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Joe L
07-08-2008, 09:46
In the process of purchasing my equipment and had a question on tanks. Its seems that if I was to rent any piece of equipment , a tank would be it. Is it better to buy or rent?. I'm sure all tanks that are rented are inspected on a regular basis,,, right?
Sorry if this was posted before. JOe

cmburch
07-08-2008, 10:00
Yes,
Purchasing tanks is a convenience because one is not dependant on the shop being open to pick-up or return. I got certified at college, so I had little money. I rented for about 6 months until they had a sale on tanks during the summer. You have to determine how often you go and how easy it is to get a tank from the dive shop. I got aluminum tanks (cheaper) initially then upgraded to steel (could not afford during college). My tanks must have a visual inspection every year and hydo every 5 years, plus the cost of the fill. The rental includes everything for the first fill.

mike_s
07-08-2008, 10:03
In the process of purchasing my equipment and had a question on tanks. Its seems that if I was to rent any piece of equipment , a tank would be it. Is it better to buy or rent?. I'm sure all tanks that are rented are inspected on a regular basis,,, right?
Sorry if this was posted before. JOe



only a few reasons to purchase tanks.

1.) You dive enough to justify the cost of the tank and savings over rented tanks. (don't forget to include your airfills in that math along with visuals and hydros).

2.) Convience. - this is the real reason most people own tanks. They don't want to hassle with a 2nd trip to the dive shop to return it, or to have to bust-ass to get there before they close the night before a dive to rent one or return it within the allotted time.

Convience also allows you to go get them filled on your schedule.

Also with gas prices being as high as they are, not having to make a 2nd trip to the LDS to return a rented tank helps offset the cost of ownership. Consider time in that equation also. (which equates to convience).

Another convient thing about owning is that you don't have to go to the LDS an hour or so early to pick up tanks before a boat dive and have to wait in line at 7am or 6:30am because of it.

3.) The other main reason people own their own tanks is that they want a specific tank. For example a LP108 or a HP100 steel tank. Or they want a set of doubles. Or they want certain valves, such as DIN. most shops don't have these tanks in their "rental fleet", or if they do, the choices are very limited.



If you're a "vacation diver" and typically use AL80 tanks, then purchasing tanks might not be the best idea for you. it's hard to take tanks with you on vacation as you load up a weeks worth of suitcases for the kids, condo stuff, dive gear, etc... not much room left for the tanks in the car. owning tanks might not be for you especially if you fly to your dive destination for your "vacation dives".

Sasha_K
07-08-2008, 10:03
Depends on how often yuo use it LOCALLY. You don't want to drag them with you.

If you think you will be diving locally a lot, the tanks will pay off soon compared to renting. I am getting tanks these days too - I'm just waiting for a good used tank deal to pick them up.

No Misses
07-08-2008, 10:03
Joe, I would wait until you know how often you will be diving. When you dive will it be 2 cylinders per day or just one? Once you have this number you can do some simple math.

Let's use a figure of 12 local dives per year.
Rental $10-$15 per cylinder = $100 - $150 per year.

Purchase $150 per cylinder. $15 per year for VIP. $5 per air fill. $6 per year hydro expenses (needs to be done every 5 years).

The first year it will cost you (cylinder, fills and prorated hydro) 150 + 60 + 6 = $216
The second year is when you start to see some savings (VIP + Fills + Hydro) 15 + 60 + 6 = $81

If you will be doing 2 tank dives (charter?) you will need 2 cylinders.

Another thing to look at is if you will be travelling to dive. Unless you are driving to the dive destination, it is impractical to take your own cylinders. you will be renting when you get there.

The moral of the story is...You probably should not buy cylinders until you have been in the sport for a couple of years and can weight the benefits vs cost.

Navy OnStar
07-08-2008, 10:10
I figured it out like this:

I live relatively near the beach but about an hour from my LDS. Factoring in gas to and from the dive store the night before to get the tanks, then to return them after the dive, it was costing me a bunch (in time as well) to do a shore dive. $6 bucks there and $6 bucks back, so 24 dollars total round trip in addition to the rental fee (Did not include the fill). So it cost me about $36 dollars more for 2 rental tanks. I got two HP steel 80's (there are much less expensive tanks out there) for $500 from ST. 500/36 = 13.8 or 14 dives to make up the cost. This doesn't include any dives I may cancel after getting the tank and not being able to use it (sometimes the surf is just too rough). My wife goes past the LDS once a week anyway (Tuesdays) so she drops off the tanks to get filled and picks them up on the way back.

I would say a tank is the last thing to get, but after you get all your other equipment, take a look at the numbers involved and figure out what tanks you want and how many dives it will take to make it up.

Techdiver
07-08-2008, 10:47
In the process of purchasing my equipment and had a question on tanks. Its seems that if I was to rent any piece of equipment , a tank would be it. Is it better to buy or rent?. I'm sure all tanks that are rented are inspected on a regular basis,,, right?
Sorry if this was posted before. JOe

Hey Joe L

I'm new to the forum but I'll give you my opinion.
It depends on the type of diving your going to do, if ocean diving is your thing then renting is fine though the price is really going up, (you may find that you will recoup the cost of Aluminum tanks in a short time if you dive a lot (50 to 100 times a year) on the other hand if you own tanks you can control how they're maintained and who fills them ( controlling the quality of the air that goes in them ) Then you need to decide steel or Aluminum. The Aluminum is cheaper and the steel will help eliminate some wait from you belt or BC if weight integrated. Then with steel you have high pressure or Low pressure, most steels are going to high pressure now just make sure if buying high pressure you leave them at the dive shop to fill so they can top them off after the cool a little or you'll end up with a short fill I personally own 4 tanks. Hope this helps :smiley20:

Techdiver

Sasha_K
07-08-2008, 12:37
Joe, I would wait until you know how often you will be diving. When you dive will it be 2 cylinders per day or just one? Once you have this number you can do some simple math.

Let's use a figure of 12 local dives per year.
Rental $10-$15 per cylinder = $100 - $150 per year.

Purchase $150 per cylinder. $15 per year for VIP. $5 per air fill. $6 per year hydro expenses (needs to be done every 5 years).

The first year it will cost you (cylinder, fills and prorated hydro) 150 + 60 + 6 = $216
The second year is when you start to see some savings (VIP + Fills + Hydro) 15 + 60 + 6 = $81

If you will be doing 2 tank dives (charter?) you will need 2 cylinders.

Another thing to look at is if you will be travelling to dive. Unless you are driving to the dive destination, it is impractical to take your own cylinders. you will be renting when you get there.

The moral of the story is...You probably should not buy cylinders until you have been in the sport for a couple of years and can weight the benefits vs cost.

Great example. Although, I think you can get away with cheaper tanks thank $150. Depending on the area you are in, I've seen 2 AL80s to go for $100 at craigslist (without current vis or hydro)

mike_s
07-08-2008, 12:57
The moral of the story is...You probably should not buy cylinders until you have been in the sport for a couple of years and can weight the benefits vs cost.


This is the practical side of the story.

The real side of the story of owning tanks is convience. that outweighs the extra yearly cost.


But... if you factor in gas and time of having to pick up and return rental tanks on a "tight schedule" (when they are due), then that greatly offsets your cost.

Especially when I might have to drive 20 minutes to return a rental tank. With gas being $4/gallon and driving that big SUV, it sure is nice not making repetitive trips that aren't needed.

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
07-08-2008, 13:07
I dive a good bit (80-100 dives per year pace); I always drive to my destination; and charters on the NC coast do not include tanks. At half the cost of renting and much more convenience buying was a no-brainer for me. My tank costs are now running about $2.50 per dive.

harb99
07-08-2008, 13:27
The real side of the story of owning tanks is convenience. that outweighs the extra yearly cost.

just rented 2 tanks for a week - had to drive 40 to 50 miles to pick them up and then the same to return them at the end of the week - it was $20 for each tank - I am considering purchasing an AL80 to keep around the house to use in the pool and if I would happen to go dive someplace other than the quarry - would probably consider adding a second one down the road, but might look at a larger steel tank

mselizann
07-08-2008, 13:30
My husband and I own 2 tanks each- the convenience is worth any small cost savings. We do 1 to 2 dives a week, more during vaca's.......

texdiveguy
07-08-2008, 13:35
In the process of purchasing my equipment and had a question on tanks. Its seems that if I was to rent any piece of equipment , a tank would be it. Is it better to buy or rent?. I'm sure all tanks that are rented are inspected on a regular basis,,, right?
Sorry if this was posted before. JOe

Joe if your going to dive locally only a few times a year and on distant travels--RENT.

If you are planning on diving locally or via your vehicle as a regular sport activity, BUY a tank and preferably two of them.

In general folks that own their own gear and that includes tanks tend to be more active at diving.

mike_s
07-08-2008, 13:41
I used to joke "You can never have enough tanks".

But I sold 9 of my AL80's last year. (13 tanks was a bunch of tanks to keep up).

I currently only own 4 tanks. 2 AL80s and 2 HP100's. All O2 clean for Nitrox.


Why did I sell my tanks? well I just got where all I was diving was my two HP100's and paying VIS and Hydro and O2 cleaning on all the tanks was getting expensive when I really wasn't using them. They were only being used mostly by friends at the local quarry (which the last 2 years hasn't had a full time operation and didn't rent tanks).

If I go on a dive only trip to Florida or somewhere, I'd take enough tanks for the entire trip. so having lots of tanks was nice. But like I said I got where all I really wanted to dive was my steel tanks.

So now just have my steel tanks plus one set of o2 clean AL80's as spares.

considering gas prices (and having a 2 year old at home), dive trips are less frequent now, so no need for all those tanks.

but it's still definately worth having the tanks I want with the valve fittings I want and not having to worry about finding them or trying to get to a shop on vacation before they close to rent them.

character157
07-08-2008, 15:37
I am working on getting all of my own dive gear and Tanks will be one of the last items. So far all the gear is good local and for travel...the tanks would only be good around home. Dont get me wrong I still want a couple to have on hand for last minute dives, but with my cash situation the tanks will wait awhile.

Joe L
07-08-2008, 18:44
Thanks all, I do know tanks will be rented for a bit anyway and would be my last purchase if to be used enough. The dive shop I would like to deal with is a good 40 miles away, (recommended by many) but, there is another not to far from me. 4-5 miles. Not really keen on them though but, I guess for rentals of tanks, they would work out.
Now, I am assuming the AL in front of the 80 is aluminum and 80 is a good size to use. Are they standard in rentals?

Navy OnStar
07-08-2008, 18:50
Most rentals you'll see are AL80's but you may be able to get something else if you request it. I can get ST100's from my LDS if I want them, but they cost a little more. I prefer the weight advantage of the steel and the extra bottom time so I usually get the ST100.

CompuDude
07-08-2008, 19:03
Thanks all, I do know tanks will be rented for a bit anyway and would be my last purchase if to be used enough. The dive shop I would like to deal with is a good 40 miles away, (recommended by many) but, there is another not to far from me. 4-5 miles. Not really keen on them though but, I guess for rentals of tanks, they would work out.
Now, I am assuming the AL in front of the 80 is aluminum and 80 is a good size to use. Are they standard in rentals?

The vast majority of tanks in use in the world are Aluminum 80s (which naturally hold 77.4 cubic feet of gas). Why? They're cheap, and don't require as much attention to care for, thus very popular for rental and income-poor locations/countries. Some shops have other tanks available to rent (such as steel tanks, I'd guess HP100 is the most common alternate, which is a steel tank holding 100 cubic feet of gas... but at a higher pressure than the Aluminum tank, so it's actually a tinge smaller AND lighter!), but they are the exception rather than the rule.

Most warm water travel destinations, you'll be hard-pressed to find anything other than a standard-issue Al.80 to dive.

tonka97
07-08-2008, 19:04
A tank is part of your life support system.

A faulty valve, a defective O ring, rough handling by many renters, can cause a failure....I rent only when I must.

Buy 3 or 4 tanks and enjoy the whole weekend.

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
07-08-2008, 19:18
A tank is part of your life support system.

A faulty valve, a defective O ring, rough handling by many renters, can cause a failure....I rent only when I must.

Buy 3 or 4 tanks and enjoy the whole weekend.

Amen. That's why I have collected 5. Now that my son is certified, I'm looking for some more.

cajunfla
07-08-2008, 20:02
This forum makes me count my blessings every time I read it. The closest LDS is 2 miles from work, and less than 1 mile from home, charging $2.50 to fill my tank. And I got lucky with that purchase, finding an AL80N for $125 that had only 10 dives on it. The poor guy had to leave Guam and return to Utah. It will take a while to get a return on the $2.50 fill VS $5.00 renting, but at about 15--20 dives a month, I can deal with it.

AND I have to drive past 3 other places that can do the fills to get to the boats or the best beach dives.

And the water is always 82F !!!!

kenneth.hall@voith.com
07-08-2008, 20:43
There are other reasons to buy your own tanks. You're Boss is a retired diver with lots of tanks. He has to understand that you can buy New Tanks with a current Hydro and Vis for X $. And even though he paid way over $150 for an AL-80 that is now 10 years old---Well you get my drift.

NeveSSL
07-25-2008, 04:54
Absolutely awesome thread. :) I was just about to ask this same question... glad I looked first. :)

Brandon

digitalman
07-25-2008, 22:39
Absolutely awesome thread. :) I was just about to ask this same question... glad I looked first. :)

Brandon

Wouldn't have been the first time a question was asked more than once. Sometimes, its easier to ask while it's fresh on your mind rather than poke around looking for an existing thread. Usually, someone will point out the existing thread with a link.

NeveSSL
07-26-2008, 00:25
Very true digitalman. This one just happened to be at the very bottom of the first page, so it wasn't too bad. And sometimes I do definitely just post while its fresh on mind... things that go stale in my mind don't last long. ;)

Brandon

andyrent
07-31-2008, 22:49
I just bought 2 AL 80's. Lightly used, I had to have a hydro and a visual done to both. I figure that I have $125.00 in each with the hydro and visual. My LDS charged more for the VIP but includes free air for a year. They are close to work so it is convenient to have them filled. Rentals around here are $13.00. I expect that the tanks will pay for themselves really soon.