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  1. #1
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    Question SCUBA Air Quality

    I am confused regarding the air quality for SCUBA vs SCBA. I am to understand that the air quality for both is the same, of coarse there is some variations in moisture and humidity but that of coarse depends on how fast the cylinders are filled and how humid out it is. When a compressor fills cylinders at the firehouse, is there anything special that needs done for SCUBA Air vs SCBA air?

    Thanks


  2. #2
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Talking SCUBA vs SCBA

    Good question. Basically, the difference between the two is the "QUALITY" of air....i.e., the percentage of Carbon Monoxide, Carbon dioxide, moisture and other elements in the mixture. There is also a slight difference in the upper & lower limits, for the percentage of Oxygen allowed. Confused?

    This link will probably answer your questions.

    http://www.cleandryair.com/limiting_table.htm

    SCBA is grade L
    SCUBA is grade E

    (Based on the Compressed Gas Association ratings)

    http://www.cganet.com/

    I would check with the Mfg. of your compressor sysytem regarding the rating of your compressor.
    Last edited by NJFFSA16; 05-01-2002 at 05:12 AM.
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  3. #3
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    SCBA is grade L
    Interesting that OSHA breathing air is Grade D. If you don't fill SCBA to Grade D level, are you meeting OSHA codes? Just curious, we spec'd our compressor to Grade E.

  4. #4
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    Default SCUBA vs SCBA Air Quality

    Thanks for the reply. The information was definitely educational. Now from what I am reading, although there are classifications, there does not appear to be a significant difference. I guess my question is would there be a problem filling air rated for SCBA in a SCUBA cylinder or vice versa. We currently do it now with no problems. Does anyone know any reason this could not happen.

  5. #5
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    Default

    The air for SCUBA is higher grade, cleaner if you will. I wouldn't fill my SCUBA in a system not designed for it. While not an expert I think it is just filter quality and type. Talk to your local breathing airr compressor guy. You are suposed to have your air tested "annually?" for quality. They will give you a certificate that you can post near the fill station. You can use the SCUBA air in a SCBA but not the other way around.

  6. #6
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    I guess my question is would there be a problem filling air rated for SCBA in a SCUBA cylinder or vice versa
    Your air supply will be graded at one level. It should be to the highest level you need, which in your case will be E for SCUBA. That will cause no problem with SCBA. If you were only at level L or D which are SCBA levels, you could (should) not fill SCUBA.

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber truck6alpha's Avatar
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    If you are filling for SCUBA, consider having your air tested quarterly instead of annually. In most cases, I would bet, there won't be much in the way of change, but wouldn't you rather see the changes on a report instead of in your cylinder at 3 atmospheres? The effect of depth can be profound- a subtle change in CO level that wouldn't necessarily do anything more than give you a headache on the surface may be enough to kill you at depth.
    Michael "Mick" Mayers
    Acting Director, Urban Search and Rescue
    South Carolina Emergency Response Task Force
    www.sctf1.sc.gov

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