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View Full Version : Is it worth it to purchase your own tanks?



newways
01-28-2008, 19:53
I live in the Chicago area and plan on doing several dives this summer. I've looked into buying my own tanks but it looks as though it is more cost effective to rent them. approx. how much do you tank owners spend on your tanks and what is a cost for the yearly inspection? I can rent for ~$10 a day with $5-10 fills depending on where I'm diving. I've only been diving with air and don't plan on diving mixes this summer.

So, Is it really cost effective to own your own tanks?

marchand
01-28-2008, 20:04
The time it takes for a tank to pay for itself depends on how often you are going to dive; the more you dive the fewer dives it will take to pay for itself. The biggest advantage of owning a tank is that it is very convenient to have a couple of full tanks in the garage that you can though in the back of the truck and go diving whenever you feel like it.

fireflock
01-28-2008, 20:09
Owning tanks is about convenience and/or having access to tanks that you can't rent easily (steel, bigger or smaller sizes). Renting will likely be cheaper, but not having to take rentals back to the shop is priceless.

Gombessa
01-28-2008, 20:31
I imagine it's also useful to have tanks around for the air pressure when you want to play with/service your own gear.

Ryanh1801
01-28-2008, 20:44
I think its worth it. I mean I hate to spend ten bucks a day on something that only cost 140 bucks. Dive 16 times a year and it pays for its self.

Gombessa
01-28-2008, 20:50
Don't forget, you have to factor in the cost of fills too. In some places, a fill costs almost as much as a day of rental, and the rentals come pre-filled.

jeepbrew
01-28-2008, 21:06
I own 4 HP Steel 130s, 8 AL80s, and a few pony bottles. If I could do it again, I would buy the steels, 2 alums, and the ponies. I think it is definitely worth it to have tanks around, but if you ever dive a steel tank you will probably never want to go back to diving aluminum. Buy you a couple of AL80s and then save up some $$ for some steels. FYI, I need so many tanks because I dive often and I dive many times when I do go to the water...

MLenyo
01-28-2008, 21:07
I think its worth it. I mean I hate to spend ten bucks a day on something that only cost 140 bucks. Dive 16 times a year and it pays for its self.

that's how i see it as well. once a get my rig set up i'll likely buy a tank.

Flatliner
01-28-2008, 21:07
If a tank apx. 80cu ft is ok for you then it doesn't make sense to own your own tank from a PURELY ECONIMIC sense. The rest of the discussion is up to you.

Kokomo
01-28-2008, 21:09
Originally we didn't plan to buy tanks. But as time went on we were doing alot of local lake diving and the closest dive shop to us is 2 1/2 hours away. If we want to dive whenever we want, we have to have our own tanks.

IrishSquid
01-28-2008, 21:15
Don't forget, you have to factor in the cost of fills too. In some places, a fill costs almost as much as a day of rental, and the rentals come pre-filled.

I purchased 2 steel LP80's last year. The LDS provides 10 free air fills per tank when purchased, no time limit. The tanks with valves were $235.00 ea. I do around 25-35 dives a year at present, so if I stay with this rate of dives, it was worth it. Convenience is the big benefit as I like steel vs. aluminum, don't have to drive back to the shop to drop the tanks off when done, and some of the local dives charge more than the LDS for rentals.
My biggest benefit was getting rid of lead from my belt by using steel.

Gombessa
01-28-2008, 21:27
I don't know how many shops generally give free fills with tank purchases, so I can't say that's a general benefit to owning your own tanks (especially if you buy used).

I hear the LP80s are great to double-up.

Kingpatzer
01-28-2008, 23:31
I'm probably going to buy my own because, in order of importance for me:

1) I'd rather dive a steel 120 than an AL80 for both trim and bottom time reasons.
2) I'd like to be able to just pick up and go diving without a lot of pre-planning. I have a hectic schedule and I can't always plan ahead to rent the gear.
3) Some of the best dive sites are in the opposite direction of my favorite LDS. I am a loyal customer, but it irks me to have to drive the wrong way to get to where I'm going.
4) Cost -- it'll pay for itself in about 25-30 dives. I dive that much a year, so it seems silly not to have them.

Crimediver
01-29-2008, 05:33
I am always picking up tanks at yard sales and flea markets. I own about 30 of them. Some are collecting dust, and some I dive. I really don't need that many but if I was to pay hydro on all of them it would start adding up. I am lucky to be able to get free air from the dive team I am on and am a PSI viz inspector so I can inspect them and save some bucks there. For a recreational diver I would advise picking up a couple of tanks for the convenience and you will find you will dive more often. I know I have too many but I cannot seem to pass up a deal on dive gear. Maybe someone should invent the scuba gear patch so I can quit this ugly habit.

SarahBella
01-29-2008, 07:19
We decided to buy tanks becuase we wanted to dive steel and we were tired of running to the dive shop to rent. It made sense to have our own so little by little we are adding tanks-up to 3 now.

DZorn00
01-29-2008, 07:56
I am always picking up tanks at yard sales and flea markets.

Crimediver what Flea Markets do you find them at? I am looking for a couple and live in Va Beach. I would definately drive up that way to grab a couple of deals. Not to intrude on your prospecting of course.:smiley36:

BSea
01-29-2008, 08:04
We decided to buy tanks becuase we wanted to dive steel and we were tired of running to the dive shop to rent. It made sense to have our own so little by little we are adding tanks-up to 3 now. Be careful.....they're like rabbits.

I thought that 3 tanks would be more than enough for just myself. So now I have 8 including my pony.

kancho
01-29-2008, 08:19
Here sometimes it is better buying new than used. The prices ppl are charging up here is a bit IMO too high.

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
01-29-2008, 08:36
If a tank apx. 80cu ft is ok for you then it doesn't make sense to own your own tank from a PURELY ECONIMIC sense. The rest of the discussion is up to you.

Might be true for you, but definitely not true for me. It depends on the relative locations of your LDS, your house, and your regular dive sites. It also depends on your the business hours of the LDS. You might end up paying for an extra day or two per tank per trip. These costs add up fast. You can also burn a lot of gas taking your rental tank back to the shop which is something you don't have to do with your own tanks.

If you dive locally you should at least do an analysis to see if you should buy your own tanks. The answer is not the same for everyone.

BSea
01-29-2008, 09:00
If a tank apx. 80cu ft is ok for you then it doesn't make sense to own your own tank from a PURELY ECONIMIC sense. The rest of the discussion is up to you.I think for anyone making more than 20 dives a year, then it's more economical to own (depending on your rental rates). It really depends on the availablity of your LDS for air fills, and how the rental period works. My LDS charges per day. If you rent anytime on Friday, then have it back by closing on Saturday, then it's 1 day. If you miss Saturday, then bring it in Monday, then it's 3 days (even thouigh they are closed Sunday). That would make it really tough for me. And as everyone whose rented in the past knows, there are times you miss deadlines.

Airborne!
01-29-2008, 09:03
I live in the Chicago area and plan on doing several dives this summer. I've looked into buying my own tanks but it looks as though it is more cost effective to rent them. approx. how much do you tank owners spend on your tanks and what is a cost for the yearly inspection? I can rent for ~$10 a day with $5-10 fills depending on where I'm diving. I've only been diving with air and don't plan on diving mixes this summer.

So, Is it really cost effective to own your own tanks?

Answering your question directly...no it is not cost effective for YOU to buy tanks RIGHT NOW. Just do the math for your summer dives and it makes no sense as far as money goes. If you just do the math it is obvious that you will spend more on buying a tank and filling it than just renting.
Of course if your post is strickly a bid to convince yourself to buy a tank then...I mean if you factor in gas to and from the shop and cost your actual time out and consider the Hockingberg Time, Cost and Effort Formula then its obvious you need to purchase a tank...probably several. :smiley2:

Mycroft
01-29-2008, 10:03
If a tank apx. 80cu ft is ok for you then it doesn't make sense to own your own tank from a PURELY ECONIMIC sense. The rest of the discussion is up to you.I think for anyone making more than 20 dives a year, then it's more economical to own (depending on your rental rates). It really depends on the availablity of your LDS for air fills, and how the rental period works. My LDS charges per day. If you rent anytime on Friday, then have it back by closing on Saturday, then it's 1 day. If you miss Saturday, then bring it in Monday, then it's 3 days (even thouigh they are closed Sunday). That would make it really tough for me. And as everyone whose rented in the past knows, there are times you miss deadlines.

Or find a difference LDS. My local dive shop charges 1 day when you take it out on Friday and return it on Monday!

Granted I went to owning my own tanks, because I went to HP 130 steel, but even so, I love my LDS, and he still fills my tanks.

And filling my tanks feels cheap. Wife buys me airfill cards for Christmas. Then it is just checking off the airfills all year. Wife likes it as a present because she knows she can just buy a new one next year....

Super-Duper Scubasteve
01-29-2008, 14:46
I think its worth it. I mean I hate to spend ten bucks a day on something that only cost 140 bucks. Dive 16 times a year and it pays for its self.

that's how i see it as well. once a get my rig set up i'll likely buy a tank.

Agreed.

Crimediver
01-29-2008, 15:58
I am always picking up tanks at yard sales and flea markets.

Crimediver what Flea Markets do you find them at? I am looking for a couple and live in Va Beach. I would definately drive up that way to grab a couple of deals. Not to intrude on your prospecting of course.:smiley36:


Hi-Sent you a PM.

easyrider003
01-29-2008, 17:27
I own 4 HP Steel 130s, 8 AL80s, and a few pony bottles. If I could do it again, I would buy the steels, 2 alums, and the ponies. I think it is definitely worth it to have tanks around, but if you ever dive a steel tank you will probably never want to go back to diving aluminum. Buy you a couple of AL80s and then save up some $$ for some steels. FYI, I need so many tanks because I dive often and I dive many times when I do go to the water...



What is better about diving steel over aluminum? I have always used aluminum, should I be using steel?

in_cavediver
01-29-2008, 18:49
I own 4 HP Steel 130s, 8 AL80s, and a few pony bottles. If I could do it again, I would buy the steels, 2 alums, and the ponies. I think it is definitely worth it to have tanks around, but if you ever dive a steel tank you will probably never want to go back to diving aluminum. Buy you a couple of AL80s and then save up some $$ for some steels. FYI, I need so many tanks because I dive often and I dive many times when I do go to the water...



What is better about diving steel over aluminum? I have always used aluminum, should I be using steel?

All tanks have different buoyancy characteristics. Depending on the weight you carry, you can carry less lead with a steel tank. Out of the water, steel tanks can be lighter as well to give a lighter overall gear weight.

In the end, its all diver dependent but steel usually offers an advantage.

texarkandy
01-29-2008, 21:02
I live in the Chicago area and plan on doing several dives this summer. I've looked into buying my own tanks but it looks as though it is more cost effective to rent them. approx. how much do you tank owners spend on your tanks and what is a cost for the yearly inspection? I can rent for ~$10 a day with $5-10 fills depending on where I'm diving. I've only been diving with air and don't plan on diving mixes this summer.

So, Is it really cost effective to own your own tanks?

Yeah - I did that too, trying to rationalize the cost. Bottom line is -

C'mon!!!, you know you really want your own tanks!!! :)

just think twice before u get the candy-colored ones - they suck you in the way they're so pretty when they're new! but it's a bit of a hassle babying them to try to keep em looking good.

(if it helps, I told my wife it's safer to have your own tanks :) )

ScubaGir1
01-30-2008, 02:47
Since I can't get out and dive every week, its not worth it to ME. But if I was diving a lot, I probably would look into it. But for now, I'm ok with renting a tank. I'm never diving in a place where they don't have rental tanks anyways. If you don't dive a lot, or are new to diving, I'd say hold off for now.

Crimediver
01-30-2008, 08:24
[quote=newways;125572]
(if it helps, I told my wife it's safer to have your own tanks :) )

Good strategy. A technique I use when discussing dive equipment purchases with the old lady is never refer to the gear as tanks or regulators, etc. ALWAYS refer to it as life support equipment.

newways
01-30-2008, 08:30
The input is appreciated. Thank you. I'll feel it out renting. If it's as much of a pain in the ass as I predict, I'll buy some tanks.

Puffer Fish
01-30-2008, 09:53
Since I can't get out and dive every week, its not worth it to ME. But if I was diving a lot, I probably would look into it. But for now, I'm ok with renting a tank. I'm never diving in a place where they don't have rental tanks anyways. If you don't dive a lot, or are new to diving, I'd say hold off for now.
If you were to buy aluminum, would be hard pressed to come up with any reason, but steel, particularly larger HP steel, has a whole set of reasons.

I have 100 hp steels, because they are lighter (total package) and carry a lot more air (for shore dives, where you have to do a hike).

I have 117's and 131's for boat diving, where I can take advantage of added NITROX bottom time.

Also, if you happen to live where you get fills by the cubic ft rather than a "tank cost", the savings are much better.

cummings66
01-30-2008, 13:45
For me it boils down to convenience, that is priceless and well worth owning for doing it on my terms and time schedule.

Renting sucks.

RoyN
02-05-2008, 01:45
Yes it is worth it to buy your own cylinder for local diving. For vacation...I don't know.

ColdPass
02-20-2008, 13:32
I don't dive as often as I'd like, but I'm buying a tank to keep around the house. We live on a small lake that we go swimming on and I'm tired of losing sunglasses and not being able to retrieve them easily.

Griff
02-20-2008, 13:41
.... It depends on the relative locations of your LDS, your house, and your regular dive sites. It also depends on your the business hours of the LDS. You might end up paying for an extra day or two per tank per trip. These costs add up fast. You can also burn a lot of gas taking your rental tank back to the shop which is something you don't have to do with your own tanks.

If you dive locally you should at least do an analysis to see if you should buy your own tanks. The answer is not the same for everyone.

I think that's the winner. How do you get to your dive spot? If you fly and most often dive as part of a vacation, then buying tanks doesn't make financial sense. If your car 'gets you there' and your LDS is convenient, then I think owning tanks makes financial sense and gives you some piece of mind. Plus, you get the tank YOU want, not one of the massive rental fleet of AL80's.

mike_s
02-20-2008, 13:45
For me it boils down to convenience, that is priceless and well worth owning for doing it on my terms and time schedule.

Renting sucks.


My feelings exactly. Well said.


Also, hard to rent a steel tank of X size in most locations.


I will rarely use a rental tank, even on vacation, unless it's a place that I can't drive to (caribbean, etc). While it takes up room to take tanks with you, it's just not worth the hassle of renting them once you get there and having to take them back by a certain time.

NoTime58
02-20-2008, 15:42
Yes it is worth it to buy your own cylinder for local diving. For vacation...I don't know.

Checked out the photos on your link........:smiley20:

SkuaSeptember
02-20-2008, 18:05
In a word,YES!

newways
02-21-2008, 07:42
Yeah, I bought two tanks. I plan on getting in alot of dives this year so it is worth it. I spent a good penny on two HP steel tanks but they should last as long as I have to dive...bout 30 more years.

SmknStang01
03-06-2008, 23:39
i have been doing a lot of research on this too and where i live (so. cal) the LDS charge about $4+ to fill and its around $10 to rent... so im thinking just renting when i go out will not only be a little more cost effective for the few dives im going to be doing, but will also not require me to have a tank sitting around in my apartment.

Also, when you own a tank you have to get inspections done once a year that will run you about 20-25 bucks

jeepbrew
03-08-2008, 10:14
For me it boils down to convenience, that is priceless and well worth owning for doing it on my terms and time schedule.

Renting sucks.


What he said! Plus, I prefer to dive Steel 130s, and renting those can be difficult...

johnyringo
03-08-2008, 11:36
For me it boils down to convenience, that is priceless and well worth owning for doing it on my terms and time schedule.

Renting sucks.


What he said! Plus, I prefer to dive Steel 130s, and renting those can be difficult...

What they said. I dive MY schedule.

Splitlip
03-08-2008, 12:01
For me it is.

I dive steel and am dialed in with my tanks. LP 98's pumped to 3000.

Also I like the convenience. Opportunity comes up, I am ready.

Another plus. I have one outside with about 1500 psi in it. I'll take it in the morning for a shore dive for an equipment check, then drop it off for a fill.

CaptainRon
03-08-2008, 15:34
For me the convenience of being able to dive when I want without having to make arrangements to pick up and return rental tanks makes it worth it. I like to dive some of the smaller rivers and lakes where there are no dive shops to rent from close by. Also, with the price of gas, not having to make a special trip in to town to get a rental tank saves me a lot of money in gas (my closest place to rent a tank is 45 miles away). I just refill mine when I am in town for another reason.

rfreddo
03-08-2008, 17:20
Maybe I'm jaded because ST is my LDS, but I like the convenience of "having" to pick up a rental tank as an excuse to go cruise the aisles of my favorite toy store!


For me the convenience of being able to dive when I want without having to make arrangements to pick up and return rental tanks makes it worth it. I like to dive some of the smaller rivers and lakes where there are no dive shops to rent from close by. Also, with the price of gas, not having to make a special trip in to town to get a rental tank saves me a lot of money in gas (my closest place to rent a tank is 45 miles away). I just refill mine when I am in town for another reason.

doczerothree
03-08-2008, 18:09
:mc06:If you very find yourself diving more you may want to consider owning.

malley1717
03-08-2008, 18:52
im looking to buy tanks because the lake where i dive is about 45 min from a shop so either i pay for extra days or i need to drive back down to return the tanks

granolatree
03-08-2008, 19:10
I will be buying soon due to the cost of gasoline. you have to pay somewhere.

CaptainRon
03-09-2008, 16:24
Maybe I'm jaded because ST is my LDS, but I like the convenience of "having" to pick up a rental tank as an excuse to go cruise the aisles of my favorite toy store!

Lucky you...even though ScubaToys is about 250 miles away from me, I still prefer shopping there for equipment. If it was any closer, I would spend way too much.

Now if I they could offer air fills with free shipping, there would be no reason to go anywhere else.

coyote
03-09-2008, 18:08
For me it boils down to convenience, that is priceless and well worth owning for doing it on my terms and time schedule.

Renting sucks.


What he said! Plus, I prefer to dive Steel 130s, and renting those can be difficult...

What they said. I dive MY schedule.


That just about says it all. I'll use my tanks on my schedule. Besides, once you get used to those big steel tanks, the old AL80 just isn't the same.

:2cents: