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Do you face the SPG away from you when turning your SCUBA tank on?
Greg - 10/10/2016 9:22 AM
Category: Health & Safety
Replies: 22

If you have a modern SCUBA air gauge, you may not want to face it away from you when you turn on the tank. Here is why...
LatitudeAdjustment - 10/10/2016 10:21 AM
Good video, I never heard that about SPG’s during my class because most didn’t have them or depth gauges, okay no BC or computers yet either.

1st time I heard it was during my daughters class, my wife’s instructor also said it.

I still do the 1/4 way back when helping drysuit divers zip up :)
divingdr - 10/10/2016 10:43 AM
Thanks for sharing this!
Smithsgold - 10/10/2016 12:41 PM
Cool Video !!
DiverfromBaskingRidge - 10/10/2016 1:15 PM
I would think you have a higher chance of crashing your car on the way to a dive site than being hurt by an spg. Dive safe... :-)
LatitudeAdjustment - 10/10/2016 1:43 PM
From DiverfromBaskingRidge: I would think you have a higher chance of crashing your car on the way to a dive site than being hurt by an spg. Dive safe... :-)

I agree with you on that, the only thing I’ve ever seen blow was a burst disc. Known some divers to have car issues on the way to a dive but no crashes :)
BillParker - 10/10/2016 7:38 PM
What’s an SPG? :p
Eric_R - 10/11/2016 7:13 AM
Depends on the age of your equipment.
ScubaPeeDee - 10/11/2016 8:16 AM
I always place the SPG against my tank when I open the tank up. Even though I have all modern equipment, and I have never heard of anyone’s SPG actually breaking (exploding), my attitude is there’s no harm in being safe!
Bmax - 10/14/2016 6:26 AM
I was taught this 16 years ago, and I aways keep the SPG away when turning on the air! Let’s be safe!
dalehall - 10/17/2016 9:16 AM
I do it, but it’s more of an ingrained habit from years of doing it than a fear of it blowing out. Of course, it became a habit by having the fear it would blow out. ;)
PhilB - 10/23/2016 2:31 PM
Good link Greg to Alex’s videos. This brings to mind how old experienced Instructors must strive to stay current regarding everything. Moral of the topic...So don’t worry about the front of the SPG, point the rear down range. I have seen many temporarily wrap it inside the BCD (like a flack jacket) and then pull it out and read it after turning the valve on. The was the second part...turn the valve all the way on and leave it there.
aindsoney - 11/07/2016 1:12 AM
chicagofish - 11/14/2016 11:24 AM
Ingrained habit, I agree. But I’ve never held it by the gauge. I’m usually holding the hose where it joins the gauge and facing it downward. I learned it about ten years ago and it’s a hard habit to break.
ThailandDivers - 11/21/2016 11:55 PM
Yes we do teach to turn it away from you and your gear so as not to damage the gear also. But this is a valid comment. I can see this being fine with your own gear but with rental gear you do not know the history of that SPG. Yes I know the one I have given but I can not vouch for the gear they will use in other places around the world. May be next trip will be to a tiny island in a place with very old gear so we say better safe than sorry.
RickF - 1/12/2017 10:09 PM
Good to know, thanks for sharing
Lucky003 - 1/23/2017 9:38 PM
Thanks for sharing, very instructive.
jtjacobs2000 - 4/10/2017 3:04 PM
Interesting, I actually use a brass guage on my rig, I always face the gauge against the tank when turning the air on because that’s how we learned in class. I guess I’ve been lucking that the thing didn’t break, and that I’ve been point it away from me (and probably accidentally at other people) all this time :P
Sea-Dog - 5/05/2017 11:44 PM
They told us to do that in the diving class in case the glass breaks but the instructor admitted he has never seen or heard of that happening. I now do it out of habit.
Colliam7 - 5/19/2017 12:09 PM
This is a worthwhile video. But, but the viewer needs to pay particular attention to what is said beginning at 2:41, which is, turn your face away from the gauge, to prevent facial injury from EITHER type of blow-out - plexiglas gauge face OR relief port blow-out. And, that is what I tell students - look at the gauge before you pressurize, to see if the needle is zero’ed, then turn your face away from the gauge, and move the gauge down and away, when turning on the air. If you are holding the SPG in your hand when reading it (palm behind / below the back of the gauge, palm facing your face), and you extend your arm away from your face, the natural rotation of your wrist is likely to rotate the SPG face down and away.

I happen to be one of those instructors who has seen a face plate blow off, fortunately nowhere near a diver’s face. We were on a coastal NC charter ~ 5 years ago, and were sitting around during a surface interval, most of us seeking shade under the canopy. The cylinders were in their racks toward the stern. We heard a (very) loud pop, as the face plate on a SPG on a rig on the starboard side of the boat (sitting out in the sun) blew off, across the deck and richoceted off a rig in the port side racks, before landing on the deck. That image has stuck with me. :)