Scuba diving is a thrilling experience that allows you to explore the underwater world for longer periods than free diving. However, as a scuba diver, your time underwater is limited by the amount of air in your tank. Therefore, it's essential to understand how long the air in a scuba tank lasts and what factors can affect it.
Factors that Determine How Long the Air in a Scuba Tank LastsThe air supply in a scuba diving tank depends on several factors, including the tank size, working pressure, depth, and the diver's breathing rate. Here are some of the main factors that determine how long the air in a scuba tank lasts.
Tank Size:Scuba tanks come in different sizes, ranging from very small 3 litre to large 15 litre (19 to 123 cubic feet tanks. The larger the tank, the more air it holds, and the longer you can stay underwater.
Working Pressure:Scuba tanks are filled with compressed air, which is usually at a pressure of 200 or 240 bar (3,000 or 3,500 pounds per square inch / psi). The higher the pressure, the more air the tank holds, and the longer you can dive.
As you descend, the water pressure increases. For every 10 metres (33 feet) of depth, the water pressure increases by one atmosphere. Because your SCUBA diving regulator delivers air to you at the ambient (surrounding) pressure, the deeper you go the more quickly you will use up the air in your tank.
Breathing Rate:Your breathing rate is also a significant factor that determines how long your air supply lasts. The faster you breathe, the quicker you use up your air supply. Therefore, it's essential to learn proper breathing techniques and practice good buoyancy control to reduce your air consumption.
How Long Does a Scuba Tank Last?The duration of the air supply in a scuba tank depends on the factors mentioned above. Typically, an average scuba tank filled to 200 bar (3,000 psi) can last for 30 to 60 minutes at a depth of 10 to 18 metres (30 to 60 feet). However, if you are diving deeper or have a faster breathing rate, the air supply will be used up more quickly, reducing your decompression limit.
Reduce Air ConsumptionTo extend your dive time and reduce air consumption, here are some tips you can follow -
- Practice proper buoyancy control to avoid unnecessary movements that can increase your air consumption.
- Use efficient finning techniques to move through the water with less effort.
- Choose a diving cylinder that suits your needs.
Dive Newcastle has a range of scuba tanks to choose from, allowing you to select a tank that matches your diving experience.