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Old 01-05-2010, 09:55 PM   #1
Sea Pirate
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Default Inflatable PFD's How Often Do You Change Cartridges?

Last year I bought a couple of inflatable PFD's, manual pull type inflation, I did not want auto inflate. I bought another one tonight, 3 yrs. old, never worn.

My question is this, how often, or do you ever, change out the CO2 cartridges? Is it necessary? I have changed mine out and plan on doing so every year, just wondered what anyone else did?

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Old 01-06-2010, 03:22 AM   #2
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Default Re: Inflatable PFD's How Often Do You Change Cartridges?

I change mine out every year as well. I think that is the recommended time frame.
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Old 01-06-2010, 04:00 AM   #3
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Default Re: Inflatable PFD's How Often Do You Change Cartridges?

I have 6 Sospender automatics and 1 manual model (14 cartridges to check), but inspect the cartridges throughout the year and replace as needed. Mine have a back up cartridge just in case the primary on the actuator fails. Not much good in an emergency but provides some reassurance.

What am I looking for? Since my are worn all the time, anything more than some superficial corrosion especially on the top where it will be punctured, and it gets replaced. This is still overkill IMHO. Weighing them on a gram type scale should detect an empty one. The CO2 cartridges are fairly thick walled for their size.

I religously change the lil' Alka Seltzer actuator annually.

As I preach, the only good PFD is the one you wear!

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Old 01-06-2010, 04:50 AM   #4
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Default Re: Inflatable PFD's How Often Do You Change Cartridges?

I change mine out yearly and also the soda pill.
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:33 AM   #5
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Default Re: Inflatable PFD's How Often Do You Change Cartridges?

Best way to test is to jump in a pool with one.Do this once a year it is great practice and great way to test each one.Do not forget to test the oral inflation tube at the same time.Great post thanks
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Old 01-06-2010, 03:41 PM   #6
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Default Re: Inflatable PFD's How Often Do You Change Cartridges?

I don't see the need to change out a CO2 cartridge unless it has been used. What I do is use the manual inflation mouth piece to fill the device, and then let it sit overnight to make sure it will hold air for a good long time. I had one soluble pill fail and the device went off in the truck. That CO2 cartridge was several years old and went off just fine.

When I bought my first inflatable I set it off with a spare cartridge at hand just so I would know how fast it opened and how tight it fit. I think everyone should do that so there are no surprises on the fit with clothing underneath.
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Old 01-06-2010, 03:52 PM   #7
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Default Re: Inflatable PFD's How Often Do You Change Cartridges?

Quote:
Originally Posted by No Bail View Post
I don't see the need to change out a CO2 cartridge unless it has been used. What I do is use the manual inflation mouth piece to fill the device, and then let it sit overnight to make sure it will hold air for a good long time. I had one soluble pill fail and the device went off in the truck. That CO2 cartridge was several years old and went off just fine.

When I bought my first inflatable I set it off with a spare cartridge at hand just so I would know how fast it opened and how tight it fit. I think everyone should do that so there are no surprises on the fit with clothing underneath.


Please come to the pool event on sat nite of the convention.Bring your vest and jump in with it.You will be surprised on many wil not function from coroded valves,etc.You should test them every year.

mjackson@comdt.uscg.mil.

Item 3 Flotation Devices

LIFE JACKET INFLATION FAILURE DUE TO FALSE
POSITIVE SERVICE INDICATORS AND
INCORRECT CO2 CYLINDER INSTALLATION
There is a potential problem when installing CO2
cylinders that have bayonet tips in inflatable Life Jacket.

If a cylinder is not properly installed, the Life Jacket will not inflate with CO2. The problem may affect several thousand Life Jackets, but the Coast Guard is only aware of one incident to date.
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Old 01-06-2010, 04:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: Inflatable PFD's How Often Do You Change Cartridges?

I guess I missed the pool planning. Anyway, fat guys and cameras don't mix well.

If the cartridge is not installed correctly, I agree, that would be a problem. Good thing I know how to do that.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluefinn View Post
Please come to the pool event on sat nite of the convention.Bring your vest and jump in with it.You will be surprised on many wil not function from coroded valves,etc.You should test them every year.

mjackson@comdt.uscg.mil.

Item 3 Flotation Devices

LIFE JACKET INFLATION FAILURE DUE TO FALSE
POSITIVE SERVICE INDICATORS AND
INCORRECT CO2 CYLINDER INSTALLATION
There is a potential problem when installing CO2
cylinders that have bayonet tips in inflatable Life Jacket.

If a cylinder is not properly installed, the Life Jacket will not inflate with CO2. The problem may affect several thousand Life Jackets, but the Coast Guard is only aware of one incident to date.

Last edited by No Bail; 01-06-2010 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: Inflatable PFD's How Often Do You Change Cartridges?

Quote:
Originally Posted by No Bail View Post
I don't see the need to change out a CO2 cartridge unless it has been used. What I do is use the manual inflation mouth piece to fill the device, and then let it sit overnight to make sure it will hold air for a good long time. I had one soluble pill fail and the device went off in the truck. That CO2 cartridge was several years old and went off just fine.

When I bought my first inflatable I set it off with a spare cartridge at hand just so I would know how fast it opened and how tight it fit. I think everyone should do that so there are no surprises on the fit with clothing underneath.

Okay, I followed the advice to see how fast it would open......... I strapped it on my wife and decided to pull the cord without her knowing just to watch her jump. Only she didn't jump. She didn't move. Neither did the life jacket inflate. I had looked at the CO2 cartridge before hand and it looked new, no corrosion, no anything. Could it have been discharged before I bought it? Maybe. Has anyone ever heard of a CO2 cartridge that was defective? Maybe missed quality control?

All I know is I will change the cartridge out every year and HOPE there is no such thing as missing quality control on these cartridges. I'd hate to find out when I actually needed it that it was a dud.

I am buying a spare cartridge, I still need to test out the inflation time.............................
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:54 PM   #10
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Default Re: Inflatable PFD's How Often Do You Change Cartridges?

Thought some of you might be interested in what the USCG auxillary says about this. Here is the link:

http://auxbdept.org/pdf/InflatableLifeJacketBasics.pdf
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Old 01-07-2010, 01:15 PM   #11
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Default Re: Inflatable PFD's How Often Do You Change Cartridges?

Thanks for the article. It is a good source for people to determine exactly what type of device you own.

I have all bobbin types with screw in cartridges (no bayonet types), but plan on getting a couple of the newer Mustang hydrostatic devices either at the Sportsman's Show or the Offshore Convention. When I do that I'll retire my first inflatable to the garage museum.

I didn't know about the pet inflatables, and that might be a good choice for those warmer months. I have a warm dog PFD, but I'll price an inflatable for my best dog friend.
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Old 01-07-2010, 03:11 PM   #12
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Default Re: Inflatable PFD's How Often Do You Change Cartridges?

Quote:
Originally Posted by No Bail View Post
Thanks for the article. It is a good source for people to determine exactly what type of device you own.

I have all bobbin types with screw in cartridges (no bayonet types), but plan on getting a couple of the newer Mustang hydrostatic devices either at the Sportsman's Show or the Offshore Convention. When I do that I'll retire my first inflatable to the garage museum.

I didn't know about the pet inflatables, and that might be a good choice for those warmer months. I have a warm dog PFD, but I'll price an inflatable for my best dog friend.
You are welcome, I just thought it was interesting, glad you got something out of it. I am thinking of getting one for my dog as well. Goofy guy LOVES the water and I am always afraid he will jump overboard in strong current. He weighs 105 lbs and wouldn't be the easiest thing to get back in the boat even with a vest!!
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