Enriched Air Tips

Tips for Nitrox Divers

Here are some tips to ensure you have safe and enjoyable enriched air dives.

1. Find a dive center you can trust.

If you thought getting air from a reputable dive center was important, getting an enriched air fill from a reputable blender is even more important. Look for a dive center with certified blenders and dependable analyzers. Make sure they are using all of the documentation techniques you learned in your PADI Enriched Air Diver course.

2. Get a nitrox-enabled dive computer.

The biggest drawback to enriched air diving is dive planning. A nitrox dive computer makes enriched air diving easier and safer. A good choice for an entry level nitrox computer would be the Mares Puck Pro Plus or the Oceanic GEO 4. For advanced to technical dives, the Suunto EON Core, Suunto D5 or the Oceanic ProPlus X are excellent muti-gas dive computers. Technical divers should consider the Suunto EON Steel.

3. Become an expert with your dive computer.

Making mistakes with your dive computer when diving enriched air can lead to serious accidents. Make sure you know how to use your dive computer. This means knowing how to properly set the FO2 (fraction of oxygen) and PPO2 (partial pressure of oxygen). It also means understanding alerts for exceeding maximum operating depths and maximum oxygen exposure.

4. Make sure to set your computer before every dive.

Many dive computers require you to reset the computer before every dive. Failure to do so can cause the computer to set maximum oxygen and nitrogen levels. This is done to ensure that you have not changed to a new gas that is different from the one used on the previous dive.

5. Find a dive buddy who uses the same gas blend as you do.

If you or your buddy run out of no decompression time, you will be going to the surface just as you would if one of you ran low on air. Therefore, make sure both you and your buddy are certified to use enriched air and that you are using compatible blends and computers using similar decompression models.