Life Jacket Lesson

Farmer Piles

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So; took my lifejackets down to our local chandlers', Macsalvors, open safety day to have them checked. All good apart from a couple of rusty CO2 cylinders. I bought new canisters and decided to set-off one of the rusty ones whilst wearing the jacket - never had cause to use one so thought it was a good idea.
I tugged the cord, the cylinder went off and blew the gas all over my feet. I had broken the plastic inflator housing. I don't know if the plastic had become brittle with age or if I was over zealous in how hard I pulled. End result was the same - lifejacket not inflated and unable to inflate by mouth as the air would come out of the holes in the mounting for the cylinder housing. Far from ideal if you find yourself in the sea.
Just an FYI really. For the sake of a tenner per cylinder it might be worth tugging the cord to do a test inflation rather than blowing them up. Plus a good exercise for the crew to try out and to understand what to do if they fall overboard. A bit like having a go with a fire extinguisher.
PS. When buying the new cylinders make sure that you buy the right size. mine were the 33 gm.
 

Bilgediver

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So; took my lifejackets down to our local chandlers', Macsalvors, open safety day to have them checked. All good apart from a couple of rusty CO2 cylinders. I bought new canisters and decided to set-off one of the rusty ones whilst wearing the jacket - never had cause to use one so thought it was a good idea.



I sometimes get members of our club to inflate jackets while wearing them so that they be aware of what happens and also aware it should be a hard pull on the cord not a gentle one and then stopping as soon as they hear a sound.
 

Refueler

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Depending on the failure - you can replace housing ....

But TBH - if the jackets are old and housing has failed due to age - then prudent to cut up the old LJ and replace.

Having recently bough two auto inflate LJ's from Estonian Dealer ... new and EN-ISO rated for 50 euros total ... its a no-brainer to replace ...
 

simonfraser

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Depending on the failure - you can replace housing ....

But TBH - if the jackets are old and housing has failed due to age - then prudent to cut up the old LJ and replace.

Having recently bough two auto inflate LJ's from Estonian Dealer ... new and EN-ISO rated for 50 euros total ... its a no-brainer to replace ...
just cos they are new, how do you know they will inflate properly ?
 

Daydream believer

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I wanted to change the bottle on my wife's LJ. Before doing so, my son & I put the LJ on the wife. She flatly refused to strip off & sit in the bath :cry: but we tried any way. First she pulled the cord- zilch. On inspection we found that the cord was wrapped around the fitting. When we looked at the other 5 they were all the same.
So once sorted, she had another go.
Bang! she was looking down & one has to realise that it was not trying to ride up her body, as she was not in the bath. However, it still hit her under the chin & the seam caused a small cut enough to bleed. We told he she would have been OK in the bath, as there were no sharks,( she said randy husband was bad enough) but in the open ocean with this sharp seam rubbing under the chin, would be very painful & would draw some blood. That would attract sharks from miles away.
She decided that I would go out & buy her a different make of LJ. :unsure: 🤣
 

lustyd

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Good idea. But it was the failure of the housing that brought me up with a start.
Do you have a photo of the broken housing? Just curious after a convo with Refueler the other day about plastics going brittle over time in this very area.
 

simonfraser

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Maybe you can tell me how long is a piece of string ?

When you go out there each morning to your car - you expect it to start ? How do you know it will start ?

Silly question - same as yours TBH ...
25 euros each, i'd want to test them ....
 

Refueler

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25 euros each, i'd want to test them ....

Already have and they work ... so far no faults found.

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Of course not having full 'textile NDT' testing - I cannot confirm or question how long they will last folded away on board ... but in comparison to my Crewsavers / Baltic and Lalizas jackets - they appear similar ..
 

Farmer Piles

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Do you have a photo of the broken housing? Just curious after a convo with Refueler the other day about plastics going brittle over time in this very area.
Will do.

My main point really is that we all wear these safety devices on the assumption that they will inflate as they are supposed to when you are in the sh*te. You just need to know that they will, and until I tried my "trusty" lifejacket, I was under the impression that it would. As I suspect that most of us do.
As I said before, just a heads-up really.
 

Refueler

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Will do.

My main point really is that we all wear these safety devices on the assumption that they will inflate as they are supposed to when you are in the sh*te. You just need to know that they will, and until I tried my "trusty" lifejacket, I was under the impression that it would. As I suspect that most of us do.
As I said before, just a heads-up really.

Totally agree with your posts ...

You can add another item ... just as an addition to support your stand :

How many of you lot shake and upend your Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers ?? How many just leave them in the mounts year after year and expect them to perform when called ?
I have personal experience of DP fire extinguisher only discharging a small amount of its powder as it had compacted over time in bottom of the cylinder ..
Its why on board ship - its standard to invert them regularly to prevent that occurring.
 

Graham376

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Already have and they work ... so far no faults found.

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Of course not having full 'textile NDT' testing - I cannot confirm or question how long they will last folded away on board ... but in comparison to my Crewsavers / Baltic and Lalizas jackets - they appear similar ..

Local law dictates we have to have lifejackets available in tenders so, thinking they may get nicked, I bought a couple of those with Life Jacket printed on via ebay, about £29 but they come without CO2 cylinder. The trigger capsule appears non-standard so I suspect they are use once and chuck. Not much difference in price to just a rearm kit for some others on the market.
 

Refueler

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Local law dictates we have to have lifejackets available in tenders so, thinking they may get nicked, I bought a couple of those with Life Jacket printed on via ebay, about £29 but they come without CO2 cylinder. The trigger capsule appears non-standard so I suspect they are use once and chuck. Not much difference in price to just a rearm kit for some others on the market.

The trigger capsule and re-arm are available online ... so don't be too hasty to discard if ever used ! They are actually one of the standard setups .. you just have to check what bobbin size fits the auto ....

CO2 cylinders 33gr - I just ordered 4 at 9.80 quid each incl shipping.
 

Graham376

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The trigger capsule and re-arm are available online ... so don't be too hasty to discard if ever used ! They are actually one of the standard setups .. you just have to check what bobbin size fits the auto ....
Do you have a link? I couldn't find any like these -
 

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William_H

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The LJs I have dealt with mostly manual activation one auto. Have a schrader valve (car/bike tube like) molded into the bladder. The plastic block sits on top with a large nut holding onto the thread of the schrader valve. The plastsic block has a threaded socket for the cylinder and the actuation pin operated by a lever and cord. I have not seen any sign of deterioration of the plastic block in 15yo LJs (15 examples at club)
OP suggested he would not be able to inflate by mouth once block had failed. I think this may be wrong. The schrader valve if it has one should hold pressure without the block and mechanism. Sorry may be I am assuming all are the same but worth consideration. ol'will
 
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