Life Jacket Maintenance

greensilk

Member
Messages
124
Reaction score
0
After the lurker thread I have a question for those who know more - what is the best way to ensure your wading vest/life jacket is fit for purpose. I have an Airflow automatic vest which is now a year old and assume it needs some form of checking annually. I dont/cant find the orginal guidance documents Thanks
 

Warwick I

Well-known member
Messages
340
Reaction score
267
Location
Blackpool
I had my Snow Bee Life Jacket serviced by Diver Dave after two years use. You can find his address on the web if you don't know it. I hope this helps.
 

codyarrow

New member
Messages
550
Reaction score
5
The advice I got was the catridges need replaced every three years, and you need to inspect your jacket for mice damage if you keep it in the garage or shed.
I spend a lot of time in boats at sea and freshwater and I don't know anyone who's replaced the cartridge yet! A lot of folk have lifejackets in the 10+ year age bracket. I tend to keep mine for 4 years and replace it, the last one I got was £40, you can get a red one cheaper than that.
Difficult to give advice on this one, you tend to never know they are not working until the strings pulled.
 

pellinore

Active member
Messages
480
Reaction score
45
Location
Aboyne
set it off and try it out
if holds air then fine repack it, get a new cylinder and rearm

even bouyancy aids need to be checked-leisure companies tie weights to them to ensure they have retained their bouyancy, in practice unless your bouyancy aid is always soaking wet it will last a long time
 

Merganser

New member
Messages
68
Reaction score
0
Location
Armadale West Lothian
Our work lifejackets were serviced every 2 1/2 years. Inflate bladder and check it stays iinflated, then replace cartridge. Personally, i would remove cartridge and inflate orally, replace cartridge if it looks like showing any signs of corrossion. Make cartridge is the correct size to inflate the bladder.
Make sure not to write any service dates on bladder with permament marker.

Hope this is of some help.

Andy
 

weefleeman

New member
Messages
75
Reaction score
0
Location
Ayrshire
I check mine annually. Automatic ones (I have the Parmaris hi-fit one) should have a "replace by" date stamped on the activator. I change this when due (just a case of unscrewing from the cylinder and screwing on a new one). There should also be the weight on of the cylinder stamped on the label of the life jacket, I remove it and weigh it on digital scales, if same weight or greater then its ok and hasn't lost any charge. Also check for corrosion. Replace if required. Unfold bladder, inflate manually, check for leakage; deflate and repack. Also plenty of demos on youtube about rearming and repacking.

Hope this helps.
 

Pollowick

Well-known member
Messages
2,569
Reaction score
165
With mine, I remove the cylinder (although normally stored unscrewed anyway as it flies with me), check the auto inflation mechanism for damage or wear or stickiness - it can also be removed. Pull the cord and make sure pin is fired.

Inflate manually to the max and then leave inflated for 10 minutes or so to ensure it does not deflate.

Inspect straps for fraying, stitching or other damage.

Deflate fully and reassemble.

Mine gets done every 6 months or so.
 

fly guy

New member
Messages
2,189
Reaction score
3
Location
Scottish Highlands (Salmon heaven)
Personal use life jackets I would be activating at a max time scale of three years. Once inflated, leave them for a few hours to ensure there are no leaks.
Check also for mildew damage (life jackets left hanging wet for too long or stored in a damp compartment) as this can affect the integrity of the life jacket.
We have our life jackets serviced, inspected and logged every 12 months.
OK, the rearming kits can be expensive but what price do you put on a persons life.......??
Be safe in 2014 Forum members!
 

evilunclejoe

New member
Banned
Messages
496
Reaction score
0
Location
East Kilbride - Purgatory
I check mine annually. Automatic ones (I have the Parmaris hi-fit one) should have a "replace by" date stamped on the activator. I change this when due (just a case of unscrewing from the cylinder and screwing on a new one). There should also be the weight on of the cylinder stamped on the label of the life jacket, I remove it and weigh it on digital scales, if same weight or greater then its ok and hasn't lost any charge. Also check for corrosion. Replace if required. Unfold bladder, inflate manually, check for leakage; deflate and repack. Also plenty of demos on youtube about rearming and repacking.

Hope this helps.

Exactly. I would only add that the RNLI advise that you manually inflate them and check them after 24 hours. Weefleeman is very right to highlight the importance of accurately weighing the cylinder.

Keep safe.
 

ozzyian

Well-known member
Messages
5,859
Reaction score
1,967
Location
East Lothian
After the lurker thread I have a question for those who know more - what is the best way to ensure your wading vest/life jacket is fit for purpose. I have an Airflow automatic vest which is now a year old and assume it needs some form of checking annually. I dont/cant find the orginal guidance documents Thanks

Here's a link to a u tube vid that might help you.

How to Inspect Your Lifejacket - YouTube

In the boating fraternity the consensus is self check it each year and maybe send it for servicing if/when required or 3 years. Saltwater environments are a lot harsher though.

Have a look under the bladder cover (under the Velcro attached strip) where there's normally some servicing information stitched inside, try somewhere near the trigger/canister.

BTW, if I had an auto I'd have had to re-arm it twice last season! I'm probably best with a manual.
 

Hardyreels

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
2,275
Reaction score
1,861
Location
Alaska
Testing things out;

Hi,

I use an old Sterns vest which has an air bladder with a CO2 rip cord for emergency inflation. It also has a manual air tube, I don't know if yours has this feature or not. Every spring I blow it up manually and let it sit overnight. No leaks yet and it's at least 20 years old.
 

Seatoner

Member
Messages
93
Reaction score
3
Hi,

I use an old Sterns vest which has an air bladder with a CO2 rip cord for emergency inflation. It also has a manual air tube, I don't know if yours has this feature or not. Every spring I blow it up manually and let it sit overnight. No leaks yet and it's at least 20 years old.

Ours at work are inspected/serviced and any parts needed replaced every 12 months by an accredited safety company who then provide a certificate to confirm they're ok, only costs about £25 per unit. However, once they reach 10 years old they won't recertify them even if they have never been used, they are condemned and have to be disposed of and replaced with brand new jackets.
 

Rennie

Well-known member
Messages
6,219
Reaction score
2,577
Location
Gods County
Just checked my SOSpenders manual waistcoat out now and its leaking from the oral inflation tube,quite badly.Its an old device in the region of 15yrs old.What should I do?,replace it totally (love it to bits really! and hard to replace) or send it off for servicing! and indeed who to? .Cheers,Pedro.
 
Top