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Redfish
01-13-2010, 21:37
Yes I am a newbie to pony bottles.

How often do you change the air out in yours? Is it ok to fill it and leave it for long periods of time?

sterlinghe92
01-13-2010, 22:08
i think so, my friend has his main tank that he will leave sitting in his shop for 6 months or longer and then go dive it with the same air... pony would be the same.

navyhmc
01-13-2010, 22:26
I usually empty it about every 3-4 months, diving depending. Rather than just let it go to waste, I will use it at the end of a dive by simulating a primary failure/OOA and use the pony for my ascent from where ever we are at the turn. Not only do I develope muscle memory, but I also gain confidence as to how long the pony will last in an ideal crisis. Yes, I know it will most likely last less in a real crisis.

comet24
01-13-2010, 23:12
Air doesn't go bad unless there is a problem in the tank with corrosion and the gas reacts with the metal/rust.

The thing with having a pony bottle as navyhmc point out you need to practice with it. Having a backup that you never deploy will become problematic when you have to go to it under stress. Practice with it and the old air issue will be a non issue.

CompuDude
01-14-2010, 02:33
Presumably you're charging the regs up and taking a breath or two to test the rig before each dive (right?) to make sure all is working properly.

Eventually, that's going to add up to enough gas loss that the tank no longer has a useful fill.

That's a good point to go ahead and breath it down (practice, as the others recommended above), and get it refilled. Many shops will fill pony bottles for free (or very little cost) anyway, at least around here. (with air, at least)

navyhmc
01-14-2010, 02:43
I wish the local shops did that around here: Fill a pony for free. Most charge for a full fill, no matter what.

Redfish
01-19-2010, 22:09
Thanks guys I like the ideal of using it from time to time to ensure that you stay sharp on how to use it.

maverick
01-20-2010, 01:51
Does the pony bottle need inspection and hydro testing?

CompuDude
01-20-2010, 03:00
Does the pony bottle need inspection and hydro testing?

Yes, unless you know someone with access to a compressor who will ignore the industry guidelines for you.

Grin
01-20-2010, 10:03
Like CD says, you should be testing before each dive. This should quickly drop you a bit, as far as your pony having a full fill. This is easily fixed by purchasing a crossfiller settup. I got mine from LP for about $100. After a few trips (10 or so dives) you can top your pony off yourself from one of your main tanks. I dive the pony valve on all day and top my pony off about every third days diving. My 13 pony looses about 400 psi leaving it on all day, for three trips. Turning it on and then off for each dive may use more, I suspect. The crossfiller is nice for other stuff also, and reasures you can top off the pony, yourself, any time you want. I used to get mine filled free, with air, at my dive shop before I got the crossfiller.

CompuDude
01-20-2010, 12:00
Like CD says, you should be testing before each dive. This should quickly drop you a bit, as far as your pony having a full fill. This is easily fixed by purchasing a crossfiller settup. I got mine from LP for about $100. After a few trips (10 or so dives) you can top your pony off yourself from one of your main tanks. I dive the pony valve on all day and top my pony off about every third days diving. My 13 pony looses about 400 psi leaving it on all day, for three trips. Turning it on and then off for each dive may use more, I suspect. The crossfiller is nice for other stuff also, and reasures you can top off the pony, yourself, any time you want. I used to get mine filled free, with air, at my dive shop before I got the crossfiller.

Great tip. :smiley20: A transfill whip is a great tool for people who use their ponies regularly, and don't have access to low-cost/free fills.

You may not get the pony completely full, however, if you're transfilling from LP tanks (with a regular fills, not a cave fill) or other Aluminum tanks. Transfill whips depend on one tank being a higher pressure than the other, and equalizing the two... transfilling from an HP tank would work great, transfilling an aluminum pony starting at 2600 with an Al.80 starting at 2900 (not uncommon) so not going to get the pony filled to 3000, however.