"Don't worry about having to pay for hydrostatic testing the tanks (if necessary) or having the regulators cleaned and serviced."
In many places the cost of a hydro will run $35-40 and another $10-20 for the VIP or VIP Plus visual inspection
. The VIP is required annaully, the hydro every 5th year, so you can figure that a used tank which is not freshly hydro'd is worth about $10 less per every year that has passed, or a good $50 less than a new tank which has just been hydro'd and inspected.
There was an issue with Luxfer Alu 80 tanks some time ago and defects, if the tanks are from the wrong age group they may well be suspect. You'd want to check on that, my friend and I each had one condemned (and then replaced with new) by a shop that didn't understand the VIP Plus procedure when that was all new.
Alu80's are popular but they are not the only option and you may find that you prefer other tanks. If you decide to use oxygen enriched air ("Nitrox") for extra safety
, you'll also need to ge that used equipment
"oxygen cleaned", again more money
versus just buying the same gear new, ready for Nitrox use.
Used regulators can't be presumed to be good. This is after all life support equipment
, and when you buy it new it usually works well. Used, it should get an annual overhaul
and rubber parts
replaced from time to time, and shops charge dearly for that. So again--used may not be a great savings, and you may find that once you've used some different equipment, you have different preferences.
If the used gear is cheap
enough, and you have someone you can trust to check it out (maybe the seller will let you take it to the place where you will be taking lessons to have it checked out?) that's another option.
gear ain't rocket science--but you DO need a little special knowledge and care if you want to use it safely. Small mistakes
can quickly become deadly ones, for reasons that aren't always obvious.
You know, like the line in The Pink Panter where Clouseau says "Does your dog bite?" no, then gets bitten, and the final line is "That's not my dog." Ooopsie.