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Old 02-16-2015, 08:20 PM   #1
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Brownies Third lung

Not taking a poll or anything but who use them and for what? Really how usefull! How about gas or electric?
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Old 02-16-2015, 08:24 PM   #2
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Lots use them for sport and maintenance , many make way cheaper homemade rigs for light maintenance use.
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Old 02-17-2015, 04:05 PM   #3
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Hard to justify the price of one of these things as a "maintenance necessity" - although it does make many underwater maintenance chores simpler. And if you enjoy snorkeling or diving, hookah-kits are amazing and fun to use - and might help you to justify the purchase. The very best ones are Air Line by J Sink in Ocala, Florida (www.airlinebyjsink.com). Lots of great features that make maintenance simpler and ensure longevity (of both you AND the unit.)

There are indeed some folks who have built their own hookahs for less money, but if you decide to go that route, be VERY careful and do your homework. Using a Harbor Freight or some other cheap compressor (whether supposedly "oil-less" or not) will have you breathing atomized oil - and the chances of blackout from breathing atomized oil are quite high. Aspiration pneumonitis or lipoid pneumonia is not a great way to die. Also, using cheaper, non-scuba type hoses will have you breathing rubber particles too. Not to even mention the problems with the potential of inhaling exhaust fumes through your rig...

But to answer your initial question: For under hull maintenance work, an electric is simpler and probably would work great. However, for recreational use, an electric doesn't allow you to get very far from the boat or dock! The gas units are obviously first choice for all-around use.
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Old 02-17-2015, 04:13 PM   #4
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Hard to justify the price of one of these things as a "maintenance necessity" - although it does make many underwater maintenance chores simpler. And if you enjoy snorkeling or diving, hookah-kits are amazing and fun to use - and might help you to justify the purchase. The very best ones are Air Line by J Sink in Ocala, Florida (www.airlinebyjsink.com). Lots of great features that make maintenance simpler and ensure longevity (of both you AND the unit.)

There are indeed some folks who have built their own hookahs for less money, but if you decide to go that route, be VERY careful and do your homework. Using a Harbor Freight or some other cheap compressor (whether supposedly "oil-less" or not) will have you breathing atomized oil - and the chances of blackout from breathing atomized oil are quite high. Aspiration pneumonitis or lipoid pneumonia is not a great way to die. Also, using cheaper, non-scuba type hoses will have you breathing rubber particles too. Not to even mention the problems with the potential of inhaling exhaust fumes through your rig...
Do you have any actual references to breathing atomized oil from oiless compressors?

There are quite a few people I know who gave been doing it for years...not many hours every year...but still doing the normal couple of dives here and there. My self included with no ill effects.

In addition to the people I know, there are hundreds more who have written about doing it successfully with cheapo oiless compressors...I can't prove any of it...but I will bet much is accurate.

.....plus hard to inhale rubber from pvc hoses either rated food grade or not.

even one of our own here who is a pro hull cleaner has suggested they are no different than the compressors used on some of the commercially sold hooka units.

Nobody is saying be stupid or cavalier about it.....but the general claims against home made hookahs seem unfounded.... I would recommend a commercially produced one for the diving enthusiast planning on hundreds of hours using one....at least there the cost is justified either way.
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Old 02-17-2015, 04:23 PM   #5
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Not taking a poll or anything but who use them and for what? Really how usefull! How about gas or electric?
Gregg
Greg: Here's a thread from last month and the post from FastBottoms.

Hookah dive system



Pot warps & dive stuff

... Minimum horsepower should be about 3/4hp. I don't recommend the cheap Home Depot, Chinese-built POSs, but they will work. The most popular compressor used by hull cleaners is the Thomas 1020. They used to be affordable, but currently are going for about $750 new. Runs on 10.5 amps of 110 volt AC.

Air hose is another item that can be an issue. Many people think that buying the cheap pneumatic tool hose from the hardware store is the way to go, but this is a big mistake. Air hose that is not rated for breathing air can offgas toxins that you will breathe. Use only Grade-E breathing hose from a reputable manufacturer. Any scuba shop can set you up.

If you want to purchase a commercially available hookah, here are the best suppliers, IMHO. It ain't gonna be cheap, however:

Surface Supplied Air NEW

Air Line Diving System | The Air Line by J. Sink

Here is a 12-volt alternative:

Sea Breathe, The Electric Snorkel
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Old 02-17-2015, 04:51 PM   #6
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I simply offered the opinion that it was best to be VERY cautious and do some homework before building your own underwater life support system. We all have different levels of comfort and aversion to risk.
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Old 02-17-2015, 04:56 PM   #7
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I simply offered the opinion that it was best to be VERY cautious and do some homework before building your own underwater life support system. We all have different levels of comfort and aversion to risk.
I agree and did a LOT of homework....that's why I was curious because your comment was the first to mention that.

So I was curious about the origin of the info.

Given the total amount of Internet info available...if a person is interested in building a hooka....the risk aversion to "possible" issues can be pretty easily sorted out.

Be a use I am already in the use mode... I am very interested in new, conformable info that would change my mind.
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Old 02-17-2015, 05:06 PM   #8
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Not taking a poll or anything but who use them and for what? Really how usefull! How about gas or electric?
Gregg
I have been earning my living for over 20 years with 110-volt hookah rigs, all (except my very first one) I built myself. Amongst commercially available units you have a choice between gas, 110-volt AC or 12-volt DC setups. Each have advantages and disadvantages. Depends on your needs and planned uses.
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Old 02-17-2015, 06:01 PM   #9
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I've been using a home made hooka rig for bottom cleaning/inspection for years,,,nothing wrong with me wrong with me. I built the one on my sporty as a dual purpose unit. It has 2 large DC oil less compressors feeding into a 3 gallon pressure tank. Normal air compressor stuff. I've got a pretty long hose and a fitting on the bow and cockpit so I can reach anywhere on the hull. Its been used for power tools and the like but its intended use is for the air horn.
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Old 02-17-2015, 08:04 PM   #10
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I've owned several over the years and still own one now. I love them and use them both for recreation and maintenance purposes.
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:39 AM   #11
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I have a gas powered Brownies with the inflatable tube. I purchased it used at a deal I couldnt pass up. I have used it for cleaning the bottom and removing rope from the props. Also tried to find things I've dropped over board. The unit is real heavy and hard to handle up and down ladders. I need bring extra gas with us but it does run a long time on one tank. I would say I have used it some but not a whole bunch. I have never used the tube designed for reef snorkeling. I would say try to get one used. Its not worth the 3K they want for a new unit. A friend of mine has a small electric motor with the same regulators that works great.
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Old 02-19-2015, 10:08 AM   #12
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I keep on the boat and use for light maintenance a 75' 2nd stage hose that I bought from a dive shop (Brownie labeled) attached to an 80CF tank kept in the rear storage compartment.

This lasts a long time (90 min or so) in 10-15 ft of water. This would allow getting an anchor un-fouled or cutting a line out of the prop as well as access to the rest of the hull.

I could place the tank in the dingy for use away from the boat but then I might as well use the BC and just go diving.

I feel it's all I need and takes up little room. I have a manual co2 life vest that I wear with the hose attached to prevent the 2nd stage from being pulled out of my mouth and as a safety device should I need it.

As this is for shallow water only (75 foot hose and the first 10 feet are out of the water leading to the tank) the 1st stage not being in the water is not a problem, I use an old metal US Diver regulator.
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Old 02-19-2015, 10:52 AM   #13
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Its not worth the 3K they want for a new unit.
Brownie's are the most expensive of the commercially available, recreational-level hookahs. And (from a hull cleaner's persepective) they are not the most robust. For instance, they use plastic fittings for all air hose connections. Too easily broken, IMHO. I like the Air Line by J Sink gear much better.

I owned a Brownie's 110-volt model for about a week. Bought it from a harbormaster cheap, turned around and sold it (with a 250% markup) to a competitor.
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:31 AM   #14
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Certainly nobody wants to endanger their family or friends, but some things are overpriced by marketing I believe this to be one. Brownie's is tried and trued so you can't argue that although even they use the same style compressor as the off brands this came off their web site.
Direct-Drive Compressors
  • Oil-less compressor
  • Stainless steel splash guard with vents keeps water out (components last longer)
  • Manufactured to our own exacting standards
  • Lighter weight, more efficient than belt-driven compressor
Let us not forget a person invented the Brownies and I am sure that person is no smarter than the posters on this site I personally would rather buy a used one where they thought they would use it more than they did and now want to sell it. The fact is I would use it for both recreation and maintenance so one that only goes 15-20 ft down is to limited
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:51 AM   #15
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Brownie's is tried and trued so you can't argue that although even they use the same style compressor as the off brands this came off their web site.
This is not the case. While Brownie's use top-of-the-line, American-made Thomas compressors (as does Air Line and several other high-end hookah retailers), the cheaper hookahs you find on eBay and elsewhere, are typically based on cheap, Chinese-made POS nail gun compressors of the very lowest quality. These brands include, Hookamax, Gator Gill etc.
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