fits your requirements well.