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Need Advice About A Compressor
DryDiver - 1/24/2009 11:14 AM
Category: Equipment
Replies: 8


I have been thinking for a long time now about the pros and cons about buying my own compressor for filling tanks. I do what I think is a fair amount of diving. I have been diving for a little over two years now and have logged over 200 dives. I don’t really know the number over that, my log book is full and I have not bought another set of log sheets for it. I would think that the cost associated with buying your own would depend on just how many tanks I would pay to get filled compared to the cost of maintaining a compressor to fill myself. If I take the average of 100 dives per year and then add to that the fact that my girlfriend will do around 30-40 dives with me per year. Her son will add another 10-20 to that. I come up with 160 fills at the regular price of $8.00 each (HP) That is $1280.00 in one year for fills based on an average.

Anyways, back to the questions....

1. What should I pay for a good compressor? I don’t want the bottom of the line, this is my life I will be trusting to it. But I also don’t want to refinance my house to buy on either.

2. What type of maintenance costs are there?

3. I have worked as a millwright in the past, did it for four years. Is the servicing something that I can/should do myself?

If there are any other factors that I have not considered and I suspect that there are, please feel free to point them out.

Any help is appreciated.
seawolfdiving - 1/24/2009 12:42 PM

Owning your own compressor can be quite costly. It depends upon a number of factors including fill rate, filtration systems, gas or electric powered, etc...

Maintenance is expensive also.

Check out this site,

Indiana - 1/24/2009 1:15 PM
I have worked on air compressors and tanks.A good compressor and filter system will run at least 1000.00 $.Then the maintenance.Which working as a millwright you should be able do yourself. You will just have to buy supplies.In the long run you will save some money.If you have a shop close by,then I would not have a compessor.That is my thought on the matter.Good luck and dive safe.
DryDiver - 1/24/2009 1:19 PM
That was a great site with some good info. What I m really looking for is info from someone who owns their own system who can tell me what the actual cost are going to be. Round about at least. I know that there will be a difference based on the brand of the compressor and other options as well. All of the sites that I have looked at say low maintenance costs but no one really tells what that low cost is. Allot of the mobile units look nice but I am not against having a compressor in the garage. Also something else that I would like to know about would be a storage system as well. When it comes time to filling the tanks it would not be unlikely to have to fill 6 - 9 tanks for a day of diving. I think that would take quite a long time off a mobile unit. I think that it was called a cascade system on one of the sites that I looked at.
scubaclay - 1/24/2009 2:51 PM

I own my own compresor. You have to figure in the cost of maintance from the manufactor or a service company. The cost of electric to run it. Oil for lub, and the cost of filters. I do nitrox so I have 4 filters, one regular and three hyper filters. I also have two water filters to keep the air dry. I also have a contract to have the air samples evaluated for quality.

I can fill about 20 tanks a day depending the working presure of the tank. The next ting you need is some kind of fill station. That can consist of 1 to 5 whips. Parts are very expensive and maintance is also very expensive. Anew compressor will cost you around $25,000.00 or more depending on what you get.

I hope this information will help you in making your decision.

scubadave - 1/27/2009 6:44 PM
I believe, as do the other posts, that it probably would not be cost effective. There are a couple other things that would make me think twice about getting my own compressor. First, they are noisy. If you had to fill 8 tanks a weekend at something like 5 cfm, the thing would have to run about an hour and a half non stop. Also, you would have to sit around for that hour and a half hooking up and disconnecting tanks unless you have some type of fill system that would allow you to hook all 8 tanks up at once. I’d rather pay someone $50 a weekend to have that done, rather than $20,000 and have to do it myself. It may cost more over 30 years, but it will save me a couple hours a week of noise and labor, plus however long the maintanence takes.
DryDiver - 1/28/2009 12:03 PM

I have tried to contact you about the compressor that you sent me an email about but I got an error message for both the emails that I tried to send to you. Could you contact me with a different email than you have for your shop? I am interested in the compressor. I think that I have been trained (not by an all knowing person) I worked at a LDS for a few months helping out with classes. One of the other things that I did was fill tanks and do VIS ect... I did not know that there was a specific class for filling.
debay(Dee-Bay) - 2/17/2009 4:07 AM
If your diving nearly every day of the year, a compressor might be worth the expense/risk. Some people do it, but I wouldnt want the hassle. They can be expensive and the upkeep is almost not worth it. You have to keep that system CLEAN. too much moitsure and you rust our your tanks not to mention gather moisture in your lungs/regs. If you get oil or debree in the system you can taint or poison your air supply. Its just not worth it to me.