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Rebreathers - Reviews & Guides For 2020

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Rebreathers buying guide

Love to explore the deep depths of the underwater world? Want to stay underwater for a longer period of time? Don't sweat. Rebreathers are here at your service.

The piece of equipment addresses the exhaled air and separates the carbon dioxide from it while adding oxygen or nitrox to it. This allows you to reuse the air for breathing purposes and stay underwater for a longer time.

As breathing underwater is a crucial aspect of underwater diving, you cannot just blindly invest your money into any product. You have to look into all the critical elements like size, supply mechanism, quality, and other additional perks.

Gathering all the information on these metrics can become a tiresome task. Without correct details and facts, you can easily fall into the market's bear trap. However, with a comprehensive buying guide by your side, you get access to all the information under one roof.

You can quickly skim through all of it and sort out the best option from the available ones. Also, you get answers to various common queries and questions related to the rebreathers.

So, without any further ado, let us go through a quick introduction to have a clear picture of the product and then move further into the guide.

What do you mean by Rebreathers? Why do you need them?

While water is scarce in space full of various gases, gas is scarce for you when underwater. Confused what's been said? Stay tuned to unfold the diving mystery.

Scuba diving is all about unveiling the hidden treasures inside the water. Vibrantly colored fishes, undiscovered corals, and whatnot! Name it, and you will find everything inside.

This outdoor activity is a dream of the majority of the people. If you are one of them who wants to try that for once before growing old, you should know all about it, including the essential gears.

Rebreathers, or those that can recycle the air exhaled, are essential equipment in the diving industry. The way water gets recycled in the spaceships and used, these equipment recycle the air that you exhale underwater.

The primary purpose is to remove the entire carbon dioxide from the exhaled air and replenish it with adequate oxygen and nitrogen.

This unique invention helps you observe the aquatic habitat for a long duration and not disrupt your expedition. These have large cylinders and make no sound that would disturb the dwellers around.

Types of Rebreathers

To make the most out of your diving, you need to invest in a suitable kind of diving essential. This will help you in staying underwater for a long duration and observe the mesmerizing aquatic world.

Let's have a look at the different types of a rebreather. This dissected section will help you to pick out the best match.

1. Electronic closed-circuit rebreather (ECCR)

These are more technologically advanced and feature a computer monitoring system. This system helps in automatically regulating the amount of oxygen so that your body is not deprived of it.

The oxygen level that should be maintained in the loop is determined previously, and the computer only maintains this set point. Because of this technical complexity, this variant of the gear is inclined towards the expensive side.

Besides, unlike their counterparts, you get the freedom to move deeper because there is no depth restriction in this variant.

2. Manual Closed-Circuit Rebreather (MCCR)

These do not comprise any electrical device and are entirely manual. If you opt for these, you will have to continually keep a check on the oxygen level in your breathing device.

As soon as you find a decrease in the quantity, you need to inject this life-savior gas by yourself to stay alive. Though these are quite simple to use, you need to have a good knowledge of diving physics, the critical aspects, and how this device works.

If you don't have a proper understanding of it and, by any chance, fail to check the oxygen content, you may risk your life.

3. Semi-closed-Circuit rebreather

With every single exhalation, you lose a certain amount of the essential gas by using this diving gear type. These pose difficulty while you are heading for decompression. Though these maintain an adequate level of oxygen but decompressing is a pain.

This is an ideal choice if you plan for recreational scuba diving, but the semi closed-circuit rebreather is not desirable for professional divers. Also, this has depth limitations that make it highly deniable.

Things to deem about while selecting appropriate Rebreathers

Purchasing a rebreather is an expensive affair. You should not make wrong investments and put your life at risk. Hence, searching for suitable diving gear is vital.

While a pile of review books and innumerable pages won't come to rescue, this buying guide will help you incredibly. With the abundance of crucial features and unknown facts, this guide book is loaded with your questions' answers.

To pick the best product out of the look-alikes, leave your work aside, and devote time to this book. Scan every section carefully along with understanding the aspects before making any hasty decision.

Type of Diving

The kind of diving you do affects your choice of diving essential a lot. Since the type of diving varies depending on the depth, time spent, and so on, the standard diving cylinder's capacity does not suffice. This demands a more extensive and prolonged supplying device.

Having a continuous oxygen supply helps to continue diving without worrying about any other factor. Rebreathers, due to their recycling feature, maintain an undisturbed supply of oxygen throughout the dive. Some variants like ECCR do not even impose depth restriction.

These don't require any assembly and are very easy to carry. You don't have to worry about the cleaning or preparing it before you go for a dive. The single tank is your life savior underwater that provides you the ease of use.

The significant advantage of using these is that you have no limitations on time or depth. You can enter an underwater tunnel, chasing a fish, and do lots of activity without any risk.

Counter lung design

The counter lungs are the lungs of your rebreather. Like the type of airbags you have, these bags of the diving gear store the air you exhale.

This air in the bag gets purified and goes back to your body. Interesting passing the parcel between the artificial and the real airbags, isn't it?

The position of these artificial bags differs from models. This difference enables you to choose the comfortable one. Let's have a look at the different counter lung designs.

1. Back-mounted counter lungs

This design keeps your chest free from any burden so that you can easily deflate your lungs. The difficulty lies in inhalation. You might experience it hard to inhale the pure air back from the back-mounted counter lungs.

2. Chest-mounted counter lungs

This design functions in the opposite way of the back-mounted design. You feel congestion while exhaling the air and deflating your lungs. However, inhalation is relatively easy and quick in this design.

3. Over-the-shoulders design

This design also aids in breathing, but you might feel congestion in your chest because of this design.

You should also focus on the counter lungs' size. It should be of moderate size. A smaller size will make you feel short of breath, while a too-large size will be an unnecessary burden.

Basic Field Repairs

Any machine can have a bad day sometimes. Just like you experience mood swings and breakdown, a device, without any sentiment, can have issues with some parts.

You may experience issues with the cells, the mushroom valves, or even may find gas leakage. This malfunction can impact your diving trip a lot. These problems can also put a halt to your diving plans for weeks altogether.

To have an undisturbed, peaceful diving experience and visit your aquatic friends, switch to rebreathers before it's too late.

These include a set of repairing tools that help your self-repair mechanical issues. Moreover, you don't always have to rely on servicing stores until the problem is too big. You can quickly repair your gear effortlessly and prepare for the next dive.

Quality

Quality is the most crucial element of this gear. You need to focus on the quality because you won't have access to a store deep inside the water.

You can't even expect the tiny fishes or school of dolphins to help pump oxygen inside your air deprived body.

To ensure that you are opting for the high-quality product, make sure you

purchase rebreathers' from the known brands. The familiar brands have good experience with these devices and assure you quality.

Besides, you should also keep your gear updated. Upgrade the software used in the computers of the ECCRs. Also, search for variants that guarantee high-grade equipment materials that don't leave you to die midway.

Annual Expenses

As stated earlier, about the huge investment your need to make to buy this essential gear, the story doesn't end here! Your body demands care and love and its replica is the rebreather. It won't be wrong to say that purchasing this gear is like adding a new family member.

This machine also demands love, care, and regular servicing. It needs an overall repair every year, starting from the cells and ending at the tubes and valves. This additional care adds to your budget and continues to do so.

Well, you should not be surprised after learning this fact; after all, it's a machine and a savior. To stay safe while swimming underwater, you need to check that everything is in good condition. We understand that the investment is enormous, but life is paramount.

You can replenish your bank balance, but once you lose your life, it's lost forever. Hence, even if this gear can trouble you because of its monetary demands, you should not forget that it will be the one accompanying you on your expedition.

Scrubber

The scrubber scrubs away the carbon dioxide from the exhaled air thoroughly. This is a chemical-filled container in rebreathers that comes in different shapes and styles.

Its primary job is to remove carbon dioxide so that the air can be instilled by oxygen. The duration of this container varies depending on the style that is listed below.

1. Axial

An axial scrubber has a wide pipe that is cylindrical. This pipe has a vertical orientation, and hence the gas moves vertically.

2. Radial

The direction of flow is a radial that is from the center to the sides. If you still don't get the picture, then you can imagine the radius of a circle.

This will give you an idea of how the gas flows. Unlike the axial scrubbers, this type of scrubber container contains enough chemicals that last long.

Build and breakdown Process

Building up and breaking down your diving gear is an important process. You should not do it in a hurry, for there are chances of malfunctioning. You should take adequate time and assemble the entire rebreather with a calm mind.

Rebreathers are relatively easy to build up only if you do your work precisely. Some variants take only 10 minutes to be assembled, while others take 45 minutes to hours. This time difference depends entirely on the style of gear you are opting for.

Another factor worth mentioning is your efficiency. You may successfully build your gear in a short time and face difficulty later on. To avoid it, you should recheck the essentials parts like valves, cells, and tubes.

Since the diving gear is the only thing that will be keeping you alive down there, you don't want it to experience any malfunctioning.

Gas supply

While planning to stay underwater for long, you cannot compromise on the amount of gas. To recycle the air exhaled by you, an abundant amount of oxygen is needed. What's the use of carrying an air recycler if you are not getting oxygen?

To ensure your safety and maintain a continuous supply of oxygen-rich air, rebreathers have hard-case tanks. These tanks contain enough quantity of oxygen that continuously purify the air until you come out of water.

These also include a separate air tank to be used in emergencies. This means you have lots and lots of gas supply with you and need not worry about it. Though this life-saving machine costs a bit more, the benefits it offers are unbeatable.

Also, the size of the tank does not eat up space for cylinders. These are large enough to hold an adequate amount of oxygen while offering enough space for cylinder installation and other devices.

Duration

When you have a rebreather, you should not bother about the duration of your scrubber. The scrubbers will not let your dream of changing them turn into reality soon.

These last up to 4 to 6 hours. This time range means you will never feel short of air while diving until there is any malfunction. These are highly reliable, and you can change them according to your convenience.

The duration of the scrubber majorly depends on the ambient temperature and the size of the container. It is better to opt for a bigger size of container that will last long.

Additional Features

Having extra features in your gear is not a bad thing. If it has no use, it does no harm either! Bells and whistles help you in times of emergency and always stay prepared for use. As stated earlier, despite being expensive, rebreathers have many benefits.

To help you dive and enjoy it to the fullest, some additional features feature in your gear. Let's see what these include, in case your equipment does not have one!

1. HUD

The Head-Up Display (HUD) helps you monitor the level of essential gases in your breathing loop. This is a screen display that alerts you when the level drops. The significant benefit is that your hands stay free in the entire process of monitoring.

This feature is a must if you want to have a fun dive and explore the inside story of every river and ocean.

2. BOV

A BOV or Bail-Out Valve is a small mouthpiece that is connected to your diving gear. You may be carrying an additional bailout tank to increase the duration of your gear's scrubber. Despite having this tank, you may end up endangering your life.

You never know when things may tangle up underwater. Your body needs oxygen every second, and if not provided, you may even die. There is no time to untangle things during emergencies, put them in place, and then use them.

To keep things prepared, BOV helps. This feature allows you to switch to the open circuit by only a press. In case your rebreather stops working, or the breathing loop does not let air pass, you can have this option of using the open circuit and save yourself.

3. Off-Board Plug in

In circumstances where some malfunctioning the airflow stops, you always have a backup plan in your rebreather. This gear has plug-in loops that can be plugged into any gas tank. This comes in handy in cases when you have difficulty breathing through your equipment.

4. 4th sensor

The traditional diving oxygen suppliers did not have any oxygen sensors. Intense researches and trials introduced the closed-circuit rebreathers that had oxygen sensors in them.

These sensors alerted the divers every time whenever any gas was depleting in their loop. While these gears had only two cells, discrepancies arose, and faulty reading was observed.

To negate this problem, ECCR was introduced with three cells and a computer. Because of the three cells, the fault in the readings was reduced.

However, recently these gears are equipped with four cells. The presence of these negates any false reading and gives you the accurate ones.

Size, Trim, and weight Distribution

The size, trim, and weight distribution of your rebreather play a significant role in your diving. The drawback is that you cannot alter them in any way to suit you.

Don't get upset! For your convenience, rebreathers come in different shapes and sizes to match the diver's needs. You can opt for the one that fits your comfortably, offers enough chest space, has bearable weight to swim around with it easily.

Also, focus on the scrubber's size, the shape of the cylinder, and the breathing loop. Check whether you can inhale air with ease and carry an appropriate amount of essential gases in it.

This way, you can get the best rebreather that pays off your investment and stays longer. It will accompany you on your fascinating water adventures and offer you access to unimaginable places.

FAQs

  1. How much time can my product allow me to stay underwater?

The period varies with different models. Typically, with a good quality product, you can stay underwater for one to six hours without any unnecessary hassle.

  1. Does the product form bubbles underwater?

Typically, the product creates a negligible amount of bubbles. In some models, there are no bubbles. Without bubbles, you can enjoy the underwater marine life without any hindrance and disturbance.

  1. Is the product travel friendly?

This entirely depends on the model you are going to select. Some are highly portable, but some are bulky. While traveling through the air, you have to make sure that the product is checked in as luggage.

While traveling through the road, you can fit the rebreather in the back of your care and carry it comfortably.

  1. Are there any risks associated with the product?

You should make sure that you buy a good quality product as it is responsible for your breathing underwater. With a low-quality product, you may not get the required amount of oxygen that will lead to hypoxia. This can throw you in challenging situations.

Without a proper balance of oxygen underwater, you can get affected by oxygen toxicity, leading to life-threatening situations.

In case of any malfunction, you can find yourself in troublesome situations. So, it is advised to follow all the scuba diving rules carefully and purchase an elite product. You can also opt for a buddy system to avoid being alone underwater.

Final Verdict

Rebreathers present a simple yet effective way to reuse the used air underwater. You can spend more time underwater to explore the beautiful flora and fauna. All you need is to equip yourself with the right product.

Here in this guide, you will find all the pointers that define the usability and performance of the product. Have a glance at them and select an appropriate product that caters to all your needs.



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