Why Do Scuba Divers Use Nitrox?

Why Do Scuba Divers Use Nitrox?

A Certification Every Scuba Diver Should Consider But Why?

Nitrox or Enriched Air Nitrox to give it’s full name is the most popular PADI speciality course that we teach and for good reason. It’s relatively cheap, can be done in one day, straight forward and really is beneficial to the diver.

What Is It? – The Short Explanation

Excessive absorption of nitrogen into our body tissues is the factor that limits a divers time underwater. So by simply putting more oxygen into our scuba tank, therefor reducing the amount of nitrogen we in turn reduce the amount that our body absorbs. Which will extend our diving time at given depths. Got it? There is of course much more to learn about diving with Nitrox and that’s why you should take the PADI EANitrox specialty.

A Quick Example Using The Recreational Dive Planner

Normal Air – 18m Depth No Decompression limit = 56 minutes
EANitrox 32% – 18m Depth No Decompression Limit = 95 minutes

The Good

Using Nitrox when scuba diving has considerable benefits but just like everything else that’s good in the world it does come with some risks and considerations that have to be factored in. Being of an optimistic nature we’ll start with the good stuff.

  • Extended Bottom Times
  • Longer Repetitive Dive Times
  • Shorter Surface Intervals
  • Reduced Exhaustion (debatable)
  • Funky Yellow And Green Tank Markings (very important)
  • Avoid The Crowds – When most other divers have used up their NDL and have to go shallow, you can continue to explore at depth with just you and your buddy
Nitrox Diving In Phuket

Nitrox Diving In Phuket

The Not So Good

Oxygen at depth becomes toxic to us so we do have to track the amount of oxygen we absorb and keep a close eye on our depth. There are specific depth limits that need to be strictly adhered to with every different blend of Nitrox. If you go over the limits then you risk oxygen toxicity, a rather nasty consequence that can be easily avoided by simply diving conservatively.

  • Heavy breathers may think that nitrox is the solution to their woes but unfortunately not. If you get through your tank quickly on air then you’ll do the same with Nitrox
  • You have to analyze your own tank – your guide or instructor can’t do it for you
  • Nitrox is rarely free, you’ll have to pay a little more for your fills

Conclusion

In our opinion the benefits far outweigh the few negatives and that’s why we’ve installed a Nitrox membrane system on MV Kebsup. This simple course is a must for all serious divers and a great benefit to those who only get to dive a few times a year.

Mention this post and get a full days Nitrox for free!

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By Justin Hartrey

I've been enjoying the incredible marine life in our oceans for over 25 years. 13 years ago I became a PADI professional in Phuket, hoping to introduce as many people as possible to the incredible beauty of the seas.

Having been fortunate enough to dive all over south east and especially Thailand, I enjoy sharing my diving experiences and passion on this blog.

Originally from Bristol in the UK, I swapped the frigid waters of the North Atlantic for the warm tropical seas around Thailand and can confidently say that I wouldn't go back

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