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Old 12-07-2017, 14:48   #1
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Hookah Breathing Systems

Does anyone have experience with any of the hookah diving systems (i.e., Brownie's, AirLine's, etc.)? If so, which one(s), how do you use it and do you think it's worth having on-board?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 12-07-2017, 17:41   #2
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Hookah Breathing Systems

I rolled my own for much less $$. I use it primarily to clean the hull, change zincs etc.
Someone had a good post on parts etc and cost and how to make their own, search should find it.
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Old 12-07-2017, 18:05   #3
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Hookah ,DIY System

Hookah ,DIY

1) California Air Tools 2010ALFC Ultra Quiet, Oil-Free & Lightweight.
1.0 hp Industrial Air Compressor, 2.0 gallon, 35 lbs $255
4.00 CFM at 40 PSI & 3.00 CFM at 90 PSI; Max 125 PSI. Ultra Quiet 60 decibels
4000 hour motor life. MP100LF motor/pump. 110V 60 Hz - 7.6 Amps. 1400 RPM
2.0 Gallon Aluminum (Rust-Free) Air Tank.
L (17.3") x W (14.2") x H (14.6")

2) Campbell Hausfeld MP513803av filter / water separator $16.29

3) 75 foot certified air breathing hose scuba/ hookah with Cressi regulator with Walmec quick connects.
Cressi Octopus XS2 is a 2nd stage with adjustable air flow. From GatorGillunit.com $289

I get 2 minutes of breathing just from whatís in the 2 gal. tank before the compressor starts to fill again.

This compressor is so amazingly quiet.

Note: You could save another $100 if you purchased the California Air Tools 2010A instead of the 2010ALFC Industrial Series

Total cost of this Hookah ,DIY was $560
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Old 12-07-2017, 21:08   #4
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Re: Hookah Breathing Systems

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Originally Posted by mark12mitchell View Post
Does anyone have experience with any of the hookah diving systems (i.e., Brownie's, AirLine's, etc.)?
Brownie's is too expensive IMHO, and features some cheap components. If you're buying a commercially available hookah, go with Air Line.
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Old 12-07-2017, 22:29   #5
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Re: Hookah Breathing Systems

Don't buy a HookaMax system like I did. The cheap compressor will rust up within a year.

Yes, a hookah system is worth having onboard.
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Old 12-07-2017, 23:04   #6
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Re: Hookah ,DIY System

Just curious about the efficiency of the system. It should handle 30m (100') with 2 divers -

do you think it would ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
Hookah ,DIY

1) California Air Tools 2010ALFC Ultra Quiet, Oil-Free & Lightweight.
1.0 hp Industrial Air Compressor, 2.0 gallon, 35 lbs $255
4.00 CFM at 40 PSI & 3.00 CFM at 90 PSI; Max 125 PSI. Ultra Quiet 60 decibels
4000 hour motor life. MP100LF motor/pump. 110V 60 Hz - 7.6 Amps. 1400 RPM
2.0 Gallon Aluminum (Rust-Free) Air Tank.
L (17.3") x W (14.2") x H (14.6")

2) Campbell Hausfeld MP513803av filter / water separator $16.29

3) 75 foot certified air breathing hose scuba/ hookah with Cressi regulator with Walmec quick connects.
Cressi Octopus XS2 is a 2nd stage with adjustable air flow. From GatorGillunit.com $289

I get 2 minutes of breathing just from whatís in the 2 gal. tank before the compressor starts to fill again.

This compressor is so amazingly quiet.

Note: You could save another $100 if you purchased the California Air Tools 2010A instead of the 2010ALFC Industrial Series

Total cost of this Hookah ,DIY was $560
.
.
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Old 12-07-2017, 23:15   #7
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Re: Hookah ,DIY System

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Just curious about the efficiency of the system. It should handle 30m (100') with 2 divers -

do you think it would ?
Not a chance in hell.
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Old 12-07-2017, 23:24   #8
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Re: Hookah ,DIY System

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Not a chance in hell.
So pretty close then :-)
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Old 12-07-2017, 23:26   #9
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Re: Hookah Breathing Systems

No way. Mine does OK with one diver going down to 50ft using a 100ft hose when I need to go down briefly to pick up a dropped tool, or for exploring the bottom when it's only 15-25ft down off the dinghy. But... I'd never trust a little compressor like this for being more than a single breath from the surface.
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Old 12-07-2017, 23:54   #10
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Re: Hookah Breathing Systems

You should get more air as you come up.
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Old 13-07-2017, 00:09   #11
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Re: Hookah Breathing Systems

I have a "pony" bottle (can't remember capacity but about 1/2 of a standard scuba tank) and made an umbilical with 25m of 1/4in hose with a 1st stage regulator at one end and a 2nd stage at the other. I whipped the hose to a light braided line with a snap shackle at the 2nd stage end and I clip that to my harness to take the load when in the water (the other end is secured on deck). This is more than adequate for any jobs I've had to do on the boat. If you are going to whip a strength line to the hose always do the whipping when the hose is pressurised.
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Old 13-07-2017, 08:51   #12
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Re: Hookah Breathing Systems

I finally opted for scuba gear but I considered a hookah outfit for a time and it was a difficult decision. For tasks such as changing zincs or prop, cleaning bottom, clearing through hulls, freeing an anchor, searching for dropped tools, etc a hookah rig might be all you need. Well, and a Spare Air cannister. Stuff can happen. Scuba gear is IMHO more reliable. You dont have a hose trailing behind you, throwing coils around rudders and props and stuff. OTOH you don't need to be certified to get air with your hookah. You do have to be certified to get your scuba tanks filled at a dive shop. (there are ways around this, but you would be circumventing safeguards put into place for the purpose of keeping you alive.) Of course this is not a bad thing, getting official sanctioned training. A lot of very important skills are learned and practiced during the certification process. Do a search on youtube and it will become obvious that there is more to even safe hookah diving than sticking the little rubber mouthpiece thingie in your mouth and bailing over the side without a care.

For just being an underwater tourist, you dont need to worry too much about bouyancy control with a hookah. For getting things done, you want a BC of some sort and a weight belt, a way to inflate the bc, and a good knowledge of how to manage your bouyancy.
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Old 13-07-2017, 10:24   #13
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Re: Hookah Breathing Systems

I have an Airline and use it mostly for shallow water diving. I think the deepest I've had it is about 50 feet with 2 divers. Mine is an older model with 2 pistons that is not sold any more and is rated at 4 divers to 85 feet. I've had 4 divers on it at 30 feet with no problem but given its rating I wouldn't expect to have one. I have had to rebuild the compressor twice and the rebuild kits cost $85 each and I need 2 for the two pistons. The weak point seems to be the flapper valves in the head. The Honda engine runs like a top (13 years old). I've replaced 2 high temperature hoses and a connector hose. The new single piston models don't have a connector hose so that is not a problem on new models. I found that breathing directly off of the compressor air is uncomfortable as the pressure pulses of the compressor cause a vibration sensation when inhaling. They sell a buffer tank to get around this. I built my own out of 4" pvc, a check valve and some fittings and it completely removes the sensation. It also gives you a couple of minutes of breathable air if the engine quits. The thing I like most when diving in shallow water is getting 2.5 hours of bottom time off a tank of gas. I also like it for doing drift dives. We put on 100 ft hoses and leave the compressor in the dinghy. Since you are connected to the boat by the hoses there is no danger of getting separated from the boat. We do keep a couple of scuba tanks on board for deeper diving or where having the hoses would be an issue. You really can't do swim throughs or wreck diving with the hookah. If you get some place like the Bahamas it is much easier to find gasoline than compressed air. We've had some shops refuse to fill our tanks unless we were going out on their dive boat. I definitely think it's worth having.
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Old 24-07-2017, 03:24   #14
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Re: Hookah Breathing Systems

I bought a Hookah from TheAirLine 2 years ago and nothing but smiles. I've done over 100 dives on it now and it's as good as the day I bought it. We easily dive to 20m (2 x people) but it can support more people or deeper dives.

My model is the Hookah direct drive scuba diving equipment sales. Hose diving hookah

I'm in Australia and had it shipped over. The guys are great to deal with after the fact - recently I asked questions about getting the regs serviced and I received a prompt and detailed email. I can't speak of the GEAR or the company highly enough. Happy to answer any more questions.
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Old 25-11-2017, 18:11   #15
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Re: Hookah Breathing Systems

Captain Bill,
I too have an Airline/Honda system and use for zinc work in my marina. I purchased it with maintenance and reef diving in mind when I head to Mexico and beyond. Having done limited recreational diving I wonder what you've found when you use the system with other divers around using tanks? Opinions?
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