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  1. #1
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    Jan 2004
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    Exclamation SCBA Question!!!

    I recently attended a SCBA course that my explorer post provided. We were taught that our bottles are 4500 psi, and when it reaches 3500 psi we are supposed to change out. Well, that is only using 10 percent of the bottle, so I discussed it with a firefighter I know, and he said that you are not supposed to change out the bottle until it is at 1000 psi. i know that you are supposed to switch out when the vibealert goes off, but I would like to know the actual pressure because this may be a question on a future exam!!! If you know for sure please tell me via email.
    Thank you,
    Samantha
    Riverside Fire Explorer post 101


  2. #2
    Member
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    riverside, ehh?
    riverside, california?

    anyways, down here a majority of our bottles are 2216 giving us about 22 minutes of air when full. during our daily checkout of the equipment if it is 1800 or below we will switch them out. if the regulator gauge shows us a pressure a little more than 100 psi difference then what it says on the cylinder gauge then the harness, regulator, etc... go out of service.

    hope it helps.

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber
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    I run our explorer program here. You are getting some very mixed info. Before anyone here tells you something that is not your Dept. SOP go check with a Dept. member with expirence.
    That said. If you have a bottle that hold 4500 psi then thats what it should have in it. At our weekly truck check, any bottle not full is topped off and put back into service. If you do not fill the bottles at the station then change it out with a FULL bottle.
    That covers the matianence side of it. When USING the SCBA you should only enter a IDLH with a full bottle. If you enter with a full bottle and leave before the viber alert goes off, DO NOT re-enter with that bottle. Change the bottle then re enter. Why go in with a more limited supply of air?
    If you have any further question post them here or find a senior member to help you.
    Good Luck
    B Holmes

  4. #4
    GFDSlappyRob
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    They meant when you have "used" 3500 psi. As for when you should actually change it is all up to you. If you want to change it when the vibralert goes off then do it if you want to change it a little earlier then you can. I don't believe they ask questions like that on exams and quizzes.Hope this helps

  5. #5
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    here, durring truck checks, we will fill the bottles if the gauge is below the "U" in the word full that is on the bottle.

    we use SCOTT 2.5 bottles. they are at 2216psi.
    IF YOU FOLLOW ALL OF THE RULES YOU MISS ALL OF THE FUN.

    Moose (Post 2028 Vice President/ Command Officer)Explorer Highland Twp. Fire/Rescue Dept.

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    These Are My Opinions, Not that of My Dept. or Any other Orgnazition I Belong to.

  6. #6
    Forum Member colfireman's Avatar
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    At the Dept I belong to, we use 2216 bottles. SOG is when they are below 2000 psi we change them out.

  7. #7
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    he prob means dont use a bottle that is 3500 psi full and it should be changed before someone goes to a working with a bottle not totally full? maybe thats your answer.. maybe not
    -Goshen Fire Dept-

  8. #8
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    At our dept. we use 2216. For us FULL is FULL, FULL is not 2215. When it comes to you getting yourself and your partner out of that building in an emergency that last 2-3min of air may mean the difference between life and death. I would never enter a IDLH without a FULL bottle.

    At the same time I was previously a member of a dept that did not own our own cascade system and bottles had to be driven 20-30min to be filled, and this makes keeping bottle completely full nearly impossible. At that dept. SOPs stated that bottles at 2000 or less must be changed. I personally appreciate the ability to go in with as much air as possible.

  9. #9
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    They meant when you have "used" 3500 psi. As for when you should actually change it is all up to you. If you want to change it when the vibralert goes off then do it if you want to change it a little earlier then you can. I don't believe they ask questions like that on exams and quizzes.Hope this helps
    I would tend to think ^^^that^^^ is the correct answer.
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  10. #10
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    At Advanced SCBA courses taught in my area, you are told to swap out a bottle that is at 90% capapcity before use. A 100% full bottle is not too often found as the filling system will heat the air inside, due to compression. As the temperature cools, the bottle will show a drop in pressure. Unless you fill a 4500psi bottle very slow and with no air temp changes, in a little while, it will be less than 4500psi. As for when a bottle is in use at a call or after a call, change it when less than 90% pressure remains. On a 4500, that would be 4050psi.

    Got a compressor? Fill a bottle from 1000psi to 4500psi quickly. Notice how the bottle will feel hot. Check that same bottle in an hour. Guarantee that it won't be at 4500 anymore.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber EFD840's Avatar
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    Samantha,

    The context makes a big difference here. As Bones and others said, when you're checking bottles after use or as part of an equpment checkoff then you want to replace any that are below a certain level. I believe the 90% of rated capacity Bones used is straight out of the Essentials of Firefighting. Most folks I know have a certain preset level around that mark. 3500 PSI would mean that the bottle is 75% full, so I bet this is the context he was using.

    It sounds like you were thinking about the question in the context of changing out while in use at an incident. In that case, the low-air alarm is going to activate at about 25% of the rated capacity (roughly 1100 psi on a 4500 bottle). That's when you would normally got out and get a fresh bottle.

    I would suggest you check with the instructor to find out what context meant when he made the statement, that way you'll know how to answer the question!

  12. #12
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    When I ride at roll call when we do our truck checks we make sure the bottle is full (we use 4500 psi bottles). Even if the bottle's aren't in the harness we make sure they are toped off. I think that is the best idea to make sure they are FULL.


    Stephen

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