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Prepare Your Scuba Cylinder

What should you do if you bought a brand new diving cylinder from the internet and the cylinder came to you unassembled with valve, bowl and net? Sometimes very simple things can get complicated without practical information, here are a few tips to prevent it from happening...

We can divide the diving cylinder into 4 basic sub-part; Bottle, Valve, Bowl, Net.


Step #1 - Let's Pass the Net to the Cylinder


After being sure that the net choice is suitable for the volume of the cylinder (bottle) we have, we can start. We can pass the net upwards under the cylinder so that the end that we unknotted is at the neck of the net. We can ensure that the net enters the cylinder more easily by removing the thread that goes in and out of the loops of the net.


If necessary, the knot under the cylinder can also be loosened little by little. It should be noted that the more tense the net is, the less likely it is to peel off when inserting the cylinder into the plastic bottom. After pulling the net up enough, we can tie a knot around the neck of the cylinder - passing the thread through the loops again - turning it a few turns.



Step #2 - How will this cylinder fit in this plastic bottom bowl?!


When you try to snap the cylinder directly onto the bowl and try to replace it, you may have a little worry: is the bowl the right size?

The plastic bottom bowls for 12, 15, and 18lt steel cylinders are the same size, 8 inches (203 mm) in diameter. Although the bowls are in different shapes according to the part they touch the ground, their width is the same. You may think for a moment that it will not fit at all, especially when trying to pass 18 lt cylinder into these bowls. Let me quote a couple of simple methods that I use;


  1. Soak the bowl in hot water, pour hot water over it and generally allow the plastic to heat up and expand. You can keep it in hot water for a while (30-60 minutes).

  2. After removing the bowl from the water, you can apply dish soap to its inner walls to make it slippery.

  3. Place the bowl on a flat, hard surface such as the parking lot floor. If you are OK with your downstairs neighbour, I would say don't try it at home.

  4. Place the netted bottle on the bowl and push it a little. It is useful to take care that the rope at the lower end of the net stays in the bowl.

  5. Hold the cylinder with both hands at its sides, lift it a little and drop it to the ground. As you repeat this process, you will see that the cylinder goes into the bowl. Continue until the cylinder reaches the end of the bowl.


Even if you manage to insert the cylinder if the bowl is not heated, there is a possibility that the plastic may crack or break when pushing it into place. If you have replaced the tube, it is finally time to install the valve.



Step #3 - Get ready your valves.



Valves are the weakest point of the cylinder. For this reason, I prefer to install valve at last. In any case, I don't like the idea that the valve is attached to the cylinder and the surface force is transmitted to it, while worrying about the cylinder.


The valve is also sometimes shipped separately from the snorkel. Do not forget to screw the snorkel under the valve. After all, the snorkel is also a valuable piece as it provides a kind of filtering action.


Before screwing the valve to the cylinder, be sure to place the cylinder neck o-ring that comes with the valve. You can also lubricate this o-ring with very little o-ring grease. After screwing and tightening by hand, I tighten the valve well with the help of a plastic mallet. I hit the handle part of the valve with the plastic mallet and strike a few blows so that it does not open by hand. Of course, it is necessary to be careful when hitting the handle part, as a result, there are various metal springs and so on. components are included. If you can attach a long frog key to the neck of the valve and turn it, you can also prefer this. In this method, care must be taken not to damage the outer surface of the valve.




Finally, fill some air...

In particular, to ensure that the valve is properly installed and not leaking, and to prevent any moisture-dust from entering the cylinder, compress 15-20 bar air. Thus, you have tested the system and the scuba cylinder is ready.




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