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Old 24-05-2017, 22:02   #1
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Can a Hookah system fill a dive tank?

I've been told by someone who supposedly knows, that a 12v hookah compressor can be somehow used to fill tanks. Does anyone know if this is really possible or just hogwash?
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Old 24-05-2017, 22:09   #2
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Re: Can a Hookah system fill a dive tank?

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I've been told by someone who supposedly knows, that a 12v hookah compressor can be somehow used to fill tanks. Does anyone know if this is really possible or just hogwash?
Short answer, NO Hookah max pressure 120 psi, dive tank pressure 2250 psi- 3000 psi.It simply cannot be done, 120 psi in a dive tank is probably not more than one breath.
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Old 24-05-2017, 22:13   #3
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Re: Can a Hookah system fill a dive tank?

Well it's more than one breath, but you'll spend more time getting your gear on than in the water.
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Old 24-05-2017, 22:33   #4
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Re: Can a Hookah system fill a dive tank?

Every hookah diving compressor I've seen for sale currently will not be able to fill a SCUBA tank.
.
Go check out the websites for Airline, Brownies, O'Keefe Engineering, Thomas Compressors (Airpac), etc and take a look at the spec's yourself and you'll see.
.
Also... just in case you didn't know... filling a SCUBA tank is a process that has certain safety measures to follow and equipment to use.
It's not just attaching a compressor hose to the tank valve and pumping in air, while sitting on your boat or in the garage....
.
You can probably google and get all sorts of info and pics on the actual setup for filling tanks... which might be better than asking on a forum like this one.
All you get here is information from people who say they know what they're talking about... but you have no means of knowing if they do... including someone like me
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But now... bringing in an earlier idea about a bellows... if you had a VERY LARGE bellows AND a VERY LARGE PERSON to pump said bellows... it could be done... I'm sure... I think... I mean.. from my perch on my couch here it seems like a good idea!
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Old 25-05-2017, 00:19   #5
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Re: Can a Hookah system fill a dive tank?

My Hookah compressor will only go up to 120psi, and the hookah operates at 65psi or something like that.

So the answer is definitely no, unless all you require out of your tank in one or two breaths at sea level.
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Old 25-05-2017, 04:09   #6
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Re: Can a Hookah system fill a dive tank?

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Originally Posted by WindJunkie View Post
I've been told by someone who supposedly knows, that a 12v hookah compressor can be somehow used to fill tanks. Does anyone know if this is really possible or just hogwash?


Not a chance.

Hooka compressors mimic the output from the first stage regulator that gets strapped to the tank, far less than 3000 psi, closer to 60.
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Old 25-05-2017, 04:32   #7
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Re: Can a Hookah system fill a dive tank?

Well directly fill a tank with a hookah, no BUT there is a device called a Haskell which is an air driven compressor. Pump high volumes of low pressure air through the drive side and get low volumes of high pressure air out of the other.

However I don't believe a standard hookah will have enough air flow to drive a Haskell.
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Old 25-05-2017, 06:13   #8
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Can a Hookah system fill a dive tank?

Plus you have to have a pretty decently high pressure on the suck side of a Haskell to keep from damaging it.
I've used a Haskell to harvest the last 500 PSI of helium out of a cascade or so, helium isn't cheap.
Aircraft mechanics have the same or similar thing, called a strut pump it takes shop air and compresses it high enough for Oleo struts.
If your raising the pressure say 100 to one, 30 PSI inlet, 3,000 outlet like if you were filling a dive tank, it takes more than 100 times as much shop air than you put in the tank, so to fill m y 100 cu ft steel, it takes more than 10,000 cu ft of drive air or something. That is not completely true for those that will try to do the math as the pressure in the tank is variable.

Only point is to drive an average Haskell would take several Hooka compressors and likely take an hour?
Plus price a Haskell, you may be surprised, one we had was also O2 clean and we used it to compress O2 also, but pretty sure a Haskell is as much or more than a Bauer Junior.

Found a price list, take your pick
https://www.amronintl.com/commercial...ter-pumps.html
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Old 25-05-2017, 08:04   #9
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Re: Can a Hookah system fill a dive tank?

What they said. Just enjoy your hookah the way it was meant to be enjoyed. If you want to fill a scuba tank, you need a proper scuba compressor and a bit of training. Or take it to a dive shop.

Filling tanks at a dive shop is not that expensive, unless you dive like every day. They will of course expect you to be certified, for very good reasons. You can find videos on youtube of all the skills you will have to learn and demonstrate for certification. It will be an eye opener, I think. When you are comfortable and confident with actually going through all the drills in the water, you will be able to meet all the common mishaps that can ruin your day or take your life. Scuba diving is inherently dangerous and the excellent safety record that scuba diving has, is due to the certification process and safety standards.

If you already own a tank, BC, reg, computer, etc, you have already spent over twice what open water certtification costs. Go the extra distance. I didn't, and I had a potentially tragic moment of panic in shallow water in a situation where with snorkel or hookah gear I would not have had a problem at all. It is different. More things to check. Bouyancy control is a skil that you have to develop to the point where it is automatic, like riding a bike. And I am not even touching the subject of decompression after spending time at depths greater than 20-30 feet. Familiar with Boyle's Law, and its significance to diving? Importance of not holding your breath while ascending? Seriously, if you want to scuba, take the classes. Then not only can you dive safely, but you can get your tanks filled at any dive shop in the world.

Many dive shops also fill tanks for paintball warriors, who charge their paintball guns from the tank. Generally those that do, require a sticker on the tank that clearly states "Not For Underwater Use" or something like that. I am only mentioning this because some dive shop operators and clerks might mention it and I want you to be aware that you are taking your life in your hands by doing this, and that while there is no right way of doing this, there are "less wrong" ways. You need to practice all the skills required in the certification process. You can do this with a BC and empty tank, breathing with your hookah hose, if you have a way of adding air into your BC. You will need a couple pounds more weight than with a full tank.

Homebrew compressors have been used, both successfully and unsuccessfully. The unsuccessfully ones can have serious consequences. Don't assume you know what you are doing if you don't. The Max-Air 35 is a popular compressor that sells new for under $3k. A Davy SCU100 is around $2300. There are cheaper options, and you could possibly find a suitable compressor used for around $1k but you would need to have it checked by someone knowledgeable before using or servicing it.

Yes, compressors are expensive. Delivering 3000PSI+ air is complicated. You cannot compress air to 3000PSI in a single stage. It would be hot enough to melt hoses. SCUBA compressors use multiple stages with intercoolers. They provide air that is free of contaminants like compressor oil. Cheap compressors take a long time to fill a tank. Bad air can injure or KILL.

If you dive a LOT, or provide air to more than one or two divers, or are often isolated for long periods of time and need to dive, you want a compressor. Otherwise it makes more sense to fill tanks at a shop. For a small portable system that doesn't consume much power, stick with hookah diving. For most liveaboard or cruising yachties it is probably the most practical option.
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Old 25-05-2017, 08:06   #10
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Re: Can a Hookah system fill a dive tank?

To answer directly, although redundantly, it is hogwash!
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Old 25-05-2017, 08:14   #11
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Re: Can a Hookah system fill a dive tank?

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Originally Posted by WindJunkie View Post
I've been told by someone who supposedly knows, that a 12v hookah compressor can be somehow used to fill tanks. Does anyone know if this is really possible or just hogwash?
I don't believe this possible. Hookahs provide air at a few PSI to a shallow depth. I think, but am not entirely sure, that a hookah that goes to 90 feet would have to produce about 60psi, and that is not adequate to do anything relative to a 3,000psi scuba tank.

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Old 25-05-2017, 09:08   #12
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Re: Can a Hookah system fill a dive tank?

Key Word here: BAD AIR. Why would anyone want to take the risk of taking bad air down with them just to say they filled their own tanks? For me, I'm not even sure I trust just any dive shop. The compressor must be maintained so oil in the compressor doesn't burn and unwittingly insert incompletely burned oil: carbon monoxide. Then there is the filter system and you hope the air that the compressor is busily sucking in is from somewhere where the air is pure, like the Rocky Mountains! No, who would try to fill their own tank?
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Old 25-05-2017, 09:30   #13
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Re: Can a Hookah system fill a dive tank?

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Short answer, NO Hookah max pressure 120 psi, dive tank pressure 2250 psi- 3000 psi.It simply cannot be done, 120 psi in a dive tank is probably not more than one breath.
I'm glad to see a definitive answer right from the gitgo. Someone is bound to come up with some nonsense about how to do it.
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Old 25-05-2017, 10:00   #14
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Re: Can a Hookah system fill a dive tank?

Good to see some sensible advice above, but a word of caution,by all means do a dive course but remember a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. When your instructor signs your bit of paper saying you are a competent qualified diver DO NOT believe him. You are neither of the above. No doubt you have been told the Buddy system will keep you safe in an emergency,rubbish.The last report on buddy diving accidents I saw showed that a greater portion of the rescuer buddy died whilst the novice survived. Why? because unless you hold hands you are allways effectively a solo diver.An unexpected "attack" from behind by a panicking novice on a novice can be fatal. Too much diver training is regarded as a money making business especially at holiday resorts where one can be qualified after a couple of hours in a swim pool. After more than 50 years most of it as a Professionel diver I reckon I am fairly safe in the water down to about 800 ft plus. Just remember the profesionel underwater film maker who died recently in about 40 ft of water who had 2 "Buddies" with him. Clean your boat by all means, but don't get conned into the "How deep have you dived?" nonsense. If you learned anything on your course you should know that the deeper you go the less colour,plant and fish life there is. I like around 20 feet so do not have to have a flash on the camera, although it does improve colour saturation.
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Old 25-05-2017, 10:15   #15
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Re: Can a Hookah system fill a dive tank?

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Good to see some sensible advice above, but a word of caution,by all means do a dive course but remember a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. When your instructor signs your bit of paper saying you are a competent qualified diver DO NOT believe him. You are neither of the above. No doubt you have been told the Buddy system will keep you safe in an emergency,rubbish.The last report on buddy diving accidents I saw showed that a greater portion of the rescuer buddy died whilst the novice survived. Why? because unless you hold hands you are allways effectively a solo diver.An unexpected "attack" from behind by a panicking novice on a novice can be fatal. Too much diver training is regarded as a money making business especially at holiday resorts where one can be qualified after a couple of hours in a swim pool. After more than 50 years most of it as a Professionel diver I reckon I am fairly safe in the water down to about 800 ft plus. Just remember the profesionel underwater film maker who died recently in about 40 ft of water who had 2 "Buddies" with him. Clean your boat by all means, but don't get conned into the "How deep have you dived?" nonsense. If you learned anything on your course you should know that the deeper you go the less colour,plant and fish life there is. I like around 20 feet so do not have to have a flash on the camera, although it does improve colour saturation.
I think you typoed. 800 ft.? 80 I would guess.
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