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View Full Version : Why Should I Purchase a Tank?



JipThePeople
07-12-2007, 23:33
I own everything, including weights so a tanks is the last thing I need. But do I really need to buy my own tank? I do enjoy diving the area lakes and scuba parks but I need some good reasons to buy a tank.

GLENFWB
07-12-2007, 23:44
<DIV>Check out the the thread listed below and I think it will have the information you are looking for. </DIV>
<DIV>http://www.scubatoys.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=68</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>
I own everything, including weights so a tanks is the last thing I need. But do I really need to buy my own tank? I do enjoy diving the area lakes and scuba parks but I need some good reasons to buy a tank. </DIV>

JipThePeople
07-12-2007, 23:58
Thanks - that is a great thread on the subject.

frankc420
07-14-2007, 11:17
Why? You have everything else, why not?

You can rent regs, BC, tanks... but you bought regs and BC, why? Get my point? :)

FishFood
07-14-2007, 19:31
Are you always going to limit your self to diving "tourist" traps that have a dive shop with gear rentals? Just a thought http://www.scubatoys.com/forum/smileys/smiley2.gif

somewhereinla
07-17-2007, 01:28
How often do you go diving. If you go at least once a month over 5 years a tank is a good investment. If you dive twice a year, then it's a bit silly.

przeor
07-17-2007, 04:08
Exactly- if you're going to be diving at home more than once in a blue moon, get the tanks. We wondered about buying tanks and now we have 10. And yep, we use em all often. We can fill em for free locally and toss them all in the truck and enjoy a weekend in Cali (or local) diving. I've never once regretted buying those tanks.

cummings66
07-17-2007, 18:58
You can't value tanks by how often you dive them, you can value them by the ability of diving when YOU want and not worrying about late fee's, etc.
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>I suppose if you dove once a year it'd be a waste of time and space, but I'd think if I dove once a month even that it would be worth owning tanks.</DIV>

przeor
07-17-2007, 20:50
Agreed, you'll devote a little of your payment to the sheer joy of being able to go diving when you want- not having to worry about getting tanks back by a certain time, having a shop closed on sunday when you need fills, etc. etc. It's definately great to have the freedom.

Cichlid
07-17-2007, 21:19
Hey I was wondering if you guys stored your tanks full? Doesn't seem
like a good idea, but I don't know. If you're not storing them full,
where are you getting air from when the LDS is closed?

medic001918
07-17-2007, 22:33
I think you'll find most divers do store their tanks full. I keep mine filled at home (we have five of them). It's nice to be able to just pick up and go diving when the mood strikes. I usually try to get them to the shop to be filled within a few days of being used so they will be ready for the next diving chance. Sometimes, I'll keep a tank or two with different mixes of Nitrox to accomodate different dives.
<DIV>Shane</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>
<DIV></DIV>PS - You should never store a tank completely empty.</DIV>

Cichlid
07-17-2007, 22:40
So is it actually better to store the tank full?

przeor
07-18-2007, 00:19
There is no problem with storing a full tank, we do it all the time. Once back from a trip, we lug em all to the shop for fills and then they sit nicely at home waiting to be used again.
<DIV>As far as storing them completely empty, that's to keep moisture, etc. out. Always keep a few hundred psi inside to provide enough pressure to keep stuff out. Not having a tank full at home defeats the purpose of the whole thing. I keep them full so I have them when I need them.</DIV>

Cichlid
07-18-2007, 00:27
Well I was thinking of not getting a tank because I wasn't aware you could store them full. This changes everything!smileys/smiley5.gif
I was wondering why anyone would buy a tank unless they had their own
compressor. If you had to go to the LDS to get air anyway, why not rent
the tank too? Well you learn something new everyday! Or in my case,
I've been learning 30 things a day since coming here! So is there a
time limit you should store a tank full?

przeor
07-18-2007, 02:14
I would guess it would be good for a long time, but how long are you thinking? Months, sure- years, I'd probably dran most of it and refill it. If the tank has interior corosion and you aren't aware, the air inside could become toxic. This is rare, and would probably take some time, but possible.
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>It is rare that our tanks sit for a month without use, but we don't always get to using them on each trip so sometimes they'll sit for a while, no biggie. </DIV>

Cichlid
07-18-2007, 07:26
Yeah I was thinking not more than a couple months. I think I wouldn't refill if I knew if it would be longer than that.

DDGator
07-18-2007, 07:58
I thought I read somewhere a recommendation to not use a tank that had been filled for more than 6 months... Seems like a good idea to be safe.

the gooch
07-18-2007, 08:12
How many of you guys with your own tanks own your own compressor? Tanks are the last thing for me to purchase.

tx.lakerat
07-18-2007, 11:16
I own my tanks but no compressor. I like the ability to go and dive without having to go to the dive shop every time I want to blow bubbles. I only have to hit it on the way back to get fills.

cummings66
07-18-2007, 18:23
How many of you guys with your own tanks own your own compressor? Tanks are the last thing for me to purchase.
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>I am wanting to buy the Alkin W31 at some point because Nitrox fills and even Trimix is hard to get around here. Well, impossible, I can only find that down south at the big lakes.</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>So someday soon, I'll get one to do my own fills.</DIV>

Cichlid
07-18-2007, 22:39
Is the initial cost usually the only drawback to owning your own compressor?

medic001918
07-18-2007, 23:19
Initial cost and maintenance. Your best bet if you wanted a compressor would be to go in with a group so you can all use it and all share the costs involved in keeping it.
<DIV>
Keep in mind that if you dive oxygen clean tanks, you need a different filtration system. Otherwise filling from your own compressor will make your tanks no longer oxygen clean.</DIV>
<DIV>
Shane</DIV>

CompuDude
07-18-2007, 23:46
Unless you are diving a rather insane amount, it's REALLY hard to justify a compressor from a cost standpoint. Perhaps if you live in BFE and it's expensive to get to a dive shop. The smaller compressors you are likely to buy also tend to be really slow, so if you have several tanks to fill (and all of your friends want you to fill theirs also) , be prepared to let them run for quite a while... which, again, means you will be servicing the compressor that much sooner.

I know several people that have gone that route, and they've all sold them off within a year or two as being not worth it. The main people it MAY be worth it for are trimix divers who are setting up their own mixing stations, because bulk helium is a LOT more cost-effective.

Buy tanks. Keep them full. If they're not used in 6 months (possible to stretch this to a year, but why?), drain them and get them filled again. $5 isn't worth any issues.

thesmoothdome
07-19-2007, 23:53
The real reason to own a tank is so you can just grab your gear and go dive any time you'd like, rather than having to plan it out in advance and go the LDS and get a tank. I've always owned 2 because we'd usual do tank dives if we went out.

loudgonzo
07-27-2007, 12:31
I intend to buy my own tank also, slowly but surely the gear is coming together.

fire diver
07-27-2007, 13:55
Yep, it's really nice to be able to just pack up and go dive. No waiting for the shop to open, or getting the tanks back before they close, or coordinating leaving the dive/camp site with the shops hours. And that's only if there is a local dive shop on site. If you have to go to another town, it's almost not feasible to dive without your own tanks.

FD

cummings66
07-30-2007, 09:07
Could you imagine the hassle I'd have. I live almost 5 hours from the lakes. If I wanted to rent a tank I'd end up paying rent for at least a day of non use just because of the distance.

Owning tanks allows more flexibility in diving, and that's worth it. It's bad enough having to check out of motel rooms by 10 am, or the camp site by 2 pm, but then having to have the tanks back by the end of the business day? Hassle.

Puffer Fish
07-30-2007, 20:28
I own HP steel tanks... 100's and 117's.. there are a ton of advantages to having them over al80's that are rented.. I think if you own tanks, get good ones..

Only reason not to is if you do not dive locally.

poseidon8118
07-30-2007, 21:14
I use my tanks for local dives and in my pool to tweak my gear. If I ever plan a trip to Bora Bora they would stay home...:smiley13:

loudgonzo
08-02-2007, 11:00
Just ordered my tank, getting the black AL80. It should be at the porch in a few days, sadly though, I'm leaving saturday for spain, coming back wednesday, then leaving again sunday for connecticut, coming back the following wednesday, then leaving 2 days later on friday for mexico city and central america, then coming back a week later. So it looks like its going to be a few weeks before I can get it wet, but it will be nice to look at when I'm home.

nferra2
08-06-2007, 22:57
I don't see the economic benefit of purchasing your own personal tank. I however can see the apeal, if you live near the coast or good diving lake, to be able to take off anytime with your own gear. It just seems so much easier to just rent a tank wherever you go.

CompuDude
08-07-2007, 00:37
I don't see the economic benefit of purchasing your own personal tank. I however can see the apeal, if you live near the coast or good diving lake, to be able to take off anytime with your own gear. It just seems so much easier to just rent a tank wherever you go.
You have to dive a lot for there to be economic benefit. That said, I dive a lot, and live fairly close to the coast. For me, it's actually cheaper to own than to buy. At 100+ dives per year, those rentals would kill me!

Secondly... this entire sport has no economic benefit (unless you own a dive shop). It's all a question of what you're willing to pay for, and what convenience is worth to you.

If I lived a long way from the ocean and only dove during trips, I'd probably rent, too. But given that I live near the water and diving can be done on a whim, I think it's far better to have my own tanks, filled and ready to go whenever I am, so I don't have to somehow plan in a trip by a dive shop in addition to my "spur of the moment" dive plans. I'd never get any night dives done during the week!

Coaster
08-07-2007, 05:41
........unless you want to dive something other than al80. My steel tank helps with weight while diving cold waters and the lp108 always gives me more time (volume) for my enriched air dives. I rent al80 when I need one.

nferra2
08-07-2007, 23:57
Why are Al80's so popular? It seems like a 100 steel tank would be a much better on size fits all option. I guess it is just the low price, but I bet if a 100 steel tank was the most popular, it would be cheaper.

MEL-DC Diver
08-08-2007, 08:46
Why are Al80's so popular? It seems like a 100 steel tank would be a much better on size fits all option. I guess it is just the low price, but I bet if a 100 steel tank was the most popular, it would be cheaper.

Bingo. But the steel won't be cheaper than the AL80, even if it is the most popular - materials cost are higher for one. Also at 130-160 bucks for an AL, you can hardly argue with the price. That's cheap.

Doghouse
08-08-2007, 11:37
I have my own tank, because it gives me freedom. I can go dive or do work on my boat whenever I want to. No hassels. I just fill it up after. It is nice to have that freedom.

I have been trying to find a compressor that I could attach to the desel on my boat and fill my tank, but it is very cost prohibitative.

CompuDude
08-08-2007, 13:00
Why are Al80's so popular? It seems like a 100 steel tank would be a much better on size fits all option. I guess it is just the low price, but I bet if a 100 steel tank was the most popular, it would be cheaper.

Bingo. But the steel won't be cheaper than the AL80, even if it is the most popular - materials cost are higher for one. Also at 130-160 bucks for an AL, you can hardly argue with the price. That's cheap.
Aluminum tanks are also a little more hardy in terms of resistance to the elements. Not a big deal to the average diver who keeps his tanks in his garage, but to a Dive Op who has 30-40 tanks out back, exposed to the elements, or stored in racks on a boat, the fact that they don't have to worry about them rusting is an added bonus to the price difference.

30x Al.80 (at $100ea) = $3000
30x HP100 (at $300 ea) = $9000

Easy math, for a store. The fact that tank size limits the time they have to spend in the water with the clients only makes them more profitable... people have to pay for a second trip if they feel they didn't get enough bottom time.

mike_s
08-08-2007, 13:47
I think you'll see more dive shops buying LP77's for their "rental fleet" over AL80's in the future.

why? because they are about the same price as an AL80 and the lower PSI really cuts down on wear and tear on the compressor system. The Nekton for example uses all LP tanks now.

tywenglar
08-08-2007, 14:39
In purely economic terms I doubt anyone would buy a tank. However, the flexibility of having two tanks in the gear room ready to go, is hard to put a price on. Particuliarly, when you decide Saturday morning to head for the lake.

cummings66
08-08-2007, 18:25
I don't know about that. My LDS sells tanks with FREE air for life. After diving with my Al80's for less than a year I had paid for the tank in air fill savings, when I sold them I was actually making money by diving. I came out ahead when I sold them because of the free air for life deal.

My steel tanks have the same deal and they're paid for now in the same manner.

mike_s
08-08-2007, 21:29
I don't know about that. My LDS sells tanks with FREE air for life. After diving with my Al80's for less than a year I had paid for the tank in air fill savings, when I sold them I was actually making money by diving. I came out ahead when I sold them because of the free air for life deal.

My steel tanks have the same deal and they're paid for now in the same manner.


That's a pretty good deal.

I've heard of shops doing free air for the first 10 or 12 fills or for the first year, but not for life.

One thing about that is that makes sure that you come back to THEIR shop to get fills. it makes you dive more. When you're there, you'll buy other trinkets and look at buying that new regulator from them.

pretty smart idea.

cummings66
08-08-2007, 22:13
Yeah, actually it is a smart idea and not as bad as it sounds for the dive shop either. They make I think $50 on top of the tank's price and you get air forever. If you don't dive often which happens a lot when it's cold water they don't fill the tanks that much and the wear and tear on the compressor isn't that great.

To be honest, there's but a small handful of us that dive year round and every single weekend. Most divers fall into the once in a while category and I think the dive shop has that figured out.

For me it's a good deal.

nferra2
08-08-2007, 23:23
I could see buying a tank if you got free air for life, but from looking at different dive shops rental fee's and air fill fees, it is typically $3-5 difference to rent a tank, and to get yours filled.

thesmoothdome
08-08-2007, 23:46
I could see buying a tank if you got free air for life, but from looking at different dive shops rental fee's and air fill fees, it is typically $3-5 difference to rent a tank, and to get yours filled.

Biggest difference between renting in owning is that you set your own dive schedule. You don't have to have the shop open to go get your gear.

nferra2
08-09-2007, 00:03
Ok, I'll go out and buy some tanks, right after I buy some personal gear, bcd, reg, octo, computer and RIB. I think I'll get some steel 100's.

brandon
08-09-2007, 00:09
Having tanks around to dive when you want to is a big plus.

Our air fills are the same here, regardless of if its your tank or one of our loaner tanks. Even with cost not being an issue, I'd like to have one or two tanks around so I can dive without having to run over to my friend's house and pick up a tank or two.

-B.

CompuDude
08-09-2007, 01:42
I could see buying a tank if you got free air for life, but from looking at different dive shops rental fee's and air fill fees, it is typically $3-5 difference to rent a tank, and to get yours filled.

Ok, I can see I'm going to have to break this down.

How much your own tank costs or saves depends entirely on how much you dive. If you are a traveling vacation diver diving once or twice a year, it makes little sense to buy a tank. If you're going to be diving locally, regularly, however, there are true savings in owning your own tank.

here's some basic math.

Assumptions:
tank - $120 (Al.80)
fill card - $4/fill
rental - $8/tank

Number of dives:
2x / week average = 104 dives per year
1x / week average = 52 dives per year

Cost to rent 104 tanks/year: $832
Cost to fill your own tank 104 times/year: $416

Cost to rent 52/year: $416
Cost to fill your own tank 52/year: $208

Cost of owning a tank, without dives:
$120 for tank
$10 Annual Vis Inspection
$5 Hydro inspection (every 5 years, $25)
------
$135 for the first year, $15/year after that.

~~~~

Total cost of 104 dives per year in a rented tank:
$832 (104 x $8 = $832)

Total cost of 104 dives (and fills) per year in your own tank:
$551 (104 x $4 = $416 + $135 = $551)

Total cost of 104 dives (and fills) after first year to fill your own tank:
$431 (104 x $4 = $416 + $15 = $431)

So at around 100 dives per year, owning your own tank saves you $281 the first year, and $401/yr for the rest of the life of the tank.

~~~~

Total cost of 52 dives per year in a rented tank:
$416 (52 x $8)

Total cost of 52 dives (and fills) per year in your own tank:
$343 (52 x $4 = 208 + $135 = $343)

Total cost of 52 dives (and fills) after first year to fill your own tank:
$223 (52 x $4 = 208 + $15 = $223)

So at around 50 dives per year, owning your own tank saves you $73 the first year, and $193/yr for the rest of the life of the tank.

Clearly, the numbers balance differently for steel tanks, but they bring other advantages for some divers that can't necessarily be quantified the same manner. And at the 100 dive/year range, even steel prices can be compensated for... especially if you buy used tanks and don't pay full retail.

But for someone diving enough, the financial advantages are all in favor of owning your own tanks.

The added convenience, for most people: Priceless.

Slam dunk, if you ask me...

skidiver
08-09-2007, 06:34
Then there are shops like my LDS, which offers free air to everyone, regardless of where you got your tank. I'd bet that generates a lot of other business for them.

nferra2
08-09-2007, 11:50
I already said Ill add tanks to my list... You don't have the beat me to death!!!

cummings66
08-09-2007, 18:07
I'm glad you've come to your senses, it'd be mighty costly to track you down and force you to take a tank you don't want.

CompuDude
08-09-2007, 18:56
I already said Ill add tanks to my list... You don't have the beat me to death!!!
Sorry, with the RIB comment it looked like sarcasm. You'll definitely be happy once you own your own tanks. :)

The info should be good to have out there for others curious about the same info, of course.

nferra2
08-09-2007, 18:59
Wait, chase me down and bring me a tank I don't want, wait bring 4! I also don't want a BCD, Reg, or Computer.

nferra2
08-09-2007, 19:01
RIB - Ridgid Inflatable Boat - Which is really on my list.

CompuDude
08-10-2007, 01:05
RIB - Ridgid Inflatable Boat - Which is really on my list.
I've assisted navy seal training courses. I'm familiar with RIBs. ;-)

They're not usually part of most people's beginning scuba gear wish lists, though! LOL

Hollywood703
08-22-2007, 11:36
I didnt read all of this....the main reason why i broke down and bought my own, is my buddies kept calling me on various sunday mornings asking me to go dive...since the dive shop was closed I couldnt go......Not anymore.....The biggest reason for purchasing tanks....spontaneuos diving.......no running around to the shop etc to pick up what you need......

somewhereinla
08-22-2007, 13:17
I dive at least once a week and usually do a 2 tanks dive so for me owning save me money over renting. Everytime I buy expensive gear I ask my LDS for one or two free refill cards. So I get free air most of the year... But the other reason to own a tank, like any piece of equipment is that: you are the one taking care of it, it's your equipment...