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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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Old 05-30-2009
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Please Need Help............

I have read a few posts and found your forum to be the best educated...........PLEASE HELP...........I have a son 20ish and he cleans hulls for a living while going to school. He has done this for about 8 months. He is thinking of starting his own hull cleaning business. BUT his roommate and maybe new business partner wants to JUST go to home depot and get a 100 compressor and hook up a reg. I am a divemaster and have told my son (which is listening to what I say) That this is not a good idea and you should ONLY use a approved comp. and hose(did I mention he want to use reg. air comp. hose also). His roommate is getting BAD info from someone. I NEED articles and facts that my son can use to confront his roommate. Thank you very much for your time
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Old 05-30-2009
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I am no expert, but this sounds like a bad idea. How will they ensure air purity? Contractor type compressors have oil mist in the line. Gas powered compressors may have Carbon monoxide. I'd talk to some commercial divers or surface dive compressor outfits to learn more about these safety considerations before letting the kid risk his health.
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Twist

OK Here is another twist. They both go to the same school for commercial diving. His roommate is trying to get off CHEAP. Thank you for your input
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Old 05-30-2009
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Take a look at the thread started by poopdeckpappy 2 weeks ago entitled, "a bottom cleaners Hookah." You'll find it under the heading, 'Gear & Maintenance.' It might be of some help.
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Old 05-30-2009
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You really want to get a proper compressor for the hookah rig, preferably an oil-free one specifically designed for breathable air applications.
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Old 05-30-2009
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Offer to loan him the money for the proper equipment, as long as the room mate has no involvement in the business. That takes away his excuses and gets the problem guy out of the picture

I have started several businesses. Partners can be difficult and too often, sound the death knell of a nice little going concern.
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Old 05-30-2009
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I clean hulls for a living and have done for 15 years. I speak from experience.

Tell your son that the $100 compressor from Home Depot is perfectly safe to use, providing that it is an oil-less compressor. There are no compressors designed specifically to provide breathing air, at least not at the consumer level. Commercial dive companies will use surface supplied air, but we are not talking about small, portable hookahs, we are talking about large units that cost many thousands of dollars and have multiple diver and communication capabilities etc. Not suitable for the hull diver.

The only difference between the compressors found on the shelf at Home Depot and the ones sold in hookah rigs are overall quality of design and some bells and whistles. For instance, many compressors come with reserve tanks, which are generally unsuitable for use in a marine environment and basically unnecessary for this application anyway. Also, the cheaper compressors (like the $100 unit your son is considering) are much less durable than compressors costing only $200.

The most common compressor used in the hull cleaning industry is the Thomas 1020. They cost about $225 or less. They are small, extremely rugged and easy to repair. Can't buy them off-the-shelf (at least I've never found them) but Amazon.com and Toolbarn.com have them all the time.


Regarding breathing hose and regulators; it is critical that your son only use hose rated to provide breathing air. Pneumatic tool-style hoses are unsuitable and dangerous to use. 2nd stage SCUBA regs may or may not work in a low-pressure hookah application. Some do, some don't. To avoid any issues in this regard, I use regs that have been modified for use in a hookah setup.


BTW, here's a link to the other hookah thread previously mentioned:
A bottom cleaners Hooka

Last edited by Fstbttms; 05-30-2009 at 01:56 PM.
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